Global money transfers with Western Union

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

  • Good for sending money to just about everywhere, with options for those without bank accounts.
  • Watch out for fees that can add up and poor exchange rates.

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Details

Product NameWestern Union
Pay ByBank transfer
Receiving OptionsCash pickup location, Bank account
Customer ServicePhone, Email
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, CUC, 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, 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, SVC, 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, STD, MRO

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 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.

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Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
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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

Within minutes

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 4.5* from 17,000+ reviews on Trustpilot
*According to Western Union and Trustpilot on 01 April 2020.

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?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
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Frequently asked questions

Sending money with Western Union for businesses

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