Western Union Review - Exchange Rates & Fees Calculator and FXcompared’s score

FXcompared Score 3.9/5 Good
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Last updated | December 12th, 2019

About Western Union

Western Union is one to the world’s largest and oldest money transfer providers, having been in business since 1851 when it was founded as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. The company provides money transfer services, bill payment services and prepaid cards to its customers. Customers can transfer money or set up a bill payment online, through their mobile phone, from over 100,000 ATMs, by phone, or by going to one of the more than 500,000 Western Union agent locations worldwide. Western Union is regulated by relevant local market regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, FinCEN in the US and Western Union also has a bank Western Union Bank.

Western Union Fees and exchange rate

FXcompared Score 2.2/5 Fair
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Western Union Fees and exchange rate

Competitiveness on FXcompared for low value transfers e.g. sending GBP200
Western Union is not the cheapest option for low-value transfers, as there is always a fixed fee
4/5
Competitiveness on FXcompared for medium value transfers e.g. sending GBP10,000
Fixed fees are low, meaning Western Union can provide a good price for medium-sized transactions
3/5
Competitiveness on FXcompared for high value transfers e.g. sending GBP250,000
Western Union can be very competitively priced for high transactions, especially through the online system
0/5
Does FXcompared have direct access to the pricing
FXcompared is able to access pricing on Western Union
1/2
Is it possible to lock in future exchange rates
No, exchange rate can only be locked in for your current transfer
0/1

Western Union provides customers with the ability to send money, receive money, or pay bills by accessing their online system, calling a representative on the phone, or visiting a Western Union location to set up a transaction in person. A fixed fee is payable for each transfer, and it can be as low as GBP 2.90, but it will depend on other variables. Western Union offers locked-in exchange rates for international currency transfers. Western Union Online sometimes offers very competitive transfer fees and exchange rates, which can be different from a traditional cash-based transfer at an agent location. Exchange rates are charged separately from fees, but exchange rate margins are not always clear.

Western Union will offer you

  • Secure, convenient money transfers
  • A network of 550,000 physical locations worldwide
  • The ability to send and receive money in over 200 countries
  • A wide variety of additional services

Ease of use

FXcompared Score 5.0/5 Excellent
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Ease of use

Easy to understand website
Nice clear design, and easy to navigate
2/2
Simple sign up process (number of steps)
There are just three simple steps: register online, enter details and make a transfer
2/2
Easy to setup a transfer once registered
Western Union’s transfer process is very straightforward
2/2
Provider offers a service that our users often sign up to
Western Union service is sometimes chosen by FXcompared users
2/2
Mobile notifications available on completed transfers
Text/SMS notifications are sent to confirm completed transactions
2/2

The Western Union website is easy to navigate, with a clean and simple interface. It is simple to register and takes just a few minutes. Once registered, it is also quick and easy to set up your first transfer. Push notifications, text alerts or email notifications will alert you of the status of your transfer. You can manage your notifications within your account once registered.

WesternUnionMobile.png

Western Union mobile app

Whether you want to talk through your options with our team or move money on the go in a couple of clicks, you’ll always get great exchange rates and five-star customer service.

Mobile product

FXcompared Score 5.0/5 Excellent
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Mobile product

Easy to use mobile website
The website works well on mobile devices
2/2
Easy to use mobile app
Well-respected and highly rated apps
2/2
Can transact in the app
Placing transactions in the app is very intuitive
2/2
Range of in-app product offering
The app allows almost all the same features as the website
2/2
App store rating
An Apple Store rating of 4.5 and Google Play rating of 4.6
2/2

Western Union offers robust, intuitive and high-quality apps for both iOS and Android mobile devices. The apps are available to download free from the App Store and the Google Play store. They are both highly-rated by users. The Western Union app has a rating of 4.6/5 on Google Play, with over 135,000 ratings, and the iOS app is rated 4.5/5 on the App Store, with over 5,000 ratings. Most reviewers report that the apps are very intuitive and easy to use.

Credibility & Security

FXcompared Score 4.5/5 Excellent
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Credibility & Security

Fully licensed and authorised
Globally including bank licenses
4/4
Total amount transferred for their customers
Around $80bn per year
3/3
Business revenue
$4.45bn in 2018
3/3
Year on year growth
Small growth 2017 to 2018
0/1
Number of employees
Around 10,000 employees
1/1
Head office location
Denver, USA
1/1
Branded search performance
The most well known brand in money transfers
1/1
How long has the company been a partner of FXcompared
For around 10 years
2/2
How long has the company been established?
1851
3/3
Quality of financial backers
Long-term public company
2/2
Private or public company
Public
0/1

Western Union is a long-established, publicly-traded company, regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It has been in operation for over 160 years, and still records a small but steady increase in annual growth, in spite of a wide range of competitors when it comes to services such as international money transfers.

