ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--()--Continuing its global expansion of stored-value solutions focused on building deeper relationships with its customers, Western Union (NYSE: WU) together with AirPak, its Agent in Central America, today announced the launch of a unique prepaid remittance card in El Salvador.
“We are delighted to have developed this card for our region along with Western Union and MasterCard. The real winners are our customers, who can now enjoy the functionality and benefits of a prepaid MasterCard”
Western Union and AirPak have launched this innovative remittance receive card in El Salvador that allows receivers of Western Union Money Transfer ® transactions to put all or part of a money transfer onto a prepaid MasterCard. Funds on a Western Union-AirPak Money Transfer Receive card can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted worldwide, including at ATMs and for shopping online. The World Bank estimated that El Salvador received US$3.6 billion in remittances in 2010; in addition, according to a 2010 World Bank report, just 47 percent of adults in El Salvador have bank accounts.
“This card can help bring many Salvadorans further into the financial services mainstream by giving them many benefits – including a new way to manage their money and a convenient, easy way to shop both online and at retail,” said Mike Hafer, Senior Vice President, Global Prepaid, Western Union. “Our stored-value solutions are tailored to the needs of our customers. By offering powerful features like the ability to receive remittances directly on a card, we are building stronger relationships with our customers.”
Customers can choose to receive their money transfers on a card at participating Western Union Agent locations throughout El Salvador. The Western Union Prepaid MasterCard has been widely recognized for its fee-friendly attributes.
“We are delighted to have developed this card for our region along with Western Union and MasterCard. The real winners are our customers, who can now enjoy the functionality and benefits of a prepaid MasterCard,” said Piero P. Coen, AirPak’s CEO.
Western Union research from 2011 reveals that the top uses for remittances are for food (75%), bills (41%) and education (33%). Remittance recipients can now purchase these items and more with the convenience of their MasterCard prepaid cards. In addition, cardholders can access cash using ATM machines – a key value proposition for those surveyed prior to the launch of the product.
Western Union’s global expansion of stored-value products began last year in Europe with both gift cards and general-purpose reloadable (GPR) cards. Western Union and AirPak are working together in multiple countries to introduce stored-value solutions tailored to the needs of individual markets.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company 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. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 500,000 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 completed 425 million business payments.
AirPak has been Western Union’s Master Agent in five countries in Central America for more than 22 years and operates an extensive network of owned, independent and bank locations in the region. AirPak is an authorized issuer of MasterCard, becoming the first Western Union Agent worldwide to launch the Western Union prepaid MasterCard.