Global money transfers with Western Union

Send cash pick-up and bank transfers to 200 countries and territories around the world

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Sending money to just about anywhere
  • Multiple payment and payout options
  • Fast transfers
  • Sending money to someone who doesn’t have a bank account
Not so great for
  • Expensive compared to alternatives
  • Not suitable for amounts over $5,000

Product NameWestern Union International Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountNZD 1
Max. Transfer AmountNZD 5,000
Transfer MethodsOnline, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
Transfer OptionsOne off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
Same day
Customer ServicePhone, Email, Branch
Available CurrenciesAED, AFN, ALL, AMD, ANG, AOA, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BBD, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BMD, BND, BOB, BRL, BSD, BTN, BWP, BZD, CAD, CDF, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CVE, CZK, DJF, DKK, DOP, DZD, EGP, ERN, ETB, EUR, FJD, FKP, GBP, GEL, GHS, GIP, GMD, GNF, GTQ, GYD, HKD, HNL, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, IQD, IRR, ISK, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, KGS, KHR, KMF, KRW, KWD, KYD, KZT, LAK, LBP, LKR, LRD, LSL, LYD, MAD, MDL, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MOP, MRO, MUR, MVR, MWK, MXN, MYR, MZN, NAD, NGN, NIO, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, RWF, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SHP, SLL, SOS, SRD, STD, SYP, SZL, THB, TMT, TND, TOP, TRY, TTD, TWD, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, VUV, WST, XAF, XCD, XOF, XPF, YER, ZAR, ZMW
Online Transfer Fee5.00%

Western Union exchange rates and fees

Western Union’s exchange rates fluctuate frequently in line with the mid-market rate. However, 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.

Fees also apply to Western Union transfers, but the amount you’ll be charged will 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. Western Union offers a “Price Estimator” tool on its website which you can use to check the exchange rate and fee for your specific transaction before you proceed.

Calculate how much sending money overseas would cost with Western Union by using our tool below. You can also check out the real-time exchange rate Western Union offers and if there are any additional fees.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
NZD 1 Same day NZD 20.00 0.651 USD
638
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Show details

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The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Check for the latest Western Union discount codes and coupons

Available currencies

Western Union offers transfers to 200 countries and territories around the world, so you can send funds in a wide range of currencies including:

  • CAD Canadian dollar
  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • INR Indian rupee
  • JPY Japanese yen
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • USD US dollar

You can check out the full list of supported currencies above.

What types of transfers can you make with Western Union?

There are two different ways to send a transfer with Western Union in New Zealand:

  • Submit your transfer online through the Western Union website or mobile app
  • Submit a transfer in person at your nearest Western Union branch

There are also two types of transfers you can send:

  • Cash pick-up transfers. When you send this type of transfer, your recipient can collect the cash you send from one of Western Union’s 550,000 agent locations around the world.
  • Bank account transfers. The second option is to transfer money directly to your recipient’s overseas bank account. However, this service is only available when sending money to select countries.

How long does a transfer with Western Union take?

If you’re sending a cash pick-up transfer, the funds you send will be available for your recipient to collect within minutes.

If you’re transferring money direct to your recipient’s bank account, allow between one and five business days. The time it takes for the transaction to be completed varies depending on where you’re sending the money. For example, while transfers to the UK typically take one to two business days, transfers to China can take two to five business days.

Transfers typically arriveClock icon for transfer speed

Same day

What payment methods does Western Union accept?

In New Zealand, you can pay for your Western Union transfer using the following methods:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Cash (when sending money in person)

Is Western Union safe to use?

  • Regulation: Regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Markets Authority and registered on the Financial Service Providers Register
  • Established: 1851
  • Number of customers: Moved more than US$300 billion around the world in 2018
  • Reviews: TrustScore of 7.8/10* from 13,800+ reviews on Trustpilot
*According to Western Union and Trustpilot on 29 May 2019.

As a global money transfer company, Western Union must comply with all the relevant laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates. As it’s based in the US, it is primarily regulated by FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

In New Zealand the company is regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Markets Authority and registered on the Financial Service Providers Register; and in Australia, it is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and is also listed on AUSTRAC’s remittance sector register.

Western Union is a globally recognised name in the remittance business and has been offering money transfer services for more than 145 years. It also claims to use SSL technology and a variety of other techniques to protect customer information.

How does Western Union make money?

Western Union makes money by charging transaction fees and by adding a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. The mid-market rate is the “real” exchange rate – use Google to check the current mid-market rate for your chosen currency pair.

How to register an account

If you want to send an online transfer with Western Union, you’ll need to register for a free online account first. You can do so by completing the following steps.

How do I make an online money transfer with Western Union?

To send a transfer online, complete the following steps:

  1. Log into your Western Union account.
  2. Choose your transfer destination, the amount you want to send and how your beneficiary will receive the cash. If sending to a bank account, you’ll also need to provide your recipient’s bank account details.
  3. Choose your payment method.
  4. Review the total cost of your transaction and submit your transfer.
  5. After paying for your transfer, you’ll be emailed a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) which you can use to track the progress of your transaction.

What is Western Union?

Western Union is the world’s largest money transfer service. Founded in the United States in 1851 as a telegraph company, Western Union now has over 550,000 locations in 200 countries and territories around the world. Its headquarters are located in Meridian, Colorado.

In a nutshell

Pros:

  • Huge global network. With 550,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories, Western Union lets you send money just about anywhere.
  • Transfer options. You can send a cash pick-up transfer or deposit funds in your recipient’s bank account.
  • Payment options. Western Union accepts payment via cash, bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  • Fast transfers. If you’re sending a cash transfer, in many cases the funds you send will be available for your recipient to collect within minutes.
  • No need for your recipient to have a bank account. The availability of cash pick-up transfers means you can send money to someone who doesn’t have a bank account.

Cons:

  • High fees. Fees vary depending on your transfer amount and destination, but Western Union’s fees are often higher than those of other transfer providers.
  • Disappointing exchange rates. Western Union adds margins approaching 5% on top of the mid-market exchange rate, so you’ll be able to find better rates from other online transfer services.
  • Not suitable for large transfers. The maximum daily online transfer limit is $5,000, so Western Union isn’t a good choice if you need to send a larger amount.

How does Western Union compare to other providers?

Input your transaction details into the calculator below to compare the exchange rates and fees offered by a range of money transfer services.

Rates last updated July 23rd, 2019
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
XE Money Transfers
NZD 0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
NZD 0
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers
AUD 250
1 day
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
AUD 250
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone, Agent
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies. No fee if you transfer over AUD$10,000.
TorFX International Money Transfers
NZD 200
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Exclusive: WorldFirst International Money Transfers
NZD 2,000
2 days
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
NZD 1
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
NZD 5
1 - 2 days
Online
CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
NZD 10,000
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order
Hawk FX International Money Transfers
Hawk FX International Money Transfers
GBP 10,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

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