What is Western Union?

Western Union has been around for more than 144 years and is a financial services provider that specializes in the transfer of funds from one location to another across the globe. Although the company is based in the United States, there are numerous offices in various countries around the world, making it extremely easy and convenient to use their services. Once a user has deposited funds, the recipient can collect these funds at any branch in more than 200 countries.


Using Western Union – a Fast and Easy Way to Get Paid or Send Funds

If you have never used Western Union before, the guide below will help ensure that the process is made as easy as possible for you to do so.

  1. Sending your Funds

Sending funds to various locations around the world has never been easier when you make use of the official Western Union website, which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, if you are not too comfortable with the idea of sending funds to anyone online, you can also perform this task in-person at a branch, by phone or even by means of using the Western Union app.

  1. Using the App or Website

To use either of these options, you will need to register a Western Union account. Once this has been done, you will be able to use various options to complete all of your transactions. You can make use of your debit or credit card or a bank account that enables you to send funds to another person’s bank account, mobile phone or Western Union agent location. Once you have performed the transaction, you will have either a tracking number or confirmation email sent to you. This will help ensure that your funds will be going to the intended recipient.

  1. Visiting a Western Union Location

If you are not comfortable with the idea of banking online or using an app, you have the option of going into your local Western Union office – or any one of more than half a million agent locations around the world to complete your transaction instead. Although you do have the option of sending funds in such a way that they can be available within minutes to your recipient (or to their bank account or phone), there is also the option of using their next-day service feature. This enables the recipient to collect their funds in physical cash or by means of a prepaid card at various participating agent branches.

  1. Performing your Transaction by Phone

If you prefer to do your Western Union fund transfers telephonically, this option is also available. All you need to do in order to perform a phone transaction with Western Union is dial their toll-free number. One of the company’s friendly and experienced representatives will guide you through the process of completing your fund transfer. All you will need to complete the transfer is a debit or credit card, and our representatives will talk you through the quick and easy process of sending funds to anyone in more than 200 territories and countries around the world.

  1. Receiving Funds on the Other Side

With Western Union, receiving funds is just as quick and simple as sending them. Before you do anything though, it is essential that you ask the sender of the funds which method of delivery they used to get the money to you. If they sent you cash, you can visit an agent branch. However, you will need to ensure that you bring along a form of government issued photo identification and the tracking number (also known as a Money Transfer Control Number or MTCN).

If the sender loaded the funds on to a prepaid card, you will need to call the number listed on the back of the card to log into your Western Union account to see the funds that are available. It is also possible for you to receive the money as a mobile wallet deposit or as a deposit into your bank account. You will need to keep in mind though, that these options may not always be available, so it is recommended that you speak with the representative at Western Union to find out what options will be available to you.


A Few Basic Safety Tips when Using your Western Union Account

Although Western union does provide a safe option for sending money to friends, family, and suppliers around the world, it is essential that you keep a few basic safety precautions in mind.

  1. Always be sure that you know the person or business that you are going to be sending the funds to. Don’t ever send money to friends, family members or even colleagues for a so-called emergency scenario that you have not confirmed through at least one reliable source.
  2. Don’t ever make use of Western Union to pay for purchases made online, because there is no guarantee that the seller will even send the goods to you afterwards.
  3. Never ever send funds to a person that you have just met online, no matter how plausible or desperate their story sounds. You will end up being scammed out of your money in no time.
  4. Don’t ever send funds of any amount through Western Union for a so-called job opportunity or offeror to claim any form of prize winnings. In many cases, you will be advised to send funds to various West African countries such as Ghana or Nigeria. It is crucial to remember that unsolicited emails stating that you have won money or that you have been selected to receive random funds of any sort are scams that are intended to con you out of your money.
  5. Never send a Western Union money transfer for sales or purchases made on websites like eBay or Craigslist. In many cases, a buyer will claim to buy an item you have advertised for sale and send you a check for more than the original asking price. They will then be brazen enough to ask you to send them a transfer via Western Union for the difference in price. This is a common scam that has been doing the rounds for many years already.

If you keep the above mentioned points in mind and refrain from sharing your Western Union account information with strangers, you will be able to use this funds receiving and transfer service s safely as you would any other type of bank account or credit card. Don’t ever give unknown people your bank account details either.