Western Union Gobbles Up IRnetProvider

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DENVER - (05/13/05) -- First Data Corp., parent of WesternUnion, said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Vigo RemittanceServices, one of three international money transfer companiescontracted by the World Council of CUs to provide low-pricedremittance services to compete with Western Union and other moneytransfer services. First Data said Vigo will be used to expand itsrapidly growing Western Union business in Latin America and theCaribbean, where Vigo is especially strong. Vigo is one of threemoney transfer companies, along with TravelEx and MoneyGram, thathave partnered with WOCCU to provide low-cost remittances throughthe International Remittance Network, known as IRnet, which is usedby more than 100 credit unions. It's not clear what affect the dealwill have on the IRnet partnership. Vigo, based in New York,operates 3,700 agent locations in the U.S. and 47,000 paymentlocations in 47 countries. Western Union is the world's largestinternational money transfer service, operating 225,000 agentlocations in more than 200 countries. A representative of WOCCUtold The Credit Union Journal they were working to assess thesituation and their ongoing relationship with Vigo.

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