Western Union outpaced on digital money transfers

Western Union outpaced on digital money transfers

Last week we published our latest key trends in remittances report, which highlighted the state of publicly traded money transfers players. And one of the more interesting developments in the latest quarter was the shift in digital money transfer revenues.

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

While digital has never been more than around a fifth of Western Union’s revenue, the company has until recently reported the largest branded digital money transfers revenue in the C2C market. This is compared to all of digital-only Remitly’s revenue and all of Wise’s consumer money transfers revenue. However, the last few quarters have seen Remitly and Wise begin to overtake WU, and in Q3 2023 this gap widened significantly.

Crucial to this is that WU’s branded digital revenues have not grown as a share of their overall C2C business, but have instead remained at 21%, down from a high of 22% in Q1 23. Meanwhile WU’s total revenue growth has only recently returned to positive after over a year of consistent drops. By contrast, Wise and Remitly continue to see strong growth, which has allowed them to outpace the incumbent’s digital division.

The other two main publicly traded players in this space, Intermex and Euronet’s Money Transfers division (which covers Ria and Xe), do not publish enough information to produce a direct digital revenue comparison, but have reported growth in this space. Euronet Money Transfers reported a 20% YoY increase in direct-to-consumer digital transactions in Q3 23, while Intermex reported a 63% YoY increase in digital transactions. MoneyGram, which went private earlier this year, is also increasing its focus on the digital space.

While there is still considerable revenue in the retail money transfers space, digital remains the long-term area of promise, and laying down strong digital remittances groundwork now is key for companies’ long-term strategies.

Read the full report ‘Key trends in Q3 2023 remittances’

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