Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the name on a money transfer?

You can only make minor typographical corrections to the receiver’s name on a regular money transfer as long as the money hasn’t yet been picked up. This can’t be done on a money order, bill payment, or prepaid money transfer.

How do I send money online?

You can send money online to a Western Union location for cash pickup, directly to your receiver’s bank account, or to your receiver’s mobile phone. After you’ve chosen your destination country, you’ll see the types of services available.

Learn more about how to send money online.

How long does it take to send money online?

Here are a few ways you can send money online using Western Union:

  • Money in minutes:

If your money is needed within minutes, you can send online using your credit or debit card. Receivers can pick up cash at Western Union locations worldwide, depending on the hours of operation at that location.

How do I pay?

Pay for your money transfer in the following ways.

a)      Card

You can pay using your debit or credit card.

Supported cards are: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Visa Electron. Please contact your bank to ensure your card is enrolled for secure authentication.

How much can I send online?

To send more than 1000 EUR every 5 days from Cyprus, you’ll need to verify your identity online. Once verified, you can send up to 5000 EUR every 3 days.

Will my credit card charge a fee for sending money with Western Union?

Some card issuers may charge additional fees for using our services. Please contact your card issuer for more information.

What is Verified by Visa® and MasterCard SecureCode®?

Verified by Visa® and MasterCard SecureCode® help prevent unauthorized online use of cards. These services use personal passwords or identity information and are available for most cards from participating financial institutions.

Once your card is activated, your card number will be recognized whenever it’s used at participating online stores. A window will automatically appear, and your card issuer will ask for your password. You’ll enter your password to verify your identity and complete your purchase.

If you haven’t activated Verified by Visa® or MasterCard SecureCode,® your card can still be used on our site.

How do I know if my online transfer’s been approved?

Your online receipt will show whether your transfer was approved. If we need more information before we can complete it, you’ll be asked to call us. When the transfer’s complete, you’ll get an email with your tracking number (MTCN).

How secure is my transaction?

Western Union uses the latest technology to ensure convenient and reliable online money transfers. We have upgraded our security standards to protect you from fraud when you pay online using a credit or debit card. This enhanced layer of security, aligned with the latest EU regulations and changes to security systems, helps card issuing banks to better identify and verify customers, allowing for convenient, smooth and reliable online transactions.

What are my rights when transferring money in the European Union (EU)?

According to EU regulations, you have the right to easy, secure payments with no extra cost when you pay with a card issued in the EU1. You also have the right to a basic payment account if you are a legally residing in Europe. Learn more.

Why was my payment declined?

Your debit or credit card payment may be unsuccessful due to several reasons:

a)      By your bank

Your bank may decline your payment due to:

If your bank declines a payment while making a Western Union money transfer, you need to contact your bank or log in to your online banking to resolve the issue.

b)      By Western Union

Western Union may decline your payment for the following reasons:

  • Exceeding the transfer limit set for the country you are sending money from.
  • To protect you from fraud or consumer scam.
How many Alipay wallet transfers can I make in a month?

You can make up to 5 transfers to the same receiver on Alipay wallet within a 30-day period starting from the date of the first transfer. If it’s urgent, you can always choose a different payout method such as bank account or cash.

What is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)?

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), as mandated by the EU’s Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), requires payment service providers to authenticate digital payments.

SCA, also known as 3D Secure, is a multi-factor authentication that adds an extra layer of security to digital payments to reduce fraud. It asks you to authenticate your payment using PIN, password, or biometrics.

At Western Union, to meet the SCA requirements, we use multi-factor authentication to secure your online transfers.

Why wasn’t my authentication successful?

Western Union uses Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to secure online payments. To successfully authenticate your payment, please be sure of the following:

  • Your card or bank account is registered for SCA (3D Secure). If not, contact your card issuer or register it through your online banking portal.
  • Your contact information is up to date with your bank and Western Union.
  • You enter your PIN or password accurately.

Please note that you can also pay for your money transfers using alternative methods. We’ll show your payment options when you start an online transfer.

Who uses Western Union money transfer services?

Anyone who needs to send or receive money quickly uses Western Union. These include people supporting friends or relatives abroad, travellers and business people who need to make fast, international remittances.

What are Western Union agent locations?

Western Union agent locations are independent businesses that provide money transfer services to their customers on behalf of Western Union.

Which transfer service is offered at Western Union agent locations?

Western Union agent locations offer the ability to send money worldwide using cash.

How do I send money from an agent location?

You’ll need to complete a “To Send Money” form and pay the agent the amount you want to send, plus fees, in cash.

To pick up the money, the receiver will complete a “To Receive Money” form at any Western Union agent location and provide proper identification. The agent then pays the transfer amount to the receiver.

What do I need to send money from an agent location?

Sending money with Western Union from an agent location doesn’t require credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts. But you will need to show a valid ID.

How much money can I send from an agent location?

You can usually send any amount. However, for certain amounts and transfers, you may be subject to additional security and asked to provide additional information or documentation.

What are acceptable documents for picking up money?

Acceptable IDs:

  • Current passport
  • National identity card
How are money transfers paid out to receivers?

Generally, we pay cash to your receiver. But, in some cases, payment may be made by cheque, or a combination of cash and cheque.

Other restrictions may apply.

How can I find out if my money transfer has been paid?

Any time after the money has been sent, you can check your transfer status online. All you need is your name and the tracking number (MTCN) printed on your receipt.

How can I find out if a money transfer is available for pickup?

You can check your transfer status online. All you need is the sender’s name and the tracking number (MTCN) printed on the sender’s receipt.

How do I pick up a money transfer?

You can pick up your money at any agent location. You’ll need to complete a “To Receive Money” form with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Amount expected
  • Sender’s name
  • Sender’s city and country

Acceptable ID documents are also required.

Some restrictions may apply.

When are Western Union services available?

Each Western Union agent location determines its own hours of operation. Some have extended hours and some even stay open 24 hours.

Find a nearby agent location.

How do I find a Western Union agent location?

Find a nearby agent location online or look for Western Union in your local telephone directory.

What are Western Union agent locations?

Western Union agent locations are independent businesses that provide money transfer services to their customers on behalf of Western Union.

When are Western Union services available?

Each Western Union agent location determines its own hours of operation. Some have extended hours or even stay open 24 hours.

Find a nearby agent location

How do I find a Western Union agent location?

Find a nearby agent location online or look for Western Union in your local telephone directory.

What do I need in order to offer Western Union money transfer services?

You’ll need a computer, an Internet connection and a printer* (*depending on your country of residence) at your retail location. Once you’ve installed the software we’ll provide, you’ll be able to offer money transfer services and earn a commission on every Western Union money transfer that’s sent or received from your retail locations(s).

How will I earn money with Western Union?

Each time a consumer sends a Western Union money transfer, they’ll pay a transfer fee for the service. As a Western Union agent, you’ll earn commission on the transfer fee for every transaction you process. The more transactions you send or receive, the more you earn.

Who’s responsible for setting the price of the money transfer service?

We’ll provide the fee tables. The system will automatically calculate the fee based on the amount of money sent, the service chosen and the destination country.

How is a Western Union money transfer processed?

To send money: The consumer completes a send money form and gives it to the Western Union agent. The agent enters the consumer’s information into the Western Union system, checks their identification and collects the cash (including the sending fee). The agent ensures that the consumer signs the receipt and provides them with a copy.

To receive money: The consumer completes the receive money form and gives it to the Western Union agent. The agent enters the consumer’s information into the system, checks their identification and gives the consumer the funds and a copy of the receipt.

Will I be able to process money transfers to any destination?

Yes, your customers will be able to send money to more than 498,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. You’ll also be able to pay out money that’s been sent from any Western Union location across the world.

What support will I receive from Western Union?

Once you’ve been enrolled as an agent, Western Union will help you get started and make your first transaction. You’ll get a free starter pack with training and marketing promotion materials. We’ll provide your training and software for free. As a Western Union agent, you’ll have access to our Customer Care who’ll answer any questions you may have about offering our service.

What do I need to know about Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance?

