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How to track and keep your money transfer safe

International money transfer tracking: learn how to track MoneyGram, Western Union, Walmart and other wire money transfers.

Some money transfers can take more than five days to reach your recipient. Many money transfer companies and banks offer end-to-end tracking so you can monitor the progress of your payments.

However, each company has a different procedure for tracking transfers. To help you understand the differences, here’s a look at how the major transfer companies track your money transfer.

How can I track my money transfer?

With most companies, you can track your transfer using the confirmation number on your receipt. You should be able to view the steps of your progress, from sending to receiving, either online or by contacting them over the telephone. A few transfer services also offer the option of text or email notification at each stage of your transaction.

In general, to track a money transfer:

  1. Complete your transfer. After sending a transfer, you can start tracking it.
  2. Check your receipt. Look for a reference, confirmation, order, transaction or similarly-named number.
  3. Contact the sending company. Call, go online or visit a physical location of the company you sent your transfer through and provide your tracking number.
  4. Sign up for notifications. When possible, opt in for notifications on each step of your transfer.

Track a Western Union transfer

Tracking a Western Union transfer requires an MTCN, which is Western Union’s tracking number. If you don’t know the MTCN, you still have options, but you’ll need to know:

  • Sender’s phone number OR both the sender and receiver names
  • Receiver’s country
  • Send amount OR receive amount
  • Date of transfer

Learn more about how Western Union tracking works or contact Western Union directly for further help.

Track a MoneyGram transfer

MoneyGram tracking is fairly straightforward. It requires your last name and the authorization or reference number.

  • Authorization number – This number is found in your confirmation email.
  • Reference number – This number is found in your email only after the money is ready for cash pickup.

Learn more about how MoneyGram tracking works or contact MoneyGram directly for further help.

Track a Ria money transfer

Ria tracking can be done through the mobile app, online or by contacting customer service on the phone. You’ll need to provide one of the following to track your money transfer:

  • Order number
  • PIN
  • Reference number

Learn more about how Ria tracking works or contact Ria directly for further help.
Sample tracking page for RIA.

Sample tracking page for Ria.

Track a Vigo money transfer

Because of Vigo’s partnership with Western Union, tracking money transfers on Vigo is very similar to the process of tracking money transfers on Western Union. Visit Western Union’s website, go to the “tracking transfer” section, enter the 10 digits of your MTCN and click “Track Transfer”.
Learn more about how Vigo tracking works or contact Vigo directly for further help.

Track a Walmart money transfer

In order to track Walmart-to-Walmart money transfers, you’ll just need to provide your transaction reference number. Learn more about how Walmart tracking works or contact Walmart directly for further help.

How do I find my tracking number?

Depending on the service you choose to transfer your money overseas — whether a bank or independent money transfer specialist — your transaction should come with a confirmation number or a record of your transaction.

Money tracking numbers come in many different names:

  • Authorization number
  • Reference number
  • MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number)
  • Order number
  • PIN
  • RTRN (Remittance Transaction Reference Number)
  • Confirmation number
  • …and more

Who is most likely to be researching how to track a money transfer?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
Source: Finder sample of 4,476 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

What to do if I don’t have a tracking number?

Transfers come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on what type of provider you use to send your money, you may or may not have a tracking number. Don’t worry — chances are you can still track your transfer even if you don’t have a tracking number. Here’s how:

Track bank wire transfers

Sending money internationally through your bank typically won’t generate a tracking number, as wire transfers are a bit different from money transfer services.

  • You’ll typically use a SWIFT code to track this transfer.
  • Call your bank’s customer service or contact your bank online.

Track using a tracking number

Check your receipt for a highlighted number that may be called a:

  • reference number
  • tracking number
  • confirmation number

Input this website on the transfer company’s website, give it to a customer service representative on the phone or provide it at an agent location to track your transfer.

Track without a tracking number

Some services, typically those that operate entirely online, require you to track through your order history instead of through a tracking number. To do so:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Navigate to your order history
  3. Look for order details, including specific details on arrival time and any occurring delays.

How can I keep my international money transfer safe?

Sending money abroad can be risky if you don’t take the right precautions. Keep your international money transfers safe by only transferring money through licensed money transfer services. Ensure you have the correct details on hand before sending a transfer — and never send transfers to people you do not trust. This way, you’re less likely to fall prey to international money transfer scams. Lastly, always remember to keep your transfer reference number on hand so that you can track the progress of your transfers. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your provider immediately.

What happens if I entered the incorrect information for my transaction?

If you enter incorrect information for your money transfer, you typically have two options to consider: change the recipient’s information or cancel the money transfer.

Can I change my recipient’s information if I entered it incorrectly?

Unfortunately, you’ll find that changing your recipient’s name or address is trickier after you’ve initiated a transfer. But if you haven’t entered your recipient’s details correctly, they may not be able to receive their funds at all. If you’ve found an error with your recipient’s information, call, visit or live chat with your provider immediately.

Keep any confirmation number or receipt handy to help in pulling up your transfer. Your provider should be able to correct or modify your recipient’s details for you, even if it means adding a few more days to your delivery window as the system updates. If you’ve discovered the error outside business hours, try logging in to your account — you may be able to make the changes yourself if your transfer isn’t yet complete.

Can I cancel a money transfer?

Nearly all banks and money transfer providers offer some way of canceling your transaction after you’ve set it in motion — especially if your money hasn’t yet been delivered. If you need to cancel your transfer within 30 minutes, federal law guarantees a refund without penalty. Simply call or visit — in person or online — the provider you used to send your transfer. If you can log in to your online account, you may have the option of canceling there. If you initiated the transfer more than 30 minutes before, search your provider’s website for information on canceling or stopping a money transfer. Or call a representative to learn how you can start the process of halting your transaction.

If you’re able to cancel your money transfer, you should see a refund for the total you paid for it. In the rare case, a provider may deduct a cancellation fee from your refund — which might be another factor to weigh when choosing the company you ultimately go with.

If your transfer is not yet picked up or deposited into your recipient’s account, you may be able to log in to your account to cancel the transfer yourself. Otherwise, call, visit or live chat with your provider to discuss its refund process and how much you can expect to get back.

Frequently asked questions