Download Mobile App
Follow us on
April 5, 2024 Transfer Money Abroad
8 minutes, 19 seconds Read

Western Union International Money Transfers: Everything You Need to Know


Rate =
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Summary: While opting for the Western Union platform for your international transfer may appear efficient and cost-effective, alternatives like BookMyForex offer a more affordable and convenient service. Keep reading to discover more about Western Union International Money Transfers.

Western Union is one of the reputed money transfer service providers, with a customer base in nearly every country. Its services in India include both receiving money from abroad as well as facilitating money transfers for individuals aiming to send money out of India. However, Western Union’s pricing model is complex, and the company has previously faced criticism for its failure to adequately safeguard consumers’ data. It admitted to misconduct and settled for $586 million in 2017 with the Department of Justice and other government agencies for its inability to prevent wire fraud on its platform. In this blog, we will provide you with all relevant details and a comprehensive overview of Western Union’s international money transfer services.

How Does Western Union Work?

Western Union started offering payment-related services approximately 150 years ago, initially providing money transfers via the telegraph network in offline settings. Over time, its offerings have expanded and transformed, however, the offline channel is still a notable aspect of Western Union services. 

Today, Western Union offers a money transfer service that allows you to send funds to someone else,  either within your country or abroad. You can initiate the transfer online, through their app, or by visiting a Western Union agent location in person. There are various payment options available, including cash (at agent locations), debit card, credit card, and bank transfer (depending on your chosen destination). 

The recipient can also choose how they receive the money: it can be deposited directly into their bank account, picked up in cash at a Western Union agent location, or even deposited into their mobile wallet (if available in their country). Keep in mind that Western Union charges fees for the service, and the exact amount depends on the transfer amount, destination, and your chosen payment method.

Receiving International Funds in India from Abroad via Western Union 

Receiving money from abroad through Western Union is straightforward and does not incur any fees for the recipient. Whether it’s from friends, family, or colleagues, there are several options available for receiving funds in India. 

Methods of Inward Remittance with Western Union:

There are four methods for receiving money in India via Western Union. Your sender will be prompted to choose the delivery mode, so it’s important to inform them of your preferred option before they finalize their transfer.

Cash Pickup

You can pick up your transfer in cash from any Western Union agent location throughout India. Simply present the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) along with a valid government-issued ID to avail the cash pickup service.

Directly to a local bank account

This option involves transferring the funds directly to your local Indian bank account. You need to inform the sender of your bank account number, IFSC code, address, and contact number. The sender will need to specify the reason for the remittance.

Online banking

If you hold an account with the Federal Bank of India, you can receive the amount through your online banking portal. Simply log in to your Federal Bank of India online banking account, provide the sender’s details and the MTCN number, and choose the account you want the money to be deposited in.

Mobile banking

If you have an Airtel wallet, you can receive Western Union transfers directly into it. All you need to do is log in to your Airtel payment bank account app, enter the sender’s details and the MTCN number, and choose the account you want the money to be deposited in.

Transfer Speed for Inward Remittance with Western Union 

The duration for receiving the money depends on the delivery method chosen by the sender. The sender will be notified of the expected delivery time during the transfer process or upon approval. For cash pickups, it’s advisable to verify the days of operation and working hours of your local agent to ensure you can collect the funds when they are open.

Fees & Charges for Inward Remittance with Western Union 

As a recipient of funds, you will not incur any charges or fees for the transfer. However, there are limitations on the amount you can receive. You can receive a maximum of 30 transfers per year, and according to Indian government regulations, each transfer is limited to the INR currency equivalent of USD 2500. For Indian nationals, the maximum cash payout is Rs. 50,000. Tourists in India may be permitted to receive amounts exceeding Rs. 50,000 in specific cases.

Sending Funds Overseas from India via Western Union 

To send money abroad from India via Western Union, the initial step is to register on the Western Union website. To complete the registration process, you must be at least 18 years old and possess a PAN card. Additionally, you’ll need to provide personal details such as your annual income, occupation, and nationality.

After registration, you’ll need to verify your profile, which can be done at any YES bank branch. Bring along your PAN card and proof of address for verification purposes. Alternatively, you can opt for online verification using e-KYC, where you input your Aadhaar number. Once all steps are completed and your registration is successful, you’ll be able to send money using Western Union.

Sending Funds Overseas from India via Western Union: Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s how to transfer money internationally using Western Union:

1. To initiate an overseas money transfer, access your Western Union account dashboard and select “Send Money.” 

2. Choose the destination country and preferred sending method from the options provided. 

3. Next, input the recipient’s details and specify the preferred delivery method for the funds. 

4. Then, review the applicable fees, exchange rate, and transfer details, and agree to the terms and conditions.

Western Union also facilitates payments to non-individual entities such as businesses, schools, or universities. However, this service is currently limited to select countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. When selecting the recipient, ensure to indicate “non-individual” and choose the purpose of the transfer accordingly.