While all money transfer agents have a responsibility to implement Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance procedures, Western Union has an industry-leading AML programme and provides first-class training and support to help you succeed as an agent and protect your business.

What type of business do I need to have to be eligible?

Many retail businesses make great Western Union agents. Agents in our network own businesses as diverse as convenience stores, financial services providers, newsagents, pawnbrokers and travel agencies.

Do I need to have a specific licence and will I be regulated?

Yes, but Western Union will handle this for you.

Become a Western Union agent

Why should I register at Western Union’s website?

Registration is required for most services. After you register, sending a money transfer, payment or message can be done in minutes as your information will be pre-filled on the page. This saves you the time and trouble of typing it in each time you want to do a transaction.

Does it cost anything to register at Western Union’s website?

No, it’s free to register

How can receivers register in Colombia?

Registering to receive transfers in Colombia

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The Government of Colombia will require you to register if you receive a transfer in Colombia that exceeds its cash and frequency limits.

If you know you need to register, you can call Western Union’s Colombian partner, Giros y Finanzas, at any of the numbers below.

You can also wait for Giros y Finanzas to call you. They will try to contact you up to 3 times in the 15 days after we send the money. If Giros y Finanzas cannot reach you after 3 tries, we will cancel the transfer and refund the sender.

Giros y Finanzas contact numbers in Colombia (country code +57):

  • National office: 018000 111 999
  • Cali: (2) 518 48 00
  • Bogotá: (1) 635 35 60
  • Medellín: (4) 511 51 51
  • Barranquilla: (5) 368 79 96
  • Pereira: (6) 335 16 11

Giros y Finanzas contact numbers outside Colombia:

  • Miami (USA): +1 (786) 206 6144
  • Montreal (Canadá): +1 (514) 448 1874
  • Panamá: +507 833 9275

Giros y Finanzas office hours of operation, Colombia Time (COT) (UTC -5):

  • Monday to Friday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Giros y Finanzas may ask you to provide the following:

  • Your full name (first name, middle name, paternal name, and maternal name)
  • Your date of birth
  • The country and city where you were born
  • The city you live in
  • Your address, phone/cell numbers, and email address
  • Your occupation
How can receivers register in Argentina?

Receiving money in Argentina

If you receive a money transfer in Argentina, you need to complete a one-time registration within 90 days of getting it.

Also, if you receive 2 additional transfers within that 90-day period (a total of 3 transfers), you will need to register before you can pick up the third transfer.

To get you registered, we will contact you within 24 hours of the transfer at the number provided by your sender. You will be asked to provide additional identifying information on an online form used for registering transfers.

How can receivers register in China?

Receiving money to your bank account in China

If you’re the receiver, you may need to complete a one-time registration before you can receive money.

If you need to register, you will be contacted within 24 hours by us at the number provided by your sender.

To register and confirm your identity, you will need:

  • The tracking number (MTCN)
  • To confirm your bank card number
  • To confirm your Chinese name as it appears on your government-issued ID.
  • Your government-issued ID.

If the receiver cannot be contacted within 3 days, we will not be able to complete the transfer, and the sender will be issued a refund.

You can also call Customer Care at 4008190488 or 02168664622 to provide your identity information.

We will need to verify your identity when you send more than 1000 EUR per transfer.

Once your profile is verified, you will be able to send up to 5000 EUR per transfer.

You can verify your identity through the following methods:

Online on westernunion.com or the mobile app

Updating your profile information online

1.   Log in to your Western Union profile and initiate a transfer of more than 1000 EUR to start the ID verification process. If you don’t have a profile yet, create one on westernunion.com or the mobile app.

If you are already a mobile app user, make sure your app is up to date.

2.   Confirm your detail:

• Save time by making sure your name indicated in the profile matches your ID document.
• If you have sent money at a Western Union location, please provide the same ID details used for the most recent retail   transaction, so that you will be verified more quickly.
• You do not have to do anything while we verify the information in your profile.
• After your identity is verified, you will receive a confirmation email.

Do we need more information from you?

