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The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced that it has expanded Western Union NGO GlobalPay, a dedicated financial platform designed to meet the international payment needs of non-profit, non-governmental organisations and the people they serve.
The first phase of Western Union NGO GlobalPay was launched in December 2012. The platform is being designed and piloted to help NGOs overcome the ‘last mile challenge’ and enable NGOs to reach more people in need of funds quickly and securely, especially in times of disaster. Since its launch, Western Union’s pilot partners have used the service to provide emergency relief in some of the poorest and most conflict-ridden regions of the globe.
The platform has delivered emergency relief to countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and this quarter, Western Union NGO GlobalPay was used to deliver more than 3,500 payments to over 1,800 Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Brian Harris, chief product officer at Western Union Business Solutions, said,
“There is a distinct trend in the NGO sector towards cash disbursement. More NGOs are looking for ways to send funds that give recipients increased choice in deciding what they most need. The whole point of this pilot is to create a payment platform that gives NGOs speed, accountability and flexibility so they can get funds to the people who need it most in the fastest, most appropriate way possible.”
“Delivering aid in an emergency increasingly means delivering cash,” said Jane Cocking, Oxfam's Humanitarian Director. “Giving people money in hand means they can choose what they need. This not only gives them some control over their lives, it also gives back some dignity.
“As long as there are affordable goods available in the local market then cash is smart-aid. Having an extensive network of cash outlets that is secure, reliable, quick and at the right price will mean that we are much better placed to deliver aid straight into the hands of those who need it most.”