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MasterCard, Western Union partner to increase international payments flexibility

220px-MasterCard_Logo.svgMasterCard and Western Union announced on Wednesday a partnership that will provide cross-border merchants with increased international payments flexibility.

The direct foreign exchange capability will be provided by Western Union and will be available to all firms in the MasterCard Business Network, an online resource that allows business owners to streamline their operations and boost productivity.

“At MasterCard, our goal is to help small and medium-sized businesses compete and succeed in an increasingly global market by providing the resources, tools and products they need to thrive,” Jay Singer, the group head for U.S. commercial products at MasterCard, said. “Our new service with Western Union will give these businesses an added option for situations when a vendor may not accept credit card payments, or when business card limits may be insufficient for a specific invoice.”

Customers will be able to send international payments in more than 135 currencies directly from their bank account, access real-time quotes and competitive foreign exchange pricing and access 24/7 customer service.

“Over 95 percent of American importers in 2011 were small and medium-sized enterprises, which demonstrates how significant they are to the American economy,” Raj Agrawal, the president of Western Union Business Solutions, said. “Working with global partners and managing international cash flow is clearly an important part of their operations. I am delighted to be working with MasterCard to help SMEs be as competitive as possible in the global marketplace, whether they trade with near neighbors such as Canada or countries as far away as Kenya, Indonesia and Brazil.”

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