In case additional information is required we will request you to upload the corresponding documentation to the system or send it to us (as PDFs or JPGs) at accountnameverification@wu.com:

Save time by making sure your documents are clear and easy to read before sending them.

1.   PHOTO ID

Accepted documents:

• Passport
• EU/EEA ID
• Swiss ID card

Your copy must include the front and the back of your ID document.

Your photo ID document must be valid and complete.

The Information must match your Western Union profile.

Signature on ID document or signature page must be visible (if applicable).

2.   PROOF OF PAYMENT

Using a credit or debit card:

If requested, upload an image of your credit or debit card. Make sure the image contains:

• your full name
• last four digits of the card number
• bank name, and logo

Using bank-funded transfer:

If requested, send us the required document (as PDFs or JPGs) to our accountnameverification@wu.com email address and make sure that it would display the details below:

• The date (less than 90 days old)
• Your full name (first, middle, and last names) as they appear on your ID and your Western Union profile
• Your bank IBAN used for placing a transaction
• The issuing company’s name and logo

After your identity is verified, you will receive a confirmation email.

If you need to send money now, please visit a nearby Western Union agent location.

In person at an agent location

In person at an agent location:

If you are sending money from an agent location or need assistance processing your transfer, please bring any one of the following photo IDs with you:

• Passport
• EU/EEA ID
• Swiss ID card

As a Western Union Money TransferSM user, we value your business and take pride in delivering your funds to the intended recipient in a fast, convenient and reliable manner. However, there are individuals throughout the world who will attempt to use any system to receive payments in connection with fraudulent sales or solicitations.

Make sure you know who you are sending money to. If you are purchasing goods or services and paying through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the seller. Western Union is not responsible for the non-receipt or quality of any goods or services.

Discontinue a call if a caller instructs you on how to respond to questions asked by Western Union.

Security is everyone’s responsibility. Stay informed. Keep abreast of consumer fraud trends.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Are there common consumer fraud scenarios to be aware of?

Be wary if you are required to pay a fee before receiving a loan.

Beware of sweepstakes, prize or lottery company representatives who tell you to transfer money to them in order to claim a prize you’ve won. There are many companies running fraudulent contests that ask you to transfer them money but give you nothing in return.

Beware of unsolicited letters or emails from Nigerian or other foreign government officials requesting assistance in the transfer of excess funds from a foreign country into your bank account.

Beware of telephone calls from the police claiming that someone you know has been in an accident or been arrested and is requesting money.

Beware of unsolicited letters or emails offering an unrealistic price for expensive or rare merchandise.

Make sure you know who you are sending money to. If you are purchasing goods or services and paying through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the seller. Western Union is not responsible for the non-receipt or quality of any goods or services.

I received a suspicious email from someone claiming to be Western Union, what should I do?

If you receive an email from a company representing itself as Western Union and you are not sure it was sent by westernunion.com or westernunion.ie, do not click on any links in the email. This may be a “phishing” attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information from you. Instead, immediately contact your local authorities.

Western Union will never send you an email asking for your user ID, password or credit card details

Can the Test Question feature secure my funds or delay payment of a transaction?

The “Test Question” feature in the Western Union Money TransferSM service is designed for emergency situations where the receiver does not have proper identification (e.g. his or her wallet and identification have been stolen). It should never be used as additional security to time or delay the payment of a transaction. In many locations, Western Union will pay the receiver whenever the receiver shows proper identification, even if the receiver does not know the answer to the test question.

Does Western Union offer an escrow service or any kind of buyer protection?

Western Union does not offer an escrow service or any type of “purchase protection” policy. Western Union’s business is to transfer funds from a sender to a receiver. We warn and recommend people using our services to not send money to people they don’t know. It is the sender’s responsibility to know the party to which the funds are being sent. Using a fictitious name or changing the Receiver’s name after the money transfer has been sent is not a guaranteed means of securing funds. If a receiver presents proper identification with the same name as on the money transfer, payment will be made.

Be wary of third party “pickup” or “holding” services unless they are a reputable, licensed escrow service. Western Union is not an escrow service, should not be used as an escrow service, and is currently not affiliated with any escrow services.

