Western Union

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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I normally send money from the US to Africa, my homeland. I have been using Western Union and Moneygram. I choose either one of them depending on the convenience. But of late I have been using Western Union because the RiteAid which offers Western Union is just a block from where I live. I'm a Lyft driver and as you know, the more you drive, the more money you make. So a week I can make $1400, after Lyft fees. Actually one week I made $1400, and the following week I made $1321. Wow. But I got sick after that! But the bottom line is every week I make a minimum of $1000. Which most people don't make even those who work in the government.

So every week, I send money home. I can build a bungalow there in a flash! You know how I can get $1400 in a week, I can send $1000 and still have $400 to keep me going until next paycheck. So this RiteAid which is behind my house, I normally go there, input my information on the machine, the receiver, amount, receiver country, then am connected to a live person who goes ahead to give me the temporary no. Sometimes they probe me with a lot of questions that I become irritated. Like one day I had to yell at their customer rep for asking me many questions, my address, email address, etc.

When I take the temporary pin to pay the cashier so that I can pay the money for me to get the MTCN, they seem to look perplexed at how I can send such huge sums of money every week while they make peanuts working from am to pm. Now today I went to send money. After entering my phone no. which should have directed me to prompts to put the other information (this saves time), I was immediately directed to customer rep where I was put on hold for the next available agent to handle my business.

I said, I don't have such time to be put on hold, I hung up, got out of the store, drove to Moneygram which is up the street. It was empty inside, no customers, only a smiling rep. I grabbed two send forms, went to the counter, filled them quick. I was sending to two people. After I was done with the first one I handed it over to the lady who worked on it as I filled the other one. By the time I finished the other one, the other form had been worked already. Because Moneygram has my phone number, once she entered it my information populated on the screen.

She did the other form too as she joked about my birthday which she said one of the coworkers had the same birthday too. So less than 15 minutes of walking inside that Moneygram, I was done and went on to turn my Lyft app make more money. So I said I will never use Western Union again because they waste my time by putting me on hold unnecessarily and asking me unnecessary questions.

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I've bought a property in Cambodia and used Western Union to transact. The website is very hard to use and I accidentally ordered the same payment 3 times. And they charged me for cancellation of the other 2 orders. Also, the email they sent me is "This is an order confirmation only, it is not a receipt" and I've yet to pay for any orders. Therefore it should not constitute of an order. Also very hard to reach their staff and their website is usually down during the weekends for some reason, you won't be able to login. I tried to ask them for a waive of cancellation fees but they refuse. Perhaps this is how they earn their money from the consumers. Also, exchange rate to USD is very bad.

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I've been using Western Union money transfer service for many years, but I see a negative pattern emerging. One of ignoring the customer's request in favor of the whims of the local clerk. What's happening is this: Each time I send a money transfer, I've selected the "No ID Required" option with a test question. I do this because I've discovered that for reasons unknown, the local clerks have a tendency to unduly hassle the recipients and even deny them the transfer even if they have proper ID, so I send it this way to try to keep my recipients from being unduly hassled by the clerks.

In spite of having selected the "No ID Required" option, (confirmed by the local store doing the transfer) very often my recipients complain that the clerks falsely tell them there wasn't a "No ID Required" option requested with transfer and require ID anyway in spite of my request. This happened so frequently that I filed a formal complaint. In it I asked. What's the deal? It's unclear if this occurs because of personal biases or some implicit company policy. When their "No ID Required" option is requested, the senders wishes should be honored. What's the point of having the no ID option if a local clerk can arbitrarily chose to ignore it?

Here was QC holdings companies partial response in the tenor of a Kiss my ** letter I received from their attorney Catherine ** and I quote "Please note that a money transfer agent can require protective measures that are higher than those by the general Western Union Program". What??? I understand a need for security, but that essentially means the no ID option is false advertising. It's worthless because it can actually be usurped at the whim of a local clerk! With each Western Union money transfer, there should be a conspicuous notice so that the general public is made fully aware, up front, that what Western Union is offering at the transfer end may be over-ruled and not be honored at the recipients end.

