Denver’s Western Union buys 15% stake in Saudi Telecom’s STC Pay unit

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Denver’s Western Union buys 15% stake in Saudi Telecom’s STC Pay unit

In the latest flashpoint to create the Mideast’s first digital payment unicorn, digital payment arm of Saudi Arabia’s STC Group, STC Pay had sold off 15 per cent of its stake to the world’s largest money transfer firm, Western Union, for a stark sum of $200 million, valuing the company at $1.3 billion or 5 billion Saudi Riyals, STC Group said in a statement on Saturday.

Aside from that, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s largest digital payment unit, STC Pay having had a customer base of 4.5 million, had also added at its Saturday’s statement that the fresh liquidity stemmed off its sale of 15 per cent stakes to Western Union, would be capitalized to finance STC Pay’s long-term expansion strategies.

Western Union acquires 15% stake in Saudi’s largest digital payment unit STC Pay

In point of fact, followed by the announcement made earlier on Saturday, the Chair of STC Group, Mohammed bin Khalid Abdullah Al Faisal was quoted saying that the Western Union investment had created the first fintech unicorn in the Middle East while reflecting the company’s position as a “digital enabler,” while STC said in a separate statement that its STC Pay had been the first licensed financial technology company authorized by the Saudi Central Bank alongside the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

Notably, latest investment from the Denver-headquartered world’s largest payment processor, Western Union came forth less than a month after media headlines had reported that the STC Group had been seeking from lenders to arrange a potential sale of stakes in its product and services development arm, while industry experts said following the statement that the deal had reflected a sheer urgency of Saudi Government which had been vying to vent out a way to modernize its economy and to reduce its fiscal dependency on sales of black gold, a vision long fostered by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.