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State Bank of India to Offer Western Union Money Transfer Service; SBI Now Part of Western Union's Agent Network in India, Through an Alliance with Western Union's Authorized Agent, Kuoni Travels

SYDNEY, 6 March 2006 - Western Union, a worldwide leader in money transfer services, announced that its authorized Agent, Kuoni Travels, has entered into an agreement with the State Bank of India Ltd (SBI) to provide inbound money transfer services. 

The State Bank of India is the largest bank in India and one of the top 100 banks in the world. SBI has more than 9,000 branches in India and has a presence in more than 32 countries worldwide. Through this landmark agreement, Western Union Money TransferŽ Services now will be available at more than 200 branches of State Bank of India, with more to be added during 2006. 

According to the World Bank's report on Global Economic Prospects 2006, India receives the highest amount of remittances, with US$21.7 billion sent to the country last year. This addition to Western Union's extensive Agent network in India will enable the more than 20 million Indian people living outside of their home country to stay better connected with friends and family. 

For Indians living in Australia and New Zealand, the addition of SBI locations to the Western Union network in India means that families and friends in India will have more choice of location from which to collect the remittances sent by them. 

About Western Union and First Data 

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Serving 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,500 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes credit, debit, private-label, smart and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; money transfer services; money orders; fraud protection and authentication solutions; check guarantee and verification services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile solutions. Western Union and its subsidiary, Orlandi Valuta, together make up one of the world's largest money transfer networks with approximately 250,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at approximately 1.7 million ATM and retail locations. For more information, visit 

About Kuoni Travels India Pvt. Ltd. 

Kuoni Travel Group, India, is the country's largest travel company and a 100% subsidiary of Kuoni Travel Holding, Switzerland. It was formed in 1996 through the acquisition of SOTC, India's leading tour operator. Other strategic acquisitions, such as that of SITA World Travel, a forerunner in inbound travel, have strengthened Kuoni India's leadership position as India's largest inbound operator. Kuoni India's business travel activity operates in partnership with Business Travel International (BTI). 

In keeping with Kuoni's vision of providing all travel and travel-related services to travellers from, within and to India, the company has added the businesses of visa processing for embassies and consulates, electronic money transfers and travel foreign-exchange to its portfolio. 

As first citizen of the Indian travel industry, Kuoni relentlessly strives to perfect the art and science of travel and deliver the ultimate travel experience to customers. 

About State Bank of India 

State Bank of India, the largest bank in India and one of the top 100 banks in the world, has more than 9,000 branches in India and has a presence in more than 32 countries worldwide. State Bank of India has developed into a financial super market, where all the needs of the customer can be met. In addition to the wide spectrum of products in all business segments, it provides specialized services like life insurance, mutual funds, factoring services, credit cards, capital market-related services, etc., through its subsidiaries. In the field of International Banking, SBI is the biggest player in the market. It has huge success in the remittance market with its wide international network. The Bank prides itself in being the most transparent and most trusted banks in the country. With its vast geographical presence, the Bank is present in every nook and corner of the country. With 100% computerization of its branches, it is ideally placed to meet the requirements of the NRIs remitting money to India. 

For more information, please contact:

Angela M Heng
Corporate Communications
Western Union Asia Pacific
Tel: +852 3405 8187

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