Western Union celebrates opening of 200,000th agent location with ceremony in Athens, Greece: global leader in money transfer increasingly serves customers close to home.

Position:Corporate Statement

September 1st, 2004 -- Western Union Financial Services, Inc., together with its subsidiary Orlandi Valuta, announced the opening of its 200,000th global agent location with a ceremony in Athens, Greece. For more than a century, Western Union has connected millions of consumers with loved ones by providing convenient, reliable and valued money transfer services. The ongoing expansion of the Western Union Agent Network means that it is now more convenient than ever for consumers to send or receive funds via Western Union.

"Reaching 200,000 Agent locations is certainly a significant milestone for us," said Christina Gold, president--Western Union Financial Service, Inc. "It brings Western Union another step closer to making it even more convenient for our customers to find us when they need us."

Western Union and its subsidiary Orlandi Valuta together make up one of the world's largest money transfer networks, with Agent locations in more than 195 countries and territories--more than four times the total number of McDonald's, Starbucks and Carrefour locations combined. In 196 countries, Western Union has more than 200,000 agent locations.

"We know our customers are sending funds to loved ones back home for a variety of reasons ranging from tuition to groceries to special holiday celebrations," said Herve Chomel, Western Union Africa Director. "Now, with the opening of the 200,000th Agent location, it will be that much easier for our customers to access our money transfer services in the communities in which they live and work."

Western Union, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), celebrated this business milestone by hosting two Olympic medal winning Greek athletes, Hrysopiyi Devetzi and Ilias Iliadis, at an event in Athens. Devetzi took a silver medal in the triple jump and set a National record in the early rounds of competition. Iliadis captured the gold in judo, the first Greek in history to do so. Devetzi and Iliadis joined Western Union president Christina Gold at the new Agent location on Omonia Square.


Ilias Iliades, born in Georgia, competed for Greece in this year's Olympic Games and certainly understands the desire to connect with loved ones far way. "Today, millions of people have left their homes in search of greater opportunities," said Iliadis. "Yet their loved ones are never far from their thoughts. With its significant presence here in Greece...

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