Western Union snaps up 15% stake in Saudi telco’s funds arm – FinTech Futures

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Western Union has spent $200 million on a 15% stake in digital pockets stc pay, the funds arm of Saudi’s largest telecom firm STC.

The US remittance agency’s minority stake values stc pay at 5 billion riyals ($1.3 billion). The fintech facilitates native financial institution transfers, service provider funds and worldwide remittances.

At present Western Union gives stc pay with cash switch providers

STC Group’s chairman, Mohammed bin Khalid Abdullah Al Faisal, claims the deal creates the primary “Saudi unicorn”, and the primary fintech unicorn within the Center East.

However in response to CB Insights, the Center East is already dwelling to not less than eight unicorns. One in all which is within the Arab world, the UAE’s Rising Markets Property Group (EMPG). The opposite seven are primarily based in Israel.

Stc pay at the moment claims some 4.5 million customers, representing roughly 13% of Saudi Arabia’s inhabitants.

It says the $200 million US funding will finance its capital and underpin the start-up’s long-term growth plans.

Nasser Alnasser, STC Group’s CEO, calls stc pay “a fintech nationwide champion”. It’s enterprise mannequin suits in properly with the Saudi authorities’s efforts to cut back money dependency and modernise the financial system.

Relationship thus far

Each firms additionally “prolonged the phrases of their industrial relationship”, in response to a press assertion.

At present Western Union gives stc pay with cash switch providers. The partnership permits customers to ship cash from stc pay to greater than 200 nations in over 130 currencies.

Western Union deems stc pay a recognisable model throughout the Center Japanese area. This leads it to consider the funds arm is “poised to expertise sturdy progress”.

The US remittance big intends to capitalise off this progress, according to its 45% year-over-year digital income enhance in Q3 2020.

Some 21% of consumers now use Western Union digitally reasonably than over-the-counter. This has prompted the incumbent to take a position additional in its digital shopfront.

stc pay represents Western Union’s ticket “into new digital cost providers within the Gulf area”, its international community president Jean Claude Farah says in an announcement.

The minority stake deal will shut within the first quarter of 2021, topic to regulatory approvals.

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