Western Union and GraceKennedy Celebrate 25 Years in Jamaica with Expansion Plans

Press Release By Western Union Published OnFebruary 26, 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. & KINGSTON, Jamaica–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Celebrating a quarter century relationship, The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, and GraceKennedy have renewed their commitment in Jamaica and eight other countries across the Caribbean to drive customer-centered innovation. Their goals are to expand choice by introducing electronic channels and to enhance convenience, reliability, speed, and overall value.

Over 25 years, Western Union has moved the equivalent of more than US$14 billion into and within Jamaica in collaboration with GraceKennedy (GK), helping Jamaicans build better futures, create opportunities, and realize dreams.

Western Union and GraceKennedy commenced operations in 1990 and at that time moved money into Jamaica from four countries. Twenty-five years later, Western Union has grown along with Jamaica as its citizens have migrated over the years – last year the company moved money into Jamaica from 126 countries, led by the US, Canada and UK.

Odilon Almeida, President, Americas and European Union, said, “Western Union has enjoyed a rewarding relationship with GraceKennedy over the past 25 years. As we continue our long-standing relationship with Jamaica and GraceKennedy, we are committed to further innovating money transfer service to meet the evolving needs of customers – from both the send and receive side of each transaction.”

“Western Union moves much more than money into Jamaica. The company helps Jamaicans realize a host of aspirations from paying for everyday expenses, including education and gifting, to funding small enterprises. In the last 25 years we have seen an extraordinary rise in migration by Jamaicans to many corners of the globe. We have seen them realize great potential and elevate living standards including education for themselves and their families,” he said.

“Our business is moving money for these everyday heroes that live away from their home as they work and create a better life for their families and themselves. As a company, we are always there for them offering them the choice to send money any time, any way and (almost) anywhere on earth, through an array of pay-in options such as cash, bank account, debit, credit, prepaid, online, mobile wallet and now Apple Pay in the US,” Almeida concluded.

Don Wehby, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy, said, “Our collaboration is indicative of the mutual trust and respect between a global industry player and a regional powerhouse. As market leaders in our respective businesses, we will leverage our knowledge and expertise, backed by our world-class teams, to continue exceeding customer expectations while ensuring that we keep on the cutting edge of industry standards and trends.”

Over the past 25 years, the relationship has evolved from receiving cash over the counter to having funds received into pre-registered bank accounts.

Western Union is also seeing a steady growth of Jamaicans on the island moving up the economic ladder, allowing them to send money overseas to loved ones in the US, Canada, UK, and a host of other countries.

The Western Union and GraceKennedy collaboration has also positively impacted nation building through a number of programs designed to support community development through education with special emphasis on reading and literacy at the primary level.

Western Union’s network today consists of over 140 Agent locations across every parish, helping to connect Jamaica to more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

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 December 31, 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 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About GraceKennedy Money Services

GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) is the umbrella entity which encompasses FX Trader – The Foreign Exchange Place from GraceKennedy Money Services, Bill Express – The Bill Payment Place from GraceKennedy Money Services and Western Union – Moving Money for Better. Some or all of these services may be found in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The BVI and Montserrat.


Source: Western Union

Western Union

Sarah Meske, 1 720-332-2796



GraceKennedy Limited

Simone Clarke-Cooper, 876 932-3174