Easter money transfers surge

Remittances over the Easter period spiked by 40 per cent compared to the same period last year, new figures from Western Union show.

The Accounting Manager at Western Union, Molioo Pio Vaeluaga, told the Samoa Observer that Holy Week was an extremely busy time for the money transfer operator which saw a major increase in incoming business. 

The 20 branches in operation in Upolu and Savai'i were so busy that doors were opened on Holy Saturday, a public holiday in Samoa, to accommodate the high volume of customers receiving cash.

He is based at Western Union's main branch in Saleufi where customers crowded the office and sidewalk waiting in line to pick up cash on Saturday.

Other locations had long lines and crowded offices as early as Thursday. 

"There was a major increase,” Molioo said.

“The amount received last year in the month of April was $17.5 million. We have seen a 40 percent increase for April.”

Western Union branches were closed on Easter Sunday and the Easter Monday holiday. 

Despite the extra opening hours on Saturday, Western Union offices were jam-packed when the country returned to their workweek on Tuesday morning.

One Western Union office located in Vaitele reported on Tuesday morning that they had run out of cash and were waiting for reinforcements. 

Three Western Union offices in the Apia township, at Saleufi, Taufusi and Savalalo, were filled with customers on Tuesday.

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