Competition from the digital currency sector has forced Western Union to introduce new fee-free network payment structure called WU EDGE. The new platform is slated to enable transactions between two parties in a matter of minutes. With WU EDGE, Western Union (NYSE : WU) intends to compete with Bitcoin-based remittance and payments platforms that have been offering instant transfers since their introduction. However, there are currency exchange charges applicable for transactions over WU EDGE.
WU EDGE, an Attempt to Keep up with Bitcoin
Until recently, there were limited options available for people to send money across geographical boundaries. Those away from their families; working in different countries; businesses working with international clients; and freelancers working on projects for those in other parts of the world, were all made to either execute a wire transfer from their bank accounts or use other centralized remittance services like the Western Union and MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI). In both the cases, the customer was forced to bear transaction charges and currency conversion fees. Depending upon the transaction size, these charges can turn out to be a small fortune. However, things have changed in the remittance market since bitcoin and other digital currencies made an appearance.