Western Union Moves Cash into Puerto Rico

Newsroom By Hikmet Ersek, Western Union CEO September 27, 2017

In Readiness to Serve Customers

Placing currency directly into the hands of our customers has long been a Western Union strength, empowering people to pay for necessities during the course of everyday life, which becomes even more essential in times of natural, economic or political disasters.

Today, our company is preparing to transport physical currency into Puerto Rico and hold it securely until our Agent network is ready to service the millions of residents impacted by Hurricane Maria.

Western Union teams are working with our Agents on the ground as well as remotely to do everything we can to ensure our full network is back up and running as soon as practicable.

Hurricane Maria’s devastation on infrastructure has meant bare minimum availability of financial services. We are preparing to serve affected communities and families, as soon as our entire network is in a stable condition.

We recognize that activating money flows into Puerto Rico is the first step to giving our customers greater control over their livelihoods, well-being, and dignity in the process of recovering from this devastating hurricane.

We are committed to being at the ready to ensure swift action is underway, to help families and communities in the wake of this disaster, and urge government and private entities to join us to do everything they can to mobilize for support of Puerto Rico, in this time of need.

The Western Union Foundation has also made a pledge of up to USD $80,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts in Puerto Rico. An initial $30,000 will be provided by the Western Union Foundation directly to the American Red Cross. In addition, the Foundation will provide a 2:1 match on contributions from Western Union employees around the world, up to USD $50,000 collectively.

Fee Free Donations to the American Red Cross has been activated: Consumers who want to take advantage of the fee-free transaction at Western Union® Agent locations in the U.S. can donate directly to The American Red Cross.

To donate, complete the blue Payments section on the Western Union form, using “American Red Cross” as the Pay To recipient; “REDCROSS DC” as the Code City, along with “Puerto Rico Relief” in the Account field.

Activation of Fee Free Money Transfers from mainland to Puerto Rico planned: As soon as Western Union’s Agents can operate under stable network conditions, Western Union will offer fee-free money transfers to the island of Puerto Rico, from the U.S. mainland.

Our consumers in Puerto Rico include immigrants, Puerto Rican families of students studying abroad or of athletes training outside the country, education researchers and even residents of Puerto Rico sending money to some of the island’s municipalities.