The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced the launch of transactional websites in Belgium and Portugal that allow consumers in both countries to send money online using just a credit or debit card.
With the launch of these sites, westernunion.be in Belgium and westernunion.pt in Portugal, consumers in those countries will be able to send money quickly and easily anytime, anywhere for payout at more than 400,000 Western Union Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories.
"The Western Union(R) dot-com business is a high-growth and profitable channel," said Gail Galuppo, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Western Union. "Our international sites posted 40 percent transaction growth in the third quarter of 2009. Sending money online is an option our consumers need and want, and we are pleased with our expansion into so many international markets."
The announcement is the latest step in the company's expansion of new and existing channels for sending and receiving money. Western Union continues to grow its core business - moving money - through a variety of channels, including sending and receiving money with a cell phone or sending money online directly to or from a bank account.
In total, Western Union offers online money transfers from 18 countries, including the top five European send markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.
Each of the websites for these 18 countries is available in English or the native language. Customer service is offered in the languages spoken in each country.
Both Belgium and Portugal have a large percentage of Internet users. According to Western Union consumer data, 67 percent of the total population in Belgium uses the Internet and in Portugal, nearly 40% regularly go online to shop or surf the Web.