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Spotlight On: Western Union International Money Transfers

Updated on Jul 06, 2020
WU

Western Union started as a telegraph service provider in the U.S. when it was established in 1851. Currently, it is one of the largest and leading international money transfer companies in the world whose headquarter is located in Denver, Colorado. It has over 550,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. 

Western Union also provides business payment services to financial institutions, NGOs, and more through the Western Union Business Solutions divisions. 

Western Union’s digital money transfer services have been expanding rapidly. Recently, it announced the expansion of its end-to-end digital payments in over 75 countries delivering money to a global network of 4 billion accounts and wallets across 100 countries.

How to send money via Western Union?

There are four ways to send money via Western Union

  • In-person at agent locations
  • Online via WesternUnion.com
  • Western Union money transfer app
  • By Phone 

You can pay for your transfer in cash (at agent locations), use debit or credit card, or wire transfer or via bank account. The recipient can choose to receive the money in their bank account or pick up the money in-person from a closest Western Union location to them or get deposited in their mobile wallet if available. In some countries, bill payment services are also allowed. 

However, all the options are not available in every country. Check what options are available in the country you want to send the money to.

The transfer limit varies depending on your transaction history, the destination country, your location, and how you send the money.

How to send money through Western Union online transfer?

Here are the steps to make an online money transfer:

  • Create an account by signing up using personal information through their website or Western Union app
  • Get your account verified using your email address, phone number or some ID proof if required 
  • Select ‘Send Money” to start the transfer process
  • Put in the recipient details, choose your payment method and click ‘Send’
  • Track your transaction by referring to the details in the receipt

Western Union’s send money online service is available 24/7.


Western Union Fees and Exchange Rates

Western Union fees are not fixed. The fees are determined by many factors such as the country you are sending the money to, how the money is received, the amount of money transferred, and how you pay for the transfer. For example, bank transfers are cheaper than sending cash. Sending money to countries like India, or the Philippines is cheaper than transfers to the UK or Canada. 

Check the Western Union’s Price Calculator to get an idea about the transfer fees. Always compare the Fees and Exchange Rates of Western Union with other service providers like Remitly, Xoom, and TransferWise on CompareRemit to find the best rates for sending money across borders.

Western Union’s exchange rates differ based on the transfer method and the currencies you are transferring the money to. Western Union allows you to send money in nearly 130 currencies all around the world. 

How long does it take to transfer money through Western Union?

The speed will depend on the payment method and how the money is received. For example, when you pay using your credit or debit card for your cash pickup, the money will be received in minutes. It is not always the cheapest option. Additionally, the cost of your transfer will be more if you pay via credit cards. 

If you pay using bank transfer, it is cheaper but the money will reach your destination in 4-5 business days or even more.

Western Union Customer Service

Western Union is a customer-centric service provider. You can get in touch with Western Union 24x7 Customer Service via chat, email, or call up their Customer Care number. The customer support team can be reached at:
Customer Care (US): 1-800-325-6000

Website Care: 1-877-989-3268

Frequently Asked Questions on Western Union

  • Is Western Union safe?

Western Union is one of the most recognized brands in the world with regards to international money transfer. They have been moving money for more than 145 years which shows how reliable and trustworthy their services are. 

In 2018, Western Union’s customers sent over $300 billion with an average of 31 transactions per second. It is regulated and compliant in all the countries they operate in. For example, for the UK business operations, they are authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here are the top tips to protect yourself from financial fraud. 

  • How to track a Western Union Transfer?

Western Union tracking number called MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) is assigned to every transaction which can be found in the receipt given to the customers. You can track online, or by phone or via an agent. MTCN is also needed by the recipient for cash pickup at an agent location. You also need to provide the recipient’s country and the transferred amount to track your transfer. 

  • How to find Western Union locations near me? 

Western Union locations finder tool will help you in finding out all the agent locations that are around you. There are more than 550,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. Or you can google by typing “Western Union near me” or “Closest Western Union”  and all the locations will show up in the search result. 

  • Is there Walmart Western Union in the United States?

Western Union USA doesn’t have a partnership with Walmart in the United States.  But it is available in Walmart in Mexico and Canada. In Canada, you can transfer money, pick up cash, and pay bills at the Walmart Western Union.

  • How to cancel a Western Union Money Transfer? 

Canceling a money transfer is usually a race against time once the transfer has been processed. It can’t be canceled once it is received by the recipient. You may not be able to cancel in case of a Western Union money order, bill payment, or prepaid money transfer.

Western Union Reviews 

It has 4.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Satisfied users like convenience and speed as the best features. Western Union’s mobile apps have excellent ratings;  4.8 out of 5 stars on Apple’s App Store and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google’s Play.

Western Union Rewards 

Western Union also has Reward Programs for its customers. My WU is Western Union’s membership program. You can earn points whenever you send money. The points are earned according to the fees paid for the transfer. Every $1 in fees paid on transfer earns you 1 My WU point. 

You’ll have to set up an account using your email address and phone number and register for the reward program via your Western Union account. You can use the redeemed points to get discounts on service fees, and with special promotions offered by them.

In conclusion, its large global reach and the availability of various channels to send and receive money and other services like money orders request or bill payments is a major advantage in the money transfer market. Thanks to its global digital expansion, its service is available in every continent of the world mainly covering the top remittance sending-receiving corridors as per the World Bank’s ranking.

There are alternatives to Western Union. To find the best deal for your money compare top money transfer companies on CompareRemit before sending your money online.

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