Western Union Global Money Transfer President, Odilon Almeida, has said in a video released on Dec 17, that his firm, which currently supports over 130 currencies, “will be ready” to add cryptocurrency as a payment option in the future.
Almeida explained that if there is any firm that is well placed to make the most out of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, then it would be Western Union because they are actively moving payments across different countries and have “deep knowledge” of what it means.
“Cryptocurrency might become one more option for a way for assets to be exchanged between people and countries. If that happens we would be ready to launch,” he said.
However, he also acknowledged that this will not be right away since the industry is still at an infant stage and faces some challenges peculiar to emerging payment systems. These challenges according to the WU boss include volatility, governance, and compliance.
Odilon Almeida expressed optimism that Western Union can help cryptocurrencies overcome these challenges. In his words, Western Union already “devotes substantial resources to all of those three challenges.”
On the matter of introducing cryptocurrencies to their payment options or on their platform, he said conclusively,
“Western Union is ready today to adopt any kind of currency. We already operate with 130 currencies. If we, one day, feel like it’s the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies to our platform, technology-wise, it’s just one more currency.”
Is Western Union Experimenting Blockchain Technology?
According to the President Odilon Almeida, the technology has a lot of potential application in the financial services sector and right now, “WU is investing in finding those that best meet (their) platform.”
He also confirmed that they have “ongoing tests” in partnership with blockchain payment startup, Ripple Labs, to find out whether they could save costs and time by sending payments over blockchain technology.