Western Union CEO: We’ll Use Bitcoin When Regulated

Your next video will start in

Recommended Videos

  • Info

  • Comments


June 25 (Bloomberg) –- Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek discusses his greatest security concern, the future of Bitcoin and how Western Union will implement new technologies to keep up with the competition. He speaks with Trish Regan from the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

You probably know western union is the world's largest money transferring service, but the company is facing fierce new competition across the globe from start ups, and western union is attempting to use technology to stay ahead.

What is it going to work?

How faithful will those transfers be, and how safe from hackers?

Welcome to "street smart." you have seen exactly what can happen.

You think about heartbleed and what it is capable of.

You think about target, the problems there.

What is your greatest security concern when it comes to transferring billions of dollars across the globe on a daily basis?

My biggest concern is, we have a secure system.

We care about our customers.

They are trying to transfer hard earned money.

The transparency is very important.

We are doing a lot of money on custom protection.

If you have the fundamentals, you do have to care about the systems, about some fundamentals, and about your customers.

You are all over.

You are in a, in afghanistan.

In ukraine, some of these areas that are being challenged.

How much has western union handled in countries in crisis, or funds could go directly to terrorist or groups committing crimes, war crimes?

One of our biggest investments is the anti-money-laundering investment.

We are very committed.

Our compliant activities are huge.

We are investing about 3.5% to 4% of our revenue.

You have to care about your brand, about your customers.

The customers trust us.

They do not like the bad money.

We do not like the bad money.

How do you know?

How do you know if it is bad money?

Will the nsa bring you up and say, you should not be doing a transaction like this?

Worldwide, we operate very closely with the regulators.

We checked the list.

A customer walks in and a location, we ask their ide, and then we ask some questions.

When a customer puts money on the receipt side, and we go through the same process again.

The ceo of second market helps bidders take part in the bitcoin auction that is going to be happening this week.

Let me ask you about it: and your view of it as a potential currency.

Your biggest criticism is that you guys are too expensive.

How much of a threat is something like it going, which is clearly much cheaper to move across the globe?

First of all, the challenge that we are the most expensive.

Otherwise, we will not be used.

We are the largest money transfer company.

We do need customers to like us.

We pay out in 121 currencies.

When customers want us, they pay in 121 currencies.

If it is a proper currency, why not we should also use bitcoin?

You would use bitcoin?


You would use bitcoin as a method of transferring money?

It would be another currency?

If it is regulated as a currency, but it is not regulated as a currency.

That is the issue of the coin.

We are a very regulated industry.

When bitcoin is regulated and the customer like that, why not?

We already are in 121 currencies -- 191 currencies.

Back to the idea of fees, western union has been accused of having very high fees for transferring money.

We knew look at what paypal is doing or these mobile money services, you have apple trying to get into the business.

How crowded is the into before you?

Do you have to bring fees down at some point to continue attracting customers?

First of all, it is much easier to move money cross-border.

We are in 16,000 corridors.

We serve 200 companies.

I think our prizes are differences from court or to court or or customer by customer.

I believe we are very competitive.

We are in very good position to compete with different corporations.

Before i let you go, bill clinton cited your company, saying it is a global job creator.

Tell us about the jobs you are creating and how much employment and promoting employment really factors into your business model.

If you look at it, there are not many companies like western union, 500,000 locations worldwide.

We go to places other companies do not go.

We transfer money for people that other companies do not do that.

If you are in the rural areas of faces which other companies do not give the financial inclusion, we do this.

We are famous for that.

We are really in the rural areas of places.

If you transfer money into those, it creates jobs.

One of the things which we really do is [indiscernible] we do transfer moneys.

It is important they do get their money fast, that they have their cash flow fast.

With our business solution, we allow the sme's that they get their money so they can pay their bills or create new jobs.

That is our focus.

We have been very successful globally in this area.

Before i let you go, you mentioned you would look at it koran as a potential currency, the 192nd currency you would transfer money with.

How soon could you be doing that in the near future?

Trish, i am not sure if bitcoin is a currency.

It is a system.

It is not used as a currency.

It is defined as an asset.

Nobody defines the core and as a currency, which is issued by a reserve bank.

Dollars are issued by a reserve bank.

Euros are issued by central banks.

It is a regulated environment.

Bitcoin does not have that.

When a reserve bank issues bitcoins, we are more than happy, and it is regulated -- you do not think it is ever going to become a real currency.

We will leave it there.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


BTV Channel Finder


ZIP is required for U.S. locations

Bloomberg Television in   change