Western Union Services

In this paper we will discuss Western Union Services.

Western Union Company is an American financial services and communications company. and was the best-known U.S. company in the business of exchanging telegrams. [ read more… ].


Services “Online Services” :

Western Union’s website, westernunion.com, still allows users to send and receive funds to others, pay bills, or purchase gift cards.

The domain westernunion.com attracted at least 8.7 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com study.


Western Union Services ” BidPay Services ” :

As the Internet became an arena for commerce at the turn of the millennium, Western Union started its online services. BidPay was renamed “Western Union Auction Payments” in 2004 before being renamed back to BidPay. BidPay ceased operations on December 31, 2005, and was purchased for US$1.8 million in March 2006 by CyberSource Corp. who announced their intention to re-launch BidPay. BidPay was later discontinued by CyberSource effective December 31, 2007.


Western Union Services “Mobile Services ” :

In October 2007, Western Union announced plans to introduce a mobile money-transfer service with the GSM Association, a global trade association representing more than 700 mobile operators in 218 countries and covering 2.5 billion mobile subscribers.

The proliferation of mobile phones in developed and developing economies provides a widely accessible consumer device capable of delivering mobile financial services ranging from text notifications associated with Western Union cash delivery services to phone-based remittance options. Western Union’s mobile money transfer service offering will connect its core money-transfer platform to m-bank or m-wallet platforms provided by mobile operators and/or locally regulated financial institutions.


Western Union Connect :

The company launched the Western Union Connect service in October 2015, following partnership agreements with major instant messaging apps WeChat and Viber. The partnership allows users of WeChat to send up to $100 to China, the US and 200 other countries, while Viber users can send up to $100 for $3.99 plus exchange rate fees, with that fixed fee increasing the more money is sent up a limit of $499.


Sending and receiving funds :

In order to send funds, a sender goes to a Western Union office and presents funds (plus fees) for “Next Day” or “Money in Minutes” service. The sender provides his or her name and address, the recipient’s name, and a designated payment destination. Western Union then provides the sender a 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that the sender must provide to the recipient. The recipient then proceeds to a Western Union agent office in the designated payment location, presents the 10-digit MTCN, and a photo ID. Money is then paid out to the recipient. In some locations, if a recipient lacks identification documents, the sender and receiver can set up a pre-arranged password. Funds are paid out in cash, although if payment exceeds a local maximum or cash on hand, a check is issued. Alternatively, a sender may forward funds to a recipient by using Western Union’s website or by phone. In some countries, the recipient doesn’t need the MTCN number if one has sufficient identification.


Transfer fees :

Fees vary based on the sender and receiver’s location, type of transfer, and whether the money is sent from a counter location or by the website.


Past services :

Along with satellite telecommunications, Western Union was also active in other forms of telecommunication services:

  • Common carrier terrestrial microwave networks
  • Business communications networks such as Telex and TWX, which was acquired from AT&T Corporation and renamed Telex II by Western Union
  • Landline-based leased voice and data communication circuits
  • Long distance telephone service
  • Airfone air-ground radiotelephone service from 1981 to 1986
  • Cellular phone service for a very short time in the early 1980s (the phones were made by two-way radio manufacturer E. F. Johnson Company)

Most of these services were discontinued by Western Union in the late 1980s due to a lack of profitability, with the company’s divisions providing said services being divested and sold to other companies, such as the 1988 sale of WU’s satellite fleet and services to Hughes Space and Communications, and the sale of WU’s Airfone service to GTE in 1986.


WU Scam industry :

WU  has been required to maintain records of payout locations of the individuals who may be laundering the money, though this information may be obtained only through the use of a subpoena.

Hence advance-fee fraud and romance scammers continue to receive funds via WU confident in the knowledge that money lost to overseas scammers is almost always unrecoverable. For this reason, it is banned as a medium of payment through eBay, and discouraged on other online auction websites. [ Read More… ]


Western Union Services :

Western Union’s website, westernunion.com, still allows users to send and receive funds to others, pay bills, or purchase gift cards. [ Read More… ]


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