Banking Category Banking: the easy, simple banking guide

How does western union work?

Western Union is set up for those who need to transfer money to another individual located some distance away. Walking into a Western Union office and requesting a money transfer is not the most popular way since the advent of computers, but it is still possible.

The Western Union employee takes the money to be transferred and fills out paperwork with the name of the payee and the payer. The company charges a fee for the service, and the money is wired to the specified location.

Online and Over the Phone

If going to Western Union in person is not an option, you can set up a free online account or call and submit information over the phone. Both of these options work the same way as the in-person option, except cash cannot be involved because the transfer is being done electronically. The customer provides information on the recipient and the payer and their bank account numbers and pays a fee. The money is transferred to the recipient's location for pickup at the time designated. Pickup locations for all types of transfers can include a Western Union office or the recipient's bank.


If the money is being sent to a bank, the funds are sent by a wire transfer from Western Union to the bank account requested. Transferring money this way should be done in advance because it can take several days to process.

If money is needed more quickly, transferring the funds to a Western Union office is the fastest way.

The individual sending the money pays the company when the paperwork is filled out, and the information is put into the company database. Because it has the money, plus the related fee, the money can be ready for pickup at the designated Western Union location within minutes of it being entered into the system.