Western Union: Receive and Spend Culture Still Strong in U.S. Domestic Money

June 03, 2015

Retail and digital send options preferred, but receivers like option to spend funds immediately

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The preference for the power of funds-in-hand fast for those who receive domestic money transfers continues to drive payout preferences in the U.S., according to The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services. This remains true even as the senders initiating these transactions use a combination of Western Union’s omni-channels (retail, online and mobile) to send funds to family and loved ones.

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The “receive and spend” culture of the U.S. mirrors the traits of international remittance receivers, where the benefit of receiving money often needs to be realized quickly. Nearly 70 percent of money sent through Western Union in the United States is picked up by receivers on the same day, with nearly one-third picking it up within one hour. Globally, nearly 70 percent of payouts made by Western Union are picked up by receivers in major remittance receiving countries within 24 hours as well.

Both practical and emotional reasons remain key motivators for money transfer senders to select faster pay-out methods for their receivers—even when the senders and/or receivers are banked, according to Western Union analysis of intra-U.S. money transfer research.

The top three reasons for using Western Union® domestic money transfer in the U.S. are to enable fast payouts for gifting, regular expenses/education and emergencies. Fast payouts provide empowerment to those receiving money as gifts, certainty to those receiving money for regular expenses/education, and relief and comfort for those receiving money for emergency needs.

While most Western Union domestic money transfers are sent to those living far away, nearly one in five U.S. domestic money transfer recipients live in the same metropolitan area, with New York representing the top sending and receiving metropolitan area in the U.S.

However, unlike international money transfer, which often serves the needs of diaspora or migrants, U.S. domestic money transfer senders and receivers reflect a broad range of ages and ethnicities.

“We live in a culture where people want fast access to the funds that will fulfill their needs and wants. Consumers may initiate a transaction digitally, yet they still need and want their payouts fast, whether in cash, via account or mobile wallet,” said Carter Hunt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Western Union U.S.

“It is clear that money-in-minutes, convenience and the urgent flow of resources to family and loved ones are important to both our send and receive consumers in the U.S. We are improving choices for our customers regardless of their preferences of pay-in or pay-out options,” he said.

“Our customers can send money at any of our more than 50,000 retail agent locations in the U.S. to recipients around the corner or across the globe. They can also send money online and via mobile 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year,” Hunt concluded.

Service and funds availability depends on certain factors including the Service selected, the selection of delayed delivery options, special terms applicable to each Service, amount sent, destination country, currency availability, regulatory issues, consumer protection issues, identification requirements, delivery restrictions, agent location hours, and differences in time zones (collectively, “Restrictions”).

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 March 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

For more information about Western Union’s consumer research findings, please visit www.westernunion.com/us/mywu.

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Source: Western Union

Western Union

Americas and European Union:

Pia De Lima, 1 954 260 5732

Pia.DeLima@westernunion.com

or

US:

Sarah Meske, 1 720-332-2796

sarah.meske@westernunion.com