Western Union Australia Reviewed

In this Western Union review, learn whether they are a good option for making international money and currency transfers.

Western Union is the largest money transfer company in the world. The company began back in 1851 as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. Since then, it has evolved into a company that actively promotes its ability to move money anytime and anywhere.

The Currency Shop says:

  • With more than 500,000 agent locations, the global network and international reach that Western Union has, is their biggest strength.
  • Western Union is excellent at getting small amounts of money to friends and family in an emergency.
  • The fees and charges are not simple, transparent or easy to calculate.

 

What we will cover

We’re most interested in how safe it is to use Western Union, how they work and when you should use them. In this article, we’ll explore:

  • Should you use Western Union?
  • How Western Union works?
  • How safe and secure Western Union are and who owns them.
  • Common Western Union fees and charges.
Woman hand typing on laptop in restaurant
Pros
  • Western Union lets you transfer funds to more than 200 countries.
  • Western Union has an impressive international reach and offers a fast and relatively simple way to transfer money overseas.
  • In many cases, your recipient is able to access the funds within minutes.
  • The exchange rates offered by Western Union are usually slightly better than those offered by the major banks.
Cons
  • Fees do apply. Fees vary, depending on the amount you are sending and where you are sending it to, but it’s important to take them into consideration before deciding whether Western Union’s services are best for your money transfer needs
  • With a little bit of effort and research online, you’ll be able to find better exchange rates from some online money transfer companies.

How It Works

You’ll need to register with Western Union in order to use its money transfer services. To do this, you’ll need an Australian driver’s license, passport or Medicare card for identification verification purposes.
 

Once your profile has been created, you can lodge your currency transfers online or in person at a branch. You must supply your recipient’s full name and address, plus a credit, debit or prepaid Visa or MasterCard that has been issued by an Australian bank. Of course, you’ll also need to be over 18 years of age.
 
Though the availability of funds being transferred can be affected by factors such as agent location hours, funds are typically available for your recipient to pick up within minutes.
 
The first step is to sign up for an account.
 
To register, you need to provide:

  • Your full name.
  • Your phone number and email address.
  • Country of residence.
  • Your address.
  • Proof of ID.
  • Details about your money transfer needs.

 
Once you have an account, it’s a matter of entering the details of your transaction. This includes how much money you’re sending, where you’re sending it and who will be receiving the funds. You have to provide your recipient’s bank account details and the currency you need to transfer, and you will then be offered an exchange rate quote.
 
You can choose to send the money straight away or lock in a rate for a future transaction. It’s then a matter of depositing funds with Western Union from your bank account, and the company will convert the money into your currency of choice and send it to your recipient.

How Safe Is It?

Western Union are the biggest foreign exchange company in the world. They are a public company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result, the company has a huge corporate governance team. There is too much information to cover, but you can find out more here.

How Much Does It Cost?

It depends. When you use Western Union for your currency transfer needs, the transfer fees vary, based on how much you are sending and where you need to send it.

To help you work out how much your transfer will cost, the company has a handy price estimator on its website.

For example, arranging a currency transfer of $1,000 cash to Argentina will attract a fee of $70, whereas sending $1,000 to the UK will see you charged a fee of $10. The Western Union website has a conversion calculator so you can key in the information related to your money transfer needs and work it out simply and quickly.

 

What Exchange Rate Will I Get with Western Union?

The exchange rate you receive depends on a few different factors. These include, the country you are sending the funds to, the method of payment, the currency you are sending and the amount you are sending – with each factor having a bearing on the exchange rate you receive. This makes it very hard to get a good idea for how much it will cost you or how competitive the exchange rate is.

Related: How does Western Union compare to other foreign exchange services?

How Do I Send or Receive Money from Overseas?

Funding is accepted through either bank transfer or BPay. These verify the security and safety of every transaction. Once you apply for a Compass Global Markets Account, the steps for getting started are simple.

 

  1. Login to the trading platform to get an exchange rate and quote.
  2. Lock in a rate and fill out any settlement instructions.
  3. Transfer funding to Compass Global Markets.
  4. Once funds are received, it is forwarded to your recipient in their chosen currency

How Do I Pay?

You must be over 18 years of age to transfer money with Western Union. Once your profile has been created, you can lodge transfers online or in person at a branch. You’ll simply need to supply your recipients full name and address, plus a credit or debit card that has been issued by an Australian bank.

 

Can I Pay by Credit Card?

Yes – a handy feature is that your payment can be made using Visa or Mastercard.

What Currencies Can I Transfer?

Western Union has more than 135 currencies available and lets you transfer funds to more than 200 countries. Be aware that some countries are excluded from the list – including North Korea and Iran.

