Western Union holds its annual EMEASA Agent Conference in Dubai

Published April 23rd, 2006 - 11:48 GMT

Western Union, the global leader in money transfer services, recently held its annual Europe, Middle East Africa and South Asia (EMEASA) Agent Conference in Dubai. Themed ‘United for Growth’, the three-day conference was both a recognition of the success Western Union enjoyed in 2005 and also a platform to discuss the direction it will take in 2006 and beyond.

Western Union has been at the forefront of innovation for more than 150 years. This rich heritage has provided a strong foundation to build one of the largest money transfer networks in the world. Western Union is a vital and growing company that meets the needs of millions of consumers and businesses every day. In 2005 the company completed 275 million transactions worldwide. Western Union, together with Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, make up one of the world's largest money transfer networks with more than 271,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories.

Dubai, the venue for the 2006 EMEASA Agent Conference, was an apt venue to recognise and reward our Agents for the successful year that we enjoyed in 2005. For many expatriates living and working in the UAE, Western Union often acts as an invisible bridge back to their home countries, helping them send money and support to the ones they love. The UAE is constantly evolving, setting new standards of excellence. “Dubai is a symbol of success and is a good example of how a multicultural society can transcend boundaries and build a future together. We are delighted to leverage Dubai as a backdrop to highlight our achievements and formulate our plans for the future” said Christina Gold, President of Western Union Financial Services.

The 2006 Conference saw elaborate plans and ideas for the region being put forward. “Western Union plays a critical role in the lives of many across the world.  Whether sending or receiving, the Western Union money transfer service ensures that people stay connected no matter where they are.” said Jean Claude Farah, Regional Vice President of Western Union for Middle East, Pakistan & Afghanistan. “We have already seen that recently introduced services like the Domestic Money Transfer and the Western Union Gold Card, proved to be extremely useful to the people of the region and this will further encourage us to introduce new and exciting benefits in the near future” he added.

For Western Union it is important to reach out to various Diasporas in the region, and this can only be done by introducing innovative products and services tailor-made to suit them. Yet constantly adapting to change and new challenges. “We are in the business of convenience,” said Hikmet Ersek, Senior Vice President of Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at Western Union Financial Service. “We constantly look for innovative ways of which to reach out to our customers and businesses. This Agent conference in Dubai is another step in that direction,” he added.

The conference also recognized over 50 Agents for their participation and involvement in the First Data Western Union Foundation. The Western Union First Data Foundation is involved in generous humanitarian work across the globe, in October 2005 The First Data Western Union Foundation made a donation of US$250,000 to The President’s Relief Fund to support victims in Pakistan most affected by the recent earthquake. The devastating effect that this earthquake has had on the impacted region of Pakistan is significant and our thoughts are with the victims and their families. As of February 2006 the FDCWU Foundation has given global grants to the value of $24 million, awarded $783,000 worth of scholarships and donated $4.4 million for disaster relief since its inception in December 2000.

Last but not least, many Western Union Agents were recognised and rewarded for their astounding achievements in 2005.


About Western Union and First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Serving 4.6 million merchant locations, 1,500 financial institutions and millions of consumers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes credit, debit, private-label, gift and other prepaid card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; money transfer services; money orders; fraud protection and authentication solutions; check guarantee and verification services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile solutions. Western Union, together with Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, make up one of the world's largest money transfer networks with more than 271,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 1.9 million ATM and retail locations. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com.


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