The service will be released to thousands of locations across all major cities and districts in India, as a part of the 150,000-strong SmartShop agent network of Wirecard in India. These agents provide access to financial services and retail-assisted ecommerce to people who do not have internet access, smartphones or bank accounts.
Through the SmartShop agent network, people will be able to receive remittances from Western Union even in rural areas of India, immediately after the money has been wired by the sender. Locations that the company is adding Western Union Money Transfer services to will also include travel agencies, foreign exchange houses and locations that currently focus on domestic remittances.
According to PR Newswire, India’s digital payments market is expected to more than double to reach USD 470 billion by 2020, making India the world’s largest recipient of remittances (World Bank estimates approximately USD 62.7 billion had been sent to India in 2016).