June 14, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – The realm of digital payments has become an absolutely fascinating one: Dozens of companies have gotten in on this marketplace, all competing with each other for a slice of this lucrative market and the fees that it can generate.
However, as recent earnings show, the digital front runner remains a market classic in this realm: Western Union. Their Q1 reports showed that the company has been able to successfully fight off the competition and remain a leader in the area of digital payments.
According to numerous reports and their own statements, Western Union posted strong financial results in the first quarter of 2021. As their own numbers demonstrate:
- Transaction growth in the digital realm grew more than 50% in the first quarter of 2021, hitting $242 million.
- This is in addition to impressive year-over-year growth, with digital money growing 38% ($850 million) in 2020 and $600 million in 2019.
- For the first time ever, bit is on pace to break $1 billion in digital business.
- Monthly active users grew during this period as well, with growth occurring at more than 46%.
Western Union also notes that much of their growth has occurred at a faster rate than other similar companies, with its money transfer app leaping 78% – a higher number than anyone even close to them in the money exchange universe.
A Global Front Runner
The company’s internal guidance refers to the company as a “global front runner” in the world of digital payments. This is not a boost that happens without reason.
In addition to the impressive first-quarter results, Western Union was successfully able to pivot to a more digital presence in light of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the company was already accelerating its push to the digital space, but COVID-19 made it the global front runner that it is today. Because of its established brand and built-in worldwide infrastructure, the company was able to pivot when the pandemic occurred, investing more resources into digital offers and making sure more businesses and people downloaded their app. This investment – combined with their already existing global pandemic – helped to make sure that the company never missed a beat when the pandemic hit. Indeed, it had a great 2020 despite the fact that COVID shut down many of its traditional business offerings.
A Global Brand
Western Union has at least one advantage over virtually every other company in the marketplace: The age of their company, the experience gleaned from that age and the brand that it has successfully built for itself. Unlike virtually every other brand in the money-transfer area – most of whom are no more than a few years old – Western Union has a long-established company, one that is over 170 years old and operates in more than 200 countries, helping people to send money using over 130 types of currency. This expertise, and the marketing benefits that it comes with, are difficult for any other organization to overcome.
Prepping for the Future
Western Union’s 2021 report is underpinned by the idea that the company cannot rest on its laurels. Indeed, it is in the process of partnering with one of the biggest companies in the world – Google – in order to integrate its services with Google Pay. Doing so can be a huge boon to these companies, both of which have worldwide brand recognition and extensive consumer trust within the financial universe.
As noted above, the digital marketplace remains a highly profitable one, and it has become clear that companies are fighting for an increasingly lucrative marketplace. Thus far, despite all the competition, Western Union remains the marketplace leader in this area.