Transfer Speed for Outward Remittance with Western Union 

Sending money with Western Union is a relatively quick process, provided that you complete your payment promptly. However, the time required to receive money will vary depending on the method and destination of the transfer. In some cases, it can be as quick as 1 business day.

Fees & Charges for Outward Remittance with Western Union 

The fees associated with sending money through Western Union vary based on several factors, including the destination, the amount being sent, and the chosen delivery method. These fees may include a transfer fee, which is a service charge imposed by Western Union. 

Additionally, there’s another fee i.e. the markup fee added to the exchange rate offered by Western Union. The platform sets its exchange rates up to 2% higher than the mid-market exchange rate to generate more profits. You can find more cost-effective money transfer service providers, both in terms of transfer fees and exchange rates.

Countries Where You Can Transfer Money with Western Union

Resident Indians can send outward remittances up to a maximum value of 250,000 USD per financial year with Western Union. You can transfer money to over 200 countries with Western Union such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Best Alternative of Western Union: BookMyForex

While Western Union is considered convenient for overseas money transfers, it is not the most economical option. In addition to potential transfer fees, there’s also a hidden markup fee in the exchange rate with Western Union. The platform offers an exchange rate with a huge markup on the interbank rate. The interbank rate, often displayed on platforms like Google, doesn’t include any mark-up. Hence, Western Union’s exchange rate is less favorable which can increase the total cost of your money transfer.

Western Union has even faced criticism for its pricing structure and past issues with consumer protection related to wire fraud. In 2017, they settled with the Department of Justice and other agencies for $586 million due to these concerns.

When you think of a quick, secure, and affordable way to transfer money abroad, think of BookMyForex – a MakeMyTrip group company and India’s most trusted forex platform. With the best rates and zero transfer charges, BookMyForex has revolutionized the way people send money abroad

Comparison of Western Union with Top Service Providers for Outward Remittance


FeaturesBookMyForexWestern UnionSBI BankAxis BankHDFC Bank
Exchange RatesLive and Transparent Rates,
Rates Get Updated Every 3 Seconds
1.5-2% Markup Over Base Rates2-3% Markup over Base RatesUp to 3% Markup over Base Rates 2-3% Markup over Base Rates
Transfer ChargesZERO
Use promo code: ZEROBANKFEE
Variable fee: Depending on the payment methodService Charges: INR 299-550,
Bank Charges: INR 1000-1500
Rs 1000+GST and Rs 500 Swift ChargesUp to USD 500 or Equivalent - Rs. 500+Gst, above USD 500 or Equivalent - Rs. 1000+Gst
Transfer Speed12- 48 Business Hours24 Business HoursUp to 72 Business HoursUp to 24-72 Business HoursUpto 72 Business Hours
Hassle-Free Booking Option24*7 Online Booking Option AvailableOnline Booking Option Available Both In-Branch & Online Booking Options AvailableBoth In-Branch and Online Booking Options AvailableOnline Booking Is Available, but Not for All Remittance Purposes
Customer Service SupportOn-Call and Online Customer Assistance On-Call and Online Chat Assistance Lack of Dedicated Staff to Assist CustomersBoth On-Call and Online Customer Support AvailableOn-Call Customer Support Available


Although opting for Western Union for your international transfer might seem like the most efficient and cost-effective choice, alternatives such as BookMyForex could provide a more affordable, convenient, and expedited service. With competitive exchange rates, zero transfer fees, and a range of other benefits, BookMyForex is the most trusted platform in India for international money transfers.


This blog serves as a general source of information and should not be considered professional advice from BookMyForex or its affiliates. Readers are encouraged to check the respective platform for specific details

Leave a Reply

Book A Forex Order
Select Field
Select Field
Select Field
Select Field
Rate = 68.0875 Select Field

Need Forex? Request A Call Back

  • USD 1.2 Billions

    Exchanged so far

  • 6,50,000+

    Happy Customers

  • 5000+

    Banks and Money Exchangers

  • Zero Margin Rates


Need Forex? Request A Call Back

Book My Forex Pvt. Ltd., a MakeMyTrip group company, is a currency exchange service provider authorised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). | License number : FE.DEL.FFMC/ U070/2013 | Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation | IRDAI Registration No. CA0429 | IRDAI | Cheques are subject to realization.

* Zero margin rates/ interbank rates are available only on forex cards on specific currencies, in select cities for orders amounting to Rs. 1.5 lakh or more (Use promo code: ZEROMARKUP)

** Same-day delivery is available from Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) when all payments and documents are received before 1PM.

BookMyForex Pvt Ltd

P-701 to P-705, 7th Floor, Tower C, JMD Megapolis, Sohna Road, Sector-48, Gurugram, Haryana 122018

© BookMyForex. All Rights Reserved

We Accept:
Secured By:
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn