Saturday , January 19, 2019

Eye on Online Payments: Groupon+ Snags 2.7 Million Cardholders; Western Union’s Online P2P Volume Rises 22%

Online and mobile offers provider Groupon Inc. reported Wednesday that 2.7 million Visa and Mastercard card holders are using its new Groupon+ service to get discounts at restaurants without presenting a voucher. And wire-transfer provider The Western Union Co. says its online consumer-to-consumer payment transactions rose 22% in the fourth quarter.

Chicago-based Groupon, best known for its mobile and online daily deals, last September introduced Groupon+ in 23 markets. The program lets users get discounts at more than 1,500 restaurants without needing to print out a voucher or present Groupon’s app at the table. Instead, all they have to do is register a Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card with Groupon, then present that card at a participating restaurant to get discounts of up to 30%.

Groupon said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that the program is now available in 25 markets. The company plans to expand the program to other merchants besides restaurants.

Meanwhile, Englewood, Colo.-based Western Union reported Tuesday that revenues and transactions in its money-transfer service both increased 22% in the fourth quarter over the year-earlier period. The company did not release transaction numbers, but said total consumer-to-consumer transactions grew 3%, which means the online channel is growing far faster than Western Union’s traditional agent-based channel.

Consumer-to-consumer payments generated 80% of Western Union’s total revenues of $1.44 billion in the quarter, up 5% from $1.37 billion in 2016’s fourth quarter. revenues now account for 10% of consumer-to-consumer revenues, the company said without disclosing actual figures. Based on the reported percentages, the online channel is now generating an estimated $115 million in quarterly revenues.

Bill payments in the United States and Argentina generated 14% of revenues, up 11% as reported and 14% from a year earlier on a constant-currency basis.

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