Western Union (WU) has expanded its prepaid receive card program to Costa Rica and Guatemala, enabling receivers of WU Money Transfer transactions to load all or part of those funds onto a prepaid MasterCard.
The program follows successful launch of the card in El Salvador in collaboration with WU Agent AirPak, last year, and can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted globally, including ATMs.
Guatemalans received $4.5bn in remittances last year, and only 22% own a bank account; while Costa Ricans received over $585m in remittances in 2012, and half of the population has a bank account, according to a report by World Bank.
Western Union global stored value svp Mike Hafer said that launch of card in Costa Rica and Guatemala is part of the company’s strategy to expand operations in Central America.
The company’s stored-value products and services are now available in 12 nations, such as Argentina, Austria, El Salvador, Germany, India, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, the UK and the US.
As of 30 September 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of nearly 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories.