Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group, and Western Union, on July 19th, 2007 signed a global agreement to extend Western Union's current relationship with its affiliates. It was signed in Accra, Republic of Ghana by Christophe Jocktane-Lawson, Regional Head, International of ETI and Khalid Fellahi, Regional Vice President Africa of Western Union. Under the agreement, Western Union® Money Transfer will be available through ECOBANK affiliates in 17 West and Central African countries instead of 14 previously.
"This agreement strengthens ETI's strategy of building alliances with partners such as Western Union", said Jocktane-Lawson. "Bringing Western Union services to more of our current and potential consumers adds value to our bank's comprehensive offerings by enabling reliable, fast and convenient money transfers through Western Union's more than 275,000 Agent locations worldwide".
The ECOBANK Group Chief Executive Officer, Arnold Ekpe, affirms that the relationship with Western Union corresponds to the banking institution's objective of "providing a comprehensive product and service offering to our consumers."
This partnership is also good for Western Union, stated its Regional Vice President Africa. "Further developing our relationship with ETI will allow us not only to extend our reach, but also build on the trust that ETI enjoys amongst its customers," said Fellahi.
ETI's state of the art technology and reliable telecommunication system makes it an effective delivery platform for Western Union's worldwide services, added Hikmet Ersek, Executive Vice President and Managing Director Western Union for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Says Ersek: "The key is a comprehensive and extensive network that operates hand-in-hand with reliable partners through localised resources, such as banks, post offices and even some retailers."
The relationship between ETI and Western Union has grown since the first Western Union Money Transfer agreement was signed in 1996 with the subsidiary of Ecobank in Benin Republic.
From the beginning, Western Union has been attracted by ETI's focus on customer service as well as operational and product excellence, a philosophy which fits well with its own brand values.
With a view to the future, both Western Union and ETI are looking to extend their joint presence in West and Central Africa even further, demonstrating the importance both organizations attribute to ensuring that they continue to respond to the needs of individuals, families and communities wherever and whenever needed. Consumers can send and receive money with peace of mind through ongoing service/product enhancements and increased convenience.
Incorporated as a bank holding company in 1985, ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the leading independent regional banking group in Africa with operations in 18 countries. ETI is listed on the Nigerian and Ghanaian Exchanges as well as on the Abidjan-based Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM). As at June 2007, the Group has total asset of US$4.2 billion and employed over 6000 people across 330 branches. ECOBANK is a full-service commercial bank which provides commercial, investment, transaction, retail and wholesale banking services to governments, multinationals, companies, individuals, SMEs and micro-businesses in Africa.
For more information, please visit: www.ecobank.com
About WESTERN UNION
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global money transfer services. Together with its affiliates, Orlandi Valuta, Vigo and Pago Fácil, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a network of more than 312,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851.
For more information, please visit: www. westernunion.com
About WESTERN UNION in Africa
Western Union has a comprehensive footprint in Africa and enjoys excellent brand health through its various cooperation agreements and presence. The company's money transfer services can be accessed in over 10,600 Agent locations in 48 countries across the continent, making it one of the most significant network's on the continent. The aim of Western Union's co-operations in Africa is to join the best systems, processes and technology to ensure reliability and reach. Western Union and its Agents continue to expand the network and product offerings to offer convenience and choice to consumers on the continent and the African diaspora communities in the US and Europe.
For further information please contact:
Group Corporate Affairs Manager
ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED
Regional Vice President Africa
WESTERN UNION FINANCIAL SERVICES INTERNATIONAL