• Frequently Asked Questions

    WESTERN UNION® BUSINESS SOLUTIONS – ONLINE FX OVERVIEW

    What does Western Union Business Solutions offer?

    Western Union Business Solutions offers a full range of award-winning foreign exchange services, along with the ability to harness our global network of trading offices and banking partners.

    What is Online FX?

    The Online FX platform empowers businesses and individuals alike, with a fast, reliable, and streamlined method for sending outgoing international payments and money transfers, 24 hours a day, from the convenience of a home computer or mobile phone.

    How does Online FX work?

    Sending a payment is a simple process that can be completed in a matter of minutes: just book your payment though your online account then send us your funds by wire or EFT/ACH, we’ll then send the equivalent amount of the chosen foreign currency to your recipient by the delivery method chosen. The amount of foreign currency that your recipient receives will be the amount that you were shown at time of booking, regardless of any fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate prior to delivery.

    Is your service available in my country of residence?

    Online FX is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

    How is this service different from the standard Western Union money transfer service?

    Western Union Business Solutions offers only bank-to-bank transactions. The standard Western Union transfer service offers cash-to-cash, cash-to-bank, prepaid, and a number of other methods.

    Do you provide an MTCN for payments?

    A Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) is not provided when using Online FX, because your payment will go directly into your recipient’s bank account and they will not have to claim the funds from a Western Union location. The deal ID number we provide is only for your personal reference.

    Do my recipients need to have a Western Union account too?

    No, they do not. You can send a payment directly into their bank account or mailed as a draft (which is like a certified check or money order). Drafts are available only in select countries.

    Are there any restrictions to sending or receiving?

    Due to anti-terrorist financing laws and anti-money laundering laws, we are not allowed, under any reason, to process trades from the following countries:

    • Belarus
    • Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
    • Cuba
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Liberia
    • Myanmar (formerly Burma)
    • North Korea
    • Sudan
    • Zimbabwe

    In addition, the United States and other countries maintain lists of persons and groups to whom we are not permitted to transmit a payment. We screen payments to assure that they are not sent to a person or group identified on such designated persons lists. A payment designated for such persons or groups could be subject to seizure under applicable law.

    During any transaction, regardless of the countries involved, you may be required to provide additional details regarding the purpose of the transaction, the source of the funds, and the relationship between the sender and the recipient.

    Is your website secure?

    We leverage a number of technologies in order to help safeguard your personal information, ‎including Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.0). TLS is a cryptographic protocol that encrypts any ‎information such as user IDs, passwords, and credit card numbers that you provide us with. Our 256-bit encrypted connection is verified by Comodo internet security.

    The locked padlock you see in your browser window indicates that the information that you are sending and receiving has been encrypted for your protection.

    Can I use cash or a credit card when sending funds to Western Union Business Solutions?

    Western Union Business Solutions cannot accept payment by cash or credit card; however, we do accept payment via a variety of methods.

    We choose not to accept payments by credit cards because these companies deduct merchant fees, which would increase the cost of your transaction.

    How quickly will my recipients receive their money?

    The delivery time for your transfer varies according to the deliver method that you selected when booking your transaction. Find out more about the delivery methods available.

    How can I contact you?

    Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week*, so if you have any questions, help is never more than a phone call away. Please call 1.866.430.5386 (U.S.A. and Canada) or +1.732.694.2257 from international locations. Alternatively, email online@westernunion.com.

    ⃰ Service is available in English 24/7. For other languages, please inquire.

    What are your operating hours?

    You can initiate a transaction on our online platform at any time of day or night. Our customer care team is dedicated to providing you with any assistance you may require, and can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    ⃰ Service is available in English 24/7. For other languages, please inquire.

    CURRENCY CONVERTER AND TRANSACTION FX RATES

    Are the rates displayed by your currency converter buy or sell rates?

