Western Union Continues to Connect Communities and Economies at a Critical Time
27 June 2020 – Western Union, a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, has released its second annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which spotlights the Company’s 2019 ESG progress. The report also highlights Western Union’s response and ongoing initiatives surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice movements across the globe in early 2020.
“Today, against the backdrop of COVID-19 and global protests against social injustice, business’s role in building a more united future has never seemed more relevant – or more urgent. Serving our stakeholders in today’s world takes determination and innovation. It demands that we build unity through ingenuity to create new, lasting solutions for people, businesses, and societies,” said Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, Western Union. “This report provides an update on Western Union’s ESG efforts, and how we are addressing some of the most pressing global issues facing society, our shared environment, and our Company.”
The report highlights six key areas where Western Union is making an impact globally:
Connecting people and businesses to the global economy: Our services connect people and businesses pursuing global opportunities – for example, individuals looking to better the lives of their families, and businesses looking for new partners, customers, and markets. The transactions we process build bridges across economies, geographies, and cultures.
- In response to COVID-19, Western Union doubled down on its commitment to serve customers with a range of new offerings and resources including piloting home delivery of money transfers, introducing “digital location” concierge services to offer personalized phone or video support to help customers make digital money transfers, expanding westernunion.com to five additional countries bringing the total to more than 75, and expanding real-time account and wallet payout to 50 countries.
Fostering an engaging and inclusive workplace: Western Union works to build and support a workforce that reflects the global diversity of the 150 million customers we serve in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. It starts at the most senior levels of our business and manifests itself throughout our Board of Directors and our global workforce. We are actively engaging in open and honest dialogue with our employees and we are committed to playing a role in the fight for positive change globally. 2019 highlights include:
- Reaching gender parity with our customers and employees: approximately half of our customers and half of our global workforce are women.
- Our executive team in 2019 was comprised of 40% women and includes leaders born in 10 different countries who have wide-ranging global leadership experience.
Moving money with integrity: We are committed to using the right combination of people and technology to protect our customers and partners, keep illicit activity out of our network, and ensure we conduct our business with integrity.
- In 2019, we prevented $1.1 billion in fraudulent transactions. Overall industry data suggests a growing rate of fraudulent activity. Western Union’s fraud levels, however, are trending downward.
- Our Financial Intelligence Unit continues to partner with law enforcement and nonprofit entities to better target and disrupt human trafficking financial flows. This team has conducted approximately 1,800 human trafficking investigations since 2013, resulting in hundreds of arrests and the rescue of hundreds of victims.
Governing and managing for success: Western Union’s governance structures and practices provide oversight and guidance around critical issues, including ethics, board diversity, executive compensation, fair competition, data privacy, and cybersecurity, and board diversity. 2019 highlights include:
- Our Board is comprised of a wide range of nationalities from around the world.
- Three of our 11 Board members were women.
Safeguarding our shared environment: We are committed to acting responsibly to respect the environment and minimize our footprint.
- 25% of building materials, by value, are made of recycled materials at our global headquarters.
- We have equipped our major offices with state-of-the-art video conferencing technology, which reduced the need for air travel between locations, even prior to COVID-19.
Catalyzing change through the Western Union Foundation: The Western Union Foundation works to provide vulnerable youth with the skills needed to succeed in today’s global digital economy, and to support people across the globe through humanitarian relief.
- In 2019, the Western Union Foundation launched Opportunity Beyond Borders, a three-year and $15-million commitment to provide vulnerable youth with the skills and training needed to succeed in today’s global digital economy.
- As the impact of COVID-19 spread across the globe, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation announced a global matching challenge, with a total commitment of $1.3 million in customer, corporate, employee, and agent donations towards the global fight against the virus.