Western Union is the largest Money Transfer company in the world – with over 430,000 agent locations in almost every country on the planet, Western Union is the market leader that every other service is compared against. Their biggest asset it their agent distribution network – which allows the receiver to pick up their cash almost anywhere in the world in the local currency in about 20 minutes after funds are sent. Western Union allows funds to be sent a variety of ways, including:
- Send money online with Western Union online.
- At an Agent location.
- Over the phone.
Sending funds online allows you as the sender to send funds using your Visa or MasterCard. In 2006 they also added the ability to send money with your bank account – including some minor fee discounts if you delay the speed of the transfer. This options mainly helps frequent senders who regularly send money home on a recurring basis and can plan ahead.
You can use Western Unions website to estimate fees for online or cash (at an agent location) transfer fee's. IIt's a bit challenging to navigate but will provide corridor pricing by state and city to domestic and international recipient locations. See below for a screenshot:
More about Western Union
Other than their agent network, the main benefit of using Western Union is their reliability. Simply put, you can trust Western Union with your money – something its hard to say about some of their smaller competitors. The downside with Western Union is the price – Western Union is always at the premium of the market. If you're a 1 time sender, most likely the factor of trust will be important – and Western Union will be the best choice. If you are a frequent sender – especially if you are sending funds overseas then some of the other smaller services are going to be much more affordable.