    The rates displayed by our free currency converter are neither "buy" nor "sell" rates. They are the current interbank rates, which are the wholesale exchange rates between banks for transaction amounts over $5 million USD. They do not include spreads or handling fees that may be charged by any foreign exchange provider. Please note that these rates will vary from the rates available to our private and small business customers, due to transaction sizes and processing costs. These rates are therefore provided for indicative purposes only.  Please log in to your Online FX account to see the rates we offer to customers. 

    Do you trade at the mid-market rates indicated by the global currency market?

    No financial institution is able to trade at the mid-market rate. These rates are derived from the mid-point between the buy and sell rates of large value transactions in the global market. The buy and sell rates are set independently by any foreign exchange provider and will always be different from the mid-market rate

    How can you offer such good value with your rates?

    Foreign exchange providers make their profit through the "spread.” Since we are the world’s largest non-bank provider of foreign exchange, our volumes and operational efficiency allow us to offer a lower spread than most traditional banks. The result is a lower cost to you, without surcharges and hidden fees.

    How does the Market Alerts email service work?

    Our Market Alerts service is a feature accesible from within your Online FX account, which enables you to set a rate alert based on your actual client rate rather than those shown by our free currency converter.

    Our Market Alerts service allows you to specify your preferred rate of exchange. Our system will then monitor the markets 24 hours a day, five days a week (during global markets operating hours), and send you an email when the specified rate becomes available.

    Market Alerts can help you to transfer at the right time in order to get the rate you want; providing you with a greater level of control over your international payments, and the potential to save money.

    Market Alerts are active for a period of 30 days. After this period your alert will expire and you will have to set a new one.                                  

    Who do I contact for to find out more about your rates?

    Customer Service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call 1.866.430.5386 (US and Canada) or +1.732.694.2257 from international locations. Alternatively, email online@westernunion.com.

    SIGNING UP

    How long does it take to sign up to Online FX?

    It takes just seconds and requires only basic personal information. You can then log in and check out our live customer rates and create personalized  Market Alerts. If you like the rates you are shown then you will need to complete your profile in order to a book transaction at this rate.

    Completing your profile takes a just few minutes and requires only a few key pieces of information.Your account should then be ready to book transactions within 24 hours.

    Why do I need to provide my personal information?

    We need to gather your personal information in order to authenticate your identity, so that we can protect you from online fraud. Rest assured that all of your information is kept confidential.

    How long will it take for my new account to be activated?

    Once your profile has been completed, our team will review your details and contact you within 24 hours to let you know if your account has been activated, or whether we require further documentation in order to verify your identity and help protect your online identity from fraud.

    How will I know if my application has been accepted?

    Once your completed profile has been authorized by our enrollment team, you will receive an email confirming that you can now book trades with your new Online FX account.

    Can I use my existing Western Union online account to book transfers?

    No, you cannot. You need to set up a new Online FX account if you want to send funds via bank-to-bank transfers.

    What browsers do you support?

    The Online FX platform support most popular web browsers, including the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari (Mac OS).

    As an individual, what sort of documentation may I have to submit to complete my profile and activate my account?

    Individuals and sole proprietors may require the following:

    • A bank statement
    • One piece of valid government-issued photo ID and one piece of valid secondary ID*
    • A physical mailing address (PO boxes are not accepted)

     

    Depending on the nature of your transaction, different types of information may also be required.

    *i.e. a passport, driver's license, or birth certificate.

    As an business, what sort of documentation may I have to submit to complete my profile and activate my account?

    Businesses require all of the following:

    • Proof of signing authority
    • Official business documentation (e.g., a business license)
    • A physical mailing address (PO boxes are not accepted)
    • One piece of valid government-issued photo ID and one piece of valid secondary ID*
    • A list of all shareholders holding at least 25% of the company

     
    Depending on the nature of your transaction, different types of information may also be required.
    *i.e. a passport, driver's license, or birth certificate.

    TRADING AND MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNT

    How can I book a trade?

    You can book a trade through your Online FX account , which you can access online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    How long does a trade take to process?

