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Western Union Australia review

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Edited by Kate Steere
Western Union

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Our verdict

A straightforward way to send money overseas with multiple transfer options - just watch out for high fees and weak exchange rates.

Western Union is a well-known brand synonymous with money transfer spaces and has a gigantic network of agent locations. They provide a convenient way to transfer money, have flexible transfer options and support a large number of countries. Despite this, Western Union has a reputation for being expensive but has made an effort to offer more value to new customers. Based on our research, they are best suited for small transfers and are normally cheaper than banks, especially when making one-off transfers or to remote destinations.

  • Good for sending money to just about everywhere, with options for those without bank accounts.
  • Watch out for fees that can add up and poor exchange rates.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Product details

Product Name Western Union
Pay By Bank transfer, Cash, Credit card, Debit card
Receiving Options Cash pickup location, Bank account
Customer Service Phone, Live chat, Email
Maximum Transfer Amount $50,000
Number of Currencies 138

Why should I consider Western Union?

  • Established service. Western Union has offered domestic and international money transfers since 1871.
  • Huge network. With around 525,000 agent locations worldwide in more than 200 countries, Western Union is the largest money transfer provider in the world. You can also make an international transfer with Australian Post.
  • Flexible transfer options. With a mix of online and agent locations services, you can choose to pay with cash, credit, debit, bank accounts and more. Also, Western Union's business transfer options let you use hedging tools to get even more flexibility.
  • Fast transfers. Some transfers through Western Union are received within minutes, which helps in an emergency or when you don't want to wait a few days for your transfer to go through.

What to be aware of

  • Weak exchange rates. Western Union typically adds margins approaching 5% on top of the mid-market exchange rate, so it's comparing other online transfer services.
  • Maximum transfer limits. The maximum limit for daily transactions is AUD $50,000 but this varies based on your transaction history and which country you are sending to. Agent locations typically have no limit, as long as you can provide adequate identification while sending.
  • High fees. Fees vary depending on your transfer amount and destination, but Western Union's fees are often higher than other transfer providers. Western Union have recently started offering discounts for new customers which makes them suitable only for one-off transfers.
  • Not suitable for large transfers. Due to sending limits, services including TorFX and OFX should offer better value on large transactions.

How much are Western Union's transfer fees?

Western Union has different fees for nearly every country it serves. These fees depend on how you are paying for the transfer and how the transfer will be collected. Agent location fees aren't typically posted online, but Western Union's online fees are based on:

  • Location. The fees you pay will be different when sending to different countries around the world.
  • Payment. Paying with a credit card versus a debit card or a bank account will have different fees. Keep in mind that if you choose to pay with a credit card, you may be charged fees by your credit card provider too.
  • Receiving method. Picking up cash is typically more expensive than having money sent straight to a bank account.

Western Union offers a "Price Estimator" tool on its website which you can use to check the exchange rate and fee for your specific transaction before you proceed.

How are Western Union's exchange rates?

Western Union makes money by adding a margin to the exchange rate in addition to any fees charged. It applies different exchange rates to different transfer types. It also uses stronger or weaker exchange rates based on the currency you are transferring.

It is best to compare the displayed rate on Western Union with the current mid-market rate to work out the size of the margin charged. You can also then use the interbank rate as a benchmark for comparing the rates of other money transfer providers.

Check for the latest Western Union discount codes and coupons

Western Union reviews and complaints

Western Union is rated as "great" on Trustpilot and has a score of 3.9 out of 5, based on 47,268 reviews. Positive reviews highlight their transfer speeds and the convenience of using their service. Negative reviews mention their slow customer service and weak exchange rates. Western Union has responded to 94% of negative reviews to help resolve the issue. 63% of customers rated them 5 stars and 25% gave them a score of 3 stars or lower.

How to send money transfer online with Western Union

To send your first money transfer with Western Union, you will need to create a profile online:

How to send money transfer via the Western Union app

With the Western Union app you can send money, transfer transfers, review exchange rates and find agent locations. Sending a transfer is simple:

Send money in person at Western Union locations

If you prefer to send your money transfer in person, then complete the following steps:

How can my recipient get the money?

Western Union has several options for how your intended recipient can get their money. You can choose from any of the following:

  • Cash (in-store)
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet

What are Western Union's payment options?

There are several payment options available with Western Union, each with its own set of limits, fees and restrictions. Its online, phone and in-store options include:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Prepaid card
  • Cash (when sending money in person)

How long does an international transfer with Western Union take?

You can send your transfer a few different ways, which will determine how quickly your transfer is sent and how much it will cost.

If you pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card and have it sent for cash pickup - you'll typically pay a higher fee but your money can arrive in as little as 10 minutes. However, your credit card may charge a cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

The cheaper, but slower option, would be to make a bank transfer. This can take up to 5 business days. Depending on verification needs, you may have to wait longer while Western Union confirms you own the registered bank account.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

How much money can I send with Western Union?

Your limits will vary based on a number of factors including your transfer history, location, transfer destination and what service you choose.

You can see the maximum amount you can send when inputting your transfer details in the Send Money section on Western Union's homepage.

