For the longest time, only financial institutions – a drawn-out term that essentially equates to banks – offered financial services to consumers. In order to get a debit card, for example, people had to consult banks like Wells Fargo and Regions. People couldn’t schedule bill payments without having a checking account. In short, consumers couldn’t do anything other than use cash if they wanted to seek out consumer-level financial services to make their lives easier and wallets fatter.
Today, the financial services industry is full of players that are not considered financial institutions. Take, for example, PayPal. In the past, sites like eBay used PayPal to secure payments from customers and pay sellers of such goods. Today, PayPal offers customers prepaid debit cards for a charge of only $4.95 per month; many people prefer PayPal prepaid debit cards because they can’t be overdrawn like checking accounts at traditional banks – those mistakes cost upwards of $30 at almost all banks across the United States.
Consumers in the United Kingdom now can use Western Union to top up digital wallet balances
Digital wallets are a relatively new concept. People put electronic money in them as opposed to cold, hard cash. Electronic money is nothing more than when an entity like PSI Pay accepts a payment from a customer to add money to her ecoPayz digital wallet. PSI-Pay keeps the physical money – let’s say that amount is $100 – and then adds slightly less than $100 onto the account of that customer. The remainder of the $100 is retained by PSI Pay as a fee for the services it provides.
— PSI-Pay (@PSIPayLtd) February 10, 2016
Last month, Western Union made available to consumers throughout the United Kingdom the ability to add money to their PSI Pay digital wallets through digital means. Until this point, people in the United Kingdom could use Western Union’s full line of traditional services, though they could not transfer money using Western Union’s website, its mobile app, the official ecoPayz app, or through any other digital means.
ecoPayz is part of PSI Pay’s network of digital wallets. Now, ecoPayz account holders can send money throughout the world via Western Union. Such integrations didn’t take so long to come about because Western Union and other financial services providers outside of financial institutions weren’t willing to provide them; rather, no digital payment servicer was able to fund such an integration with Western Union.