Western Union vs Moneycorp

Compare 2 established money transfer providers on cost, features and efficiency.

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Western Union has been around for more than a century through its 500,000 agent locations worldwide. Started in 1962, Moneycorp is a major player with a presence in 150 countries.

Neither Western Union nor Moneycorp is necessarily the cheapest or fastest option out there, but they are certainly amongst the most visible and credible. We compare the two to help you decide between them.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are current as of 25 February 2020.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 20.00 0.723 USD
709
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Fees vary depending on how much you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and where you’re sending it to. Fees start around $5 – $10 but can soar when paying by credit or debit card for cash pick-up in certain countries.

For example, an online transfer of $800 from Canada to France would cost around $10 in fees with a bank transfer but around $40 with a credit card.

Moneycorp

For one-off transfers with Moneycorp, the transaction fee you are charged varies depending on the speed of your transfer. As a British company, its fees are denominated in British pounds and so will vary depending on exchange rates.

A standard payment attracts a fee of £5 (about CAD$8.50) while an express payment costs £9 (about CAD$15.50). Transfers booked over the phone are sent express and incur a fee of £15 (about CAD$26.00).

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Winner: Tie

For larger international transfers you may find the fees skyrocket with Western Union. But for smaller transfers, the flat Moneycorp fees might make it less cost-effective.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $5,000 to the United States

The tables below show the total cost of sending $1,000 and $5,000 online from Canada to the United States, so you can see how much real transfers could cost with each. Assume the least expensive transfer method is used and that the fee is deducted from the transfer amount rather than paid on top of it.

Sending $1,000 to the United States

Western UnionMoneycorp
Transfer fee$7.00 (pay in-store)$8.62 (pay online)
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.7256USD1 CAD = 0.7500USD
Transfer speedWithin minutesUp to 4 days
Total USD receivedUS$720.52US$743.54
Receiver getsUS$23.02 lessUS$23.02 more

Sending $5,000 to the United States

Western UnionMoneycorp
Transfer fee$109.00 (pay online)$8.62 (pay online)
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.7256USD1 CAD = 0.7500USD
Transfer speedWithin minutesUp to 4 days
Total USD receivedUS$3,548.91US$3,743.54
Receiver getsUS$194.63 lessUS$194.63 more

MoneyCorp gives better value for money on both transfers. It charges slightly higher fees for a $1,000 transfer, but this is compensated for by more favourable exchange rates.

The difference grows on larger transfers. Moneycorp fees remain the same while Western Union’s grow, and Moneycorp’s better exchange rates make a bigger difference.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Depending on the country you’re sending money to, a typical exchange rate at Western Union could be up to 6% above the mid-market rate. If you’re sending a large amount overseas, this means hundreds of dollars that goes straight into Western Union’s coffers.

We’ll use the example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 0.6945 EUR
  • Western Union’s exchange rate might be 1 CAD = 0.6447 EUR

Moneycorp

MoneyCorp’s exchange rates fluctuate regularly in line with market exchange rates throughout the week. However, as there is no trading on foreign exchange markets from 10pm Friday to 8pm Sunday GMT, the rates offered by Moneycorp will not fluctuate during this time.

The exchange rate you receive for your transaction will be determined by the amount and the currencies you’re sending, but will typically be 1-2% above the mid-market rates.

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 0.6945 EUR
  • Moneycorp’s exchange rate might be 1 CAD = 0.6806 EUR

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Winner: Moneycorp

Moneycorp has a vast amount of transfer options, as well as a personal account manager, which means you will have someone to help you get the best rates possible.

However, Moneycorp uses GBP as its intermediary currency, meaning transfers sent through it to any other currency will have to be converted twice, incurring additional expenses.

Which is faster?

Western Union

Delivery speeds vary with transfer options. At an agent location or by phone, your transfer could be delivered in minutes (sometimes at higher costs). Sending by bank transfer could take 5 days or longer, depending on the country.

Moneycorp

Delivery speed with Moneycorp also varies by transfer option: the “express” transfers are delivered in 0-2 days (with higher costs); the “standard” option takes 2-4 business days.

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Winner: Moneycorp

With Moneycorp you know what you’re getting, based on the service you pay for. There aren’t any variable factors or fees, like with Western Union.

General features

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
Western UnionBank account, credit or debit card, cashBank transfer, cash pick-up, e-walletMinimum: $1

Maximum: $999.99

Same day100+ currencies
MoneycorpBank account, credit or debit cardBank transferMinimum: $1

Maximum: No limit

Same day35+ currencies

Western Union

You can walk into a Western Union branch, create an account to send money online or call Western Union on the phone to set up a transfer, and choose your options.

Once you’ve made a deposit, Western Union will initiate your transfer.

Moneycorp

You’ll have to create an account at Moneycorp and then verify your identity by providing documentation such as driver’s licence or passport.

Once that’s done you can initiate a transfer online or over the phone.

Bottom line

While Western Union is the behemoth in terms of international money transfers, you may get a stronger exchange rate with Moneycorp, which is especially important for larger transfers.

However, if it’s more important that your friends or family be able to pick up your money in cash, Western Union’s 500,000 agent locations worldwide is what you are after.

These two services aside, you could do better with another money transfer specialist. Compare your options to find a provider that’s perfect for your situation.

Looking for more options?

If you’re looking for more options, or hunting for a better deal, the calculator below can help you work out how much a transfer will cost with different providers to different locations.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 0.00 0.745 USD
7,450
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.746 USD
7,458
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.746 USD
7,458
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.745 USD
7,450
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 90.00 0.749 USD
7,420
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days CAD 0.00 0.746 USD
7,455
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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