For Western Union, Refugees and Immigrants Are the Ultimate Market | Bloomberg


Early in the summer of 2014, executives at Western Union offices around the globe began to notice something strange. The world’s largest money transfer company, Western Union Co. processes 31 transactions a second, and the money moves in distinct regional and seasonal patterns, like ocean currents or highway traffic. When disruptions occur or new patterns emerge, a knowledgeable observer can spot history unfolding in real time: The volume of transfers reflects the ebb and flow of nations’ economic growth and the vacillations of commodity markets. Natural disasters show up as sudden influxes of cash.

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