Category Archives: Western Union

Mobile Money Transfer Using Western Union

By Mohammed Waseem

Did you know you do not need to visit a Western Union agent anymore to send money? Apart from going online, Western Union has gone mobile. Yes, they now have a money transfer app.

Money can be sent using a debit/credit card from anywhere in the world. The app acts like the users own agent for money transfer to hundreds and thousands of locations, for paying bills, locating agents, track transfers, and more. All you need is a smartphone with this app installed, an account with Western Union and a bank card. If a user is not registered with Western Union, he/she can register at

Western union safe cash transferMobile Money Transfer is already running in 17 countries around the world. Here is a map showing these countries. One will have access to the 515,000 Western Union agents across the globe in over 200 countries, right from their smartphone. Funds can be sent and received in three different ways.

Cash can be sent from any of the agent locations to a mobile number from participating countries. Money can also be sent from a mobile phone to be received at any of the agent locations. Apart from these, transfers can be done from mobile phones to other mobile phones from participating countries. Western Union calls these: Cash to Mobile, Mobile to Cash and Mobile to Mobile transfers.

Money can also be sent directly to mobile wallets in select countries, where Western Union has tied up with mobile phone operators. To mention a few, they have tied up with Roshan M-Paisa in Afghanistan, Tigo in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Safaricom M-Pesa in Kenya and Globe GCash and Smart Money in Philippines.

To send money to a mobile wallet, one must make sure the receiver has a mobile wallet and review operators accepted by Western Union. One must provide the receiver’s mobile number for sending the money, after which SMS notification is sent to the receiver, as well as the sender. Money can be sent to a mobile wallet wither online or from an agent location.

I won’t be surprised if Western Union has its own mobile wallet in the near future, which would be used for making purchases, make money transfers and much more, right from a smartphone or a tablet.

Two Options for Online Money Transfers

You no longer have to go to a money transfer office to schedule money transfers.  You can send money to friends and family from the comfort of your home with online money transfer services.

Many of the traditional money transfer services now offer the option of making a transfer over the phone or online at their website.  Other companies have been started in recent years that exist solely as online services.  Here are two of them to consider.

Western Union

Western union safe cash transfer
Western Union

Western Union has been doing regular electronic money transfers for years and has now expanded into online service via the internet.  You have several options when using their online service for payment.  If you need the money to arrive quickly, you can pay with a debit or credit card.  If it is not an emergency, you can use your bank account to transfer money.

You create an online profile with Western Union that you can go back to anytime you need to send money.  Then you choose your options based on what you need.  The receiver can get their money several ways:

  • In their bank account
  • At a Western Union agent near their location
  • Delivered to their home or office
  • In their mobile wallet

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your bank information with Western Union, they also provide WU Pay.  With this option, you can set up a payment in your Western Union account and they will send a bill.  Then you go to your bank account’s online bill pay and pay the bill like you would any other.

With all of these options, you receive email confirmation to know that the money has been sent.


Xoom is a newer money transfer company founded in 2001 and located in San Francisco.  They handle all transfers online and send money to the following countries:

  • The Philippines
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • India
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • South Africa

You must sign up on their website before you can send money.  Once you create a profile, you will enter the recipient’s information, including their name and country, how much you want to send, and how you want them to receive the money.  You have three options on this: bank deposit, pick up in person, or delivery to their home.  The latter two options may not be available in all countries.

You will also need to know the recipient’s address and bank information (if depositing into their account) and contact phone number.  You will then enter your payment information where you have the option of paying from your bank account or with a credit card.  You will have a final chance to review the transaction before submitting.

It’s much easier to send money today with online money transfer services.  You have multiple options, which allow you to select the most affordable choice with the best features.  These are two of the best known companies, one that has expanded their services and one that only provides online services.

Western Union does not compensate for fraud

A reader named Kal Kerger sent me the following message:

I sent $125 USD to china to buy some t-shirts & hats. Never heard from the guy. When I complained to W.U., I was told too bad and report it to the Police. I’m in Canada and I ‘m a retired cop and I know that’s not going to happen.

Is W.U. going to do anything about frauds? At least with PayPal they cover u 100%.

Also I would love to do Mastercard with W.U. from my house, but they only accept American credit cards. Can something be done about that?

Online fraud
Protect yourself from fraud by online sending money to someone you know and trust.

I contacted Western Union and asked them, “What is Western Union’s policy on fraud? Is there no form of compensation for one who has been defrauded?”

A Western Union rep named Carrie C. replied as follows:


Thank you for contacting Western Union. We are writing regarding your inquiry.

Western Union does not offer an escrow service or any type of “purchase protection” policy. We do not hold the funds until the merchandise is received and/or inspected. Western Union’s business is to transfer funds from a sender to a receiver within minutes. 

We caution our customers against sending money to people they do not know. It is the senders responsibility to know the party to which the funds are being sent. If a receiver presents proper identification, payment will be made. Western Union is under no obligation to replace the funds lost when the product or service is not provided. 

We strongly suggest you contact our Fraud Department at 1-800-448-1492 and your local law enforcement to report this incident. Western Union also advises you to report any incident of suspected fraud from an Internet website to the FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC)

Please consider that Western Union is unable to do any criminal prosecution. If you wish to pursue this individual through legal channels, we recommend you to start legal proceedings.

Best regards,

The Western Union Customer Care Team

So it seems that Western Union does not compensate for fraud of any kind. If you’re going to send a Western Union transfer to someone you don’t know, whether to purchase a product or hire someone to perform a service, make sure that it’s someone with an established reputation and positive recommendations from others.

Regarding the other question, Kal is correct, you can only fund a Western Union transfer with your credit card if the card is issued by an American bank. Otherwise you have to pay cash or from your bank account.

– Wael