Saturday, March 3, 2012

Western Union: Migrant Workers’ Global Bank?

It may have started as a telegraph company back in 1851, but did Western Union manage to evolve into a global bank that serves the global migrant worker community?

By: Ringo Bones

It seemed the company had truly evolved into a wholly different beast from its mid 19thCentury beginnings to a truly global and somewhat altruistic one at that. In all intents and purposes, without Western Union, families of migrant workers left in their respective impoverished countries will be left economically high-and-dry if their bread-winning family member doesn’t have any means to send back money in a relatively efficient manner.

In a November 15, 2011 interview on the BBC, Western Union chief executive Hikmut Ersek spoke on how over 250 million migrant workers across the world are very dependent on their company to send money back to their families and dependents. Nearly half a million Western Union branches and agents across the world made it all possible.

Not only that, the funds and remittances sent by these migrant workers to their families and dependents allow them to establish a small business in their respective financially impoverished communities; Thus serving a very important role of establishing a grassroots microeconomic base to raise them out of extreme poverty in a way that isn’t dependent on foreign aid handouts. It seems like Western union is doing their part in helping small impoverished communities help themselves out of extreme poverty don’t you think?

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