Western Union review

Western Union review

Whenever we talk about international fund transfers, Western Union money transfer will most likely be the first name which comes into our mind. They are in the business for over 167 years and are the biggest name in fund transfer sector. They operate online along with their physical presence in over 200 countries with 500,000 pick-up locations. In the year 2017, they performed more than 800 million transactions in different parts of the world. They can certainly be called the global leaders of international money transfer.

How does Western Union work

Western Union allows its users to send money digitally or through their agent locations. Using their digital platform you can send payments online through their website or mobile app. The process is very simple and it will take you only a few minutes to complete the transaction. First, you need to create your online account with WU. Once the account is setup and verified, you can start sending money at your own convenience. The WU app and website is very user-friendly. It will give you the information about your transaction fee as well as the exchange rate before sending money. You can also track your fund’s status online to see if it has reached its destination

On the other hand, you can also send money by visiting any of their local agent locations. You will need to bring the money in cash and provide all required recipient’s details to make the transaction. WU offices are typically easy to find. This option is suitable for anyone who doesn’t have an Internet access and cannot send money online.

Payments can be made using your bank account or credit/debit card. You can also pay in cash at the WU agent location. Receiving payments is also easy with WU. You can get it directly to your bank account or in the mobile wallet. Western Union has a facility to send money to the receiver’s mobile phone if they have the facility of a mobile wallet. This facility is limited to a few countries. You can also collect money in cash from a local WU office.

Western Union Quick Collect

Using the Quick Collect service you can instantly pay for your bills online. This service is available through the WU website or the mobile app. You can also use Quick Collect to make purchases on eBay. These payments are instant and money is withdrawn directly from your credit or debit card.

Western Union speedpay

Speedpay is a company that Western Union took over in 2002. It is an electronic payment service that provides payment solution for businesses. It allows businesses to process bills and collect payments effectively. This service is mainly for those companies which receive and processes more than 50,000 bills every month.

Western Union speedpay

Western Union exchange rates

The exchange rates offered by WU are very close to the mid-market exchange rates. Comparing to banks, they always offer better exchange rates. Let’s take a look at the conversion of Pounds to Philippine peso with Western Union rate and compare it with the real exchange rate.

Conversion WU rate Real exchange rate
GBP to PHP 1 GBP = 69.433 1 GBP = 70.48

It is very clear that WU gives great exchange rates. I checked their exchange rates for the conversion of a few more currencies and found them to be giving consistently good exchange rates.

Western Union fees

The fees depend on a number of factors, which are

  • The destination country
  • Payment method (Bank, credit card, debit card, cash)
  • Collecting method (Bank account, cash, mobile wallet)
  • The amount to be transferred
  • Currency

The cheapest option is to send money between bank accounts, while the most expensive option is to send money using a credit card.

Is Western Union safe

Western Union has been a trusted service for many decades and has earned its reputation by performing fund transactions worth billions. Since it’s the biggest name in the segment you can always trust them your money. The company is financially secured and serves its customers will utmost diligence. At the time of transfer, you can see when it’s likely to be received and you can always track the status.

Western Union vs. TransferWise

TransferWise is one of the emerging names in fund transfers. In only a few years in the market, it has gained quite a good reputation among its customers. The biggest attractions are its low charges and currency conversion at real exchange rates. Although in few cases WU charges seem to be lower comparing to TransferWise. Here are few examples of fees and exchange rates of these two services.

Transaction of currencies WU fee TransferWise fee WU exchange rate TransferWise exchange rate
1000 GBP to EUR 0.0 GBP 4.29 GBP 1.1307 1.1307
1000 USD to EUR 5.00 USD 6.96 USD 0.811 0.8558
1000 GBP to INR 1.9 GBP 5.47 GBP 90.1565 90.4459
1000 USD to INR 0.00 USD 7.45 USD 68.4052 68.4600

It is clear that TransferWise offers better exchange rates but WU has lower fees in these cases. WU also has agent locations to send and receive money while TransferWise doesn’t. With TransferWise you can only send money online. WU has a history of one and a half-century of customer satisfaction while TransferWise is only 7 years in the business. Both of the services are doing extremely well and have a huge customer base.


Western Union has continuously managed to deliver up to its customer’s expectations. Even with increasing competition, they continue to hold their flags high. They keep introducing new services and attractive deals for their customers. The global reach of WU and great customer service has earned it a great position in the market.

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