With more than 500,000 agent locations worldwide and a wealth of transfer options, Western Union makes it quick, easy and affordable to send money overseas
Western Union is the largest provider of international money transfers in the world, boasting in excess of 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories around the globe. As well as transfers made in person, Western Union also offers online and phone transfers that can be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or be available for them to pick up within minutes.
Who is Western Union?
Founded in the mid-19th century as a telegram business, Western Union began offering electronic money transfers in 1871. Today, its global transfer network is huge, with more than 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories around the world. In addition, it operates 100,000 ATMs and kiosks around the world and in 2014, Western Union managed $85 billion of consumer payments and almost $500 million of business transactions.
Based in Englewood, Colorado, Western Union has more than 70,000 locations across North America. Specializing in consumer money transfers, Western Union offers online, retail, mobile and ATM transfers. In addition, it also offers prepaid cards, consumer bill payments and cross-border business payments to its customers.
Compare Western Union to other global brands
You can calculate exactly how much it will cost to send a Western Union international wire transfer with their simple online Cost Estimator tool (valid for agent location fees only, not for send).
How can you send money overseas with Western Union?
The easiest way to send money overseas with Western Union is to conduct an online international money transfer. The first step in the process is to sign up for an online Western Union account. This is free to do and requires you to provide your name, contact details and information concerning your linked bank account, credit card or debit card.
If you’d prefer to place a transfer over the phone, Western Union operates a toll-free number which you can phone to send your funds. Just provide the details of your recipient, how much you’re sending and your method of payment.
Finally, you can also send an international money transfer by visiting one of Western Union’s 70,000+ locations across North America. You can pay for these transactions with cash or a debit card, and you’ll also need to choose how you would like your receiver to collect the cash you send.
Western Union also provides multiple options when it comes to your receiver accessing the funds you send. The cash can be sent:
- Directly to their bank account. If you pay online with your debit or credit card, expect the cash to arrive within 1-3 days. However, if you pay cash at an agent location or send the cash straight from your own bank account, transactions typically take between two and five days to process.
- For pickup at an agent location. Send your money online, over the phone or by visiting an agent location and your funds will be available for collection within minutes. Funds sent from your bank account usually take from 1-3 days.
- Directly to a mobile wallet. Funds transferred through a Western Union agent or online can be available in your receiver’s mobile wallet within minutes.
How much money can I send with Western Union?
Your limits will vary based on your transaction history, the receiver’s country, your location (state) and the service you choose.
ONLINE: When sending online, your limits are typically as follows:
In Minutes, Three Day, and WU® Pay
$2,999 per money transfer
$500 per money transfer
Mobile Money Transfer
$500 per money transfer
Bill Payments/Quick Collect
$2,500 per 7 days to a biller (certain states have a limit of $400 only)
Limits vary by card issuer.
Online FX International Payments
$10,000 per transaction (and this limit can be raised)
SMARTPHONE: When sending using a smartphone, the same limits apply as when sending online, although not all the same services are offered on the smartphone.
AT AGENT LOCATION: There’s usually no restriction on the amount of money you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you’re sending or a specific country, please call Customer Care at 1-800-325-6000.
ON THE PHONE: The money transfer limit ranges from $300 to $2,500.
Pros and cons of using Western Union
- Largest money transfer provider. Western Union is the world’s largest provider of international money transfers, with more than 500,000 agent locations around the world meaning you can always easily access your funds.
- Multiple transfer and pick up options. Western Union allows you to send from your bank account, credit card, debit card or using cash, and you can send funds online, over the phone or by visiting a branch. There are also several ways in which your recipient can access the funds you send.
- Fast and secure. Western Union is a trusted provider of safe and secure international money transfers, and when you need to send cash fast it is available to be collected within minutes.
- Maximum transfer amount. The maximum amount you can send online with Western Union is USD$2,999; if you wish to send a larger amount you will need to sign up for an online FX account.
What other products does Western Union offer?
- Prepaid cards and money orders. These provide a range of options when you need access to funds in the US and around the world.
- Consumer bill payments. Stay on top of all your bills with Western Union’s handy bill paying service.
- Cross-border business payments. Western Union helps small and medium-sized businesses manage their international transactions.
Frequently asked questions about Western Union
Does Western Union allow me to transfer Philippine Pesos?
Yes it does; you can see a full list of the available currencies by visiting the Western Union website.
Is it possible to cancel a Western Union money transfer?
Yes, this is possible as long as the funds have not been picked up by your receiver. Phone Western Union for details on how to cancel a transaction.
How can I work out what exchange rate and fees will apply to my transfer?
This can be done by using the ‘Estimate price’ feature on the Western Union website. Simply enter a few basic transaction details to see the fees and exchange rate that will apply.
How much is the exchange rate of the US dollar to Mexican peso with Western Union?
Currently the exchange rate is 1 USD = 18.806 MXN/ 1 dollar = 18.81 Mexican Pesos.
How can I pay for my transfer?
Western Union allows you to use the following payment options: credit card, debit card, bank account or cash.
Can I send money to an inmate in a US correctional facility?
Yes, you can make a same-day transfer to an inmate’s commissary or telecom account. More details on this can be found on the Western Union website.
What features should I look for when comparing money transfer providers?
You should consider a provider’s fees, exchange rates, transfer methods, payment methods, cash pickup options and customer service availability before you decide which provider is best for you.
Western Union offers plenty of useful transfer and cash pickup options when you need to send money overseas. Before you commit to spending your hard-earned dough, of course, you should always make sure to compare all the available options and find the best deal.