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Western Union and STC Pay enter into partnership

Saudi Arabia, October 7, 2018

STC Pay, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saudi Arabia’s largest telco, and The Western Union Company, a leader in cross-border and cross-currency money movement, entered into strategic discussions to embed Western Union’s cross-border functionality into a new STC Pay led FinTech platform offering financial services locally and globally.

Saudi Digital Payments Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom charged with pioneering leading edge FinTech capabilities, today launched STC Pay digital mobile wallet available from Apple or Android app stores. It will allow customers to seamlessly transact a range of payments without the need of formal bank accounts.

The ceremonial launch today was hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at midday U.S. EST, amid a distinguished gathering presided by Dr. Ahmed Abdul Karim Alkholifey, Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud, Group Chairman of Saudi Telecom Company and Nasser Al Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Telecom Company as well as other dignitaries.

Western Union CEO and President Hikmet Ersek announced the proposed cooperation agreement paving the way for STC Pay Digital Mobile to go global, during his speech to the gathering.

“It is a privilege to be in Riyadh in person and to announce our discussions about adding Western Union’s cross-border financial technology to STC Pay. This would pave the way for millions of customers with or without bank accounts or credits cards to access a suite of international finance tools, all available at a click of a button,” said Ersek.

“Our platform is a connector. It can link even the smallest micro-communities to international corporations. No matter how urban, rural, or remote the community, no matter if the user has access to regular bank accounts or credit cards, our platform is an on-ramp to 200 countries and territories across the world.”

“The best way to bring these services to new populations and modernize to meet the ever-changing desires of our customers, is through collaboration with local entities and we are privileged to be at the table with STC Pay,” he said.

In 2017, there were 6.4 million unbanked adults in Saudi Arabia, out of a population of 21 million adults, according to the World Bank. Saudi Arabia is host to millions of international workers and is the world’s second largest remittance sending nation.

“The main aim of STC through STC Pay is to enable financial inclusion and limit cash usage,” said Nasser Al Nasser, CEO, Saudi Telecom Company.

“Under the proposed arrangement, STC Pay users can stay local and still enjoy the benefits of a global marketplace, thanks to a proposed integration with Western Union. They can shop local, receive money, or send money to friends and family nearly anywhere in the world. Once, such transactions were the privilege of customers with bank accounts but under the proposed agreement, they would be available at the touch of a button to anyone with a STC Pay mobile wallet,” he said.