Western Union: Send Money Overseas Online

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

western-unionSend a quick and secure money transfer to more than 200 countries and territories with Western Union.

Western Union is the world’s largest provider of international cash transfers. With more than 500,000 transfer branches around the globe, it allows you to send funds to more than 200 countries and territories. This allows you to quickly and safely send money to friends and family overseas, with the cash you send usually ready to be accessed within minutes.

It allows you to send funds in person by visiting a branch, online through its website or mobile app, and over the phone. In certain countries, the money you send can also be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, offering extra flexibility.

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
Description Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Western Union International Money Transfers
Western Union International Money Transfers
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. GBP 1 Same day Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer, International Money Order Go to site More

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Established as the New-York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company, Western Union has been helping its customers for more than 160 years. Compare its transfer services with those of other companies to find the easiest and most affordable way to move money overseas.

western_union_calculatorWestern Union exchange rates

As exchange rates for different currency pairs fluctuate, so too do the rates Western Union offers to its customers. A quick comparison reveals that Western Union’s rates regularly compare quite favourably to those offered by the major banks, although it’s important to remember that you’ll also need to take transfer fees into account when calculating the full cost of a transaction.

To determine the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction, use the ‘Calculate price’ feature on the Western Union website.

Picture on the right is something you could expect.

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

The fees you’ll need to pay for your Western Transfer will vary depending on where you are sending the money, how much you are sending, how you pay for the transaction and how your recipient will access the money you transfer. The best way to determine how much your transaction will cost is to use the ‘Price Calculator’ on the Western Union website.

As an example, sending £500 to an Australian bank account from your credit or debit card will incur a fee of £2.90, while sending the same amount to Nigeria for cash pickup and paying with your credit or debit card will incur a fee of £34.90.

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Minimum transfer amount and available countries

Transfer limits vary depending on the transfer method you select. If you’re sending funds online, you can send up to £800 within a 12-month period without being required to prove your identity. But if you complete the process to verify your identity you can send up to £4,000 per online transfer. If sending funds from an agent location you can send as much money as you would like, as long as you don’t break any laws or regulations.

As mentioned above, Western Union offers transfers to more than 200 countries and territories. Listing them all here would take up too much space, so visit the Western Union website for a full list of transfer destinations.

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

Western Union offers several options for one-off transfers. You can send money:

  • Online through the Western Union website
  • Using the Western Union mobile app
  • Over the phone
  • By visiting a Western Union branch

The funds you transfer can then be accessed in the following ways:

  • Picked up in cash from a Western Union branch
  • Deposited into the recipient’s bank account
  • Deposited into your recipient’s mobile wallet

If you ever need help or have a question about a transfer, you can always visit your nearest Western Union agent for assistance. The company also offers a useful online support centre with several frequently asked questions, while phone and email support are both offered as well.

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The registration and transfer process

Western Union’s transfer process varies depending on the sending and receiving options you select. To send money online, you’ll need to enter the details of the amount you’d like to transfer and where you’d like the money to be sent. You will then receive a quote that details the exchange rate and fee that will apply to your transaction. If you’re happy with the quote, you can provide your name and contact details, register for an account and then send your funds.

For bank account deposits you will also have to provide the name of your recipient’s bank, their bank code (for example a SWIFT code) as well as their account name and number.

If you’d prefer to send a transfer by visiting a Western Union branch, you’ll need to complete a ‘To Send Money’ form and then pay the necessary cash to the branch attendant. The transaction will be processed immediately and the funds sent to your recipient, with the cash typically available for collection within minutes.

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What are the pros and cons of using Western Union?

Pros

  • Worldwide access. Western Union operates more than 500,000 transfer locations, making it the world’s largest provider of international money transfers.
  • Sending and receiving options. From in-person transfers to online transactions and bank deposits to cash pickups, there are multiple options to choose from when you send money overseas with Western Union.
  • Trusted provider. With a history dating back more than 160 years, Western Union has plenty of experience moving money around the world.

Cons

  • Fees apply. Fees apply to most transfer options with Western Union and can be quite expensive in some cases.
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What other products and services does Western Union offer?

  • Prepaid cards. Western Union offers a range of reloadable cards to allow quick and easy access to your money all around the world.
  • Business solutions. Western Union also offers a range of services to help UK businesses manage their international payments and their foreign exchange needs.

Frequently asked questions

How long do transfers take?

Transaction processing times vary depending on where you are sending the funds and how they will be sent. While cash transfers are available for collection within minutes in some circumstances, bank account deposits can take multiple business days.

How can I track my Western Union money transfer?

You can check on the status of your transfer by visiting your nearest Western Union branch or logging into the Western Union website and quoting the transaction reference number.

What does my recipient need to take with them if they’re going to pick up a cash transfer?

Your recipient will need a valid form of photo ID and the transaction reference number.

Western Union offers a competitive money transfer service and should be considered when you’re looking for a way to send funds overseas. Just make sure to compare its services with those of other money transfer companies so that you find a secure and affordable transfer option that suits your needs.

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