Business product offering

FXcompared Score 1.7/5 Fair
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
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Business product offering

Distinct offering for business
Western Union offers a range of services for businesses
2/4
Broader product set for business
Western Union Business Solutions provides customised products for business clients
1/3
Specialised team to support businesses
A specialist team of experts help businesses to navigate cross border payments
1/2
Receivables product options
0/1
Marketplace seller product offering
Business-specific products suitable for marketplace sellers are offered
0/2

Western Union Business Solutions offers a range of services suitable for businesses of all kinds. Businesses can send and receive payments, accessing more than 130 currencies across 200 countries and territories. A specialist team of experts help businesses to navigate cross border payments and to protect profit margins with risk management strategies tailored to individual businesses and their needs.

Product Coverage & Service

FXcompared Score 4.8/5 Excellent
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
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Product Coverage & Service

Number of sending and receiving countries
Can send and receive payments to over 200 countries
4/4
Number of available languages
The website is available in many different languages, specified in your settings
2/2
Pay in options
Payment options include credit and debit cards, bank transfer, online payment systems and cash at physical branches
4/4
Pay out options
To bank accounts, or cash pickup at from Western Union agents worldwide
2/2
Additional services
Business accounts, bill payment services, prepaid cards and more
2/2
Minimum send amount
You can send as little as $1 online
2/2
Maximum send amount
Your limits will vary based on transaction history, location, where funds are going, and service selected
1/2
Speed and options for speed of transfer
Some transfers are instant, some take 1 or 2 days.
2/2

At Western Union, payment options depend on the countries you are sending money to and from, and the currencies involved. You can pay with your debit or credit card. Other options include paying by local bank transfer or using an online payment system such as SOFORT or iDEAL (depending on availability in your region). You can also use a Western Union branch to set up a transfer or set up the transfer online and pay in cash at a branch location within a specified amount of time. The Western Union ‘money in minutes’ transfer means your funds are instantly transferred, usually from your credit or debit card. Some bank account transfers take longer, usually one or two days.

Customer Feedback & Satisfaction

FXcompared Score 4.1/5 Great
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Customer Feedback & Satisfaction

Customer help including onboarding
Customer support agents are helpful with onboarding and general support
2/2
Ease of transfer
Setting up transfers is easy, online, over the phone or in person
2/2
Exchange rates
Exchange rates are competitive and clearly displayed on the website
1/2
Fees
Fees vary depending on services used but are generally considered reasonable
1/2
Solving issues
Issues are usually solved quickly, online or in branch
2/2
Online/mobile experience
Both the website and app provide an excellent user experience
2/2
Customer service
Reviews state that customer service is efficient and professional
1/2
Overall experience
Over 17,000 Trustpilot reviews give Western Union an overall rating of ‘excellent’
2/2

Western Union is highly rated in customer reviews, with most customers expressing a high level of satisfaction with the service offered, and the cost and convenience of using Western Union. Almost 17,000 Trustpilot reviews give the company an overall rating of ‘excellent’.

Customer Support

FXcompared Score 3.5/5 Good
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Customer Support

How good is the help section on the website?
There is an extensive and well-structured FAQ section available on the website
2/2
Is there live online support?
No, live chat is not available
0/1
Is there email support - and to customers and non customers?
Email support available to customers and non-customers
1/1
Is there phone support ?
Phone support is provided and is generally very responsive
2/2
Is the company easy to contact?
Yes, there are easy to access contact channels, via phone, email and contact form
1/1
Are FAQs and support available in more than one language?
The FAQ section and customer support are available in multiple languages
1/1
Is there an FX dealer to support customers
No
0/2

Online reviews indicate Western Union has excellent customer support. Clients generally have a good experience with customer service, with reviews mentioning that they are quick and helpful, and issues are addressed promptly. Support is available via phone, email and contact form. You do not need to be a Western Union customer to access customer support.

Transparency

FXcompared Score 4.4/5 Great
Western Union
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to Western Union

Transparency

Is there an explicit exchange rate margin in the total cost of transfer?
Exchange rates margins are always included in the overall cost of a transfer
1/2
Are the fees easy to understand?
Yes, fees are broken down on the website and are easy to understand
2/2
Does the company combine fees and exchange rate or clearly broken out?
Fixed fees are kept separate from exchange rates to enable customers to see what they are paying
2/2
Is a real time quote available without registering?
Online clients are required to register to receive a quote
2/2

Western Union is transparent when it comes to its transfer fees and transaction costs. They do vary, depending on several factors, but they are displayed with no ‘hidden’ fees. Exchange rates are included in the cost of the transfer. Western Union states that it earns money from currency exchange, but the margin is not made clear.

