Western Union vs Wise: Which is the best app for Money Transfer in 2024

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Western Union and Wise are two leading remittance companies offering international money transfer services, each with its own remarkable features and benefits.

If you are seeking to send money abroad, check out our complete Western Union vs Wise review so you can make an informed decision when navigating the complex landscape of international money transfers.

Here we take it at a glance:

Quick Summary: 

Western Union is a global money transfer service that gives you access to over 200 countries to pay in cash, bank accounts, and mobile wallets. Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international service provider that allows you to pay directly through bank accounts, multi-currency accounts, and cards for both personal and business purposes.

Western Union vs Wise— Facts compared

 Western UnionWise
Transfer feesInstant cash payments, but bank transfers take time.Percentage based Low-fees from 0.43%
Exchange RatesMarkup on mid-market ratesExact mid-market rates.
Transfer speedSecurity & SafetyUsually arrives instantly
Security & safetyFully licensed and regulated.Fully licensed and regulated.
Service ratings4 out of 5 ratings on Trustpilot4.2 out of 5 ratings on Trustpilot

Western Union vs Wise— Features compared

FeaturesWestern UnionWise
Availability200+ countries160+ countries and 40+ currencies
Cash pay in and outAt thousands of locations
Multi-currency account40+ currencies account.
Mobile paymentsAvailable At limited locations
Business accountAvailable by converaWise Business account available
Debit CardWise Debit Card

An Overview— Western Union or Wise?

Which international money transfer service is best for your needs? Western Union or Wise— it will depend upon the payment method, country, and more specific services you need. 

The Western Union money transfer service offers a variety of payment and delivery options to almost every country in the world. Moreover, exchange rates and fees are slightly higher depending on the payment method, amount, and country you are sending to.

Wise international remittance is expertise in making direct bank transfers to over 50+ countries within a low transparent fee and comparable mid-market exchange rates. Further, Wise gives you a multi-currency account and an international debit card.

Findings: Western Union or Wise Who wins?

Being authentic Wise is favorable for making direct bank transfers in minutes with transparent fees. On the contrary, Western Union provides you with cash pick-ups at an extensive network with fast delivery. So, which service wins will depend on the payment method and country you are sending to; overall, both are considered the best international service providers

Western Union vs Wise— Fees and Exchange Rates

Western Union international transfer fees and exchange rates vary depending on the sending amount, location, and payment method. It means you will be charged a distinctive fee and markup rates when you pay online or in the app, followed by in-person transfers. 

In short, your sending amount includes the transfer fee, mid-market exchange rate markup, and third-party fee (when you pay with a credit card). But your transfer costs increase when you send payments in person at an agent location or deliver money in cash, and you get less competitive exchange rates when comparing digital payments. 

Check the Western Union exchange rates today and transfer fees by transferring money from the USA to India. 

Wise money transfers cost you transparent fees and exchange rates. Wise app transfer fees depend on the amount, payment method, and country from which you are sending. It may vary according to which service you select, like fast transfers, which will cost you high fees, rather than long-term transfers, which will cost you low fees. 

TransferWise exchange rates are competitive, giving no markup on mid-market rates. You can get the same rates that are currently presented on Google. However, you can hold money in your Wise account for free.

Findings: Which app is better for sending money through Western Union or Wise? 

Overall, both remittances provide a good transfer service. Western Union offers you cash pick-up (having more options) almost all over the globe at high fees with markup rates, while Wise offers you low-cost transactions in a limited number of states. 

So, the best money transfer service for sending money will depend on the service you need. 

Western Union vs Wise: Money Transfer Speed

In general, the speed of the transfer reflects the method of payment, currency type, country, and time required by your bank to clear the payment. 

Western Union takes minutes to 2–5 business days for payment, depending on the payment method you used. Here we list Western Union money transfer speeds in accordance with payment methods:

Mobile wallet transfer— immediately.

Bank transfer— 2–5 business days.

Cash collection— in minutes.

Next-day payment— available within the next 24 hours.

Wise Payments arrives in just a few minutes or within 24 hours; the exact delivery time will be shown while you arrange your payment. 

Findings: Which is Western Union or Wise faster?

There are key factors on which transfer speed depends, but Western Union takes more time for bank transfers compared to Wise specialists for bank deposits. 

Western Union vs Wise: Safety Features and Legitimacy

Western Union protects customer data and information by using various sophisticated security measures, such as biometric protection, SSL and TSL certification, and a 3D secure system. More importantly, it is regulated and licensed by Money Transmitters wherever it is operated.

Wise is a FinCEN-registered and licensed company in the US, and most of its states. It also partners with Community Federal Savings Banks, where it is not licensed. More importantly, it has anti-fraud protection and two-factor authentication.

Findings: Which is wiser or safest for Western Union?

Wise and Western Union are both legitimate sites and licensed, trustworthy providers. Both international transfer services are 10/10 and never compromise on customer security protection.

Western Union vs Wise: Features and Availability

Account Registration: 

Western Union allows you to create an account online, in an app, or at a nearby agent location. Check for the complete account sign up process.

Wise account registration can be completed online or via the Wise app. For a complete guide on how the provider works, click here

Supported Currencies:

Western Union is available in almost all countries so you can make a transfer in any currency. 

Wise is available in 160 countries, so you can send and hold money in 40+ currencies in your Wise account. 

Transfer limits (minimum and maximum):

Western Union has a minimum limit of 1 USD and a maximum limit of $50,000 USD or the currency equivalent to it when you pay from a verified account. The requirements may vary in some locations.

Wise transfer limits depend on the currency and the payment method you are sending. But if you want to send larger amounts and the limit is exceeded, you can make multiple transfers.

Payment methods available:

Western Union gives you multiple ways to send money via bank transfer, debit card, credit card, or cash at locations.

Wise also offers you different options via bank account, debit card, or credit card. 

Availability in the United States:

Western Union is available almost everywhere on the globe; you can get a complete package of services in any country. 

Wise is available in 160+ countries, including the US. But to check, you can visit the Wise website, select the country, and get the transfer accounts and services available to you. 

Western Union vs Wise: Customer Review

Western Union receives excellent 4 out of 5 ratings on Trustpilot, where most of the customers give positive feedback praising its fast delivery time, safety, and ease of use.

While some of them face difficulty with speed of transfer and the Western Union reward program, Western Union replied to all of these Trustpilot reviews. 

Wise (TransferWise) also received an excellent 4.2 out of 5 rating, in which customers liked its account services, ease of use, speed of transfer, and exchange rates. 

But Wise also criticizes due to problems with account verification, transfer delays, additional checks being completed, and the temporary locking of profiles. On top of that, the Wise team reached out and replied to all of those Trustpilot reviews and dealt with their cases personally. 

Conclusion: Which international transfer service is wiser, Western Union?

Wise or Western Union are both efficiently working to provide customers with the services they need. You can select the one after analyzing the services and features you require. 

You can compare more money transfer services on our site, like Currencies Direct, BOSS Money, TransferGo, Ria Money, and more.

Overall, Wise offers you multi-currency accounts, cheap fees and rates, and expertise in making quick bank transfers, while Western Union gives you cash pick-ups quickly at thousands of agent locations. You can compare the other features discussed in the article and make the best choice for you. 

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