Western Union, Isabel Group Team Up to Serve Belgian Community

A segment of The Western Union Co. WU named Business Solutions has collaborated with the Isabel Group of Belgium to provide business-to-business (B2B) multi-banking ecosystem and an online payment solution for companies of any size in the region.

With this deal, Isabel, which is the leading provider of multi-bank services for both businesses and consumers and the largest fintech in Belgium, will be able to enjoy the worldwide connectivity provided by Western Union Business Solutions’ vast global network.

Isabel Group can enjoy Western Union Business Solutions’ wide payment platform across more than 200 countries and territories in 130 plus currencies around the world. This will enable Isabel, which serves 70,000 professional user clients, to manage their banking online as well as perform quick and easy payments.

Isabel platform users will be able to manage international payments simply, effectively and efficiently with support from Western Union Business Solutions’ extensive global ecosystem combined with the knowledge of local markets.

Isabel clients will be able to better manage international payments and foreign exchange risks through a wide range of hedging product offering with the aid of expertise from Western Union Business Solutions’ foreign exchange specialists.

Western Union’s Business Solutions operating segment eases payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions for small and medium size enterprises plus other organizations and individuals. The majority of the segment’s business relates to exchanges of currency at spot rates, which enable customers to make cross-currency transactions. Additionally, in certain countries, the company writes foreign currency forward and option contracts for customers to aid future payments.

Revenues in this segment have been declining since the past many years (only was up 4% only in 2019). The same was again down 5% in the first half of 2020. Revenue declines were the result of softening trends and verticals with more exposure to COVID-19 including education, travel and tourism, and small and medium-sized enterprises.  We believe that pressures on the top line will continue for some time. However, the company expects gradual improvement during the second half of the year in the Business Solution segment, driven by a slow uptick in global trade.

Recently, the company teamed up with TrueMoney, a renowned financial services provider in the Philippines. It also expanded its pact with Banco SEMEAR in Brazil.

These strategic actions bode well for Western Union, considering the present situation of the remittance industry that is likely to remain stressed under the coronavirus pandemic.

Another company MoneyGram International Inc. MGI also provides money transfer services in Belgium.

Shares of this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 4.9% in six months’ time compared with the industry’s growth of 39.6%.

Some stocks worth considering from the same space are Envestnet Inc. ENV and Equifax Inc. EFX, each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings of both Envestnet and Equifax beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 14.28% and 9.03%, respectively.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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