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Western Union is the worst. They have blocked my son from being able to get money... "Because I send it too often"??? They have listed him as a security risk? Tried to send him his rent money from his trust fund. They put it on hold and I had to call and they asked all kinds of personal questions. One was... “Why don’t you send just once a month?" WTF… Well maybe because he needs other things sometimes besides rent you idiots! I finally called and got someone who could tell me something. After over an hour of phone hopping he is listed as a terrorist because he gets more than one transaction a month??? Will never use them again.

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I had sent money through Western Union for several years. Suddenly, they won't allow me to send money with them. When we ask a reason, they tell me they can't tell me. YES, you read correctly. They can't tell me why they won't accept my transfers. I'm allowed with the other agencies. I'm also a law enforcement officer. It is so ridiculous. I sent one today. They took the money, then sent me a text saying the transaction was under review. I called and they said it was declined. I am suppose to get my money back by check someday. Nice!

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My family and I have sent money thru western union. I tried sending money today to my wife and the customer support agent said that they don't send any money out the U.S. which they advertise send money online and they say you can't now which is false advertisement and next step will be with the BBB. Be careful because about a couple of months ago western union didn't want to refund money they had sent.

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Money transferred through Western Union [from USA to India] on Nov. 16th, money has been debited from my account but still the amount is not credited in receiver's account (my own account in India). When I am tracking the status, it is showing Money Arrived, but Money Not received in receiver bank. I am calling daily twice from last 5 days, the customer care executives are telling that they are escalated to investigation team and will get response in 24 hrs. to 48 hrs. Every time I call they are telling me that same I will get response in 24 hrs. to 48 hrs., but not getting response either from customer care executive or from investigation team. And still money is not deposited either in sending account or receiver account. Please suggest me how can I solve this issue.

This all looks like a scam to me. WU recently started giving better rates than all of its competitors and started charging $3 transaction fee. Its rates were so attractive that even with the fee sending money through WU was profitable on the receiving end and the money was getting received within 1 hr. in the overseas bank. Now I'm caught in a mess and short of a lot of money for 7 business days. I will be ending up paying penalty fees for late payments in both the countries. And have put my friends also in a bad situation by referring them to Western Union.

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I saw lots of post in top that we should not use Western Union Money transfer. I transferred money from last 20 days and still now I did not get money back in my receiver bank account. I saw lots of people in same situation and somebody got money???

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I have been using Western Union for my business to pay suppliers in China. Western Union customer service is going down the hill. They have rude customer service agent and they talk to you like they are doing favor completing your transfer. We had really bad experience with our recent transactions, they put the transaction on hold and did not even contact us. Our shipment was delayed because the suppliers did not receive the money on time. And when you call them, you have to actually wait at least half and hour to talk to the agent.

Their compliance department is so incompetent that they can't simply keep note of previous interviews and distinguish business customer and personal customers. They keep on holding your transaction without any reason and every time our transfer was on hold we had to give same long stupid interview to compliance department. Forget about money in minutes you would be lucky if your money arrive in days. I am never using Western Union again!

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July 21, 2016 I sent $300 to my nephew who was working in NC, before he knew he had money at Western Union, he had already got back home to Va. So I cancelled the transaction. I do business with Western Union a LOT, so I trusted they would refund my $300. I have called and called, to get my money back to no avail. They have told me my money is tied up, and it was caught up in some kind of foreign money transaction? And have offered me no answer, to they can't even find the transaction any longer. I thought Western Union was a better business than this until now. And after reading all the reviews, I know now, that they will scam you, and take your money. Be WARY of WESTERN UNION!!

