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28.10.2004 Diaspora News

Western Union Expands Reduced Pricing

By Ebenezar Nsiah/GHP
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Chicago, October 26, 2004 -- Western Union, the money transfer giant held a reception at the Westin Hotel in downtown Chicago to educate the public, especially the African Communities on the expansion of their reduced pricing initiative for customers sending money from Chicago to anywhere in Africa.

In her address, Aida Diarra, Marketing Director for Africa, informed the attendees how much benefits the participants in the program would gain. The new reduced rate are a savings of $5 when $50 is transferred, a savings of $4 on a $100 transfer, a savings of $6 for a $200 transfer and a savings of $5 for a $300 transfer. Aida recalled the partnership and cooperation that Western Union has had with African Communities and called on the communities to take advantage of these savings. She reminded attendees of Western Union's reliability, convenience, pricing in its 150 years of existence. She also informed attendees of some of the Western Union programs that the company undertakes in the African Communities outside money transfer. Aida Diarra also informed attendees of Western Union's internship program.

Attendees complained about the differences in currency paid out to recipients in their countries. Aida explained that the currency of payment depends on the country where the money is received, thus some receive dollars as payment while recipients in other countries receive their payment in their local currencies. She appealed to the communities to help lobby their countries to institute policies to make recipients receive dollars as payment.

Aida informed the audience about the problem of exchange rate fluctuation. She stated that due to fluctuation in the exchange rates some send money with a different rate and the recipients are paid with a different rate especially when they receive the money a day or two later. She informed attendees that Western Union has decided to pay out money at the same rate as the money was sent.

She also reminded attendees about the Western Union Gold Card program. She informed the audience that every Gold Card user saves 5 minutes of phone time for every transaction with the Gold Card. Another benefit of the Gold Card is that participants transferring money do not have to complete forms anytime they go to an agent because the Gold Card has all the information. There is also accumulation of points for every Gold Card transaction. These points may be used for purchases at stores that partner with Western Union.

Kathy Kerekes, Director of Marketing Development also addressed the attendees and explained some of the Western Union programs that help the various communities. She informed attendees that there is a Customer Appreciation program on Friday October 29, 2004 at the Currency Exchange on Wilson and Broadway in Chicago.

Present at the event were a delegation from Guinea, Mr. Clement Timpo, former President of Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago, Mr. Reuben Hadzide, Treasurer of GNC, Mr. Ebenezer Antwi-Nsiah, Financial Secretary of GNC, Mr. Charles Nnumbie, of Antwitech, and agent of Western Union, Grazyna Bulka, Manager of International Business Development and Shannon Jenest of Western Union.

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