Xoom vs. Western Union, which should you choose?

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Looking for better and cheaper ways to make an international money transfer? Xoom, Western Union are well-known international money transfer and remittance providing companies that allow the customers to send and receive money to other countries. Therefore, people often end up looking for Xoom vs. Western Union comparisons.

xoom vs western union

If you're looking to transfer money across the globe, you might ask yourself, "Western Union or Xoom?" Founded in 1851, Western Union (WU) has been in the money transfer business for providing services for more than a century. Although Xoom (XOOM) just came on the scene in 2001, while TransferWise established in 2011, they offer a very similar service.

So which one should you choose? Keep reading to learn the differences between Xoom and Western Union - and determine which international money transfer service best fits your needs.

which money transfer service best fits

1. Service Area:
Xoom's service is only available online.
With Xoom's international money transfer service, customers can only send money online using their mobile phone, tablet or computer. With Western Union, customers can send money online, but they also can send money from by phone, in-person or from more than 100,000 ATMs worldwide.

Western Union transfers to more places.
Xoom offers its customers to send money from United States to thirty five (33) countries of the world. While Western Union is offering its financial services on over 218 countries of the world from developed to under developing countries.

2. Fees:
Xoom offers lower fees.
When the customer of Xoom pay with their bank account, fees are just $4.99 and transactions over $1,000 are totally free. Figuring out your transfer fee with Western Union can be muddied. Although most fees start at $5, they can soar to up to $45 when paying by credit or debit card for cash pickup in certain countries. When sending money to high-traffic countries such as Mexico or India, however, some agents offer fee-free transfer options. Xoom can charge lower fees because it does not have the overhead of maintaining physical customer-facing centers like Western Union.

Keep in mind that both Xoom's and Western Union's fees vary depending on your country, the country to which you are transferring money, your funding source, the payout currency and the overall transfer amount.

3. Service Type:
Xoom only offers consumer-to-consumer transfers.
If you need to transfer money to a business, you'll have to go with Western Union. Xoom only allows consumers to transfer to other consumers (family and friends), whereas Western Union offers both consumer-to-consumer transfers as well as business transfers and bill-payment services.

Western Union allows cash as a funding source.
With Xoom, customers can only transfer money from their checking account or debit or credit card. The company does not accept cash as a funding source. Because Western Union has physical locations staffed with agents worldwide, it accepts cash for money transfers. With Western Union, you can walk into an office, give an agent cash and transfer the money to a recipient thousands of miles away. Your recipient can also receive the money in cash – immediately, in some cases. If you or your recipient doesn't have a bank account, Western Union is probably the better bet.

4. Processing Time:
Western Union usually offers faster processing times.

Although Xoom promises instant transfer in certain countries, the company often has very little control over the actual delivery to the recipient's account. That's because processing times depend on each individual bank. On the other hand, Western Union can ensure quick delivery because it has its own agents across the globe.

5. The Bottom Line:

Xoom and Western Union are both viable money transfer options. The best choice for you depends on many factors, including how much money you're sending, how quickly you need to send it, whom you're paying and where they live. Before you settle for one of these services, be sure to calculate the fees and exchange rates on each company's websites. For more on money transfers, read Find The Top Money Transfer Services.


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