Western Union is a worldwide company that offers financial services such as money transfers, money orders and commercial services. Western Union was originally the most well known company that exchanged telegrams. The company is based in Englewood, California, but has over 410,000 branches worldwide. They make over $5 billion a year.
Western Union allows people to send and receive funds and pay for bills in a number of ways. This can be done on their website, www.westernunion.com, which attracts traffic exceeding 9 million visitors per year. It can also be completed through mobile devices, as Western Union's money transferring platform is connected to various mobile banking platforms.
The most common way to send and receive money through Western Union, however, is still at a Western Union office. There, the sender presents funds he or she wants to transfer, plus a wiring fee. They also provide their name and address, the receiver's name and address, and the location to which the money is to be sent. The sender receives a 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number, which must be provided to the recipient. The recipient must travel to a designated Western Union location and present them with the Money Transfer Control Number and photo ID to receive their money. If the receiver lacks ID, he or she and the sender can agree to use a password to allow the transfer to go through.
The fees for a Western Union money transfer varies based on the amount of money being sent, the location of the transfer, the method used (online or in an office), and the means by which payment are issued (cash or credit card). In general, the smaller the amount of money being sent, the less the transfer fees. Transfers completed in the same country as the receiver, online, and using cash (when at an office) also accrue the lowest transfer fees.