Filing Tax Returns for Quicker Access to Refunds -Western Union Survey Finds Generosity and Need Spur Haste

Filing Tax Returns for Quicker Access to Refunds -Western Union Survey Finds Generosity and Need Spur Haste

Nearly Three Quarters of Consumers Would Use Their Tax Refund to Help out Friends and Family in Need
in these trying economic times, more and more people are willing to step up and lend a hand to those in need. While some consumers may not yet feel the effects of the current economic climate, they do see the financial situations their friends and families are in and are ready to provide them with some financial relief. According to a survey recently conducted by Western Union (NYSE: WU), a world leader in global money transfer services, consumers said they are likely to share their tax refunds with a family member and close friend in need of a financial boost.

Jorge Consuegra, senior vice president U.S. Product Management, Western Union, points to the finding that forty-two (42) percent of consumers said they are planning to file their tax return earlier than usual this year so they can receive any refunds sooner. Consumer generosity is evidenced with seventy-two (72) percent reporting they would share their large tax refund with a friend or family member who is having trouble paying their current living expenses.

“In general, consumers are feeling the pinch of these leaner times. For many consumers, giving a financial helping hand to friends and family is a definite byproduct of today’s economic environment,” said Consuegra. “When the call comes in from a friend or family member in need of a financial boost, Western Union has a proven track record as being a worldwide leader when it comes to money transfers, and has an array of services that suit just about any consumer money transfer need.”

In the last six months, more than a third of consumers have had a friend or relative borrow or accept money from them to help make ends meet. “As tax refunds are arriving in people’s mailboxes, and the economy continues to add to our collective financial burden, we believe these instances of familial giving are going to increase,” said Consuegra. “Western Union is a reliable way to send money to a loved one in need whether around the corner, or around the world.”

When sending money, Western Union reminds consumers cash can be ready in just a matter of minutes* by simply conducting the transaction at one of 44,000 Western Union(R) Agent locations found in most major national and regional grocery chains in the U.S. Additionally, money can be sent via westernunion.com or by calling 1-800-CALL-CASH(R).

In addition to those occasions where consumers are sending money, Western Union’s survey found that nearly one in five (19 percent) of respondents reported having asked for financial help from friends or family in the last six months. For those on the receiving end of money transfers, Western Union is convenient because funds are available quickly, usually within minutes of the transaction’s completion,* so there is no need to wait for the mail to arrive. The survey went on to reveal that close to half (47 percent) of those surveyed would likely accept a friend or family member’s offer to share his or her tax refund with them should the need arise.

With the launch of the company’s new ad campaign, yes!, this month, Western Union showcases the reinvention of an iconic 150-year-old brand, embracing the hopes and dreams of the people who use its services. Whatever the financial need - whether it is a daughter helping her mom pay a medical bill from 3,000 miles away or a father using his tax refund to send his family’s bill payments online - Western Union says yes!

* Funds availability subject to terms and conditions or service, including Agent location hours and differences in time zones. See Send Money form for Restrictions.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global money transfer services. Together with its Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a network of more than 375,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

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