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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Interview with Nick LeCuyer, VP of Strategy and Distribution at Western Union Digital (Part 6)

Posted on Sunday, May 12th 2013

Sramana Mitra: I think the other thing that is happening on the mobile wallet end and the SME world is that there is a lot of impact of the mobile payment technology happening. Nowadays you can go to a flea market and accept credit card payments on your phone. There are a lot of similar innovations happening in the emerging world as well.

Nick LeCuyer: We are hugely enthusiastic. We are part of a broader ecosystem. We can’t offer a great mobile channel experience to a consumer all by ourselves. The consumer has to have a mobile phone and someone has to be providing the mobile network – the better the mobile phone, the better the experience we can offer. Our model in most places is based on a partnership-based distribution. We are very enthusiastic to see this ecosystem developing, because that is what enables us to put together the components for a great mobile money transfer service for our customers.

SM: Taking the example you provided earlier – somebody in the U.S. sending money to Mom in El Salvador. Ideally, the grocery store is then set up to accept payments from that mobile wallet directly. Perhaps the mobile carrier is setting consumers up with a mobile wallet and then the grocery store chain is set up to accept payments from the mobile wallet. Those kinds of full-loop ecosystems would have a maximum impact.

NL: They would. We are still a long way from every component of that being mobile based. I am a huge believer in multi-channel/multi-mode.

SM: Right now you don’t have a choice. But ideally, we want to move to an ecosystem where money really flows freely and can add velocity to the entire process.

NL: I would be satisfied if 7 billion users on the planet can access the Western Union service from their mobile devices. For us that is a big enough area.

SM: It was interesting to speak with you. It is an area that is having a vast impact – especially on the emerging market. Thank you very much for your time.

NL: Thank you very much.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Interview with Nick LeCuyer, VP of Strategy and Distribution at Western Union Digital
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