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Western Union money transfer review

An easy way to send cash overseas — even if the recipient doesn't have a bank account.

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Western Union's coronavirus response

If you’re used to sending money in person and can no longer access brick-and-mortar stores due to lockdown, WU has launched the Digital Location program. We understand this can be a complicated shift in your money sending routine, so please refer to the Digital Location section of this guide for more information on where to find a Digital Location and how to use it.

Western Union provides a variety of options

Western Union helps individuals and businesses transfer money around the globe and right here in our own country. You’ll find many options for transferring and collecting funds, like cash pickup, bank account deposits and more. In Malaysia, you can make your transfer online, through WU’s mobile app or in person. The variety of options Western Union offers is unusual in today’s mostly online-based money transfer providers.

How much does it cost to transfer money with Western Union?

International money transfer fees vary depending on how much money you send, the country you send it to, how you pay for your transaction and how your beneficiary will receive the money. The best way to learn how much you’ll pay is to input your transfer details into the price estimator on Western Union’s website or mobile app, which you can use to check the exchange rate and fee for your specific transaction before you proceed.

How are Western Union’s exchange rates?

You’ll need to take the exchange rate into account when sending money overseas. Western Union’s rates are updated regularly based on the market. The rate you get for your transaction will include a margin added on by Western Union, so there could be a difference of up to 5% (or even higher in some cases) depending on the currency you send. You can find out the rate that applies to your specific transaction by clicking ‘Send money’ at the top of Western Union’s website.

What types of transfers can I carry out with Western Union?

There are multiple ways you can send money overseas with Western Union, starting with the ease and convenience of direct bank account debit (FPX) online transfers. The next option is to initiate a transfer online to lock in the fee and exchange rate, and pay at a participating Western Union agent location within 24 hours. Lastly, you can also visit one of Western Union’s 2,500 Malaysian locations for a conventional face-to-face transaction using cash or a debit card.

With Western Union, your recipient can collect the cash you send by:

  • Cash pickup. Cash transfers sent online or in person are available for pickup within minutes at any number of agent locations worldwide.
  • Bank account deposit. Expect to wait two to five days for funds to arrive at your recipient’s overseas bank account. However, this service is only available when sending money to select countries.

Pros and cons of using Western Union

Pros

  • Trusted provider. Western Union has managed domestic and international money transfers since 1871.
  • Huge network. More than 500,000 agent locations around the world.
  • Flexible transfer options. Whether you pay with cash at an agent location or a bank account for cash pickup or a bank deposit, Western Union can take care of your transaction.
  • No need for your recipient to have a bank account. The availability of cash pickup transfers means you can send money to someone who doesn’t have a bank account.

Cons

  • Weak exchange rates. With weak exchange rates that can be nearly 5% more than the mid-market rate, you have cheaper online options.
  • High fees. Where some companies offer free transfers or low-fee transfers, expect to pay more in fees to transfer with Western Union.
  • Not suitable for large transfers. The maximum daily online transfer limit is RM50,000, so Western Union isn’t a good choice if you need to send a larger amount.

How does Western Union compare to other services?

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Same day MYR 3.99 0.238 USD
1,188
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
USD 60 1 day MYR 0.00 0.238 USD
1,191
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 day MYR 50.00 0.239 USD
1,183
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 200 1 day MYR 25.00 0.238 USD
1,184
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
USD 120 1 - 2 days MYR 5.00 0.237 USD
1,184
Malaysia-based MoneyMatch offers competitive exchange rates for overseas money transfers from MYR to more than 70 countries. 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.

Steps to transfer your money online

Bottom line

Western Union offers plenty of useful transfer options when you need to send money overseas. Before you commit to sending your hard-earned dough, of course, you should always make sure to compare all the available options and find the best deal.

Frequently asked questions

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