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What’s The Difference Between A Wire Transfer vs. Western Union?

Wire Transfer vs Western Union
September 29th, 2014

A wire transfer can take many forms. Using Western Union is in fact a kind of wire transfer. This is because a “wire transfer” is an umbrella term to mean any kind of method that sends money from one location to another by electronic means.
 
Using Western Union
 
Western Union is one of the easiest ways of sending money, as it has thousands of locations around the world. All you need to do is to make sure there is a Western Union location near you, and your recipient has one near them too.
 
To be able to send money, simply go to a Western Union office, fill out a form and then give them the money you want to send. They will then give you a code that you need to give your recipient so that they can claim the funds.
 
After you send the money, the recipient can immediately get it. He just needs to go to Western Union, provide proper identification, and give the code.
 
Wire Transfer
 
Using Western Union is not the only way to do a wire transfer from one place to another. In fact, some people use the term “wire transfer” to refer specifically to sending money through banks.
 
With banks, there are several ways to do this. You and your recipient simply need to open an account with the same bank. You can then instruct the bank to wire transfer the specified amount from your account to the account of the recipient.
 
This can take just a few minutes to complete, instead of days. It’s a great way to send money easily and quickly if both of you already have accounts in the same bank. If not, then it’s not really difficult to open a bank account anyway.
 
It’s also a very secure way of sending money. Opening an account requires government issued IDs. It’s also very cheap to send money this way too.
 
It’s also possible that two different banks can send money from one bank account to another, if the recipient has an account in a different bank. But you need to make sure that your bank offers this service. If not, you need to make other arrangements.
 
For example, you can use PayPal, which is technically another form of wire transfer as well. You can tie your bank account to your PayPal account, and you can transfer money to your PayPal account. You then transfer the money from your PayPal account to your recipient’s PayPal account and then he can withdraw that money and it will be deposited to his bank account.
 
In short, a wire transfer usually means using banks to transfer money electronically. But it can also mean any sort of electronic transfer of funds, and one option is using Western Union.
 
Keep in mind however that Western Union is generally more expensive compared to bank transfers. Paypal charges a fee but there is a work around. For example, you can choose “Personal Payments” because Paypal does not charge a fee for it. However, this is not the safest option as Paypal does not offer protection to the sender when you choose this route. If you want a more secure yet inexpensive way to do send money, your best option is a bank transfer.


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