    This depends on the payment and delivery options you choose when booking a transaction, for more information please consult our Rates & Transfers page. For the fastest processing time, please choose our expedited (wire) option, which ensures that your funds will arrive with your recipient within 2–3 working days

    What currencies can I trade?

    Online FX can allow you to convert from the following currencies to over 130 currencies:

    • AED – United Arab Emirates dirham
    • AUD – Australia dollar
    • BHD – Bahrain dinar
    • CAD – Canada dollar
    • CHF – Switzerland franc
    • CZK – Czech Republic koruna
    • DKK – Denmark krone
    • EUR – the euro
    • GBP – Great Britain pound sterling
    • HKD – Hong Kong dollar
    • HUF – Hungary forint
    • ILS – Israel new shekel
    • JPY – Japan yen
    • KWD – Kuwaiti dinar
    • MXN – Mexico peso
    • NOK – Norway krone
    • NZD – New Zealand dollar
    • PHP – Philippine peso
    • PLN – Poland zloty
    • SEK – Sweden kroner
    • SGD – Singapore dollar
    • THB – Thailand baht
    • USD – United States dollar
    • XCD – East Caribbean dollar
    • ZAR – South Africa Rand

    Please note that that US customers may only be able to send from a limited number of the above currencies, due to restrictions enforced by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    What payment options are available for me to send you funds? How long does this process take?

    When booking your transfer, you will be prompted to select from a variety of methods by which funds can be sent to us and delivered to your recipient. Check our Currencies and Countries page to see what delivery options are available to you. Simply pick a destination country from the drop-down list and you will get the answer.

    How can my recipient receive the funds?

    We offer three delivery methods:

    • Electronic fund transfer / Automated Clearing House (EFT/ACH)
    • Wire transfer
    • Draft (like a certified check or money order)

    Not every method is available to all countries, so please check our Currencies and Countries page to find out what options are available for the region you wish to send to.

    How do I check the status of a trade that I booked?

    You may check the status of your trade by logging in to your Online FX account and looking under Payments > History. Alternatively, you may also contact us at any time and speak to a customer service representative.

    What is a trade limit

    Your trade limit is the total amount that you can book in trades at any given time. This also includes any outstanding trades that you have in process. Once we receive your payment for a trade, this amount will be reflected in your trade limit.

    For example, if you have a trade limit of $10,000 and you have sent a payment of $10,000, you will unable to book another trade until the first trade has cleared through our system. Likewise, if you book a trade of $7,000 and go to book a second trade, you will find that you will be limited to sending $3,000.

    All new accounts are pre-approved with a trade limit of $10,000 USD.

    How do I increase or decrease my trade limit?

    You may request to have your trade limit increased or decreased by logging in to your Online FX account and clicking on “request to change your limits” link from the Home Page.

    You may also contact us by phone to arrange the adjustment. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call 1.866.430.5386 (US and Canada) or +1.732.694.2257 from international locations.

    What is a basic trade?

    A basic trade is what is commonly referred to as a spot transaction. A basic trade consists of you booking an international money transfer, involving the exchange of two currencies at the current market rate.

    When you book a basic trade in Online FX, the exchange rate is locked-in at the rate that you are quoted when you confirm your booking. This ensures that your recipient will receive the amount you were quoted in their currency at time of transaction, regardless of any fluctuation in the exchange rate before they receive actually the payment.

    What is a bid?

    Bids (also known as limit orders or standing orders) allow you to specify your ideal rate of exchange, and then have our system automatically process your payment when the rate becomes available.

    Limit orders are not available through the online platform. Once you have signed up and your account has been activated, please contact one of our customer service representatives to arrange the service. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call 1.866.430.5386 (US and Canada) or +1.732.694.2257 from international locations.

    What is a forward contract?

    A forward contract enables you to lock-in today’s exchange rate for a trade that you wish to conduct at a future date. This ensures that if the market fluctuates in the meantime, your funds are protected and you will receive the rate that you booked at.

    Forwards can be booked up to a year in advance. A 10% security deposit is required for all forward contracts, and the minimum transaction amount is $5,000.00 CAD (or equivalent in your currency).

