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Western Union transfers money to Gurdwara

The Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand received a cheque for $6000 from Western Union from two top officials at a ‘Thank You’ dinner held at Pullman Hotel in Auckland on June 27, 2014.

The Company’s Regional Director (Australia, New Zealand and Isles) Tasko Alcevski, Managing Director (India) Kiran Shetty and other officials presented a cheque to the Society’s volunteer Daljit Singh at the dinner.

Useful cause

Mr Singh said that the donation would be used for purchase of a grinding machine in the kitchen of ‘Shri Kalgidhar Sahib’ Gurdwara, located in the South Auckland suburb of Takanini. “The Gurdwara had already planned to purchase the machine since thousands of people participate in our ‘Langar’ (free food) every day. This donation will be used for a great cause,” he said.

Mr Singh said that the Gurdwara received a further donation of $1500 on the following day, $500 each from three top agents who were a part of the team visiting from India.

They were Paul Bansal (Paul Merchants), Chetan Mehra (Weizmann Forex) and Ashok Agrawal (Transcorp International).

“We invited them to visit our Gurdwara. They were astounded by the size and the magnitude of the services provided and voluntarily donated $500 each,” he said.

Picture taken at the Western Union dinner at Pullman Hotel Auckland on June 26 shows from left Tirath Atwal, Tasko Alcevski, Paul Bansal, Chris Wilby, Bridget Dennis, Ashok Agarwal, Kiran Shetty and Daljit Singh.

Largest market

Mr Alcevski said that the Indian community constituted the single largest customer base for Western Union.

“The annual remittances to India through Western Union are more than US$ 70 billion annually, claiming the largest share of the company’s total business. Indian remains connected with their families back home in India, although they may have long settled in other countries. This family bond is unique and demonstrates the value that Indians attach to provide financial help to their parents, grandparents, siblings and others. This is an emotional issue and we are happy to make the connection,” he said.

Worldwide network

Mr Shetty said that his company has more than 120,000 Western Union branches located throughout India, outnumbering the branches of all commercial banks put together (about 100,000).

“There are a number of small villages which still do not have electricity, leave along the facility of a commercial banks but a branch of a Western Union agent. In several remote areas, people are now happy to receive their money within one minute after it is remitted anywhere in the world, compared to a lapse of 24 days that occurred transferring monies through commercial banks,” he said.

Mr Shetty said working with hundreds of thousands of people involved with Western Union brings together a number of responses from customers. Many of our agents are treated as ‘saviours’ for their ‘one-minute transfer service,’ and are honoured at village functions or domestic events such as birthdays and marriages.

“It is the community involvement that has made Western Union a household name in India. The good will generated just by doing our job is phenomenal,” Mr Shetty said.

Sunil Kumar, Director, City Forex Company in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, with other Western Union Agents and officials at the dinner

Impressive growth

Founded as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company in 1851, Western Union has the largest global network for money remittance and other services.

It accounts for more than 500,000 agent locations worldwide and 100,000 ATMs through which money can be transferred from anywhere to anywhere within minutes.

Its other services include money transfer online and through telephone.

As of December 31, 2013, Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta-branded services were offered through 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving US$82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments.

The Company’s total revenue was placed at $5.5 billion, of which it returned $671 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

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