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Western Union: oldest “online” money transfer service in the world

Published on 14 May 2014 by Sebas


Western Union is the world's oldest "online" money transfer serviceWe conclude our series of articles about the new online payment pages we’ve added to our guide last weekend with Western Union: the oldest “online” money transfer service in the world. Western Union started their first payment service already in 1871 and of course at that time the internet didn’t exist. It would take another hundred years before the World Wide Web as we know it today would come to full maturity and it would take another 15 – 20 years before the first real internet payment service was introduced (being PayPal).

But still we can state Western Union was the first “online” payment service as from 1871 the company allowed individuals to sent electronically money to other individuals by their telegraph wire (lines) infrastructure, installed all over the United States of America in the years before. So in a way Western Union was indeed the first company to establish the world’s first online (electronic) payment service.

Western Union nowadays is worldwide known for their money transferring system by which both consumers as businesses can send money to other consumers and businesses and yearly the company carries out more than 231million consumer-to-consumer transactions in over 200 countries.

Western Union initially only worked with cash money: a consumer had to go over to one of the 500.000 Western Union agents, provide the name of the recipient together with the to-be-transferred amount to the agent, receive the 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number MTCN and after passing this MTCN to the recipient the latter could receive (upon identifying him- or herself) the money at another Western Union agent all around the world.

Today it’s also possible, for citizens from 23 countries, to make a Western Union payment online on the Western Union website and by using a Visa or MasterCard credit card.

The payments made by using the Western Union service normally are carried out immediately, whether when done by paying cash to a Western Union agent or by using their online service. However, the processing time for a Western Union payment can depend upon the country from where the depositor has made the deposit. The payment method is also safe and secure and normally (when depositing in cash) the depositor doesn’t even need to identify him- or herself which makes the payment also anonymous (only the recipient needs to identify him- or herself with a valid ID and needs to possess the MTCN).

The big disadvantage of using Western Union is that they charge quite hefty fees for their money transfers. When making a deposit in an online casino it’s better to use their service for bigger amounts as some online casinos will take the fees upon them.

More about Western Union and how to make a deposit to (or a withdrawal from) an online casino can be found out on the Western Union page we’ve recently added to our guide. On the same page the Netent Casinos are listed that accept payments made by using the Western Union money transfer services.


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