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Western Union expands in Japan with 8,860 points of presence

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Western Union said Tuesday that the deregulation of the money transfer business in Japan has "proved a resounding success."

In the 20 months of operation since it received its money transfer license, Western Union and its agents in Japan have introduced international money transfer services through three channels -- in person at 8,860 walk-in retail points of presence, via online banking and through more than 16,000 ATMs.

Approximately 8,800 of those points of presence are FamilyMart convenience stores added earlier this month.

Western Union's managing director and senior vice president for Asia-Pacific, Drina Yue, said that Western Union now has more than 200,000 agent locations in the Asia-Pacific region -- the highest in any single geographic region in the company's network of 485,000 agent locations around the world.

"The international money transfer industry is now providing much-needed services to both Japanese citizens and many of the over 2 million foreign nationals in Japan," Yue said.

Yasuhiro Sakamoto, country head for Japan, said registration procedures and instructions on FamiPort screens in FamilyMart stores are in four languages -- Japanese, English, Chinese and Tagalog. He said that the Philippines and African countries were the biggest recipients of money sent from Japan.

FamilyMart is Western Union's first kiosk-based remittance service in the Asia-Pacific region and the operation was made possible by a technology partnership with DSK Japan, said Yue.

In addition to FamilyMart stores, retail walk-in locations include branches of Travelex, Philippine National Bank, Daikokuya and the Across No. 1 and H.I.S. travel agencies. Online banking and ATM service are available to registered Seven Bank customers 24/7.

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Excellent.

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