SOURCE: Western Union

Western Union

November 17, 2011 16:35 ET

Western Union Worldwide Survey Reveals Gift of Cash Remains Perfect Holiday Choice to Make Loved One's Day Better

Majority Want Cash -- Not Gifts -- This Holiday Season

ENGLEWOOD, CO--(Marketwire - Nov 17, 2011) - The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payments, unveiled results of a new survey that shows that cash is this holiday season's must-have gift. The recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research outlined patterns of consumers' budgeting and expenditure -- including people in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, India -- during the holidays, uncovering some interesting results on spending habits and the desire for cash gifts.

In the holiday spirit of giving, Western Union is also giving consumers the opportunity to give cash gifts, to make the world a better place, by uploading an entry describing how they would use $1,000 to bring their idea to life at A total of 100 winners will receive the equivalent of $1,000 to make someone's day better this holiday season.

To learn more and submit an entry, visit, click on the enter button to complete the registration form and follow the instructions on how to submit the entry. The site is available in English, Spanish, French, and German, with some pages available in Portuguese, Russian and Arabic. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Entry is subject to the Official Rules available at Void where prohibited by law.

For U.S. consumers, 83 percent would rather have $50 in cash than a gift worth $50. While gifts are great, many could really use the extra money this year.

Furthermore, the pressure to find the perfect gift gets to everyone -- and their budgets too. For those who did budget, 63 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed spent more than they had budgeted for the 2010 holiday season. Budgets go out the window when it comes to making the holiday season special for loved ones.

To facilitate gift giving solutions this holiday season, and help consumers be mindful of their budgets, Western Union is offering "$50 for $5" -- consumers can send up to $50 from participating Agent locations to loved ones in the U.S. for five dollars or send a Western Union® gift card,* with a personalized greeting card and voice message, available exclusively at

Western Union helps you send money to your loved ones almost anywhere in the world. Whether it's a holiday gift or for education, healthcare or groceries, Western Union offers Consumer-to-Consumer Money-Transfer Services to get resources to friends and members of your family quickly.

Key survey findings

  • 83% of U.S. consumers surveyed would rather receive cash than a gift worth the same amount.
  • 50% of U.S. consumers surveyed did not make a holiday spending budget in 2010.
  • For those who did budget, 63% of U.S. consumers surveyed spent more than they had budgeted for the 2010 holiday season.
  • 74% of U.S. consumers surveyed will cut back to help pay for holiday celebrations.

Key Facts

  • Survey results demonstrate how giving cash is a solution to holiday spending and the pressure to find the perfect gift for loved ones.
  • Western Union products and services provide solutions to create moments of better for consumers, while sustaining the company's 160-year history of innovation and helping people improve someone's day.
  • World of Betters, a multi-faceted, integrated consumer campaign, is designed to help raise awareness about the many ways Western Union can make a difference in an individual's life.

Key Quotes
"Giving the gift of cash with Western Union is an easy way for gift givers to make their loved one's day better and to help avoid unforeseen costs associated with in-store and online holiday shopping, such as babysitting expenses and going over budget, allowing everyone to better manage their holiday-related expenses," Victoria López-Negrete, senior vice president and general manager, North America, Western Union said. "With Western Union, you can send cash and avoid these additional expenses, which helps to ensure that your loved one gets what they really want and need."

Western Union, Western Union World of Betters, Move money for better at, "$50 for $5", Cash is must-have gift this holiday season

*Gift Card:
Gift Card only for sale and shipment to the 48 contiguous states excluding AZ, PO Boxes, U.S. military bases and correctional facilities. A $2.50 per month servicing fee applies after 12 consecutive months of non-use.

The survey:
The survey, commissioned by Western Union and conducted by Wakefield Research polled nationally representative adults aged 18 years old and older between September 21 and October 21, 2011 in the following countries: 1,000 respondents in the U.S., 500 respondents in Mexico, 500 respondents in Germany, 500 respondents in India, 500 respondents in Brazil, 500 respondents in the UAE, 500 respondents in S. Africa, and 500 respondents in the U.K.

About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2011, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 485,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2010, The Western Union Company completed 214 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $76 billion of principal between consumers, and 405 million business payments. For more information, visit


Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Dan Diaz
    Western Union
    + 1 (303) 547-2347
    Email Contact

    L'Teisha Ryan
    Western Union
    +1 (303) 478-9029
    Email Contact


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