Western Union announced on Tuesday that its thousands of locations will begin accepting Apple Pay as a way to transfer money and pay bills.
Western Union’s flagship locations, as well as kiosks at more than 7,600 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in the U.S., will all support Apple Pay for money transfers. Support has already been launched at the Western Union location at 1440 Broadway in New York City.
Customers will be able to use their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to fund a Western Union Money Transfer, or to make a bill payment. In order to send money, customers will need to have a registered debit card in Passbook, issued by a participating Apple Pay bank.
Customers will simply hold their iPhone near a contactless credit card reader, and place their finger on the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor. As with any Apple Pay transaction, the user’s debit card number is not transmitted or shared with Western Union, instead a one-use random secure token is transmitted to complete the transaction.
“Innovative payment options are a strategic focus for Western Union, and starting to accept Apple Pay is in keeping with the company’s blueprint for the future,” said Odilon Almeida, president of Western Union in the Americas and European Union. “Our customers’ needs and preferences are top of mind.”
The company says that international transfer senders, particularly recent immigrants, are mobile-savvy, noting that six out of ten migrants own a smartphone. Over two-thirds of migrant international money transfer senders, as well as 80% of non-migrant senders, own a smartphone.
Apple Pay debuted in October of 2014, and boasts support from a number of major and regional banks, credit card providers, and an estimated 225,000 merchants.