First Data Corp.

Grupo Elektra

January 17, 2006 21:31 ET

Western Union Signs Agreement with Grupo Elektra for Money Transfer Services; Agreement Deepens Western Union's Global Network And Offers More Choice And Control To Money Transfer Customers.

DENVER & MEXICO CITY--(CCNMatthews - Jan 17, 2006) -

Western Union Financial Services Inc., a worldwide leader in money transfer services, has signed a new, six-year agreement for money transfer services with Grupo Elektra, a leading retailer in Mexico. The agreement continues the relationship between Grupo Elektra and Western Union, which most recently had been governed by a 10-year agreement signed in 1996. The new agreement enables Grupo Elektra to expand its distribution network through its own and third party channels, and to grow its money transfer services as a part of the global Western Union network.

Grupo Elektra will originate and pay Western Union money transfers, and will pay Vigo money transfers sent to Mexico at Elektra, Salinas y Rocha and Bodega de Remates stores and Banco Azteca branches. Grupo Elektra has offered remittance services since 1994. Over the last 12 years, the company has made more than 36 million money transfer payments, and presently has a network of more than 1,400 stores and bank branches.

"Western Union and Grupo Elektra have enjoyed a very productive relationship during the past twelve years, and we look forward to their expanded role in the Western Union network contributing to our global expansion," said Christina Gold, president of Western Union. "Extending our relationship with Grupo Elektra across our money transfer brands, and supporting them in their store-in-store strategy is a very promising start to the next chapter of our joint efforts."

For more information on Western Union's Money Transfer services or for a comprehensive list of Western Union Agent locations, call 800-325-4045 or visit

About Grupo Elektra (BMV:ELEKTRA*) (LATIBEX:XEKT)

Grupo Elektra is the most important chain of specialized stores, consumer credit and banking services in Latin America. Grupo Elektra sells products and services through its store formats Elektra, Salinas & Rocha, Bodega de Remates, Elektricity and through the Internet. The Group operates more than 1,000 stores in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Panama. The Group also offers financial and banking services through more than 1,400 Banco Azteca branches in Mexico and Panama. Grupo Elektra financial services include loans, electronic money transfer, extended guarantees, deposits, retirement funds management, insurance and credit information services.

About Western Union and First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Serving 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,500 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes credit, debit, private-label, smart and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; money transfer services; money orders; fraud protection and authentication solutions; check guarantee and verification services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile solutions. Western Union and its subsidiary, Orlandi Valuta, together make up one of the world's largest money transfer networks with approximately 250,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at approximately 1.9 million ATM and retail locations. For more information, visit


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