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So I hit the wrong thing on the Western Union app. while trying to send my grandmother money in Jamaica due to an emergency. I call Western Union to have it worked out. One lady tells me they cannot give an instant refund. It'll be 2 weeks before I get my money back. She then transfers me to her supervisor which tells me she can send the money back and it will be available as soon as possible. I explain that I do not want a possible overdraft in my account therefore if it wouldn't be available in my account I would have someone else resend her the money and not try it again using my card. The supervisor assures me that that wouldn't be the case and tells me to call my bank as soon as we get off the phone.

I called my bank and they couldn't see the transaction at all. Two days later I check my account to purchase my newborn something and it is in the negatives. I call my bank yet again and they tell me I was indeed charged twice and there is no sign or a cancellation nor refund. I call Western Union back and speak to yet another supervisor whom at first seems sincere and apologetic about it. But here's the kicker. At the end of the conversation she says "Oh well your overdraft fee is only $15" so I ask her if she is saying that to say that's nothing? Yes indeed it is only $15. $15 that I could use towards diapers, socks and/or wipes for my child.

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I've been in India since July and my American bank cards don't work here. I started sending Western Union to my husband (resident of Hyderabad) so I could have cash. Almost every time I do a money transfer we have to visit a few locations in order to find one capable of completing the transaction, i.e. giving us the cash. Multiple excuses are given: internet down, NO CASH AVAILABLE, closed down to go PRAY... closed for festivals. We started calling ahead to different locations to make sure they could provide service only to find that more than half of the time NO ONE ANSWERS THE PHONE. Considering we have to pay a driver to take us to these Western Union locations I am losing money each time they fail to complete my transaction. NO CASH!

I did a money transfer going on 3-days ago and still can't find a Western Union location in Hyderabad Banjara Hills to complete my transaction. Each time we enter the location, we are immediately told "We don't have any cash." A week ago, India's Prime Minister banned 1000 and 500 notes and a place like Western Union should be back to business by now. They should also be able to tell us WHEN we can come back to complete the transaction.

Lastly, and I can't confirm, but I do suspect, that some Western Unions in Banjara Hills may have known about the upcoming ban of the 1000 and 500 notes because our last two money transfers were given to us in mostly if not all 1000 and 500 notes. Needless to say, I have NO CASH because of Western Union's Banjara Hills 'out of order' locations.

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On the 3rd of Nov. I went to a Western Union location in Checotah, OK. I wanted to wire 1200 to my checking account because I was away from home and branch to my bank was local here. Did the transaction. Followed up later with tracking. Said money was received. Next day tried to use debit card and no money. My bank is Vision Bank. Money went to Vision Financial. Not the same. My routing/account number is on the receipt. Now they won't refund my money. All I get is a runaround, "We send a request to the comp. and ask them to refund the money. Call back in 24-48 hrs." Today is the 11th. My bank account is overdrawn and facing utilities being turned off. Nobody cares. They sent it to the wrong place.

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I have tried my best to be patient but this is insane. I have tried numerous of times to send money via online and have had no success. My money is place on hold and I am required to call and identify who I am. I have been told someone uses my name and it is why my account was flagged. I had to go to the actual business location to prove identity. I once again tried and again my acct was on hold. I had to send them an email with my license. They assure it was resolved and I confided, and once again they held my acct and took my money but it was never sent.

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I wish to give less than zero point but they don't have that option. I sent money from Melbourne to India for Diwali festival and it's been for more than two weeks somewhere in air and I was thinking maybe because of Diwali holidays, it's taking bit long... When I contact to them to ask what's wrong, the manager named "FRANCES" had no answers why money didn't go through, why they didn't contact me to let me know, and if I transfer money with bank transfer, why the money can't be back in bank account??? Instead he is just saying it's company policies, totally irresponsible. I strongly recommended not to use this service to anyone. l will never ever use this Western Union again.

