The Western Union is one of the world’s best-known financial services, providing money transfers for clients in over 200 countries. The company was first launched in 1851, allowing people to send and receive funds across the globe almost immediately.
However, society’s relationship with money and communication has evolved massively in that time, not least over the last 25 years. Still, with over $150bn being moved by the company at over 500,000 global agent locations, Western Union still carries a huge presence. Before completing a transaction, though, you need to know that your money is safe.
Is the Western Union a suitable solution for money transfer needs? Let’s take a look.
The Purpose Of Western Union
Over two billion live without 24/7 access to a bank account. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t encounter financial emergencies from time to time. Whether it’s for your sake or the benefit of a loved one, Western Union wire transfers are the perfect solution.
The company provides quick money transfers to all four corners of the globe. Aside from allowing loved ones from other countries to get money minutes, the associated fees are minimal. The Western Union works with many currencies too, so you won’t have to worry about issues relating to this.
Users can also utilize the service to pay bills and make other payments. The almost instant transfers prevent late repayment charges and other costs too.
Western Union’s Payment Protection
The Western Union prides itself on ensuring that all monies sent will reach the intended destination. This is best highlighted by the fact you’ll need various details when sending cash payments at any of those in-person vendors.
As a sender, you’ll be required to provide photo I.D as well as confirmation of your address. More importantly, you will advise the agent of the recipient’s name and address too. When collecting their funds, the receiving party has to show documents matching these details. Furthermore, a transaction reference number provides a further step of security.
Transactions can also be tracked through modern tech while notifications are possible too. This gives the sender an opportunity to check when funds have been received. This virtually removes any threat of money being lost in the system, which is sometimes a problem with other money services.
Online technology has moved the goalposts slightly. Nowadays, it is possible to arrange online payment directly to a recipient’s bank account. Alternatively, these services can be used with monies being picked up in person. While this does make it possible for fraudsters to send funds from your account without I.D, Western Union’s data protection is second to none.
The Western Union has a reputation that can only be built with over a century-and-a-half of experience and commitment. In terms of transaction reliability, there is nothing for any user to fear.
The company doesn’t enjoy the monopoly that it did back in the 19th century, but it is still a global leader. Over the years, the business has expanded with extra divisions and processes. Nowadays, wire and money transfers are supplemented by money orders and bill paying. Likewise, the ability to use debit and credit cards is something that wasn’t initially available. Even if it has been around for several decades, the way in which they are utilized has evolved.
As the company continues to evolve, it also develops new tactics to fight fraud and other issues. This manifests itself in the form of training and education for agents and vendors in each of those companies. Similarly, the online handling teams receive plenty of opportunities to grow. This includes embracing new prevention and identification methods.
The Western Union is a responsible company that also tries to advise its customers on how to take greater care. This largely revolves around how they use the money transfer services. In reality, though, the bulk of those aspects are down to you.
The Biggest Threat For Western Union Users
As already mentioned, the process of using the Western Union is very safe. ID and transaction requirements fight the threat of money not reaching the intended destination. The big issue, however, is ensuring that the recipient is an honest one.
Once the transaction has been completed, especially one with cash pickups, it’s hard to repair the damage of a scam. This is why fraudsters openly target wire transfer services like the Western Union. While some scammers still try very basic methods, some tricks are very intricate indeed. As such, it’s imperative that you educate yourself about the dangers.
Common scams include “private online sellers” asking for payments before sending goods. If it isn’t a registered retailer, you could be asking for trouble. Emails, often claiming to be the Western Union, asking for personal details is another frequent method.
Tricks may also include romantic interests, either online or met on holiday, wanting cash advances. Otherwise, you may encounter people saying that you have won money and must make a payment to verify your winnings. Sorry, but this is a scam.
How To Avoid The Scams
Essentially, it’s a case of using the Western Union for its designed purposes. The modern world may make it easier than ever to communicate and deal with strangers. But your money wiring activities should be limited to friends and family. If you are going to use it for purchases whether personal or business, make sure it’s with a reputable company.
If you ever receive correspondence with links, opt to type in the Western Union website manually. Likewise, you should never give your details out over the telephone. Those precautionary measures are no different to other financial service.
The Final Word
The history and presence of Western Union should be more than enough to underline the company’s credentials as a trustworthy service. Their modern services include advanced security and anti-fraud measures. More importantly, transactions are smooth and reliable. Precautions are required, not least with regards to where you send your money. When it comes to the reputation of the company itself, though, Western Union raises zero questions. Whether it’s paying bills or sending money to a loved one, your money is safe with the global vendor.