Over 1 000 new Agent locations added to the network in the third quarter alone

MOROCCO, October 26, 2009 – The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in the money transfer segment of global payments, today announced that it has added over 1 000 new Agent locations to its network across Africa  in the third quarter of 2009 alone, expanding coverage to in excess of 16 000 locations.

Whilst in the first half of 2009, Western Union announced that it had added    1 000 Agent locations to reach the network milestone of 15 000 locations across 49 countries and territories, in the third quarter these efforts were doubled, with an equal number being added in a single financial quarter.

On a continent where at least 530 million[1] people representing 81% of the working age population are estimated to be without access to financial services, Western Union is working diligently to deliver on its promise to bring the Western Union® Money TransferSM service to where its African consumers work, shop and live.

“Adding over 1 000 Agent locations in Africa, where the ubiquity of bricks and mortar networks is still relatively limited is a significant achievement which has partially been facilitated by the realignment of the regulatory environments across some key markets”, commented Nathalie Ferrant, Western Union’s  business development director for Africa.

With the signing of new Agents such as eFloussy and Eurosol in Morocco, Western Union is now approaching a network size of over 3 000 locations, which results in a network density approaching one Agent location per every 10 000 inhabitants[2] in Morocco.

Its Agent network in Nigeria is also approaching a similar size due to the recent signing of Bank PHB amongst others. With recent signings in these two key markets; Western Union has the most extensive payout networks in two of Africa’s largest remittance markets in terms of the volume of remittances received[3].

During this past quarter Western Union has also marked significant progress in further markets across Africa:

  • Angola – Western Union has more than doubled its coverage as a result of the continued roll-out of the Western Union Money Transfer service with Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA), reaching a total footprint of over 100 Agent locations across the country.
  • Libya – Western Union has signed agreements with three new Agents including United Bank for Commerce & Investment (UBCI) and   National Banking Corporation (NBC).
  • South Africa – the roll-out of the Agent network in South Africa is on track having exceeded 200 Agent locations, with the roll-out with Absa set to continue.

“We are extremely pleased with the progress of our network expansion strategy having grown our footprint to some extent across 32 markets out of the 49 in which we currently operate. We will continue to focus on this area of our business to ensure that our African customers not only enjoy increased convenience, but also vital access to fast and reliable money transfers,” concluded Khalid Fellahi, Western Union’s senior vice president, Africa.

[1] FINANCE FOR ALL? Policies and pitfalls in expanding access, The World Bank, 2008
[2] Current population of Morocco 34,859,364 (July 2009 est.), CIA – The World Fact book
[3] IFAD, "Sending Money Home, Worldwide Remittance Flows to Developing and Transition Countries', 2007


About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta and Pago Facil branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta operate through a combined network of more than 400,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2008, The Western Union Company completed 188 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $74 billion of principal between consumers, and 412 million consumer-to-business transactions. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com

Western Union
Lisa McConnell
Communications Manager, Africa
Tel: +27 11 549 3310
e-mail: lisa.mcconnell [at] intl.westernunion.com

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