Alternatives to Western Union

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TorFX
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to TorFX
WorldFirst
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to WorldFirst
OFX (UK)
Rating based on expert reviews by FXcompared
Go to OFX (UK)

Compare Other Currency Rates

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Compare to quote from your bank >


Other International Money Transfer Quotes

TorFX

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Est. 2004
Bank Beating Rates

Bank-beating FX rates | Safe and secure | Free transfers for FXcompared customers

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Amount Received
USD $13,100.72
GBP £239.73
saved vs. banks

OFX (UK)

?
Est. 1998

OFX (previously UKForex in the UK), provides secure and speedy international money transfers to over 300,000 people in 55 currencies at better-than-bank rates

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Amount Received
USD $13,005.92
GBP £167.73
saved vs. banks

Moneycorp

?
Est. 1979

One-off payments | Regular payments | Great rates | Safeguarded customer funds

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Amount Received
USD $13,067.81
GBP £214.73
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Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange)

Great rates | One-off payments | Regular transfers | E-Money Institution | No fees for FXcompared customers

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Amount Received
USD $13,048.06
GBP £199.73
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WorldFirst

?
Est. 2004

Transparency and security | Great customer feedback rating from Feefo

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Amount Received
USD $13,100.72
GBP £239.73
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Western Union Business Solutions

The Personal Payments team at Western Union Business Solutions look after the overseas currency requirements for private individuals.
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Amount Received
USD $12,969.06
GBP £139.73
saved vs. banks

RationalFX

?
Est. 2005
Established in 2005, RationalFX helps individuals and businesses achieve significant savings on international payments
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Amount Received
USD $13,054.64
GBP £204.73
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Currency Solutions

Currency exchange specialists ranking No.1 on Trustpilot for the past two years

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Amount Received
USD $13,059.91
GBP £208.73
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Smart Currency Exchange

Smart is focused on helping clients to effectively and efficiently send and receive payments internationally
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Amount Received
USD $13,054.64
GBP £204.73
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Rates From The Average UK High Street Bank

Banks are the most expensive way to do an international money transfer, the quotes from the providers above show you the typical savings that can be made. All providers on FXcompared.com are regulated in the UK  by the FCA, in the USA by FinCEN, In Canada SSC and Australia, ASIC.

We check all rates regularly and this quote is an actual quote of the average from UK banks for this month. It includes all major and small banks. Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, NatWest, RBS, Coutts, Handelsbanken, Metro bank and more - tracked every month. We obtain our rates via our IMTI platform.
 

More InfoLess Info
Amount Received
USD $12,733.12
No saving vs. banks

PayPal

?
Est. 1998

Shop with PayPal and you’ll still earn your points, airmiles and cashback. Fees are shown as part of the overall exchange rate.

More InfoLess Info
Amount Received
USD $12,705.73
No saving vs. banks

What are Western Unions Exchange Rates?

Exchange rates vary as they are based on the current daily rate, with a small mark-up. All currency exchange rates are included in the overall cost of the transfer and are locked in at the rate available at the time the transfer is placed.

Can Western Union be Used Online?

Any money transfer can be sent online, and this can be done on the website, or via the app. Transfer rates online are often better than in-store.

Are Western Union Transfers Safe?

Western Union money orders and payments are very safe and secure, however, they are not insured by way of an escrow service so should not generally be used for sending money to someone you don’t know, in return for goods, for example.

What is Western Union?

Western Union operates as a low fee money transfer company. It works by transferring money online using various payment methods. You can send cash to any WesternUnion branch in minutes, using your debit or credit card, to be picked up by a friend or a family member.

Why you can trust FXcompared's reviews

FXcompared's goal is to help you find the best money transfer provider for your needs. 

We have been comparing money transfer companies longer than anyone else (over 10 years) and work with the leading money transfer providers across the globe.

We have deep knowledge of the money transfer sector including our own data and intelligence arm allowing us to provide the level of in-depth reviews and analysis we have offered here.

We have had a relationship with Western Union for a number of years which allows us to access their exchange rate and fees information and we have many checks in place to ensure this is accurate. Partnerships with providers like Western Union help us provide our site and services free of charge to our users.

FXcompared.com is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.