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Western Union Announces “Education for Better,” a Three-Year Commitment to Education Globally

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 03:43 PM

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, and the Western Union Foundation today announced “Education for Better,” a new three-year commitment to help meet global education goals.

Unveiled during the launch of the United Nations Education First initiative, Western Union’s Education for Better program will provide an average of up to $10,000 per day for more than 1,000 days in potential Western Union Foundation grant funding for nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the education space, including support for one million days of school through a new corporate cause-marketing campaign.

“Education is one of the surest paths to financial inclusion, which is why it’s our cause of choice,” said Hikmet Ersek , President and CEO, Western Union. “The money we transfer helps consumers pay school fees and purchase supplies, and helps educational institutions collect and disburse funds for their international programs. With 510,000 physical Agent locations in 200 countries and territories, providing customers the choice of cash, mobile money, bank accounts and prepaid cards, Western Union is uniquely positioned to address the ‘last mile’ challenges of rural development.”

The company’s Education for Better program will include:

New “shared value” education products: New products that help individuals, governments and donor agencies move funds for education programs to underserved communities with greater speed and accuracy, allowing for greater accountability. The Company helps move money for education to its intended beneficiary, and is investing more than $10 million in a new NGO Global Pay platform that can be used to solve challenges faced by governments, development organizations and NGOs working in education, among others. Over the course of its commitment, Western Union expects to serve more than 1,000 educational institutions and NGOs and help move over $1B in principal for education.

Advocacy for education: Western Union has become a founding member of the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Ed), a new coalition designed to champion the education cause with governments and others worldwide. As a visible demonstration of support, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek participated in the launch of the United Nations Education First campaign by Secretary-General Ban Ki -moon on Sept. 26, 2012.

Cause marketing: Western Union’s PASS initiative, which kicked off Sept. 20, converts each successful pass completed during each match played from the Group Stage to the final of the 2012/2013 UEFA Europa League into funds to support one day of school for one student, to be allocated and distributed based on the educational needs and costs of the identified market.

Grants: As part of the comprehensive Education for Better program, the Western Union Foundation pledges an average of $10,000 per day for more than 1,000 days in potential grant funding throughout the three-year program. The majority will be available as matching challenge grants to incent Western Union Business Partner and employee donations to the education cause.

Employee engagement: Western Union employee volunteer programs will prioritize educational programs, providing the Western Union family new ways to make a meaningful difference.

Education for Better builds on the success of Western Union’s Our World, Our Family program, a five-year commitment to economic opportunity that will culminate this year having exceeded its financial goal.

“We are very proud that Our World, Our Family helped touch more than five million lives,” said Luella Chavez D’Angelo, SVP, Social Ventures, Western Union. “Our World, Our Family demonstrated the importance of and education’s power to make a lasting difference in the world, and inspired us to develop Education for Better to touch even more people’s lives.”

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 June 30, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About the Western Union Foundation

The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to creating a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for the few but a right for all. With the support of The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners, The Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster relief efforts as pathways toward a better future. Our combined social ventures efforts make life better for individuals, families and communities around the world. Since its inception, The Western Union Foundation has committed more than $81.7 million in grants and other giving to more than 2,551 nongovernmental organizations in more than 124 countries and territories. To learn more, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org.

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Source: Western Union Company

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