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How to Send Money Safely: A Complete Guide

Discover the three keys to understanding how Western Union helps its customers make international money transfers as securely as possible.

Be informed. Be aware. Protect yourself from fraud.

We encrypt your money transfers

We encrypt your money transfers

We are committed to keeping your data secure

We are committed to keeping your data secure

How to Send Money Safely

Do you also wonder if making bank transfers is safe? Safety is undoubtedly most people’s number one priority when it comes to making a bank transfer, followed by speed and price.

It is clear that bank transfers must guarantee security. In a world where financial fraud is a hot topic, it’s more important than ever to maintain appropriate levels of security and trust.

At Western Union, one of our main priorities is offering a secure and reliable money transfer service. As part of our commitment to security, we want to share a guide focused on three of our service’s key security aspects that make money transfers as secure as possible.

It’s important to highlight that no money transfer service can guarantee that it is 100% secure, and if you find one that says it can, don’t trust it. What we can do, is implement all of the measures possible for our customers to feel comfortable using a money transfer service that cares about security.

Below, we will explain the three key points that help us make your transfers as secure as possible.

How to Send Money Safely with Identity Verification

When sending money through our app, website or at one of our agent locations, it’s always necessary to provide official government-issued identification. Once you have identified yourself, you can send up to €3000. Depending on how you complete your transfer, you can verify your identity online or via video call.

Verifying Your Identity Online

It may take 30 minutes or more for us to verify your identity. Although it takes time, this is a vital step in the process to make your money transfer more secure. Once we verify your identity, you can send up to €3000.

If we require any additional information, we will ask you to send it to us at id@westernunion.com

 

If you need to verify your identity online in order to make a transfer, you must do the following:

  1. Log in to your profile and choose the amount you want to send. If you don’t have a profile yet, you can register on the website or via the app.

  2. Enter the required details. Confirm your details on the Complete your profile page and then click Continue.

  3. Enter additional identification details and click Continue.

  4. Select the type of identity document you are going to upload, enter the details and click Next.

  5. Review your transfer details and click Send.

  6. Upload your identity document and then click Upload.

  7. Choose a form of proof of address and click Upload.

Before uploading a copy of your identity document, make sure:

 

  • The photo, signature, date of birth, expiration date and other important details can be clearly seen.
  • The information must match the details you added to your Western Union profile.
  • Documents must be PDFs or JPGs.

Before uploading a copy of your identity document, make sure:

 

  • The photo, signature, date of birth, expiration date and other important details can be clearly seen.
  • The information must match the details you added to your Western Union profile.
  • Documents must be PDFs or JPGs.

Verifying Your Identity by Video Call

It could take around four hours to verify your identity after a video call. Once we have completed the verification, we will send you a confirmation email. Once you have completed the identity verification process, future transfers will be easier.

 

If you would rather verify your identity by video call, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Log in via the website or app.

  2. Click the Profile icon in the top right of the page and select Start Verification.

  3. Select if you would like to complete the call using a computer and webcam or smartphone.

  4. Follow the instructions to complete the verification.

Note: Before starting the video call, allow access to your camera and microphone so we can see you, and be sure to have your ID to hand.

Note: Before starting the video call, allow access to your camera and microphone so we can see you, and be sure to have your ID to hand.

What Documents Do We Accept for Identity Verification?

You can use any of the following identity documents:

  • Passport
  • EU national ID card
  • Work permit
  • Residence permit
What Documents Do We Accept as Proof of Address?

Any of the following documents constitute valid proof of address:

  • Electricity bill
  • Gas bill
  • Phone bill
  • Card or bank statement

Register to send money abroad today

Send Money with Peace of Mind

It’s easy to sign up and start sending money quickly and confidently to everyone. If you would like to make an international money transfer, head over to our registration page to get started.

Choose How You Would Like to Pay

At Western Union, you can pay by credit card1, debit card, from your bank account and in cash.

Track Your Transfer

As part of our commitment to security, you can track your international transfers at all times via our website or app.

Visit One of Thousands of Agent Locations

Your transfer receiver can pick up the money in cash at a Western Union agent location in their area. We have thousands locations in Spain and hundreds of thousands locations worldwide.

How to Send Money Securely with Payment Authentication

Another crucial factor when keeping our money transfers secure is our payment authentication process.

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a requirement of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) of the European Union, requiring payment service providers to authenticate digital transactions.

SCA, which is also called 3D Secure, is a multi-factor authentication solution that adds an extra layer of security to digital payments to reduce fraud. It works by asking you to authenticate your payment by using a PIN, password or biometric scanner.

To comply with SCA requirements, Western Union uses multi-factor authentication to protect your online money transfers.

Why Wasn’t My Authentication Successful?

At Western Union, we use Strong Customer Authentication, or SCA, to protect online money transfers. To successfully authenticate your payment, make sure:

  1. Your card or bank account is compatible with the SCA/3D Secure system. If it isn’t, contact your card issuer or register it through your online banking portal.

  2. Your contact details are the same for your bank as those you registered with Western Union.

  3. You enter the PIN or password correctly.

Remember that you can also pay for your money transfers in other ways. When you start an online transfer, we will show you all your payment options.

Remember that you can also pay for your money transfers in other ways. When you start an online transfer, we will show you all your payment options.

Trusted by Customers Around the World

As specialists in international and multi-currency bank transfers, at Western Union® we aim to encourage economic growth and create a better world by keeping you connected with the people who matter most to you. Join customers in over 200 countries who receive money from abroad through Western Union.

How to Make a Secure Transfer: Consumer Protection

Western Union prioritizes consumer protection. That’s why we want to share the following security recommendations:

  1. Be careful if you are asked for a payment in order to receive a loan.

  2. Be careful with sweepstakes, prizes and lottery representatives who ask you to transfer money to receive what you have supposedly won.

  3. Be careful if you receive a letter or email from a foreign government entity asking for help to transfer an alleged excess of funds from a foreign country to your bank account.

  4. Beware of phone calls, which are supposedly from the police, where they claim that someone you know has had an accident or has been arrested and needs money.

  5. Be careful of unsolicited letters or emails that offer you products that are normally expensive or exclusive at unrealistic prices.

  6. Make sure you know who you are sending money to. If you are paying for goods or services through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the seller’s reputation. Western Union is not responsible for any products that fail to be delivered or the quality of such products or services.

How Does Western Union Protect Customer Data?

As part of our commitment to provide the utmost protection on our money transfers, Western Union uses a number of resources, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, to keep your data secure.

To keep your password secure, we recommend the following:

  • Create a password that is difficult to guess. Don’t use parts of your name, your birthday or words that can be easily associated with you.
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers, and a mix of lower case and capital letters.
  • Avoid writing your password in an unsafe place.
  • Your passwords will be better protected if your virus detection software is up-to-date and if you use anti-spyware programs. These programs help protect you from viruses and malware that could use your identity — even if your computer keeps working normally.
  • Be especially careful if you enter your password on a computer or smartphone that doesn’t belong to you. Viruses, spyware or browser settings that copy your username and password could be used to take control of your account.

1 If you use a credit card, a cash advance fee may be applied by the card issuer along with interest. To avoid these fees or to reduce them, use a debit card or check other payment methods.