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The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in financial services, today announced that it has extended its prepaid receive card program to Costa Rica and Guatemala. The card, launched in El Salvador last year, strategically leverages the global Western Union Agent network.
The card, offered together with AirPak, Western Union’s Agent in Central America, allows receivers of Western Union Money Transfer
® transactions to put all or part of those funds onto a prepaid MasterCard
®. The cards can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted worldwide, including ATMs.
According to the World Bank, Guatemalans received $4.5 billion in remittances last year, and just 22 percent have a bank account; Costa Ricans received more than $585 million in remittances last year, and half of the population has a bank account.
“This card has been very successful in El Salvador,” said Mike Hafer, SVP, Global Stored Value, Western Union. “Customers have told us that the card is easy to use anywhere MasterCard is accepted. We are excited about the continued expansion of the program in Central America, where there is strong consumer acceptance of stored-value solutions and a documented need for greater financial inclusion.”
With the addition of Costa Rica and Guatemala, Western Union’s stored-value products and services are now available in 12 countries, including Argentina, Austria, El Salvador, Germany, India, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, UK and the U.S.
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, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit