Digital revenue gap widens for Western Union

Digital revenue gap widens for Western Union

A few weeks ago we published the latest in our key trends in remittances report series, which focused on the performance of publicly traded money transfers players in FY and Q4 2023. This time one of the key insights was the ongoing development of digital revenues.

Wise, Remitly outpace WU on digital money transfers revenues
Quarterly digital revenues for publicly traded money transfer players

While not every player tracked in the report provides sufficient information to compare digital money transfers, those that do show an interesting development emerging. Until 2022, Western Union’s digital revenue comfortably outpaced that of its rivals, with a share of its overall consumer revenues that sat between 18% and 20% from Q2 2020 to Q4 2021. 

However, despite WU seeing its digital share of revenue increase to around 21-22% from then onwards, the gap began to narrow, most notably due to the growth of digital-only Remitly and Wise’s consumer division. With both on higher growth rates, they have now pulled clear of WU on digital revenues, with Wise’s consumer division reporting $45m more digital revenue than Western Union in Q4 23 and Remitly reporting $40m more. 

At current rates, that gap is likely to only widen further over the coming quarters. While WU saw 23% of its revenues being digital in Q4, these only saw 8.5% growth YoY, compared to Wise’s 25.6% and Remitly’s 38.6%.

Meanwhile, while neither Intermex nor Euronet’s Money Transfer division report their digital revenues, they are seeing greater digital growth than Western Union. Euronet has reported double-digit growth in its digital money transferred business, which is climbing faster than its retail business, while Intermex reported a 41.6% increase in digitally originated transactions.

Read ‘The state of remittances in FY 2023’

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