DUBAI, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Customers can send or receive money from 50 select bank branches; number of locations to cross 120 by Q1 2014
Western Union (NYSE: WU), a leader in money transfer and global payment services today announced that it has signed an agreement with AlexBank, the Egyptian subsidiary of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, to offer Western Union® money transfer services in Egypt. With this agreement, Western Union has increased its agent network in Egypt to three, with over 200 agent locations offering its services.
Under the agreement, AlexBank will initially provide the service in 50 select branches across the country from where customers can send or receive money; the number of branches will be increased to over 120 by the end of Q1 2014.
Jean Claude Farah, Western Union's Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa said, "Western Union connects consumers in some of the most remote corners of Egypt to the rest of the world by maintaining an unsurpassed agent network of over 90 locations across Egypt; and 515,000 retail locations in 200 countries and territories. This agreement with AlexBank consolidates our market presence, taking our agent locations to over 200 owing to their nationwide network of branches. Over 6 million Egyptians live abroad, a number that's continuously growing, and so is the need for a money transfer service that's reliable and easy to use but also convenient in terms of accessibility for the sender and the receiver."
Egypt accounts for over 40 percent of total remittance inflows to the MENA region and the country saw a six-fold increase in remittances over the last eight years to become the largest recipient ahead of Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia according to the World Bank.
Bruno Gamba, Chairman of ALEXBANK, added, "Western Union represents the latest in the Intesa Sanpaolo Group's continuous efforts to provide world class services throughout our network. Both entities, with the support of the Central Bank of Egypt, have put in a tremendous effort to bring this to light."
1. MINISTRY OF MANPOWER & IMMIGRATION REPORT
Hatem Sleiman, Western Union's Regional Vice President, Near East, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudan said, "Remittances are an essential source of income for migrant families, meeting as much as 40 percent of household expenses. With nearly two decades of experience in providing money transfer services in Egypt, we see the need to extend our services to as many consumers as possible by growing our agent base and number of locations. This alliance with AlexBank is a clear example of two leading entities collaborating to meet the growing needs of consumers. I would like to thank the Central Bank of Egypt for their support and cooperation in enabling us to bring money transfer services to more Egyptians and their families than ever before."
Bassel Rahmy, ALEXBANK's Director of Retail and SME Banking, added, "This alliance will effectively deliver the service to every governorate in Egypt. Egypt is a vibrant market with a sizeable diaspora of over 6.5 Million individuals who frequently remit and transfer money back home. This alliance puts us in pole position to capitalize on this market and provide WU services to our existing customers while also opening our doors to non- AlexBank customers who will experience our unique service proposition for the first time."
According to the 2013 Migration and Development Brief of the World Bank, remittance flows to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to grow by 5-6 percent during 2013-2015, mainly driven by Egypt but also boosted by robust performance forecasted for the other key remittance recipient countries of the region. Remittance inflows in MENA are estimated to be about $49 billion in 2012.
Photo Caption (L - R):
Bassel Rahmy, ALEXBANK's Director of Retail and SME Banking, Bruno Gamba, Chairman of ALEXBANK and Jean Claude Farah, Western Union's Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa
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 515,000 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 http://www.westernunion.com.
2. 2013 Migration and Development Brief of the World Bank
AlexBank is one of Egypt's leading private sector banks. Established in 1957, the bank later sold 70.25% of its shares to the Italian group Intesa Sanpaolo. The IFC subsequently became a shareholder, acquiring 9.75% of the bank. AlexBank has since launched an ambitious development strategy to move in line with Intesa Sanpaolo's innovative systems and platforms and has recently set the standard for branch design, IT infrastructure, services and a portfolio of financial services. With a country wide network of 180 branches and over 1.5 million customers, AlexBank represents Egypt's largest private sector bank in terms of branch network and one of the largest in terms of deposits with an 8% market share.
For more information, visit http://www.AlexBank.com
SOURCE Western Union