Compare money transfer services like Western Union

The best deal for you

WorldRemitRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,990.98Exchange Rate0.7150Transfer Fees$3.99Transfer Time1-2 DaysLearn MoreTotal (AUD)$13,990.98Rate Updated less than 6 mins agoGO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7150 will cost you $13,990.98 which includes a fee of $3.99

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit are particularly good for transfers under $10,000 to destinations across Asia, Africa and South America. Sending money online is significantly easier than using companies like Western Union or Moneygram and their exchange rates and fees are clear and transparent. With 2 million users, WorldRemit has a focus on improving access to remittances for the billions people worldwide who don’t have access to banking. Because of this, WorldRemit has a number of ways to both make and receive transfers. They concentrate on servicing individual needs as opposed to businesses. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • They have a great network in Asia and Africa and number of receiving options like cash-pick up or bank transfer.
  • They are clear about their exchange rates and fees
  • No minimum amount

Cons

  • Maximum transfer sizes for every transfer
  • No support for business customers
  • They are not licensed to provide financial advice.

More trusted money transfer options

Provider Exchange Rate Transfer Fees Transfer TimeTotal (AUD) Rate Updated less than 6 mins ago
TransferwiseRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,991.75$0.77 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7180 Transfer Fees$64.17 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $13,991.75$0.77 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7180 will cost you $13,991.75 which includes a fee of $64.17

About TransferWise

Transparency and an easy online experience are the 2 things that set TransferWise apart from the banks and other money transfer companies. If you prefer to bank online, you'll like TransferWise. Setting up an account and making a transfer is very easy. They are also very clear on the exchange rate and fees you'll pay before you make a transfer. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • Clear and transparent exchange rates fees
  • The online experience is first class
  • Like the banks, they are regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Constantly bringing out new innovative products

Cons

  • There are currently a number of global currencies they do not currently support
  • Limited support based in Australia
  • Percentage based fee can add up on very large transfers
TorFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,997.56$6.58 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7144 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,997.56$6.58 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7144 will cost you $13,997.56 with no fees.

About TorFX

TorFX are particularly good taking care of customers over the phone but using their website isn't the easiest to use. They don't charge a flat fee which is great but it's important to consider their exchange rates. While, they don't offer fantastic rates for small amounts under $2000 , TorFX offer exceptionally good exchange rates for larger transfers to the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

Pros

  • No transfer fees
  • Highly competitive exchange rates
  • Secure transfers with authorised
  • Assigned account manager
  • 24 / 7 Assistance
  • Available range of transfer options

Cons

  • Limited exotic currencies available
  • Exchange rates on small transfers aren't great
  • Website experience could be better
XERead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,008.83$17.85 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7138 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $14,008.83$17.85 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7138 will cost you $14,008.83 with no fees.

About XE

XE is a well known and trusted name in the money transfer industry. With over twenty years experience, they now help 33,000 people and 2,000 businesses make transfers each year. Over 60 currencies can be transferred with XE and they pride themselves on the free tools and transparent rates they offer. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Well known and trusted brand.
  • Very informative website. Extensive information on currency and money transfers.
  • XE App is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to see the interbank rate for over 100 currencies.
  • XE themselves charge no fees for international money transfers.
  • Offers support for both individuals and businesses when it comes to international money transfers.

Cons

  • Cannot pay via cash or cheque. Must pay via bank transfer, BPay is also accepted in Australia.
  • Maximum transfer amount is $500,000USD.
  • While XE compares more than 100 currencies, there are only 60 that are available for money transfers.
WorldFirstRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,011.65$20.67 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7137 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $14,011.65$20.67 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7137 will cost you $14,011.65 with no fees.

About World First

World First was founded in 2004 in the UK and has grown rapidly with offices now in the U.S., Canada and throughout Asia. They consistently receive strong customer reviews and in a recent study, 98% of their clients said they would use them again.World First have a strong online offering, particular for businesses selling online. They do provide local support as well with offices in Sydney. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • No fees and great exchange rates
  • Safe and secure transfers
  • Regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Great for personal and business payments

Cons

  • Does not accept BPAY, credit card, cheque or cash
  • Limited currencies available
OFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,118.31$127.33 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7083 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-3 DaysGet discounted rate $14,118.31$127.33 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7083 will cost you $14,118.31 with no fees.

About OFX

OFX (formally known as Ozforex) is the largest Australian owned money transfer company. It launched in 1998 and grew rapidly until finally listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013. OFX excels in 2 areas – Online experience and customer service. The company was born online and continues to develop easy, intuitive products. While OFX customers do most of their transactions online, they are backed up with exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Better exchange rates compared to banks
  • Highly safe and secure transfers
  • 1 - 2 days delivery times for most countries
  • Quick response time
  • Fantastic customer service

Cons

  • Credit cards, cheques and cash are not accepted
  • Transfers to Thailand can take up to 4 days
  • Fees for transfers smaller transfers
ANZRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,324.60$333.62 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6981 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,324.60$333.62 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6981 will cost you $14,324.60 with no fees.
ANZ International Money Transfer is a secure and fast way to transfer money overseas.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers
  • Safe and secure
  • No fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking

Cons

  • $12 fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
  • 24 hour hotline not available
Commonwealth BankRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,713.56$722.58 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6802 Transfer Fees$12.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,713.56$722.58 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6802 will cost you $14,713.56 which includes a fee of $12.00
Commonwealth Bank provides secure and easy transfers to over 200 countries and more than 30 currencies.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers+ Easy transfers
  • Security guarantee covers any losses from unauthorised transactions

Cons

  • $6 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • $12 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates