Western Union Brokers 2022 - Which Brokers Accept Western Union?
Western Union is a financial services organization that is best known for its worldwide money transfer service. Its head office is located in Denver, Colorado, but its retail locations can be found in over 200 countries worldwide including Great Britain (GB). The famous black and yellow logo is internationally recognized as a trusted institution for investors who need to move cash around the globe, one which recently received a valuation of almost $7.71 billion.
This review will explain you how you can send money to trading accounts using Western Union and evaluate the pros, cons, fees and transfer limits. We also list the top brokers that accept Western Union deposits and withdrawals in 2022.
Western Union Brokers
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Western Union Headlines
The firm’s rich history began in 1851, starting life as a telegram transmission service. As the company modernized, it moved away from telegrams and into international money transfers. Devin McGranahan, who was previously the president of Global Business Solutions at Fiserv Inc, was appointed CEO of Western Union in December 2021.
The company completes more than 200 million transactions a year across multiple channels online and in person. The firm essentially enables money transfer and exchange for those who do not have a bank account or would prefer to send or receive cash.
There are several ways to make a deposit using Western Union:
- In-person – Visit a Western Union location near you with the broker’s BIC and IBAN number. You will receive a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) which you will need to pass to the broker’s customer support team to collect the funds.
- Mobile phone app or website – Register for an account with Western Union and transfer money via your online e-wallet. Just visit the iStore or Google Play to download the app. This option requires you to pay via bank account but funds can be collected in cash. Online brokerages will need to receive the money into a bank account so this service is similar to a bank or wire transfer.
Pros Of Trading With Western Union
Western Union is useful if you do not hold a bank account or prefer to pay in cash. The service enables you to bring your money into the Western Union store and deposit it directly into the broker’s account via wire transfer.
However, some brokers only allow withdrawals via the same method as deposit, so check that the broker allows withdrawals to Western Union locations before depositing.
Quick To Pay In
Using the ‘Money in Minutes’ service, Western Union is almost instant. However, it does rely on your broker being quick to accept the payment on their end, so check with customer service if this is possible beforehand.
The firm often has vouchers and discount/promo codes for zero transfer fees, which could make it cheaper than a wire transfer. They also offer a ‘refer a friend’ scheme in which you can earn up to £50 in gift cards.
The firm has introduced Klarna financing to their deposit methods meaning you can break down payments into instalments and spread the cost. You can also use Klarna to send and receive payments directly from your bank account.
Cons Of Trading With Western Union
Limited Scope With Brokers
Western Union is not a popular deposit option at trading brokerages. As financial institutions, regulated brokers are required to perform anti-money laundering checks. Western Union has limited identity checks, so a wire transfer is often preferred as banks are obligated to ‘know their customer’.
Western Union Global Pay charges fees for transferring money which vary by location. It also makes money through currency exchange rates. The exchange rate offered can change daily. Unsurprisingly, high fees can cut into trading capital and potential profit margins.
If you have a branch nearby and want to transfer money to an individual, the firm offers one of the fastest ways to move cash across borders. In fact, you could move your cash from the USA to the UK in minutes.
However, for traders looking to deposit with online brokers, the service is likely to be no quicker than a bank wire transfer. Plus, you are limited to retail store opening times. You can, of course, transfer online or using the app at any hour, but since the broker will need to make a deposit to their bank account, this has limited benefits above a credit or debit card payment.
Western Union is not available as a deposit or withdrawal option with most regulated brokers because of the security risks associated.
Many trading firms are subject to stringent anti-money laundering checks, meaning that they must ‘know their customer’. Since the firm’s selling point is that it enables cash transactions for those who do not have bank accounts, it performs limited identity checks. This makes it difficult for forex brokers to do their due diligence to ensure that the funds have come from a legitimate source.
But in contrast, some reviews suggest that Western Union has sometimes blocked legitimate transactions due to recipients not being able to verify their identity, leading to a Trustpilot score of 3.9 stars.
In the past, the firm has also been criticized because it has been utilized by fraudsters who take advantage of the fact that money cannot be withdrawn or refunded once it has been transferred. While credit card and bank transfers can be charged back, once the money has moved to the new location, this cannot be reversed.
Nevertheless, Western Union is a safe way to deposit money if you are confident in the broker’s credentials.
Deposits & Withdrawals
There are very few regulated brokers who offer Western Union as a deposit and withdrawal method because of the security issues highlighted above. Therefore, before depositing you should check that you are happy with the trading platform’s payment details and credentials.
To deposit funds with a broker using Western Union, you can visit a retail location or go online. You will need to fill in a short form that will ask for the broker’s BIC and IBAN numbers. You can usually find these on the brokerage’s website under the bank wire transfer option. You will not need the four-digit postal code as you will be transferring to a bank account. Check with customer service if the broker accepts Western Union as a deposit method before doing this.
Once the transfer is complete, you will receive a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). Pass this number to customer support at the broker’s end who will then be able to receive your deposit.
The maximum transfer depends on your region. For example, in the UK you can transfer up to £800 within a five-day period. In the US, however, this amount jumps to $3,000.
If you would like to deposit values higher than that, Western Union will need to verify your identity first. There may be yearly limits on how much you can send depending on your location.
To withdraw profits, you will need to submit a withdrawal request with your broker who will then provide you with an MTCN. You can then go online or into a branch with the number to receive your money.
There are some useful videos from Western Union on YouTube with further details on how to move money using the service. Alternatively, see the company website for the contact telephone helpline number in your area.
The cost varies per transaction. There is a table of fees depending on the amount of money transferred and the recipient country available on their website.
The company also makes money through currency conversions. They will buy the currency you own at a slightly lower exchange rate and sell the new currency to you at a higher rate just as most bureau de changes in countries like the UK do. You can find out the charges that apply to each transaction by using the transfer fees calculator available on their website. This service also includes a currency converter.
This can sometimes make Western Union an expensive option compared to alternatives such as Transferwise and MoneyGram depending on the exchange rate offered on the day. It is also worth taking into account that some online brokers charge for deposits and withdrawals.
Is Western Union A Good Choice For Traders?
Western Union may be a good choice for traders who prefer to pay in cash. However, most regulated brokers will not accept the payment option because they cannot complete anti-money laundering checks. Fees can also be pricey. And since you will need to deposit to a bank account on the broker’s end, if you hold a bank account, it may be best to explore alternative deposit methods.
Alternatively, see our list of brokers that accept Western Union deposits here.
Is Western Union A Bank?
No, Western Union is not a bank because it does not hold funds or offer loans. It is a money transfer service that enables you to move money around the world, including to trading brokers.
Can You Transfer Money Using Western Union Online?
Yes, if you would like to transfer from an existing bank account, you can use the Western Union website or mobile app. However, brokers will require you to transfer to their bank account, so you may prefer to cut out the middleman and complete a bank wire transfer instead. Check the fees for wire transfers vs Western Union to see which is better value.
Can You Transfer Money Using Western Union To A Bank Account?
Yes, and this is the method you will use when depositing with a trading broker. You will need to obtain the brokerage’s bank details (BIC and IBAN numbers) to do this.
Can You Use A Credit Card To Transfer Money With Western Union?
Are Western Union Payments Instant?
Western Union usually takes around 1 – 3 days to process transfers. However, money can be moved on the same day using the ‘move money in minutes’ service. This is a good option for investors looking to make instant deposits to trading platforms.
Is Western Union Open On A Sunday?
Yes, most Western Union branches are open on Sundays with shorter opening times. Their web and app services are available 24 hours for sending money but funds cannot be received until the next working day.