Global Money Transfers with Western Union

Information verified correct on April 28th, 2017

Send money from New Zealand to a bunch of other countries 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, US, and it has over 500,000 agent locations globally.

This company has several divisions which include 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 exchanging telegrams in 2006, it was the best known American company.

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

Western Unions lets its customers in New Zealand send money overseas, to bank accounts and to cash pickup 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 adjust 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 when you use its calculator to find out how much it’ll cost you to send money overseas.









* The exchange rate mentioned above was current as of 5th November, 2015.

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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
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Minimum transfer amount and available countries

Western Union users in New Zealand get maximum daily transaction limits of NZD$5,000, but this limit can vary in accordance 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 pickup 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
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What types of transfers can you carry out with Western Union?

Apart from letting you send money overseas, to a bank account t or to a cash pickup location, Western Union lets you receive money from overseas. 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, because 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 pickup 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 between both methods.

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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 over 18 years of age to register.

Once you register you can use the website to start sending money overseas. You can send money using a MasterCard or Visa debit card or 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 pickup 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 transfer to bank accounts:

CountryTime frame
AustraliaTwo to three business days
ChinaTwo to five business days
FranceOne to two business days
JapanTwo to three business days
PortugalTwo to three business days
ThailandThree to four business days
UKThree to four business days
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What are the pros and cons of using Western Union?


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


  • Does not let you transfer money to bank accounts in some countries
  • Charges higher fees in comparison to some money transfer companies
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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 transactions in the future. Once you sign up for this card you get to fill fewer fields on the money transfer form, and your account stores details of recipients.

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

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to send money online to a cash pickup location?

You have to provide the recipient’s complete name and address. To transfer funds, you have to provide details of a Visa or MasterCard affiliated credit, debit or prepaid card.

What details do I have to provide to send money to an overseas bank account?

You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name, the bank account number, and the bank’s name and code.

What is a bank code?

Bank codes comprise of a series of numbers that help identify specific bank branches the world over. These can come in the form of BSB, BIC, CHIPS, NCC, BSC, IFSC and Swift codes. For some countries, you might also have to provide an IBAN.

What happens when I send money to someone’s phone number?

In such scenarios, the money transfers to a mobile wallet linked to the phone number.

Western Union gives you easy means to send money overseas, but since there are various other money transfer companies from which to choose make sure you compare your options well.

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