May 05, 2021 at 01:17AM

Western Union (WU) reported first-quarter earnings results that showed a rebound in cross-border activity, particularly in remittances, done digitally.

The company said that total cross-border principal grew 28 percent year over year in the quarter.

The great digital shift continues apace, said the company, where average monthly users surged 46 percent in the quarter compared to a year ago, and where revenues in that segment were up 38 percent.

The company said that the digital business is on track to exceed $1 billion in revenues this year. Revenues in the quarter were $242 million for the digital operations. Digital transaction growth was up 77 percent in the period; digital money transfer revenues gained 44 percent in constant currency.

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions, according to supplemental materials, were up 9 percent in the period, outpacing constant currency revenue growth of 2 percent in the period. Drilling down into the C2C segment, revenue in Latin American countries was up 8 percent, followed by Europe at 4 percent.

C2C and X-Border Power Results

Cross-border transfer revenues within the C2C segment were up 6 percent. All in, digital transfer money revenues were 23 percent of the total C2C segment, up from a 16 percent contribution a year ago in the first quarter. Of the roughly 150 million customers WU counts among its installed base, management said on the call, roughly half of that tally are senders, the remainder are receivers.

Business Solutions, said WU, were 8 percent of company revenues, down 8 percent in constant currency.

Management noted on the conference call with analysts that even though digital transactions are surging, retail transactions will likely not get back to 2019 levels this year. Management also said that the spread between revenues and transactions should narrow through the next several quarters. CEO Hikmet Ersek said during the call, with a nod toward WU’s pact with Walmart for in-store payments and transfers announced earlier this year, that WU had enrolled roughly 20 percent of Walmart stores in the U.S. and should have all 4,700 locations enrolled by this quarter.

Total revenues of $1.2 billion were roughly in line with expectations; earnings per share of 44 cents a share missed Wall Street estimates by a penny.

Western Union Shows C2C X-Border Transfer Revenues Up 6 Pct …

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