Western Union partners with Aquila Heywood to improve services to overseas pensioners

Global Existence Transaction Solutions provides a seamless and low-risk solution for overseas checking of UK pensioners

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in cross border, cross currency money movement, today announces a renewed partnership between its global payments business line, Western Union Business Solutions and Aquila Heywood, the UK and Ireland’s largest pensions system provider.

The extended partnership allows Aquila Heywood’s customers to use Western Union’s retail locations to perform their annual existence checking, providing a low-risk solution that solves the pain points associated with existence checking and enhances the service provided to their customers.

According to The Department for Work and Pensions, there are over 1,200,000 UK pensioners living abroad. Typically, pension providers manually write to their members annually with a return form to verify their existence. Now with Western Union Business Solutions’ Global Existence Transaction Solution, they can verify UK pensioners living abroad with a face-to-face interaction at one of Western Union’s 550,000 Agent locations.

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This reduces the risk of fraudsters continuing to draw benefits of deceased members, saving millions of pounds incorrectly paid to non-entitled beneficiaries every year. Recent figures from the Cabinet Office, for example, show that pensioner existence scams led to an £11.4 million overpayment of public sector pensions between 2014 and 2016. The partnership also provides Aquila Heywood’s customers with access to Western Union’s digital platforms to carry out overseas payments, reducing transaction time and fees to improve customer service.

“The collaboration allows Aquila Heywood’s customers to leverage Western Union’s vast agent network to verify their identity and help reduce pension fraud,” said Western Union Global Head of Financial Institutions & Channel Partners, Alan Verschoyle-King. “We are proud to renew our partnership with Aquila Heywood and help secure pension payment capabilities across the globe.”

Aquila Heywood is the largest provider of life, pension and investment platforms in the UK and Ireland, and the fifth largest in Europe. Customers include some of the largest private and public-sector companies in the UK. Its comprehensive platform; Altair™ supports 80% of local councils and is used to administer the pensions of millions of members across the UK and Ireland.

“Our goal is to deliver stand out products and solutions that best meet our customer’s needs and enables them to provide a great service to their members,” said Aquila Heywood CEO Simon Barker. “This includes working with key strategic partners that add value and solve our customer pains. Our extended partnership with Western Union Business Solutions ensures fast and efficient handling of overseas payments, without the traditional challenges and associated risks.”

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