With the close of its acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments (TGBP) division today, Western Union creates the largest nonbank provider of business-to-business payment services and a formidable competitor in the cross-border payment space.

Both Western Union and TGBP cater to small and midsize businesses, which generate cross-border payment revenue that McKinsey & Co. estimates at $24 billion. Today, that revenue is mostly captured by banks. Western Union is developing a plan to fully integrate its platform with TGBP's, a move that will enable the combined entity to leverage the current strengths of each unit and increase market share, says Dave Owen, vice president of business development at Western Union. A formal announcement of the deal's close was made today as the Association for Financial Professionals kicked off its annual conference in Boston.

Englewood, Colo.-based Western Union, with $5.2 billion in 2010 revenue, has long been a provider of international consumer payment services. It expanded into the B-to-B payment market in 2009 when it acquired Canada's Custom House and launched Western Union Business Services, which offers cross-border payment and currency-hedging services.

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