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I do not have a problem with Western Union. I have a problem with having the receiving company following up with Western Union with all the information received. I made a late payment on a credit card, therefore I sent it Western Union. I show it was received, have tracking #, have sent Western receipt showing date, amount, account and that it was received. I cannot get the company to credit it to my account or even respond. They are charging me late fees for a payment already made. Who do I contact? The credit card company is saying, "Sorry, WU is saying it is in their court, it shows they received it". In the meantime, my credit score is lower and I'm still showing past due. I have sent the credit card letters and copies of the WU receipt three times. Should I obtain an attorney? I'm just getting ready to buy a house and my credit score went from 756 - 708.

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I've been trying to get money from my brother for the past 3 days and they still have a hold on my money. I really needed it to pay off a lawyer. Never again will I use Western Union. This is so inconvenient. I have to go to the lawyer without the money now and explain this **. Never again will I use Western Union, EVER!!

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I used Western Union for over 5 years and as long as I were sending very small amounts of money I had no problem with them. But anytime I tried to send reasonable amount of money off they would decline my transactions and make me go into a location. And yesterday and this morning they kept lying to me saying it was my bank declining the charge. Well I called my bank on 3 way and then after the bank representative chimed in Western Union then says "well we don't feel comfortable wiring $700.00" and hangs up. If there are any others like me especially minority we should all come together and sue them.

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I wire money to my wife in Mexico to make a deposit on a piece of property. After 4 business days I called to check the status of the transaction as the money cleared my bank 2 days prior and 4 business days was the maximum time frame. I was told the transaction could not be process for undisclosed reasons and that they have nothing to do with the debit from my account. They recommended that I call my bank; so I did and my bank confirmed that WU did in fact debit my account and proceed. I would have to file for fraudulent activity which can be a 4 month process. I'm sure I will get my money back eventually but I have since then lost the property my wife and I were hoping to buy and I am currently out 3 grand. If you want to throw your money in limbo for several months and have your time wasted, I highly recommend using WU.

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Warning / My Terrible Experience with Western Union (Oct. 2016). I sent 4000 Turkish Lira ($1,772.71) to my sister in Turkey through Western Union on Oct 15. When my sister went to the PTT office (Western Union deals with a company named PTT in Turkey) in a small city outside Istanbul to get her money, a front desk worker copied her passport and had her sign for the money - and then told her that the computer system was down and that she needed to return another time! When she returned the next day, she was told the tracking number did not exist and that the computer system was down. To make a longer story short, she never received any of the money I sent her, and I filed a complaint with Western Union's Resolution department on Oct 18, 2016.

Then today, Oct. 24, 2016, I received an email from their Resolution department stating that their investigation ended and the case is closed because my sister received the money! In reality, what apparently happened is that either a front desk worker took the money for herself, or that there really was a computer system problem. Upon hearing this I demanded Western Union provide me with a copy of the PTT office's surveillance video beginning when my sister entered the office and gave them her passport. I've not heard from them and expect Western Union's management to continue ignoring me instead of taking advantage of this opportunity to investigate what really happened and return my money.

History of Poor Service and Not Meeting Customer Needs - Western Union has regularly had security-related computer issues for years because its management apparently doesn't care about providing quality customer service or know how to operate professionally. Maybe that's why their call centres are in India and the Philippines. That's why it receives an average of only 1 star out of 5 from the 144 people (as of Oct. 24, 2016) rating it at https://www./finance/western-union.html, and why I'm sharing my story with you - so you can avoid the stress and financial loss experienced by me and other Western Union ex-customers.

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I have tried multiple times to send WU online, and over the phone. I have attempted to use one of two credit cards, and am always declined. I can go to a local agent in person, and I can pay with either cards with no issue. I tried to find out why the online service, and the phone operator, continue to decline my transactions, but the store agent seems to use my information without issue. My bank doesn't have either card blocked from WU, this was WU's excuse, and I have verified this multiple times with my bank.

