The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced that it has opened its 500,000th Agent location and its 100,000th location in India, underscoring the country’s growing importance as a global money transfer market.
“Serving international diasporas including overseas Indians is an important reason Western Union’s network has expanded rapidly around the world,” Kiran Shetty, Regional Vice President and Managing Director, India, said: “We are grateful to our 11 million Indian customers and their families for their trust and custom over the past decade.”
Western Union locations in India now account for a fifth of Western Union’s world total, starting from a single location at Connaught Place in New Delhi nineteen years ago. The Western Union network in India has doubled in size in only four years and now reaches over 4,000 cities, towns and villages across the country.
“Our vision is to be everywhere our customers need us to be, down the street or around the corner, both at home and abroad. In every corner of the world where there are Indians, it’s likely that there’s a Western Union location to serve as a financial link to home and family,” Shetty said. “We are proud to support families making better lives through hard work overseas, and in turn the nation’s economy.”
At an event in New York, the site of the 500,000th location, the company announced a US$500,000 commitment to fund economic development and entrepreneurship programs in India, the Philippines, China, Mexico and New York City over a five-year period. Attending the Western Union event was Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of the Republic of India in New York, together with diplomats from China, the Philippines and Mexico and New York City officials.
Western Union’s 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.
The company’s 100,000th location in India is Dena Bank’s Sandhurst Bridge Bank branch in Mumbai, India
“We are delighted to offer Western Union® services to our customers and moreover; honored that the inclusion of our branch has helped to top this momentous milestone for Western Union, said Smt. Nupur Mitra, Chairman & Managing Director, Dena Bank.
Western Union services are offered through Dena Bank via Weizmann Forex, the company’s Principal Agent.
“The growth of Western Union’s network globally and locally is unparalleled. However, what’s momentous are the untold stories of dreams and aspirations of families building their lives and communities growing as a result of a network that is offered by many classes of trade from banks to convenience stores,” said Mr Chetan Mehra, Director, Weizmann Forex.
Western Union is currently expanding its portfolio of financial services. The network spans more than 200 countries and territories, and is a centerpiece of Western Union’s strategy to provide mainstream financial services – cash, card or digitally-based – to underserved consumers and businesses globally.
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, it’s a necessity,” concluded Ersek.
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 in 1871.
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, visitwww.westernunion.com.