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MoneyGram vs Western Union: A close comparison

If you have had the experience of sending money abroad whether for business-related purposes or merely just to send money to a family member or a loved one, you have definitely come across the big question of ‘Which payment service provider to choose?’ or ‘Which one could provide me the best solutions?’. These questions may be difficult to answer at first glance, however, with an insightful inquiry over the concept, it could be as easy as a walkover.

MoneyGram vs Western Union: A close comparison
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MoneyGram and Western Union are two of the biggest money transfer services in the world, offering money transfer services within the US, and abroad. Nonetheless, when choosing a money transmitter, it is of great importance to carefully compare and contrast the transfer fees and exchange rates of your options.

The guide provided for you below will walk you through some of the boldest and most significant factors contrasted in these two important payment service providers.

MoneyGram vs Western Union: An overview

As mentioned earlier, choosing the best provider for your international transfer can prove to be tricky at times, especially with 2 or more choices available. To begin with, both MoneyGram and Western Union are among the largest and most well-known payment service providers of the world with a slight difference that  MoneyGram is the world’s second biggest money transfer company, while Western Union comes in as the largest on the planet. Users can transfer funds either by having the payment delivered directly into their bank account, or collecting the money in cash by visiting an agent location near to them. To add to this, both MoneyGram and Western Union cover pretty much the entire globe with  over 200 countries and territories, and MoneyGram listing 70 countries digitally

Follow the rest of this article to go from a general overview on MoneyGram vs Western Union to a more specific one.


Countries and territories

Although it’s been said that Western Union has better coverage of global countries and currencies as compared to MoneyGram, both MoneyGram and Western Union support transactions in over 200 countries and territories and over 500,000 agent locations worldwide. However, there is still a limit set for sending money in each, depending on a variety of factors. Western Union decides on the amount a customer can send, based on where the customer is sending money to and from, their transaction history and the type of payment they are making. On the other hand, MoneyGram sets a limit of USD10,000 for most online transactions. However, using an agent you may be able to send more than this, in case the country you are sending to has not set other limits. Larger payments might need more details and documentation to comply.

Customer support

There have been several complaints reported on consumer review websites like ‘Trustpilot’ and ‘Consumer Affairs’ saying that the customer service and the support center of both of these providers were faulty and had put them into so much trouble. Some were complaining about the support team not caring about “responding to complaints even after chasing them several times” or the receptionists being rude, others were frustrated being hung over the phone more than an hour just to get the answer to a simple question. Looking at it from a general perspective, 24% of MoneyGram users had reported having a bad payment experience, whereas, the number for Western Union slumps to 10% based on data collected by Trustpilot. 

moneygram vs western union fees


The fees for MoneyGram depend on several factors including the location you are sending funds to, the type of payments you’ve chosen and the amount you are sending. The same goes on for Western Union as well with an additional factor of the currency pair you are transferring between. The good news is that you’ll always get to model your transfer before confirming it, which gives you the chance to see the fees involved. Generally speaking, the overall fees for Western Union are lower than those of MoneyGram which makes it a cheaper option in the long run. 

Exchange rates

If you compare and contrast the rates of these providers with those of the mid-market exchange rate, you’ll notice a difference for each provider which makes them not as good as when you are using a currency converter or online search. The reason for this is that these providers add a markup or margin to their rates giving them or their agents a bit more profit than usual. Overall, MoneyGram has slightly better rates than Western Union but the difference is not very much noticeable. Nevertheless, the two companies are extremely competitive in this case. 

moneygram vs western union


When it comes to safety, both providers are hugely trustable and secure as they both are licensed and regulated in the countries they operate in. These rules and regulations are provided to keep you safe from any money laundering issue, scam or fraud risk. So put your mind at ease when transferring money with both of these providers. 

Bottom line

To conclude, both MoneyGram and Western Union are considerable options when choosing a payment service provider in the sense of security, convenience and scalability. MoneyGram is perhaps the better option when it comes to fast transfers, while Western Union takes the win for larger sums

Looking for more money transfer providers in addition to Western Union and MoneyGram? An alternative is PayPax online payment gateway, offering the mid-market exchange rate, simple charge and transparent fees. Cross border payments with PayPax are often cheaper and faster than other providers. Join our customer club today and start saving money by using PayPax.

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