Egypt’s ALEXBANK to offer Western Union Money Transfer Services – boosting Western Union total nation-wide Agent locations to over 200
Western Union (NYSE: WU), a leader in money transfer and global payment services andALEXBANK, the Egyptian subsidiary of the Intesa Sanpaolo group, jointly announced today the launch of the Western Union® Money TransferSM service within ALEXBANK branches in the coming weeks. Under an agreement signed with Western Union, ALEXBANKwill offer consumers the opportunity to send and receive Western Union money transfersat more than 120 selected branches within its nationwide network.The bank will pilot the service in 50 branches from the outset, with the remaining branches to come online by the end of Q1, 2014. Western Union’s total agent locations in Egypt will increase to over 200 with ALEXBANK’s branches. Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africasaid, “Western Union connects consumers in some of the most remote corners of Egypt to the rest of the world by maintaining an unsurpassed global Agent network of over 90 locations across Egypt; and 515,000 retail locations in 200 countries and territories. 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.” 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 experienceourunique 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 expected to reach about $49 billion in 2012. Hatem Sleiman, Western Union’s Regional Vice President, Near East, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudansaid, “On behalf of Western Union, we’d like to thank the Central Bank of Egypt for their support and cooperation to bring money transfer services to more Egyptians and their families than ever before.” The 2013 Migration and Development Brief of the World Bank states that about two-thirds of Egypt’s migrants are working in oil rich countries within the MENA region and with about 80 percent leaving immediate family in Egypt, migrants maintain strong connections to the country, driven in part by the temporary nature of their employment in destination countries and geographical proximity to Egypt. As a result, remittances are an essential source of income for migrant families, meeting as much as 40 percent of household expenses.