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Western Union helps unbanked shop online

A new digital-payment platform lets customers make purchases on the Web -- even if they don't have credit or debit cards.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 23, 2012 2:10PM

This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner siteMainStreet.


Don't have a credit card? You can still shop on the Web, thanks to a digital payment platform Western Union debuted recently that makes it easier for people without a credit or debit card to make purchases online.


The service, called WU Pay, allows users to get a bill for their online purchases (similar to one they might get for utilities or insurance) that can be paid using their bank's online bill-payment options or with cash at a participating Western Union location. (Post continues below.)

So far, this payment option is available at hundreds of retailers, including Sears, Kmart,, Tiger Direct, Redcats and American Eagle Outfitters. Other retailers, including, J.C. Penney, Home Depot, Dell and American Airlines, are allowing users to buy virtual gift cards that can be used on their websites.


WU Pay is based on the eBillme platform, which Western Union acquired in October.


The company is not charging a fee to pay bills from another online account. Customers who pay by cash at a Western Union location will be required to pay a service fee ranging from $2.95 to $6.95.


According to Western Union, customers are not required to share any account or credit card information (or other financial information) to make a transaction online. The company is also running a promotion that lets first-time users earn $20 cash back when they spend $100 or more in the gift card mall.


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