MANILA, Philippines–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, announced that it has extended its agreement with its largest Agent in the Philippines Universal Storefront Services Corporation (USSC).
The Philippines is an important market for Western Union since it started offering services in the country in 1990. Remittance services are a critical lifeline for many of the approximately 10.4 million Filipino diaspora living outside of the country2 as they seek to support their families back home.
The contract extension signals the continued effort of both companies to offer millions of Filipinos quick and easy access to remittances, both in populated and underserved areas.
“When USSC became an Agent of Western Union twenty years ago, the company slowly transitioned from one anchored on telecommunications and transactions to one founded on valuable financial services and an expanded relationship with under banked Filipinos both here and overseas. Today, our customer-centric perspective presages future success in delivering valuable services to our economically aspiring customer base,” said Eckie Gonzales, President and CEO, USSC.
“Together with agents like USSC we are able to uphold our commitment to being one of the world’s premier financial services providers for consumers in remittance receiving countries such as the Philippines,” said Jean Claude Farah, President Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Western Union.
According to the World Bank’s recently published “Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion”, only 20 percent of adults in rural areas and 37 percent in urban areas in the country have bank accounts. For the population that does not have an access to a banking system, often the services provided by Western Union and USSC will become a critical first step towards financial inclusion.
“USSC’s network of over a thousand locations in the Philippines is an important part of our global network providing consumers with convenient access in urban and rural settings while our reliable and timely money transfer services give the Filipino community the freedom to realize their dreams, and build better lives,” Farah commented.
In spite of the Philippines being a widespread archipelago, Western Union service is available through over 8,500 agent locations3 in all its 144 cities and nearly all 756 municipalities and 81 provinces.
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 September 30, 2014, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2013, The Western Union Company completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
Universal Storefront Services Corporation (USSC) is a Philippine company that operates a nationwide network of over 700 company-operated locations offering retail services to two million customers, on behalf of principals in remittance, air and sea ticketing, bills payment, cell loading, microinsurance and parcels. USSC has been Western Union’s Agent of the Year four (4) times, Cebu Pacific’s Billion Peso producer twice, and is the top transaction producer for BayadCenter. For more information on USSC visit www.ussc.com.ph.
1 Source: According to the World Bank, India remained in the top spot, with $70 billion in remittances in 2013. Other large recipients were China ($60 billion), the Philippines ($25 billion), Mexico ($22 billion), Nigeria ($21 billion), Egypt ($17 billion), Pakistan ($15 billion), Bangladesh ($14 billion), Vietnam ($11 billion) and Ukraine ($10 billion). http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/04/11/remittances-developing-countries-deportations-migrant-workers-wb
2Source: Commission on Filipinos Overseas, December 2012
3Source: Network data as of 30 September 2014
Source: Western Union
Kristin Kelly, 1 720-332-4751