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Global money transfers with Western Union

Send money internationally through Western Union online or in person.

Western Union began operations in 1851, in the form of the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. This American financial services and communications company has its headquarters in Colorado and has more than 500,000 agent locations globally.

This company has several divisions, including consumer-to-consumer money transfers, bill payment services, money orders, stored-value options such as prepaid cards as well as business solutions. Until Western Union pulled back from the business of delivering telegrams in 2006, it was the best known American company in that market as well.

In 2007, this company introduced a mobile funds transfer service in partnership with the GSM Association, a body that represents more than 700 mobile operators spread across 218 nations.

Western Union lets its New Zealand customers send money overseas, to bank accounts and to cash pick-up locations. You can do this online, over the phone or by visiting your nearest Western Union location.

Western Union exchange rates

The money you wish to send converts at an exchange rate that Western Union sets at the time of the transfer. It uses commercially available interbank rates to arrive at its own exchange rate, which also includes a margin. Western Union exchange rates can change several times in a day, and they remain in line with related closing rates in global markets.

In some countries, the law requires that currency conversions should take place only when the receiver gets the money. In such cases, the transfer rate you see when initiating the transfer can be subject to change taking into account fluctuations between the time you initiate the transfer and the time the recipient receives the money.

Western Union lets you see the latest exchange rates on its website, and you can also check the most up-to-date rates by visiting a Western Union location or by speaking to a company representative over the phone.

The Western Union website does not provide a table where you can view exchange rates for different currencies at a single place. However, it lets you view prevailing exchange rates by using its calculator to find out how much it’ll cost you to send money overseas.

NZDAUDUSDCADCHF

To

0.890.690.850.67

EUR

FJDGBPHKD

JPY

0.551.430.495.46

78.00

* The exchange rate mentioned above was current as of 6 January 2018.

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

How much an online money transfer through Western Union costs depends on multiple factors such as the country you’re sending the money to, the amount you’re sending and the method you choose. The table below helps illustrate how fees can vary in different scenarios.

Amount sentMethodCountryFees
NZD$100Money in MinutesUSANZD$10
NZD$1,000Money in MinutesUSANZD$74
NZD$100Money in MinutesAustraliaNZD$10
NZD$100To bank accountAustraliaNZD$5
NZD$1,000To bank accountAustraliaNZD$10

Minimum transfer amount and available countries

Western Union users in New Zealand have maximum daily transaction limits of NZD$5,000, but this limit can vary according to your transaction history and the service you choose. You can find out your daily transaction limit by visiting your profile page on the Western Union website.

Western Union lets you send money to a host of countries and territories around the world, either to cash pick-up locations or to bank accounts. You can use its services to send money to bank accounts in the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • UAE
  • United Kingdom
  • Vietnam

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

Apart from letting you send money overseas, to a bank account or to a cash pick-up location, Western Union lets you receive money from overseas payers. It also lets you send money using no more than a recipient’s name and phone number.

How you can send money depends on the country you wish to send the money to. Western Union does not let you use all methods for all countries. For example, you can use its services to send money to a cash pick-up location in the US, but you can’t send money to an American bank account. If you’re sending money to Australia or the UK, you can choose either method.

The registration and transfer process

Registering with Western Union in New Zealand is free, and you can complete the registration process online in a matter of minutes. To register, you have to provide your name, email address, date of birth, country of birth, occupation, residential address, phone number and details from an acceptable form of photo ID. You have to be at least 18 years old to register.

Once you register, you can use the website to start sending money overseas. You can send money using a prepaid card issued by a New Zealand financial institution, provided the card is in your name. You can also use your MasterCard or Visa credit card.

If you’re sending money to a cash pick-up location, the recipient can collect the money within minutes of you completing the transfer. If you’re sending money to a bank account, the time taken for the transfer to go through depends on the country you’re sending the money to as well as the recipient’s bank.

Given below are approximate time frames that Western Union takes to complete international transfers to bank accounts:

CountryTime frame
Australia2-3 business days
China2-5 business days
France1-2 business days
Japan2-3 business days
Portugal2-3 business days
Thailand3-4 business days
UK3-4 business days

What are the pros and cons of using Western Union?

Pros

  • Provides a secure way to send money overseas.
  • Lets you send money in person, over the phone or online.
  • Offers more competitive rates when compared to banks.
  • Provides over-the-phone customer service.
  • Lets you send money to most countries and territories.
  • Provides periodic offers and promotions.

Cons

  • Does not let you transfer money to bank accounts in some countries.
  • Charges higher fees in comparison to some money transfer companies.

What other products and services does Western Union offer?

While you can use Western Union’s service to send money overseas, it also gives you an easy way to receive money from foreign shores. If you plan to use its services to send money overseas from time to time, you can get the Gold Card to speed up the process for all future transactions. Once you sign up for this card, your account stores details of recipients and the overall process takes less time.

Western Union, through its corporate social responsibility programme, is working towards increasing educational opportunities and bringing about economic development and financial inclusion in different parts of the world. Since 2001 the Western Union Foundation has given out more than US$102 million in the form of grants and other charity. More than 2,700 nongovernmental organisations in more than 135 countries and territories have benefited from these funds.

Frequently asked questions

Western Union gives you an easy way to send money overseas. Since there are various other money transfer companies from which to choose make sure you compare your options well.

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