I can go in person and use whatever means I want to pay for the WU, but I can't use the online, or live operator to process my transaction. I am sending money from the U.S. to the U.S. and I am still declined. I have sent MANY WU transactions, but always have to do it in person, which can be very inconvenient, and leaves me to wonder why they have an online service, or live operator. VERY FRUSTRATED AND ANNOYED!!

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Make transfers to overseas two days in a row. Now on the third day, security for Western Union decide to cancel the transfer I tried to do today. Their answer is to fill out a letter asking why it didn't go through. That's ridiculous. I'm done with Western Union and I will never transfer through you people again. This is more than one time this has happened, you guys are making a habit of it. That kind of business will put you out of business.

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What a nightmare! I spent more than 3 hrs today trying to send money to my husband in Las Vegas. He was on a charter vacation from Hawaii to Vegas, and needed more money than he had with him. I figured I'd wire him the money and no problem. Surprise!!! WU treated me like I was a criminal. I had to call a number and go through an interview where the lady asked me what he needed the money for and why he was in Vegas. I made the mistake of telling the truth: he went to Vegas to gamble. They denied my transaction, refunded my money and said they can't send money for gambling. What??? Since when does WU make moral judgments about how someone can use their money. It's not illegal in Vegas to gamble.

So I spoke to a supervisor, and he said to resend the money and don't use the word "gambling". He said to say it's for an emergency. So I resent it and had to be interviewed by a different woman. When I said it was for an emergency, she asked "What kind of emergency?" Needless to say, they denied my transaction again, refunded my money, and I gave up. I will never use WU again. We'll be more prepared next time, and if we need to we'll use PayPal, MoneyGram, but never WU. They make customers feel like criminals. No thank you.

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I went to WU in the post shop at Sylvia Park on Saturday to send money to home country for an urgent matter. Firstly, the counter girl seemed to be in a hurry but I sent the money. On Monday my mother called me. She had been denied access to receive the money because I did not send it to her full name. Like WTF? At least the girl at the counter could have informed me this.

Anyways! I go the their office on Monday after work. That same girl had gone home and no one was able to help me! I got her card and called her on Tuesday and she was not at work. I asked if she can contact someone who can change the name of the receiver. She said I have to go to their office with ID! I lost my temper and told her the reason why I woke up early on my Sat morning was to come send it then because I work during the week! Up to now I have not sorted this out but it is really pissing me off! WU your bloody fee for sending money is quite pricey for your poor ass customer service!!! Never sending money with WU ever!

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About two weeks trying to fix some ** things online. I can't get access to a form. They sent it to me asking my name and password but the password didn't work and they told me to change the password and I did more than 15 times in two weeks. Still no fix. This is ridiculous. I don't recommend Western Union.

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I don't really know what's happening with Western Union these days but am getting tired of it. Well yeah for security purposes it's okay to protect people but they have treated me like am some kind of criminal. I have been sending money through them all this while since all my families are everywhere in the world and last I tried to send money to my fiance and I was told I have been blocked for what I don't know.

CALLED their customer service and the lady told me she can't see anything should go to the agent yet am outside Walmart to send them money and been blocked and went back again and they store called Western Union and they told them that I can no longer send the money. For what I don't know. I demanded that they give me an answer to know what is my crime. To send the money to my family, they ask me bunch of questions and I answered them and they told me final I cannot no longer send money because the way am sending money is not according to their policy which I don't understand what is their policy. The person I send money is my fiance. At first I thought maybe because he is from Nigeria or something. Ask me how I get the money and told them am working so honestly am so emotionally stressed how they have humiliated me. I cannot force them to make use their service but I need to know what crime I have committed.

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Western Union - what a bunch of idiots. I went to send $4000 from the USA to France to a friend. I paid cash at the WU desk, got a receipt. My guy in France goes to pick up the money- The transaction is on hold. I called WU and I am on hold for about an hour waiting to get to an agent. Then the agent asks me why I am sending the money. My answer: "Because I want to, there is no why." Second: "What is he going to do with the money", my answer: "I don't know."

