Western Union, MyFamily.com Strike Marketing Deal

In an effort to promote its MoneyZap online person-to-person funds transfer service, Western Union Financial Services on Friday forged a deal with family community site MyFamily.com.

The agreement gives Western Union access to the membership of San Francisco-based MyFamily.com’s, and allows these people to register for MoneyZap on the MyFamily Money page, and in the private MyFamily.com Web sites. MyFamily.com provides discussion boards, photo sharing, file sharing, and chat services to its groups of members, who interact with one another in password-protected Web sites.

The deal aims to match Western Union with potential customers who are likely to use its online money-sending services — family members. Like competitors such as PayPal.com, Billpoint, and larger players like Citibank, Western Union lets people send money — from their checking accounts or through credit cards — to other individuals. The service is likely to appeal to family and friends, as well as users of auction sites like eBay.

“Aligning with MyFamily.com embodies the mission of the Western Union MoneyZap service: to make transferring money easier, through integration into the most widespread Internet tool, e-mail,” said Matt Golub, vice president of Internet commerce at First Data, which owns Western Union.

“MyFamily.com represents strong member communities who will be able to access this reliable online money transfer service.”

Presumably, part of Western Union’s pitch to consumers will be that it — with its well-known brand name and association with money transfers — can be trusted with people’s precious money. Although established players like Citibank have been working to get into the space, start-ups like PayPal and Billpoint were the earliest to market with the service. The company launched MoneyZap in July 2000.

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