Western Union Money Transfers

Written by Linda Alexander
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It used to be that if you wanted to send money quickly to someone in need, you had to use a wire service like Western Union. They were the first money wiring service in the U.S. and have been helping people send money for over 135 years. Because of their well-known name and solid reputation, services like these are still more trusted than other electronic money transfer services.

A wire transfer is, essentially, the transfer of money from one bank account to another. A third party, such as a bank or a wire service provider, always carries out the transaction. The banks have to be members of the Federal Reserve System, but nearly every bank in every country is part of the system or has a partner bank that is.

New Ways to Send Money

Nowadays, many companies are set up to provide wire transfer services, such as PayPal and iKobo. These online companies allow you to send money worldwide over the Web with an email address and a credit or debit card. The only drawback to these online services is that it may take a week or more for your recipient to get the money. The companies are not banks, so you shouldn't leave your money in your accounts with them in case of fraud.

If you are interested in money transfers online, another option is through your local bank. Most banks will allow you to conduct them online instead of in person. Most of the time, your recipient will have access to the money in a matter of minutes or hours.


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