Operator answer: "We will refund you your money because we feel you are being a victim of international fraud." My answer: "No I am not. I am fully conscious and this is the second time I have sent money to this guy in France. I am not under duress, I have my free will as I am talking to you." Answer: "Sorry sir. We have decided to cancel the transaction." So I wasted a day, had to drive to public to the WU desk, my guy waited in Paris to pick up the money. Anyway I got my money back, went online and used MoneyGram. Worked like a charm. Western Union: bunch of idiots...

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This has been a nightmare. I spent 3 hours with their reps just trying to login. Finally fixed it, then another problem showed up - the "Continue" button was not working. Finally got that fixed, and I was told that I could make a transfer without paying the fee. Sounds nice, right? Except the continue button stopped working again. hahahahahah! I just quit. Tomorrow is another day. Western Union needs to update their technology.

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This company removed the money from my account, then declined the transaction and did not notify me that the transaction was declined by either phone or email, both of which they had on file. No one there will answer questions. I will never do business with this company again.

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I tried to make a transfer with WU online. I created an account with them for that purpose. The transfer was meant to go from my bank account in the US to a person abroad, who would pick up the cash at a WU office. I provided all the data that they requested (name, bank, account number, routing number, ID in the way of driver's license number) and everything seemed to be fine. Then I clicked in the button to complete the transfer. At that point, a window popped ask prompting me to supply the username and password for my bank account. Yes, you read that right. WU wanted to have full power over my bank account.

I did not proceed with the transfer, and I immediately called them to verify this. They did verify it, their justification being that I am really the one who controls the account. Not wanting to give them full access to my bank account, I therefore attempted to cancel the transfer from my WU online account. There seems to be no possibility of doing that and, even worse, according to the record, the money had been sent. So I called them again, and they said that that meant that the transaction had been approved by WU. Excuse me? You require my bank account username and password, I refuse to give it to you, and you still approve the transaction, despite of the fact that you claim to need that information for security reasons?

The username/password policy is ridiculous and abusive to begin with - with all the data I provided they could trivially verify my credentials as the owner of the bank account. Now, failing to implement their security policy, however obnoxious it is, reveals a complete disdain for their own standards of security. These guys are either crooks, or grossly incompetent; either way, I am not going to entrust them with my money.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

Western Union (WU) was founded in 1851 as an American telegraph company, and it began offering money transfer services in 1871. Now, Western Union is one of the world’s largest and most well-known money transfer companies. In 2015, it facilitated the transfer of more than $150 billion. It offers consumers and businesses options for sending and receiving money both domestically and internationally.

  • Fee tool: Consumers can use the fee estimator on WU’s website to see how much it will cost to send money to someone else online, in person, over the telephone or through the WU app. The tool will also show consumers how long it will take for the funds to be available to the recipient.
  • App: The Western Union Money Transfer app, available for both iOS and Android devices, allows consumers to send money directly from their mobile phones. Money can be sent to other individuals or be used to pay bills at select businesses.
  • Rewards: The My WU rewards program lets customers earn points for money spent on transfer fees. Rewards points can be used to make free transfers, enroll in select Udemy online courses or make matched donations to the Western Union Foundation.
  • NGOs: Western Union partners with the Clinton Global Initiative to help non-governmental organizations (NGOs) get money to individuals around the globe who do not have access to traditional financial institutions. In some locations, funds can be sent to users’ mobile wallets.
  • Refer-a-Friend: The Refer-a-Friend promotional program rewards customers who invite others to use Western Union. The first time the invitee sends money, both the original customer and the new customer receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
  • Best for Western Union has services that meet most customers’ needs, including individuals, entrepreneurs, business owners and charitable organizations.

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Western Union Company Profile

Company Name:
Western Union
Website:
https://www.westernunion.com