Alternatives To Western Union
The Best Competitors & Alternatives To Western Union Money Transfers
Western Union Overview
Western Union is one of the largest, oldest and most well known international money transfer services in the world. They offer bank to bank transfers, but also have a massive reach of agents and shopfronts around the world, which can conduct cash transactions.
Being such a large, well-established company, they have a very efficient and easy to follow the process for transferring foreign funds. They also allow you to send money to over 200 countries, which is a lot more than most FX providers, and even some banks.
The main issue with Western Union is that their fees and foreign exchange rates can leave something to be desired. In general Western Union is usually cheaper than using your bank to transfer funds, but there may be cheaper alternatives to Western Union.
Unfortunately, Western Union has been in the media for negative reasons, with criminals using Western Union as a platform to conduct scams. This doesn’t mean that Western Union is a scam company, but it has had some bad publicity in the past.
Keep reading for a list of Western Union alternatives, which could be right for you…
The Best Alternatives To Western Union, And Why...
OFX With 24/7 Personal Service & Business Products
OFX is one of Western Union’s major competitors. They have a large country reach and a long list of currencies available – although not quite a large as Western Union, which is market leading.
OFX is great for business transfers or larger personal transfers. They’re not so good for smaller personal transfers, as these can sometimes come with a $15 fee.
What we like about OFX are their personalized service and market insights. If you’re running a business or sending a larger amount of money overseas, then it’s great to have a professional to talk to and walk you through your transaction and any market movements. We’ve found getting on the phone with OFX usually only takes a couple of rings – no waiting on hold for ages…
TransferWise With Low Rates & The Borderless Account
TransferWise is quickly becoming more and more well known in the Foreign Exchange Industry, and for good reason. They’ve exploded into the market with one of the lowest cost products, easy to understand fees, and well-known investors such as Richard Branson.
TransferWise pricing ranges depending on currency pairs, but will generally have a small set fee plus a fee of around 0.5% of the volume being transferred. This is great for large or smaller transfers.
Depending on which country you are registering an account in, you may have access to the TransferWise Borderless Account, which allows you to receive and hold different currencies at a fraction of what a bank would charge, and without having to open accounts in different countries. This is something that you cannot do with Western Union. They also offer a Debit Mastercard in select countries, so that you can spend and withdraw money from the account.
CurrencyFair & Their Mix Of Low Cost / Customer Support
CurrencyFair is another peer-to-peer style FX company, and have been operating since 2010; so they are not new to the money transfer industry. They’re based in Dublin, Ireland but have offices in the UK and Australia too.
At this stage, they’re unable to register customers in The US. So if you’re based in the United States, then look elsewhere for your alternative to Western Union.
Using the peer-to-peer system of CurrencyFair, you’ll find that costs remain very low. You’ll usually be charged between 0.25%-0.6% on transfers, plus a small set fee.
Being a low-cost FX provider, you’d usually expect customer support to be lacking, but CurrencyFair has a good reputation for keeping their customers happy, while still keeping the costs down. They’re like a happy medium between low cost and supportive.
InstaReM With Low Cost Remittance
If you’re looking for a low-cost option for remitting money to friends or family overseas, InstaReM might be a good alternative to Western Union for you.
InstaReM specializes in providing a low-cost option for smaller transfers to in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.