Tuvaluan Tuvaluan
April 14, 2022

Guide to sending with Western Union

Everything you need to know before you send.

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Who is Western Union?

Western Union began as a telegraph company that began offering money transfer through its networks in 1871 making it one of the oldest money transfer institutions in the world. Since 2006 it has been exclusively offering money transfer as a service and now boasts a network that reaches every country in the world (except North Korea and Iran). Western Union describes their mission as helping people move money to make good things happen.

How does Western Union work?

Western Union has a network of over 500,000 agents around the world that sets it apart from other money transfer operators. These agents allow you to send or receive money in person in locations that would be considered remote. They combine this network with the opportunity to send online, through their app or over the phone, and the opportunity to receive via mobile or bank account so that people have as much flexibility as possible when it comes to sending and receiving money.

How to send money with Western Union?

There are several ways you can send money with Western union including in person at an agent location, online via their website or app, or over the phone. Each of these send methods will allow you to pay in different ways including; credit card, bank deposit, or in cash.

At an agent

Western Union’s agent network across the world means that you can find an agent near you that allows you to register and send money in person.

  1. To find your nearest Western Union agent click here [https://www.westernunion.com/au/en/find-locations.html].
  2. At an agent you are able to pay by credit or debit card or in cash.
  3. You will need to take a valid government-issued ID, your My WU number or phone number to the counter along with your receiver’s information.
  4. You will be issued a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that both you and your receiver can use to track the funds.


Western Union allows you to check rates and send money online from wherever you are.

  1. Register an account, this will require a form of government issued ID.
  2. Choose your payout location. You may choose to send to your receiver’s bank account, mobile wallet or a nearby Western Union agent.
  3. Enter your recipients details. This will change depending on your payout method, for example to receive at an agent location will only require name and address of the recipient. This may be helpful for sending money to someone with lower financial access.
  4. Pay for the transfer. This can be done using a debit or credit card or via a bank deposit.
  5. Confirm and track. Depending on the payment method you have chosen it may take minutes or days for your money to be ready for collection by your recipient. You will be issued a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that both you and your receiver can use to track the funds.

Western Union app

The Western Union app allows you to send money on the go, and saves your previous transactions to make repeat sending even easier.

  1. Register an account, If you’re a new user, download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Then follow the steps to register a profile with your email address. You will require a valid government issued ID.
  2. Choose your payout location. Start to transfer money by entering the destination and amount you’d like to send. Choose the payout method that works best for you and your recipient: send money directly to a bank account, for cash pickup or to a mobile wallet, based on your receiver’s country. Then enter your receiver’s details.
  3. Pay for your online money transfer with a credit or debit card, or with your bank account.
  4. Confirm and track. You will be issued a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that both you and your receiver can use to track the funds. Whenever you send money to a mobile wallet, both you and your receiver will get a text notification once the funds are delivered.

Over the phone

Western union allows you to organise your money transfers over the phone from certain countries. This may be a helpful option for someone who does not have reliable access to the internet.

  1. Call the Western Union number to speak with an assistant, 1800 634 3422
  2. Choose your payout location and provide your recipient’s information.
  3. Pay for your money transfer with a credit or debit card, with your bank account or by going in store to pay by cash
  4. Confirm and track. You will be issued a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that both you and your receiver can use to track the funds.

How to receive with Western Union?

Western Union offers three main ways of receiving money:

Bank account

Send money directly to your recipient’s bank account.

Mobile wallet

Your receiver can pick up the cash at a Western Union agent.

Cash pick up

In select countries, your recipient can receive money in their mobile wallet.

Is Western Union safe?

Western Union has a couple of mechanisms that make it a reliable service. Firstly, they provide the opportunity to track your transfer, this can help you understand where in the process your money is and give you an estimate on how long it will take to reach your recipient. This is a helpful measure to give you peace of mind especially if you feel your money has been lost. Secondly, they have a comprehensive fraud protection and claim system. You can learn more about how Western Union deals with fraud here [https://www.westernunion.com/au/en/fraudawareness/fraud-home.html] and how to request a refund here [https://www.westernunion.com/au/en/fraudawareness/fraud-question-and-answer.html]

Are Western Union cheap?

The best way to understand Western Union’s prices is to compare them with other services. Use our money transfer comparison to see how they measure up.