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Secure Transactions News

Immigrants to boycott Western Union

Thursday 4 October 2007

Groups accuse Western Union of charging exorbitant fees while failing to adequately reinvest in immigrant communities. TIGRA asks Western Union to lower their fees, set a fair exchange rate, and commit to reinvest into a fund that benefits transnational families.

Western Union is the leader in migrant workers remittances market. For long a subsidiary of First Data, Western Union went public in 2006. Western Union made US$ 4.5 billion (EUR 3.2 billion) in revenue in 2006, a 13% increase vs. 2005, generating a US$ 914 million (EUR 648 million) net income, a 22% increase vs. 2005.

Such protest will certainly be beneficial to alternate remittance schemes, such as the one promoted by the GSMA and MasterCard currently under development. (cf. Smart Insights #07-08).