    Forwards are not available through the online platform. Once you have signed up and your account has been activated, please contact one of our customer service representatives to arrange the service. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call 1.866.430.5386 (US and Canada) or +1.732.694.2257 from international locations. Forward contracts may not be available in all countries.

    What information is required to add a bank account to my online profile?

    The information required to add a bank account varies by country and region. Please see below.

    For the United States, we require:

    • A nine-digit ABA number (this usually matches with the state in which your bank account was opened)
    • A bank account number

    Please note that two banks have separate ABA routing numbers for wire transfers (026009593 – Bank of America; 121000248 – Wells Fargo). These routing numbers cannot be used for ACH/EFT payments.

    For Canada we require:

    • A four–five-digit branch transit number
    • A bank account number
    • The bank branch address (must match the branch transit code)

    Europe:

    Most European countries use a unified IBAN format. If you have an IBAN and a SWIFT code, no bank account number or routing number will be required.

    All other countries:

    Please contact your financial institution for accurate wire instructions for your bank account.

    I’ve added a new bank account online; however, it does not show up in the bank account list when booking a trade. Why is this?

    Please make sure you’ve given your consent for us to use the account that you added. This permission can be granted by clicking on the bank account in the “My Accounts” list and ticking the box marked ”allow deposit to this account” and/or ”allow withdrawal from this account.”

    If you are still unable to choose the account that you wish to utilize, please make sure that you selected the correct currencies when booking the trade. The account list is populated only with the accounts designated for the specific currency.

    How do I delete a bank account from my online profile?

    You are unable to remove bank accounts through the online platform; however, you may either call us or send us an email, and our customer service team will be happy to delete the account for you.

    I made a mistake while booking a trade, can I cancel or amend?

    If you believe that an error was made when you booked your trade, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team.

    Please note that most trade details may be amended; therefore, we recommend that you contact our customer service team before booking a new trade, in order to avoid any cancellation fees that may apply.

    I don’t want to exchange currencies, can is still use your services?

    Yes, we can also offer you a service to send same currency transactions, e.g., USD to USD. However, please note such transactions will incur extra costs.

    FEES AND COMMISSIONS

    Do you receive any commission or charge any fees for using your services?

    We generally will offer a “no fee” transaction for most payments. Charges could apply if choose wire transfer or EFT as your delivery method.

    We make our money on what is known as the “spread,” which is the small differential between the price we quote you for a trade and our actual cost of completing the trade for you. Our volumes allow us to maintain our spreads and provide you with great value.

    Will I be charged a fee to open or hold an account with Online FX?

    No, there is no fee to open or hold an account. Signing up to Online FX is free and requires no commitment.

    Is there a fee when I send a wire transfer payment to you?

    We do not charge any fees for receiving funds into our bank accounts. However, your bank may apply a charge to any domestic wire transfer that you send to us. Please contact your financial institution to find out their charges for outgoing domestic wire payments.

    Is there a fee for sending a wire payment to my recipient?

    Yes, there is. This fee varies based on the currency of the outgoing wire payment.

    You will always get a full quote for the total amount that you need to send us when booking your trade online or over the phone.

    Are there any other fees that I will need to pay to Western Union?

    Western Union will always display all charges from us before you confirm your trade. However, there are additional fees that could apply in certain unusual circumstances. 
     
    Situations where additional fees could apply include:

    • Stopping and re-issuing a draft because you provided an invalid recipient name, address, etc.
    • Re-sending funds if the original wire or EFT transfer has been returned because we were provided with an invalid account number, recipient name, or transit number, or if the bank account has been closed.
    • If a direct debit account has been used to pay for a trade, but we were unable to debit as a result of insufficient funds, or if the funds were not cleared from your bank account.
    • If the funds have not yet been received by your recipient, we can initiate a wire trace. If the trace reveals that the funds were in fact credited as you instructed, then a service fee will apply.
    • A cancellation fee may also be charged if you request to cancel a trade due to certain circumstances.