The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment
services, today announced it has opened the 500,000th Agent
location through which it provides its expanding portfolio of financial
services. The network spans more than 200 countries and territories, and
is a centerpiece of Western Unions strategy to provide mainstream
financial services either cash, card or digitally-based to
underserved consumers and businesses globally.
To commemorate the occasion, Western Union announced a $500,000
commitment to fund economic development and entrepreneurship programs in
New York City, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines over a five-year
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in New York City today to celebrate the
opening, attendees included: Ms. Liu Yi, Commercial Counselor, Consulate
General of the People’s Republic of China in New York; Ambassador Prabhu
Dayal, Consul General of the Republic of India in New York; the Hon.
Carlos M. Sada Solana, Consul General of Mexico in New York; the Hon.
Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr., Consul General of the Republic of the
Philippines in New York; Seth W. Pinsky, President, New York City
Economic Development Corporation; and Fatima Shama, Commissioner,
Mayors Office for Immigrant Affairs, New York City.
Western Unions 500,000th location is Freedom News in New
York City. The business is owned by Deepak Patel from India, who
migrated to the United States in 1986 in pursuit of a better life.
Having worked late nights, sometimes 24-hour shifts across newsstands in
the New York City subway system, today Deepak is living his dream,
owning multiple retail stores in New York.
Complementing its core money transfer business, Western Union also is
the leading non-bank provider of cross-border business payments, for
mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The estimated
international SME cross-border business payments market is $24 billion.
Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO Western Union said, Western Union is
changing quickly. Building on our strong global fundamentals our
brand, Agent network and regulatory expertise we are creating a more
dynamic organization and product set focused on the underserved market
economically viable consumers and businesses whose financial services
needs are not being met fully by other segments of the industry.
Our vision is to establish one million Western Union touch points in
every corner of the globe where anyone, anywhere can send a money
transfer, pay bills, obtain and reload a prepaid card or pick up funds
sent through a Western Union yellow phone or the Internet. We believe
access to financial services is not a luxury, its a necessity,
Remittances contribute to economic stability around the world, by
serving as a critical source of foreign capital in many countries.
Western Union is a leader in this $416 billion annual cross-border flow1
of resources, completing 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions
worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and
completing 425 million business payments in 2011.
For more than 160 years, the familiar signs of Western Union have stood
as a trusted symbol for connecting friends, family and businesses around
the world. Western Union was founded in 1851 as the New York and
Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. The company changed its
name to Western Union in 1856 to mark the consolidation of several
telegraph lines in what was then the Western-most reaches of the
American telegraph system. Western Union first introduced money transfer
1AITE, Cross-Border Consumer Money Transfers: An
Update, July 2011.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment
services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western
Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union
provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient
ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to
purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and
Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network
of approximately 495,000 agent locations in 200 countries and
territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million
consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of
principal between consumers, and completed 425 million business
payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.