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Rediff.com  » Business » Western Union, India Post to expand operations

Western Union, India Post to expand operations

November 10, 2006 13:24 IST

Indian Postal Services and the Western Union plan to expand their joint operations aiming at a bigger slice of the hundreds of thousands dollars that are transferred by Indian diaspora to their loved ones every year.

The two had entered into agreement in 2001 to provide Western Union branded money transfer service to consumers via 900 post offices across the country but since then the services have vastly expanded and now 8,500 post offices serve Western Union customers.

Member of Postal Service Board Kailash Prasad, who is discussing with Western Union the future coarse of their relationship, told reporters on Thursday that remittances to India has gone up almost nine times since the two entered into the agreement in 2001 but the remittances through post offices has gone up only three times.

So, he said this area they want to exploit even as fresh competitors enter the lucrative market. Prasad said the post office is one organisation in which people have great faith and is the only body which goes to the grass roots by providing services in even in remote rural areas.

The department, he said, has launched a major computerisation programme to increase efficiency and diversified in several areas.

Senior Vice President (Marketing) of Western Union Thomas McDermott said it now has 36,000 Agent Locations in India and is one of the largest money transfer companies operating in India.

Faced with tough competition, Western Union has announced that in 12 States in the US where 80 per cent of Indian-Americans live, it would charge $10 for transfer of up to $500 to India.

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