Western Union Enables an Omni-channel Experience with Fast Data
Better customer experience, greater revenue, faster performance for web and mobile
At Western Union, customers are central to everything. “It starts with being extremely local,” explains Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Sanjay Saraf. “We make it very convenient for customers to make financial transactions as fast and securely as possible in their region. There’s no margin of error. We want customers’ implicit trust as they look after their friends and families.”
Today customers are embracing an explosion of new technology. “In places like Indonesia, India, Africa, adoption of technologies is even faster than in some developed countries,” says Mr. Saraf. “Customers want to complete a transaction on their mobile, which brings new requirements. We take pride in delivering products with topnotch performance and extremely secure and compliant transactions. Whether it’s cash, mobile wallet, or online, we want to offer any format customers are looking for.”
Senior Director of Engineering Abhishek Banerjee adds: “The challenges we faced were in integrating our payments ecosystem with hundreds of banks, half a million locations, and so many post offices, ATM networks, mobile devices, and online and retail locations.”
Mr. Saraf had been a TIBCO customer before and believed the fastest way to transformation would be through strategic partnerships. “Working with TIBCO has been phenomenal, and I think the foundation of that relationship has been the customer centricity that both companies embrace. Every issue we had, TIBCO stepped up to help us resolve it, and brought top leadership, not just at the architectural level, but also new ideas on how we could improve our customer experience.”
Mr. Banerjee concurs. “The partnership with TIBCO has been groundbreaking. TIBCO helped us with new, cutting-edge technology for Fast Data. We wanted to identify real customers and separate out any bad actors, and that required making big data actionable in real time for online and mobile. That way, we can give them what they are looking for, keeping in mind their country and location, and that makes our products more relevant and secure,” Banerjee said. The company implemented TIBCO BusinessEvents® and TIBCO ActiveSpaces® in-memory data grid.
Better Service, Greater Revenue
Explains Saraf, “Before, customers at agent locations had to fill out a form, and at times, queue up. Now a customer can stage their entire transaction on their mobile, then walk into an agent location to pay. No filling out of forms, no standing in the line, they just show the agent their device with the QR code. Instant gratification for the customer also significantly improved operations for agents.”
Western Union also expanded its payments options. “In some countries, there were limited options for funding transactions. Now we’ve built new platforms and products, and customers can choose. In Germany or the Netherlands, they don’t use credit cards, they use SOFORT or online bank transfer. In the US and other places, you can use Speedpay to pay bills. We also increased mass payments and global payments for our business-to-business customers. We see a dramatic improvement, not just in customer experience and feedback, but to our bottom line,” he says.
Faster Performance for Web and Mobile
“It’s a fact that if your website performance improves, you see improvement in your conversions and customer experience scores,” says Saraf. “Using TIBCO’s inmemory data grid, we synthesize data in-memory. We don’t have to reach out to legacy systems, and the change gives us much faster performance that makes a big difference to customer experience.”
Fast and Secure Transactions
“We use TIBCO products to feed a massive volume of data, billions of records through our Hadoop platform, and real-time event processing to ensure transactions are safe and secure,” says Saraf.
“We want to be known as the only company that can deliver funds in any bank account in any part of the world in minutes, and the only way to deliver that kind of an experience is by leveraging data and TIBCO products,” says Saraf.