Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Western Union expands network in Myanmar

A worker walks by Western Union signs in downtown Yangon. (Bloomberg)A worker walks by Western Union signs in downtown Yangon. (Bloomberg)

Seven domestic banks cemented ties with leading global money transfer service Western Union on January 12 during a launch at Parkroyal Hotel in Yangon.

Myanmar nationals and permanent residents will be able to receive cash from 200 countries and territories within minutes for the first time, following the easing of sanctions last year, Western Union said in a press release.

The seven domestic banks – Kanbawza, Co-operative, First Private, Myanma Apex, Myanmar Livestock and Fisheries Development, Myanmar Oriental and United Amara – will be linked to about 500,000 Western Union agents around the world, the press release said.

“Customers in Myanmar can for the first time receive money in minutes from friends and family, regardless of where they are sending the money from,” said Ms Drina C Yue, managing director and senior vice president of Western Union’s Asia Pacific branch.

“It is with immense pleasure that we can announce our global agent network has joined with seven of Myanmar’s leading banks, further expanding Myanmar’s money transfer network to nearly 250 locations in the coming months.

“These domestic banks and especially Kanbawza Bank, the largest private bank in Myanmar, will establish Western Union international money transfer services at 90 locations very soon. Through our partnership, people will be able to access cash remittance with speed, reliability and convenience.

“Many of Western Union’s core customers are people from Myanmar, Myanmar working abroad and their families here at home. Some two million people have made a sacrifice to leave Myanmar and make a better life for their families,” she said, adding that Myanmar nationals in Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe and the US will now be able to send money home.

“Our other customers will include travellers to Myanmar and internationals working in Myanmar. As the country opens up, more people will now be able to send money reliably from home for regular support, as a gift on special occasions or for other purposes,” she said.

U Mg Maung Thein, deputy minister for Finance and Revenue, said, “We trust that Western Union and its bank agents will successfully fulfill the needs of our two or three million overseas workers and allow them to send money back home in a fast, reliable, safe and very convenient way,” he said.

“Amid the current social and economic developments in Myanmar, and our government’s determination to open up our economy, we encourage Myanmar’s private banks to work closely with Western Union. We encourage them to take advice from them, and it will be a win-win situation not only for customers, but also for the financial and banking sectors.”