'Western Union' is explained in detail and with examples in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.
Western Union proves to be a world-leading provider of global payment options and services. They help customers who range from individuals and families, to small businesses and not for profit NGOs, to international corporations. The company does more than simply help businesses and individuals to move money; they help national and international economies to expand and communities to experience a more prosperous and better life.
For the full reporting year 2015, Western Union transferred more than $150 billion dollars between customers and businesses around the globe. The firm boasts an impressive 500,000 different agents’ locations, with more than 100,000 of their own ATM’s and kiosks found around over 200 different countries and territories of the globe. They are constantly seeking to find smarter and better, more innovative and cutting edged means of sending money utilizing mobile, digital, and retail channels by providing a vast range of options for convenient pickup or payout to help their consumers and businesses with their cash needs.
Western Union is a major player in the world of currency translation as well. Their transactions happen throughout over 130 different currencies between more than a billion individual bank accounts around the world. They average an impressive 31 different transactions for every second (per the year 2015).
By simply going down to a retail outlet or utilizing the Western Union website or mobile app, customers are able to move money from almost any location to almost any other domestic or international location, from one currency to almost any other, and all in a matter of minutes. This helps their customers to be able to send money out to their family members or friends in almost every corner of the globe. They can offer financial support and encouragement, empower an education or entrepreneurial opportunity, or simply honor someone for a special accomplishment or occasion.
Their flagship service for individuals who wish to send money across the globe is called WU Connect. This international cross border system allows for peer to peer sending of funds to over 200 different nations and territories around the world. Pickup can be arranged via a wide variety of approved bank accounts, Western Union physical agent locations, and select mobile wallets.
Business customers also have access to a toolbox full of helpful services. The main category for this is the Western Union Business Solutions platform. This enables businesses to navigate their way through the challenging global economy. They can avail themselves of risk management, international payments, and cash management tools. More than 100,000 medium to smaller business clients, financial institutions, NGOs, and educational institutions are able to effectively transact in and make payment across national borders and through widespread geographical time zones.
Larger businesses and multinational corporations which require help in hedging international currency movements for the future are able to take advantage of their Leverage Forward Contracts. These help them to lock in an attractive current day exchange rate for specific time frames that extend up to 12 months out from the present date. This assists multinational corporations and big businesses in safeguarding their profit margins against currency movements over the short to medium term time frames. The WU system allows clients to place market orders in any time of the day or night. They can even set up a monitoring order to wait for a targeted advantageous exchange rate, whether or not they are sitting at their desk in the physical office or not.
The businesses can also avail themselves to the services Western Union offers to manage a company’s exposure to foreign currency. Risk can be first identified and then addressed using a four step risk management protocol. The company maintains a staff of well-trained and knowledgeable specialists who are able to help set goals and develop a simple yet effective currency hedging plan to reduce and control currency exposures while protecting the important margins of profit.
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