OMAHA, Neb. – Responding to attacks from critics that Western Union overcharges its mostly low-income customers, Peter Ziverts, a vice president of corporate communications with Western Union Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp., defended the company’s pricing policy on international money transfer services. In a Nov. 30 article in the American Banker, Ziverts stated that Western Union has dropped its fee to international customers since 1996. In addition, he stated that, “Banks are not likely to enter Western Union’s business soon. They have `pulled away from providing these services.’” Juan Hernandez, director of the Mexico President Vicente Fox’s office on migrant affairs, has been among Western Union’s staunchest critics. Hernandez has been instrumental in working with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Texas and California credit union leagues with implementing WOCCU’s IRNet service with credit unions in the respective states. The article did not mention IRNet as a low cost alternative being offered by CUs for international money transfers.

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