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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payments, today pioneered mobile and online money transfers to Cuba via the Western Union app and wu.com in the US, paving the way for a new generation of tech-savvy customers to move money into Cuba in minutes.
The move solidifies Western Union’s more than 15 years of serving Cuba and reflects its commitment to bring access to its global omni-channel strategy to the Cuban diaspora in the United States.
Consumers using wu.com or the mobile app in the US can select the new “Send to Cuba” option to send and track their money transfers, until they are paid out in minutes in local currency (Cuban convertible pesos) at Western Union’s extensive network of 420 Agent locations in Cuba. Western Union is represented across every one of Cuba’s 16 provinces and 168 municipalities through its principal Agent, Fincimex.
Odilon Almeida, Western Union president of the Americas and European Union stated:
“Western Union has been helping Cubans in the US to send money to their loved ones back home for more than 15 years. Pioneering a new way for our US customers to send money into Cuba via wu.com and our mobile application is yet another milestone in servicing this historic island nation.”
“We expedited activation of our digital money transfer convenience for senders in the Cuban diaspora as we know first-hand the value of remittances to the economic security of families and funding of small businesses. Expanding accessibility and moving money in minutes is what underpins our entire omni-channel strategy.”
“Digital money transfer is an area of focus across the world for Western Union led strongly by the United States. More than 55 percent of our total wu.com outbound money transfer services now originate via mobile,” Almeida explains.
The US and Cuba officially restarted normal relations back in July 2015 (severed in 1961 during the Cold War), after years of discussion and planning. It will be interesting to see what other sort of openings appear in the financial sector in Cuba as they look to modernize their economy. Back in March 2016, President Obama made a historic trip to Cuba as the first sitting US president to visit the Communist ruled island since Calvin Coolidge did in 1928.