Can I use Western Union to pay for online auctions?

For online auctions, examine seller feedback carefully and know the warning signs associated with fraudulent auction sales. Most online auction sites have safety guidelines or FAQs that can help you identify potentially fraudulent sales. Be wary if the seller is using a free email address or insists on accepting only one form of payment. Report any suspicious activity and file non-delivery of goods complaints with the auction site through which you purchased the item.

Remember that Western Union never acts as a guarantor of an auction buyer or seller’s performance.

What can I do if I suspect fraud or if I’m a victim of fraud?

Contact your government’s Office of Consumer Affairs if you are uncertain or suspicious of a telephone, mail or email solicitation.

If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, you can contact your local police or contact us on spoof@westernunion.com.

What does Western Union do to protect my information?

Western Union employs a variety of techniques, including SSL technology, to keep your personal information safe.

Additionally, the following tips can help keep your password secure:

  • Make your password difficult to guess. Avoid using any part of your name, your birthday, or any words that can easily be associated with you.
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers, and a mix of lower case and capital letters.
  • Use multiple passwords for your various accounts to decrease your risk in the event that one password is compromised.
  • Avoid writing your password down where it may be compromised.

You can further protect your passwords by making sure that your virus-scanning software is kept up to date, and by running anti-spyware programs. These programs can help protect you from viruses or other malware that could compromise your identity even though your computer may seem to be working fine.

If you use Microsoft Windows, make sure your Windows updates are enabled to help keep your operating system protected. You can learn more about Microsoft Windows updates at https://www.microsoft.com.

Use extra caution when entering your password on a computer that does not belong to you. Viruses, spyware or your browser’s settings might be used to compromise your account by recording your username and password.

How do I view a site’s SSL Certificates to verify the website’s identity?

In Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can view the security (SSL) certificate by following these steps:

  1. Right-click your mouse on any secure page within the site (any page beginning with “HTTPS://” with the small lock symbol displayed in the lower righthand corner).
  2. Click “Properties” from the menu.
  3. Click on the “Certificates” button to view the site’s SSL certificate(s).

In Mozilla Firefox, you can view the security (SSL) certificate by following these steps:

  1. On any secure page within a site (those pages beginning with “HTTPS://” with the small lock symbol displayed in the lower righthand corner), go to the “Tools” menu at the top of the browser window and select, “Page Info”.
  2. In the dialogue box that appears, select the “Security” tab.
  3. On the Security tab, click on the “View” button to view the security certificate.
Can I change the name on a money transfer?

You can only make minor typographical corrections to the receiver’s name on a regular money transfer as long as the money hasn’t yet been picked up. This can’t be done on a money order, bill payment, or prepaid money transfer.

How do I find out if my money has been sent?

Any time after sending, you can check your transfer status online. All you need is your name and the tracking number (MTCN) printed on your receipt.

How do I find out if a money transfer’s available for pickup?

You can check your transfer status online. All you need is the sender’s name and the tracking number (MTCN) printed on the sender’s receipt.

How do I pick up a money transfer?

You can pick up your money at any agent location. You’ll need to complete a “To Receive Money” form and include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Sender’s name
  • Sender’s city and country

Acceptable ID documents also are required. Some restrictions may apply.

What about exchange rates?

When you send money internationally, your receiver will generally be paid in local currency. The exact amount will be calculated based on the exchange rate applicable at the time of shipment. However, for transfers to certain countries, the exact amount will be calculated based on the exchange rate applicable at the time of receipt.

How long does it take to send money online?

Here are a few ways you can send money online using Western Union:

  • Money in minutes:

If your money is needed within minutes, you can send online using your credit or debit card. Receivers can pick up cash at Western Union locations worldwide, depending on the hours of operation at that location.

How much can I send online?

You can send up to 1 000 EUR before we need to verify your identity.

After that is finished, your send limit will increase to 5.000 EUR.

How do I find a Western Union agent location?

Find a nearby agent location online or look for Western Union in your local telephone directory.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us by email via cyprus.customer@westernunion.com.

1 Please note that you need to be a legal resident of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom to be eligible for these rights.