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Western Union aids in cross-border financial services like consumer-to-consumer money transfers and bill payments while maintaining its focus on connecting people. Even as Western Union’s 2016 Annual Report shows that it completes roughly 31 transactions per second and transfers $80 billion per annum in consumer-to-consumer transactions, it is not enough to operationally support these transactions. The transactional information generated contains insights that can prove helpful in creating more relevant products and services that make Western Union stand out in a competitive marketplace.
Two key areas which can benefit from a solution bringing structured and unstructured data stores together include customer experience and security, risk and compliance. The former can help the company in creating a personalized experience for both senders and receivers by analyzing data click stream information, user data behavior and mobile usage patterns. The latter has the potential to minimize risk while enhancing anti-money laundering compliance. Western Union used Cloudera to refurbish the engineering stack to attain these goals for its ability to handle structured, unstructured and semi-structured information and customization capabilities which can support global enterprises. Management capabilities like large-scale data segregation, monitoring, and auditing also aided the decision.
Cloudera set up its first production-ready system in five months. Data is collected from various sources using a combination of Apache Sqoop, Apache Flume, and Informatica Big Data Edition while the enterprise data hub (EDH) used high-density Cisco Unified Computing System servers. Apache Sentry and Kerberos are used to secure and segregate this data, which is constantly monitored by Cloudera Navigator. Western Union, the custodian of financial information of customers, thus ensures compliance, auditing, and monitoring of data.
The EDH provides critical insights throughout the customer lifecycle to Western Union, which helps in improving products and services as required. Supporting predictive analysis on data sets during transactions enables Western Union to impact real-time transactions and drive customer compliance. Implementing EDH also lowered the company’s total cost of ownership, which can be used for other purposes.