Western Union launches local payments option for Amazon shoppers
Western Union launched a service in 10 countries that allows Amazon shoppers to pay for their purchases in person and in their native currency at their local Western Union offices, according to a series of press releases.
The service, called Amazon PayCode, is currently available in Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
Consumers use the service by choosing the PayCode option on the Amazon.com checkout page, which sends them a code and instructions on how to pay in person at a participating Western Union agent location in their local area.
This announcement comes a little over three months after Western Union said it was working with Amazon on a new payment service that would leverage the financial company's presence in more than 500,000 physical locations in more than 200 countries around the world.
With Amazon PayCode, Western Union is handling the processing the currency exchange complexities, settlement and money movement requirements for cross-border e-commerce transactions. All of this provides customers with greater convenience in buying and paying for merchandise that may only be found online in some parts of the world.
They are also processes that need to work efficiently for the sake of the merchants selling through Amazon. For many third-party sellers, cross-border e-commerce is a huge opportunity which they probably would never be able to address on their own.
Western Union and Amazon may be starting with a small group of countries to make sure everything works the way it is supposed to. But, with Forrester Research estimating cross-border e-commerce to be worth $630 billion by 2022 — 20% of all e-commerce — it's not hard to imagine that these companies are working on plans for a much broader rollout.