The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Business Wire

Businesses Seek Better Control of Global Payments

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>New Western Union Survey Finds Hidden Transaction Costs a Major Pain Point for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)</i> </p> <p class='bwalignc'> </p>

Monday, January 30, 2012

Businesses Seek Better Control of Global Payments16:01 EST Monday, January 30, 2012 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (Business Wire) -- The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced the results of a survey which finds that despite advances in technology, cross border payments continue to present challenges for businesses globally. The major causes of these challenges are hidden fees, a lack of transparency, and inefficient processes. In the survey sponsored by Western Union Business Solutions, and conducted by Proformative, the leading online corporate finance community, 35% of respondents cited high fees and hidden transaction costs as their biggest challenge in making cross border payments, while 28% cited currency volatility, or the payments' timing. Further, only 40% of the respondents reported that their company has a formal foreign exchange (FX) risk management policy. A majority of companies are not selecting service providers based on criteria that allow them to most effectively manage cross border payments and currency risk. When asked what the primary reason was for choosing the firm processing their cross border payments, only 20% cited customer service or level of expertise as the main reason for choosing a partner in managing FX payments. Therefore, many of the headaches businesses face are self-inflicted when they choose partners because they are in their existing bank group, only on the basis of cost, or simply use providers that have always been used in the past. “In the past, the monies we sent to our affiliates abroad were reduced considerably due to hidden fees and delays in processing,” said Brian Peterson, Senior Treasury Analyst at TriVita, a supplier of nutraceutical products. “As we considered our commitment to pay our affiliates weekly and in a seamless manner, we decided to switch to a provider with expertise in global payments. Western Union's understandings of the banking requirements, their ability to absorb fees from end-to-end, topped with fast and seamless implementation were the primary reasons they were selected as one of our primary FX partners. We look forward to their additional expertise as we expand into new areas around the world.” The results of the survey are discussed in a free webinar for businesses seeking to better manage foreign exchange risk at a time of increasing currency volatility. The webinar is available on this link, Leveraging Cross-Border Payment Efficiency in FX Risk Management. “Effectively understanding and mitigating currency risk exposures is becoming ever more important to small and medium enterprises," said Ian Taylor, Regional Divisional Director for North America, Western Union Business Solutions. “With the right payments provider, however, these businesses are in a strong position to seize opportunities internationally.” “Given how busy they are with day-to-day demands at their companies, it is not surprising to see that so many finance leaders were essentially ‘going with the flow' when it comes to choosing a payments provider,” said John Kogan, CEO of Proformative and a four time CFO. “My hope is that this survey opens a few eyes to the many advantages of paying more attention to whom they are ceding so much responsibility.” Western Union Business Solutions enables companies of all sizes to send and receive international payments and manage foreign exchange, creating unique solutions tailored to suit their FX needs. Western Union recently acquired Travelex Global Business Payments and is a leading nonbank provider of business payments, operating its Business Solutions services through locally licensed affiliates in 18 countries. Supported by a network of trading offices, strategic banking relationships and a global clearing network, businesses can send cross-border payments in more than 140 currencies. About Western Union The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2011, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services wereoffered through a combined network of approximately 485,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2010, The Western Union Company completed 214 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $76 billion of principal between consumers, and 405 million business payments. For more information, visit About Proformative Proformative connects the world's corporate finance leaders to provide instant advice and insights on the tough financial and strategic challenges they face everyday. Proformative is the largest and fastest growing community specifically designed to help corporate finance professionals be successful in their jobs and careers. Proformative is used by more than 40,000 CFOs and has more than 400,000 corporate finance and business professionals in its fast growing network. Proformative is headquartered in Silicon Valley and funded by Floodgate, Bullpen Capital, and Inspiration Ventures. For more information, visit Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: WU-F, WU-G Western UnionMediaAnna Alejo, 720-332-3884anna.alejo@westernunion.comorInvestorsMike Salop,