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Western Union to open 150 more outlets in RP

CEBU, Philippines - International money transfer firm, Western Union Company expressed bullishness on the Philippine economy and is bent on maximizing the potential domestic money transfer market in the country.

 Because of this positive outlook, Western Union will be opening 150 new locations to be managed by different agent-partners, within this year, 17 of which will be in the Visayas region.

Out of the 17 outlets that will be opened in the Visayas region, 10 of which will be located in Metro Cebu.

 “With the increasing economic uncertainty, more and more customers are looking at companies they trust when remitting their hard-earned money. Western Union has the largest network in the country, and our agents will continue to open more new locations this year,” said Patricia Riingen, Western Union’s regional vice president for Philippines and Indonesia.

Despite the existence of local players in the money transfer business in the Philippines, Riingen said Western Union has seen a good potential for growth in its business here, not only for the inbound money transfer service from other countries, but also on the upbeat domestic market.

She said Western Union can well leverage with other players in the industry, specifically in penetrating the domestic money transfer service, because of its in-placed infrastructure and technology backed by its 150 years of business experience.

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Families that are sending their children to schools in key cities like in Metro Manila, Cebu and others are the primary target for the domestic money transfer service and other emergency money-transfer requirements of over 80 million Filipinos. The Philippines is the second largest Western Union market in the world.

“In these difficult times, customers are choosing Western Union because of our stability and reliability as much as for speed and convenience,” she said emphasizing that Western Union has a history of 150 years, “a strong financial position and brand leadership in our industry, as well as consistently high-quality international service delivery standards.

Among the openings are 50 new flagship locations located in urban areas with high customer traffic. Flagship locations are owned by big agent partners, well-branded and bigger than usual sites.

Aside from Luzon, new flagship outlets were opened in Southern Philippines recently, such as Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Davao, South Cotabato, Zamboanga, and Surigao.

As of December 2008, Western Union has over 6,300 agent locations throughout the Philippines and over 334,000 locations in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

“Our unmatched network means that a Western Union Agent is never too far away,” she said.

“Whether transferring money from Singapore to Cebu, or from Makati to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, having a Western Union location nearby means saving money in transportation costs and taking less time away from work and family,” she concluded.— Ehda M. Dagooc

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