Western Union and Amazon announced a partnership Wednesday (October 31) that will offer a new payment option for international customers of the eCommerce giant.
Western Union said in a release that Amazon customers will be able to pay in local currency for the items they buy online, which should spur cross-border transactions, with ease of access into new markets and choice across the millions of products offered across Amazon’s platforms.
“We’re leveraging our money movement platform to make it easier to shop global and pay local,” Western Union CEO and President Hikmet Ersek said in the statement. “By facilitating the complex foreign exchange and settlement process, we’re opening up more consumer choices and access to online shopping for tens of millions of potential new Amazon customers.”
Customers in “select countries” will be able to shop on Amazon and pay in person, using local currency, at Western Union agent locations. The “in person” option will be offered on the Amazon checkout page, and as Western Union said, these consumers will be sent a code and instructions on how to make payments at those agent locations.
“Western Union’s platform will also power the process for cash refunds for product returns,” according to the release.
The firm cited Forrester Research, which notes that cross-border shopping will make up as much as 20 percent of eCommerce transactions by 2022, with sales reaching as much as $630 billion — and that paying in person remains a challenge for those who prefer that method or who are not comfortable paying online.
Noted Ersek in the release, “There are people in the world who want greater access to Amazon’s huge product selection but paying for those purchases has been a real obstacle for many customers.”
The company has said its cross-border, cross-currency money movement platform spans 200 countries.
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