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GK takes Western Union to The Bahamas

Published:Wednesday | January 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A Western Union sign is displayed at an outlet in Jamaica.

GK takes Western

Union to The Bahamas

Western Union agent GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) has expanded the money-transfer service to The Bahamas, starting at a single location on December 30, both companies have announced.

Western Union opened for business at Tripoint Communi-cations in Nassau, but GKMS plans to add more locations this year.

The Bahamas remittance inflows, estimated at just over US$100 million in 2016, are a fraction of the Jamaican market, which reported US$2.16 billion in remittances that same year.

However, Bahamas' market is growing, and has almost doubled in five years, from US$58 million in 2013, according to

The joint expansion of Western Union and GKMS increases their footprint across the Caribbean to 12 countries. The others are Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, Anguilla, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, and GraceKennedy's home market of Jamaica.

"This makes the third consecutive year of entry into new territories, with the Cayman Islands in 2015, Turks & Caicos in 2016 and now The Bahamas in 2017," said Don Wehby, Group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited, the parent company for GKMS, in a release about the expansion.

Western Union Company, which is based in the United States, handled US$80 billion of transfers globally in 2016, the release noted.

Wehby later told the Financial Gleaner that at some point in the future, other money services offered by the group, such as bill-payment operation Bill Express and the GK MPay mobile wallet, will be introduced in The Bahamas as soon as feasible and "pending regulatory approval, where necessary.

"We already have our Bill Express product in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Grenada, while we are still exploring launching GK MPay in another Caribbean market," Wehby said.

GraceKennedy's food products are sold in The Bahamas through third-party distributors, he added.

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