MoneyGram vs. Western Union Comparison

When it comes to our money we all look for the most reliable options. We want to opt for companies which have served its customers for decades and are established as a synonym for quality and trust. When it’s a matter of international money transfer there is no one who isn’t familiar with the names of two giant in this field – Western Union and MoneyGram. Both the companies have served their customers for a very long time and even in this fiercely competitive scenario, they are able to hold their flag like before. The global presence of their cash pick up points has made them a distinguished service provider in the era of online and mobile cash transfer. These cash pick up points definitely is a lifesaver for people in emergencies and in developing countries where people may not have a bank account. Since they cater to similar kinds of customers they often become a subject of comparison. In this article, we will attempt to have a comparative look at these two service providers and explore the various aspects which a customer would like to know before opting for any of the two services.

About Western Union & MoneyGram

Western Union was founded in 1851 in the US and is one of the most trusted names in the business. Initially established as a telegraph company they later moved into the business of money orders and wire transfers. At present, WU has more than 500,000 pick-up locations present in 200 countries.

Just like WU, MoneyGram is also a US-based company which was founded in 1978. The company operates in 200 countries with 347,000 agent’s locations worldwide. MoneyGram offers money transfers and bill payment services to its customers.

Money transfer through Western Union

WU has made it very convenient for their customers to send money to anyone they want. You can choose to send money online through their website or their app. You can also send money by phone or by visiting one of their local offices.

You need to create your profile first if you are transferring money online or through their app. Once your profile is set up you can start the transfer by clicking “Send Money”. You can pay for your transfer either by your credit or debit card or directly through your bank account. You can also pay in cash at one of their local agent offices. In the next step, you need to select the way the recipient is going to receive the money. The recipient can directly get the money in their bank account or as a mobile money transfer. They can also pick up the money in cash from any nearby WU cash pick up point. The mode of receiving money may differ from one country to another. In the end, you need to just review all the information you have entered and submit the request.

MoneyGram vs. Western Union Comparison

Customers who wish to make a money transfer within the US can also do it over the phone by calling on the WU money transfer hotline. You will be required to present your debit or credit card information along with the receiver’s details such as their name and complete address.

Another easy and popular way of sending money is to send it in person by visiting any of WU local agent office. You will have to produce your government ID and credit or debit card information along with the receiver’s details.

Customers in Canada also have an option to transfer fund from Western Union from any of the Wal-Mart outlets. This facility is available at the Wal-Mart’s customer service counter. You can get an additional discount of 5% on the total transfer fee.

The maximum amount you can transfer through WU is $5000 which gets delivered within minutes to up to 5 working days depending on the country and the mode of payment.

Money transfer through MoneyGram

MoneyGram also has similar options like WU for sending money and payments. In MoneyGram, you can also send money online or using their app as well as by visiting the nearest MoneyGram location. The money can be sent to the recipient in their bank account or in a mobile wallet. The recipient can also pick up the cash from a MoneyGram pick up point.

While transferring money online you need to fill in the details of the receiver and the amount you wish the send. You can make payment either by your bank account or by using credit or debit card. After the verification of your identity, your money will be sent to the receiver and you can track the transfer online too.

If you wish to transfer money in person you can directly contact the MoneyGram local office along with your ID and receiver’s information. You can pay for the transfer with either credit or debit card, or in cash.

MoneyGram vs. Western Union Comparison

Another additional option which MoneyGram offers is that you can also send money with MoneyGram Sendbot. You need to log in to Facebook or Facebook messenger app and click on “Get Started”. You will have to log in to your MoneyGram account and by following the simple instructions you can send money easily.

A maximum amount of $2999 can be sent by MoneyGram which usually take a few minutes to 2-3 days to get delivered.

Transfer fee and exchange rates

The transfer fee varies significantly for both the services depending on a lot of factors such as the country, the amount of money, payment options and how the money is received. The countries having high traffic usually have less transfer fee. However for both the services you will have to pay more if you are paying through your credit or debit card in comparison to pay through your bank account or in cash. The minimum fee in case of Western Union as well as MoneyGram is $5 which goes up to a maximum of $100. The exchange rates of both the companies are almost similar which also varies from one currency to another.

MoneyGram vs. Western Union: Case Comparison

With so many variables in place, it would be convenient to see an actual case of money transfer to make the comparison more useful. I tried to transfer 1000 USD to EUR from the US to France using Western Union and MoneyGram. There are the results.

Payment method Receiving mode Transfer Fee Exchange Rate Amount Received
MoneyGram Online : Bank Account Cash Pick up $25.99 $1 = 0.822 822.24 EUR
Online : Credit Card Cash Pick up $80.99 $1 = 0.822 822.24 EUR
Western Union Online : Bank Account Cash Pick up $26.00 $1 = 0.7875 787.50 EUR
Online : Credit Card Cash Pick up $81.00 $1 = 0.7875 787.50 EUR
Payment method Receiving mode Transfer Fee Exchange Rate Amount Received
MoneyGram Online : Bank Account Bank Account $4.99 $1 = 0.822 822.24 EUR
Online : Credit Card Bank Account $30.00 $1 = 0.822 822.24 EUR
Western Union Online : Bank Account Bank Account $5.00 $1 = 0.7875 787.50 EUR
Online : Credit Card Bank Account $30.00 $1 = 0.7875 787.50 EUR

In the above comparison, it is quite clear that with MoneyGram you can get 34.74 EUR more than what you get with Western Union. The transfer fee for MoneyGram and Western Union is same in each case, but it is the exchange rate which makes the difference. You might have also noted that transfer fee is significantly higher in case of cash pick up as compared to receiving funds in the bank account. The exchange rate offered by MoneyGram is better than Western Union. MoneyGram also took lesser time to transfer money. So in case of emergency, it is always better to go with the faster option. But if you have time you can also research and see which service provider works best in your case. Even though there are many new options in the market, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram are established names and with their customer’s trust in them, they are here to stay longer.