If you are looking to make a large money transfer, then Western Union allows you to transfer up to US$50,000 or the local currency equivalent from Australia when sending from your bank account directly to the receiver's bank account. Just keep in mind that this limit may not be available for all receiver countries and is subject to restrictions based on the factors mentioned above.

Limits at Agent Locations

There's usually no restriction on the amount you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you're sending or a specific country, you can call Customer Care to inquire.

Is Western Union safe to use?

  • Regulation: Regulated in Australia by ASIC
  • Established: 1851
  • Reviews: Rated 3.9/5 stars* from 47,200+ reviews on Trustpilot
*According to Trustpilot on 02 May 2023.

Western Union must comply with all the relevant regulations in the countries in which it operates. As it's based in the US, it is primarily regulated by FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In Australia, the company is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and is also listed on AUSTRAC's remittance sector register.

Western Union is a globally recognised name in the remittance business and has been offering money transfer services for more than 145 years. It also claims to use encryption technology to protect customer information and have served over 150 million customers.

Money transfer scams

Western Union uses procedures like photo identification and tracking number (MTNC) verification to help make sure your money is sent to the right person. It also educates its agents and customers on how to protect themselves from fraud and scams.

Typical scams through Western Union include:

  • Payment requests. Someone online offers to sell you something and asks that you pay through Western Union. They pick up the cash that you sent to a Western Union agent location, and you never hear from them again.
  • Overpayment scam. You receive a check that appears to be valid for a new job, a service or a product you are offering. The check amount is more than you earned, so the sender requests you return the extra amount by money transfer. After sending the money transfer, you'll learn that the check bounced, and there is no way to reverse the money transfer.
  • Tax scam. You are contacted by someone claiming to be from a government agency, stating that you owe taxes and they must be paid immediately. They will claim the fastest way to send money and avoid penalties is through a money transfer.

To combat these types of scams, Western Union provides clear warnings on their website before a user sends a money transfer. This popup warning requires users to choose Accept before sending their transfers. Western Union has a specific Twitter account dedicated to fraud awareness that tweets about the newest and most relevant scams while they are popping up. Also, Western Union now operates 24/7 phone lines for customer support all over the world.

How does Western Union compare to other providers?

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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Kat

December 21, 2018

I have a friend in the USA that wants to transfer or send me some money ASAP in Australia for Christmas. What is the best, easiest and most efficient way to do this? Can it be done here?


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Val Finder

December 22, 2018

Hi Kat,


Thank you for leaving a question and reaching out to Finder.


Yes, this could be done through Western Union. Though their rates vary on a daily basis depending on exchange rates. Western Union and MoneyGram can send money using cash or EFTPOS. You may want to refer to our guide in sending money to Australia for more options.


Hope this helps.


Cheers,

Val


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Priyanka

August 27, 2018

Hi,


I transferred 1000 AUD to India on 26th Aug around 8 pm AEST. Now, it is 27th Aug 9 pm AEST. Still, If I go to make another transaction it says that “You have reached your daily send limit of 5000 AUD”. I do not understand how does it calculate the limit?


Avatar

Joshua Finder

August 28, 2018

Hi Priyanka,


Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)


Your limit does not only depend on the amount of money you sent for a particular given day. It also includes transaction history, the receiver’s country, your location (state) and the service you choose.


To confirm the real reason why you still can’t send money, you may want to directly get in touch with Western Union.


I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.


Have a wonderful day!


Cheers,

Joshua


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Wendy

December 29, 2017

Hi,


I was wondering can I buy Ripple from western union. This is similar to bitcoin.


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Rench Finder

January 03, 2018

Hi Wendy,


Thanks for your inquiry.


Western Union is a money transfer company. The service allows you to make quick and easy money transfers to more than 200 countries around the world. You cannot buy Ripple/Bitcoin from Western Union.


You can buy Ripple as you would buy any other cryptocurrency from an online exchange. Most require you to go through a verification process but once done you just buy the XRP as you would any other product online. Finally, transfer the coins to your wallet for safekeeping.


Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you initiate a money transfer.


Best regards,

Rench


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Shinephil

December 26, 2017

Hi good day,

Im from Australia, i just wanna ask if my mom can sent me money here in Australia from Philippines? How much is the maximum amount she can sent to me per day or per week or per month?


Thanks,


Avatar

Rench Finder

December 27, 2017

Hi Shinephil,


Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with Western Union or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.


Yes, she can send money from the Philippines to Australia using Western Union money transfer. She can send money per day or per week or monthly, Whichever you will prefer.


Western Union updates its exchange rates regularly in line with fluctuating market conditions. The fees for Western Union may vary depending on how much money you are sending and where you are sending it to. To help you work out how much your transfer will cost.


Your mother from the Philippines can check with a Western Union branch or from their official site to check the minimum and maximum amount for transfer.


Best regards,

Rench


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mccorp89bd@gmail.com

July 05, 2017

I am from Bangladesh. My friend will send money ($1000) from China. Please tell me how much is the western union charge?


Avatar

Rench Finder

July 05, 2017

Hi,


Thanks for reaching out to us.


For sending 1000 USD from China to Bangladesh, the transfer fee is 48 USD. You may go to Western Union’s official site to see more details. I suggest contacting Western Union directly for further inquiries.


Hope this information helped.


Cheers,

Rench


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