Western Union and Airtel Payments Bank Real-Time International Remittances to India

New Delhi : Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, and Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of India’s largest integrated telco – Bharti Airtel, today announced a collaboration enabling millions of Airtel Payments Bank customers in India to receive international remittances in their bank accounts.

Airtel Payments Bank customers can soon direct Western Union money transfers into their bank accounts through the banking section of the Airtel Thanks App in real-time1. These transfers will be available for withdrawal at any of the over 500,000 banking points of Airtel Payments Bank.

Western Union’s collaboration with Airtel Payments Bank offers another channel for swift transfer of cross-border remittances into India, the world’s largest remittance-receiving country according to the World Bank. With an unmatched distribution reach, millions of Airtel Payments Bank customers across the country will soon be able to seamlessly connect and conveniently withdraw the money, sent to them by their loved ones around the world.

The announcement marks further expansion of Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of national tech leaders by leveraging its core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems – to enable international cross-border transfers with customer facing innovation.

Receiver-directed money transfer services are on the rise with flexible linkages offered by mobile apps and wallets. It offers receiving customers the choice of a preferred payout method based on convenience.

“The future of money transfer is to deliver what customers want – allowing them to move money whenever, however and wherever they want. Our platform cuts through the international complexities so millions of new customers can access their funds in real-time,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

“Our business offers multiple channel choice for our customers and it comes from building an inter-connectedness platform that links diverse financial and fintech players including Banks, FIs, Telcoms and Fintech players,” Ersek said.

“With India being the largest receiver of global remittances, this alliance is designed to enable better access for the recipients and contribute to financial inclusion in the country. This innovation is an example of how Airtel Payments Bank endeavours to play a role in improving the country’s payments ecosystem,” said Rajesh Sud, Managing Director – Financial Services at Bharti Enterprises and Additional Director at Airtel Payments Bank.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Western Union to add inbound global remittances to our portfolio of digitally enabled financial services. Our technology platforms and deep distribution reach allows customers to access a range of financial services in a convenient fashion. We will continue to bring to market innovative solutions that simplify basic financial services and empower every Indian,” said Anubrata Biswas, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank.

The collaboration will work on the Reserve Bank of India mandated Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS), a quick and easy way of transferring personal remittances from abroad to beneficiaries in India. Only inward personal remittances into India such as remittances towards family maintenance and remittances favoring foreign tourists visiting India are permissible under the MTSS guidelines.


The Airtel Thanks app is available for both iOS and Android users. Customers can conveniently receive Western Union money transfers into their Airtel Payments Bank accounts with the Airtel Thanks app by simply inputting the unique tracking number (MTCN), expected remittance amount and sender details. Customers can receive up to a maximum of Rs. 95,000 per transaction.

1. Funds may be delayed or services unavailable based on certain transaction conditions, including amount sent, destination country, currency availability, regulatory and foreign exchange issues, required receiver action(s), identification requirements, Agent location hours, differences in time zones, or selection of delayed options. Additional restrictions may apply. See Send Form for details.