Sending money via wire transfer is one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the world of money transfer. It can be a lifesaver when you are stranded in a foreign country and need someone to assist you by sending money quickly.

    Also, if you have a child studying abroad, sending money has been made easier through via various platforms with MoneyGram and Western Union being the best. They both offer multiple methods to transfer funds. 

    Western Union

    Founded in 1851, Western Union is one of the oldest, top, and most popular money transfer providers in the world. It has over 500 000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories.

    It is the most trusted as it sends money quickly and the recipient can collect the money at any participating agent location worldwide.

    Western Union money transfers are only available at selected ABSA Bank Branches.

    It is convenient as it is available on their banking app, online banking, and at the branch. If you are a non-ABSA Bank client, the agent that will be assisting you will open a new profile for you, whether you are a South Africa citizen, permanent resident, or temporary resident.

    The fees may vary depending on the payment method, how fast the money is delivered, if the money is sent in cash or wired to a bank, where it is sent from, and the destination of the recipient.

    The exchange rate may add to the cost of the transfer.

    It has an option to track a transfer – knowing where your money is, and you will be notified when the recipient collects the money. With Western Union, clients have different options to pick up and send money in cash, receive funds on a pre-paid card, mobile wallet, or in a bank account.

    You can use the mobile app to pay your bills and send money quickly.


    MoneyGram is the second-largest wire transfer provider in the world.

    It has been operating in South Africa since 1998, with now over 5 000 locations across the country.

    They have partnered with Bidvest Bank, First National Bank, and Standard Bank.

    With MoneyGram, one can send and receive money almost everywhere in the world. It allows its users to check exchange rates and fees to the receiver’s destination, to send or receive cash from your nearest MoneyGram agent, and also users to check and track the transfer status.

    The rates are market up depending on the amount you will be sending – the larger the amount you are transferring, the better the rate. You can check the rates live online

    There is no clear view on which provider is cheaper to use, it all depends on the country you are sending to, the currency, and the way you send the money to your recipient.

    This also applies to transfers to bank accounts overseas.

    So, before you make use of any of their services make sure you find out the details of the country you are sending to.

    Remember, there could be more fees involved that may be added to your transactions, you could be charged a cash advance fee by your card provider and the receiver’s bank can also charge a deposit fee or corresponding bank fee to deposit the funds.

    In conclusion, Western Union and MoneyGram are the giant providers.

    What they share in common includes a wide range of global networks of agents and banks, various payment options like cash pick up and bank transfer, complicated fee structures, and uncompetitive exchange rates.

    Check fee calculators are available on both company’s websites to determine the exact cost based on where you are sending the money to and from, using what medium, and if exchange rate fees apply.



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