Western Union has opened a new R&D lab in India.
Based in Pune, Maharashtra, the Western Union Technology Engineering Centre (WUTEC) is intended to employ over a thousand staff. Western Union says the innovation lab will focus on robotics, machine learning, predictive learning, and biometrics.
In a statement announcing the new R&D lab, Western Union noted that India is the largest remittance receiving country in the world – a pillar of the company’s business – and is thought to have brought in $65 billion in remittances last year. But the company also emphasized that this Indian innovation lab is part of a larger network of Western Union R&D labs around the world. Risking overstatement, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek asserted that his company “invented the concept of digitizing money,” and is thus “uniquely positioned at the intersection of money and technology.”
Western Union also demonstrated its commitment to FinTech innovation last year when the company enabled money transfers through Apple Pay, Apple’s biometrically-secured mobile payments platform.