Western Union is one of the most well-known financial institutions in the world. However, despite the fact that the company has spent a considerable amount of time under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some interesting facts that many people don’t know.
Number One: Western Union – Making Financial History
The Western Union money lending network was constructed as early as 1871- back when they had to use telegraphs. The main purpose for this company was to provide customers with a way to discretely send money across the world without needing a bank account to do so.
Number Two: WU Introduced the First U.S. Commercial Satellite
In 1974, the company made history. According to the company’s global marketing campaign Western Union brought the United States its very first commercial satellite.
Number Three: Part of the Community
Though Western Union is a big boss of the financial industry, they have strong moral obligations and work the better the world we live in. The WU Foundation is primarily concerned with their programs regarding economic opportunity to all, disaster relief, world educational programs, and women’s issues. In 2013, they pledged over $50 million to their own special campaign, “Our World, Our Family”, which benefitted the lives of over 5 million people in 70 countries.
Number Four: It’s Responsible for the First Singing Telegram
We already mentioned that the company started out as a telegraph company, but what most people don’t know is that Western Union delivered the very first singing telegram. It delivered the telegram in 1933.
Number Five: It’s Helping Close the Gender Gap
More than 20 percent of the company’s board members are women. While this isn’t exactly a 50/50 split, it’s a significantly higher number than many other financial institutions.
Number Six: Western Union Handles 31 Transactions Per Second
In 2017, the company handled an impressive 31 transactions per second, on average. This includes online transactions and in-person transactions.
Number Seven: It’s Improving the Economy in the Philippines
The funds handled at Western Union Agent locations in the Philippines are such that 85 new jobs can be created in the country’s local economy from just one location. Considering how many WU Agent locations there are, this has the potential to be incredibly beneficial.
Number Eight: It Wasn’t Always Western Union
When it was founded in 1851, it was called the New-York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. The name was changed in 1856, and the new name represented a consolidation of telegraph lines in the Western part of the United States.
Number Nine: WU Holds a Special Dow Jones Honor
The company was one of the 11 original stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was named so in 1884.
Number Ten: It Celebrates Its Consumers
WU’s website has a section called “Heroes” that includes personal stories of special customers. For example, Maria Genevieve Buncal is a Western Union customer who is working from Hong Kong but regularly sends money back to her home in the Philippines.