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Western Union delivers a global e-learning experience to 500,000 agents with Totara Learn

Money transfer giant Western Union is a global operation, with around 500,000 agents working daily to help customers send money to friends, family and business partners in other parts of the world.

Western Union needs to provide essential training to its agents worldwide. This includes operational training on how to use the company’s systems and follow the correct processes, but also important compliance training on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures.

The Challenge

Western Union was struggling to deliver effective, flexible and scalable learning to a group of 500,000 people who speak up to 50 different languages. The rigid and unworkable licensing arrangements of its existing e-learning platform had left the options of either drip-feeding important training throughout the year — hugely inconvenient if you want to implement a new piece of financial services compliance swiftly — or paying a prohibitively expensive additional licensing fee to train all agents at the same time.

As such, Western Union’s key requirements for its new e-learning platform were:

  • The ability to offer the same training to all 500,000 agents simultaneously.
  • A single platform offering e-learning in all 50 languages spoken by agents.
  • A flexible licensing model that would deliver robust and scalable global e-learning

Many of Western Union’s agent learning team were familiar with Moodle from their backgrounds in higher education, but felt that a fully-supported commercial platform was more appropriate for their requirements. A word-of-mouth referral convinced them that Synergy Learning was the company they wanted to partner with to deliver their new Totara platform.

The Solution: Tailored to each learner

Synergy Learning worked with Western Union to create the world’s largest Totara learning management system by user base. The new learning platform is focused on delivering a learner-oriented experience, not least by ensuring every agent can undertake training in their first language.

Synergy Learning used Totara’s language packs and some custom language functionality to achieve this. Western Union had already identified that Totara was the only platform that offered the flexibility it needed to incorporate so many languages on a single platform.

The theme and user interface was designed and customised to provide a user experience that is familiar to all Western Union agents. Synergy Learning’s developers created a single sign-on, which means agents are automatically signed into the LMS when using other Western Union systems. Training can now be easily undertaken in quiet periods during the working day.

Additional custom coding gave Western Union the control they needed over HR imports and integrations with web services.

The Results: Flexible and cost-effective training

Totara’s easy-to-use platform and affordable licensing gives the flexibility needed to push new e-learning to all 500,000 agents simultaneously. That means Western Union is able to save money while also better mitigating the risks of non-compliance with, for example, a new financial services directive.

Some 95% of agents now use the single sign-on functionality they developed to conveniently access the LMS while at work.

Western Union’s new flexible yet stable e-learning platform results in better training for agents, and therefore better customer service at its money transfer locations around the globe. It now has a stronger foundation for its plans to continue to provide quality training on a global scale in the coming years.

“Sometimes you expect to be able to work with a platform straight out-of-the-box, but there are always quirks when it comes to adapting to your systems. Synergy Learning was instrumental for us in providing the development and consultancy we needed.” – Tomas Lionikas, Senior Manager for Global Agent Training, Western Union

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