Western Union is forming an alliance with a local distributor as part of its Asia expansion programme, according to the United States money-transfer company's regional vice-president. 'We have a few irons in the fire, and will be signing with a major distribution chain in Hong Kong,' Richard Tynes said, adding the distributor could be a supermarket chain or a bank. 'They will have high traffic and high visibility, and we hope to be able to make an announcement in the next two months,' he said. Western Union's 11 agent locations throughout the SAR cater mainly for migrant workers who regularly remit money to family members for medical expenses, education, general support, or for anniversaries and holidays, according to president Edward Fuhrman. He said while three-quarters of the company's business in Asia was remittance, three-quarters of business in the US was emergency money transfers. 'Many of our customers in Hong Kong do not have access to bank accounts and as a financial-services company, we are offering a service to those people who want this kind of product,' he said. Mr Fuhrman said the average cash transfer in the US was US$300 compared with $1,000 in Asia.