American financial services and communications company Western Union has said that it “would be ready” to include cryptocurrency payment options in the future.

In a video released yesterday, Western Union Global Money Transfer President Odilon Almeida said that if any company was best placed to offer crypto services it was his, due to the company’s experience of moving payments across countries:

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.”

Almeida pointed however that at this stage cryptocurrencies are experiences the teething problems of other payment systems going through early stages of development such as volatility, governance, and compliance. He added that Western Union will able to help with these challenges as it currently “devotes substantial resources to all of those three challenges”. He added:

“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.”

The company president also confirmed that tests were underway in partnership with Ripple Labs to establish if costings and time could be brought down by using blockchain to send payments. Western Union is clearly having a good long at cryptocurrency as a payment system after filing a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in July titled ‘Recurring Transfer Notifications and Secure Transfers’ that heavily mentioned cryptocurrency integration.

Western Union is one of the most reputable and widely-used money transfer services in the world. The service is available in over 200 countries and in 2016 it completed USD 80 billion of transactions for 150 million customers, generating profits of USD 5.4 billion. It can obviously benefit from integrating cryptocurrency since it can be used to send payments across international borders instantly and securely.


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