Western Union

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Western Union Review, Exchange Rates, Fees Calculator & User Score

  • Fees and costs: Good
  • Transfer speed: Very Good
  • Safety and reliability: Good
  • Customer satisfaction: Good

Advantages

  • Extensive service offer
  • Agents and facilities all over the world
  • Fast transfer speed

Disadvantages

  • Uneven fees, some countries are significantly more expensive to send money to
  • Unknown exchange rates margins

0 users would recommend it

0 users wouldn’t recommend it

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What is Western Union?

You can use the service to send and receive money globally across more than 200 countries and territories in more than 130 currencies. The service works both online and offline, with local facilities all over the world.

How Does Western Union Work?

You can deposit the money via bank transfer, credit card, or go to their agent’s location, and then a person on the other side of the world can easily pick it up in their facility.

Western Union Money Transfer Time

In most cases, the person you are sending the money to can pick it up at their location even in a matter of minutes. Any potential delays may occur because of your bank or money wire processing problems.

Western Union Fees and Costs

Western Union Rates

The fees vary from country to country. Compared to other services, Western Union provides rather cheap and almost instant transfers. Sending $1,000 from the USA to China would cost only $8, and the recipient could pick it up in his country within minutes. Other transfers and country destinations could cost up to $95, depending on the payment method.

Part of the income comes to the company from the exchange rates margins, which differ from the market ones. The larger the amount you send, the better are the exchange rates. However, it also depends on currency pairs.

Western Union Limits

Usually, you can send any amount at the Western Union agent’s location. Most of the limits come from the local regulations or your transfer history. Some countries and agents may have their own limits also. You can send up to $5,000 online, while, for example, mobile app money transfer amount is $500.

Western Union compared to wire transfer and banks

As their facilities are located in more than 200 countries, they can easily provide almost instant international money transfers. After it is processed in their system, which takes from minutes to a day, the money is ready to be withdrawn even on the other side of the globe. The costs are also lower than in the case of a regular international bank wire.

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How to use Western Union?

How to sign up?

You can easily create an account on the Western Union website. During the registration process, you will need to enter your Name, Last Name, date of birth, email address, phone number, and your street address.

One of the more convenient online tools is their mobile app. It allows you to connect it with your credit card and order payments wherever you are.

As with any other legal financial services, you need to provide your information and upload images of your ID for the identity verification. You need to scan it, or you can simply take photos with your smartphone and upload it to their site. Sometimes, you have to take a photo of you holding the documents so that they know it’s really you. The process is very similar to a regular bank registration, but in that case, it all happens online.

How to send money through Western Union?

If you are wondering how to fill out a Western Union money order, the easiest method is to use Quick Collect. You can order the payment online, through a telephone call or at the agent on the location. You will then get a unique tracking number. The person who you are sending money to, can use it to retrieve the payment at his local Western Union location.

Remember that if you do not pick up the transfer on the same day, it will remain in the system for the next 45 days.

How to track Western Union Transfer?

You need an MTCN number, which can be found in your transfer history page or in your printed or emailed receipt. Type that number on a tracking widget on the site to get the information about the current status of the money transfer.

Is Western Union safe and reliable?

Security

The system itself and the transfer procedure is very well protected. It is safe and reliable to send money through Western Union. To pick up the money, the receiver needs to provide valid ID, documentation, and transaction number. Therefore, you can be sure that the right person receives the money. While Western Union itself is legit, the most common problems is a fraud and scam attempts. It happens with most of the popular easy international money transfer services. Western Union does campaigns to help people avoid and spot fraud attempts.

Remember that the company offers money transfers services and not consumer protection. Therefore, if you are buying or ordering something online, that person can still pick up the money and don’t deliver what they’d promised. Other scammers sometimes trick the user into sending money to another person. After picking up the money, you don’t hear from them ever again.

Public Reception

It is probably people’s first choice for sending money worldwide. The company has been operating on the market for many years and delivered millions of payments. They have been handling the money since 1871 and were one of the firsts on the market.

The biggest issue the company has been facing is the problem with scammers using their services. There has been a case where they had to pay $586 million for not stopping the criminals in a complex fee fraud scheme. Western Union failed to respond to thousands of complaints filed by victims.

Comments

As an advantage acts the fact that there appear to be more positive reviews than negative ones.

“I've been using many online remittance services previously until WU launch their most convenient app. Been it for 2 month already, and i must say transaction works like a charm.” ~ Keshav on Trustpilot

In terms of security:

“As long as you know the person you're sending money to, it's perfectly safe. The issues happen when people are scammed into sending money to people they don't know, because western union doesn't offer protection the way Paypal does once the money has been picked up.” ~afknprincess on Reddit

One user in his Trustpilot review, noticed that it’s inconvenient to cancel your money transaction, as it requires additional fees:

“I find it inconvenient, ridiculous and deplorable that Western Union makes it so hard to replace a money order they can clearly see has not been cashed. I've spoken with 3 different people who told me they should be able to put a stop payment on the existing orders, release the funds back in the system, and I should be able to reprint from any location. Instead you all tack on a $15 fee for a few clicks of a button. So, money orders I've already paid for that HAVE NOT BEEN CASHED will cost $30 to reprint!?” ~ Brittny on Trustpilot

Some noticed that the transfers aren’t always that seamless. Users are reporting that their transactions were put on hold for further investigation, because the company flagged it as "suspicious."

“The limitations on the amount and times you can send money are in my opinion a horrible abuse of an individual's freedom to do what they want with their cash. It seems like today's world is so freaking paranoid of criminal activity that they severely limit the ability of a law abiding citizen to send any amount of money to someone of their choosing.” ~Kristin on ConsumerAffairs

Customer Support

The customer care section has a well-developed help center which answers most of the popular questions like:

  • How do I request a money order refund?
  • When will my receiver get the money?
  • How much money can I send with Western Union?

If you don’t find the answer to your question or problem, you can contact the support team and call their telephone number or open an online chat.

Final Thoughts

Western Union Review

It is one of the longest operating companies in the field, which can be seen in their operation scale and experience in handling money. The transfer speed is very good, and many physical locations make it convenient for both the sender and receiver. The costs and fees are quite uneven, and it’s hard to evaluate the expenses of a transfer, as there are many factors to it. The customers seem to have a majority of positive experiences with the service itself. However, some people have used it many times to scam others. In terms of security of the system, it is on a very high level.

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