WESTERN Union yesterday reopened three of the 14 St James branches it locked down last week, but set a US$400 limit on money transfers.
The shuttering of the outlets, to conduct a "systems review", and the new limit on transactions are widely regarded as measures to counter the multimillion-dollar lottery scam that has turned deadly, destroyed the lives of elderly foreigners, and tarnished Jamaica's reputation, particularly in North America and the United Kingdom.
Montego Bay, the St James capital, as well as surrounding communities are home to players in the nagging lottery scam. The crooks have been using the money transfer service, placing the company at risk with international law enforcement authorities.
Yesterday, Western Union insisted that Jamaica is an important market and said it was committed to providing outstanding service to all its customers.
Company spokesman Daniel Diaz, in a statement issued through GraceKennedy Money Services -- Western Union's exclusive agent here -- said service had resumed at GRS Financial Group, Hometown FSC, and MegaMart.
"The company will strive to reopen additional locations in the impacted region," the statement said.
Additionally, the company said it has implemented several measures to aid in reducing the inconvenience faced by its customers with free shuttle services between St James and neighbouring parishes. Departure times are 9:00 am, 12:00 midday and 3:00 pm.
"As a leader in global payment services, Western Union is dedicated to providing consumers fast, reliable and convenient money transfer services around the world. Our reputation, our brand, and the trust of our stakeholders are irreplaceable assets," the company said. "Our future success depends on ensuring that we continue to protect consumers and our global network."
Western union also thanked "all consumers for their patience" during the time of the closures.