Innovating Western Union using Data Analytics | Straight Talk


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Revolutionizing the technology footprint to forge deeper relationships with customers.

By Sanjay Saraf, CTO and Senior Vice President, Digital Product Engineering, Western Union

Western Union is on a new mission. We believe our global retail network and deep understanding of what it takes to move money nearly anywhere in the world — combined with a singular focus on the customer — provide a great foundation for digital transformation. And we are harnessing the best available technology for the task so that we can better understand our customers and their needs.

The truth is that Western Union has always been an innovator, in technologies such as microwave data transmission, automated switching and networks, communication satellites, and more. Today, technologies are evolving faster than ever, and so are we.

When I worked for companies such as Symantec, I had to explain to my mother what the company is and what it does. By contrast, when I took the CTO position at Western Union, she immediately recognized the name and was sure I was doing the right thing. That’s just one example of Western Union’s global reach and brand value.

In 2013, we completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions, moving $82 billion of principal, and we completed 459 million business payments. The company has a passion to make a difference in the lives of the tens of millions of consumers and businesses we touch. And we know our markets very well. The Netherlands, for example, is very modern, but the adoption of credit cards is limited. People prefer direct credit or debit, even for online transactions. As we modernize our payment systems to meet those kinds of local needs, we see an immediate uptick in customer satisfaction scores.

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