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Western Union Expands in Cuba – Connects the World

Western Union Expands in Cuba: Connects the World
For the first time Western Union to move money into Cuba from beyond
U.S. borders
March 21, 2016 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU),
a leader in global payments services, announced today that it will
launch remittance services from across the world into Cuba following
U.S. regulatory and policy changes that allow Cubans and non-Cubans to
send remittances via Western Union to this island nation.

“As the first U.S. Company with scale to move money from across the
world to Cuba, we welcome the regulatory and policy changes put in place
by the U.S. government that allow us to offer these services”

For the first time, Cubans and other citizens worldwide will join their
U.S. counterparts to send remittances into Cuba within minutes* using
Western Union’s cross-border payments platform. The Company expects to
activate services in a phased approach by end of second quarter 2016.

“As the first U.S. Company with scale to move money from across the
world to Cuba, we welcome the regulatory and policy changes put in place
by the U.S. government that allow us to offer these services,” said
Odilon Almeida, of the Americas and .

Remittances can be sent to family members and other Cuban nationals for
family expenses and personal support for private economic activity.

“It is a privilege to connect Cubans from almost anywhere in the world
in a matter of moments to their home community, and it is even more
historic to be associated with the anticipated economic multiplier that
will come with new injection of remittance flows into Cuba,” Almeida lauded.

“As we have found in other parts of the world, expanding remittances
will provide a vital opportunity to improve the standard of living for
Cuban people, contribute to savings and eventually towards

Funds moved by Western Union go directly from the sender to the receiver
with no middle intervention. “This represents a powerful catalyst for
empowerment and innovation. Our current movement of remittances from the
U.S. to Cuba funds regular expenses and micro businesses, driving
entrepreneurism, innovation and employment opportunities,” Almeida explains.

Western Union’s global experience has shown that when customers have
formalized and convenient access, remittance flows thrive from
established and new corridors. Access to convenient financial services
in a globalized financial arena is important to the world’s increasingly
mobile-workforce and it has proven to be as important to the economic
advancement of a nation.

Remittance senders from across the world can expect the same in-minutes
money transfer speed into Cuba with local currency payout. They can use
Western Union’s omni-channel send options — retail, digital, mobile or
bank, where available — to send money, and in Cuba receivers can
pick-up their funds from more than 490 Agent locations across each of
Cuba’s 16 provinces and 168 municipalities. This is a significant
presence and it is represented by multiple classes of trade – from
retail stores to exchange houses.


The Cuban population outside of Cuba is pegged at 1.4 million as of
2015. They reside across North, South and Central America, the
Caribbean, and CIS countries. Nearly 96% are concentrated in five
countries including U.S., , Italy, Mexico, and . However,
Cubans reside in as many as 72 countries1.

Cash remittances to Cuba in 2013 reached US$2.8 billion with 90%
originating from the US. Remittances reach 62% of Cuban households,
sustain about 90% of the retail market and provide thousands of jobs. #2

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 December 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo
and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined
network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories
and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send
money to over a billion accounts. In 2015, The Western Union Company
completed 262 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide,
moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 508 million
business payments. For more information, visit

For more information about the Western Union’s consumer research
findings, please visit


1 UN Population Division Migration Data, 2015 update
2 Analysis of The Havana Consulting Group *Funds availability subject to
terms and conditions of service.

Western Union
Americas and European Union:
Pia De Lima, +1-954-260-5732

Sarah Meske, +1-720-332-2796

Latin America:
Paula Barifouse, +1-954-803-8589

Source: Western Union Expands in Cuba: Connects the World | Business
Wire –

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