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Partnership between Western Union and Alibaba

  • The Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba has just entered a partnership with Western Union to enable its AliExpress.com e-merchants to propose cash payment to their customers through Western Union branches.
  • Each online purchaser receives a unique order reference to be presented at one of the Western Union ATMs with the amount of his order in cash. Once the payment made, Western Union sends confirmation to the e-merchant so that he can trigger the delivery process.
  • Alibaba proposes an added value service to merchants allowing them to widen their customer bases. Several potential Chinese purchasers are still unbanked, notably those living in rural areas.
  • This service also targets developing foreign markets: South America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. This target is in line with Western Union’s as it processes underbanked and unbanked customers’ funds transfers.
  • This agreement should increase AliExpress.com payment transactions volumes.