What is Western Union?
The history of Western Union goes all the way back to 1851 when Hiram Sibley and Ezra Cornell both (separately) established a telegraph company in the United States of America. The two founders were originally competitors, each building their own telegraph lines infrastructure. In 1855 they decided to merge their companies, realizing this was the only way to make progress.
In 1871 Western Union’s first money transfer service was introduced, using its (by then) extended telegraph network. Today Western Union is primarily known for this service and in 2012 carried out 231 million consumer-to-consumer money transfers from over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and representing a total worth of $ 79 billion. Their business payments in the same year represented a worth of $ 432 billion.
The principle of a Western Union money transfer is based on moving cash money from A to B. When someone wants to send money to someone else he (or she) needs to go to one of the 500.000 Western Union agents all around the world (the nearest agent can be found by a “locator” on the Western Union website). There the cash money is received by the agent, together with the name and location of the recipient. The depositor gets a 10 digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and a receipt of the transaction. The depositor then has to pass the MTCN to the recipient that subsequently can get the cash, after identifying him or herself with a valid ID, at one of the many Western Union money transfer supporting agents worldwide (normally a bank, a post-office or another Western Union agent).
Nowadays it’s also possible to wire money via Western Union by the internet (on the Western Union website) with a VISA or MasterCard credit card funding the transaction. However, this is only possible for (and between) citizens in 23 countries and one needs to open an account at Western Union.
Western Union charges a fee for its money transfer service and this fee doesn’t only depend on the amount sent, but also differs from country to country. Normally Western Union charges 14%-18% over the amount transferred.
The money transfers by Western Union are instant, that is, within a couple of minutes after the depositor has finished the depositing procedure the money will be available for the recipient to collect.
When registering at the Western Union website and opening an account it’s possible to get a pre-paid Western Union (Mastercard) that allows members to directly receive money transfers on the card, purchase goods and services online wherever MasterCard is accepted and even get cash money from MasterCard supporting ATMs.
Last but not least Western Union also has a free downloadable mobile application which makes it possible to transfer money online using a mobile device.
Paying with WesternUnion in an Online Casino
Normally when a player wants to deposit money on the casino account by using Western Union the customer support of that specific casino needs to be contacted.
The helpdesk attendant will ask for some details about the player and they will provide the player with the details that have to be passed to the Western Union agent that will carry out the transfer. The depositor, after having passed the funds to the Western Union agent, then informs the casino what the MTCN is after which the money will arrive on the casino account of the player.
The time it takes for the deposit to be effectuated depends on the country in which the deposit was made and the specific online casino. Normally the money will arrive after a few minutes, but it can also take 1 to 3 days until the funds are visible on the casino account.
Many casinos have a standard form to fill in to make a deposit with Western Union. The player provides his or her name and some other details, makes the deposit at Western Union and subsequently also informs the casino about the MTCN.
Starting from a certain amount transferred by Western Union some casinos will refund the Western Union fee. For example, if the transfer was $ 800 and $ 120 was paid as a fee the player will eventually receive $ 920 on the casino account.
Withdrawing with WesternUnion in an Online Casino
To withdraw funds from the casino account with Western Union is possible too. And again it’s wise to consult the customer support of the casino about this option. In general, a player will get an MTCN code provided by the casino with which he (or she) should be able to get the withdrawn funds at any Western Union affiliated agent.
Advantages of Using Western Union
- The most important advantage of using Western Union to deposit money on (or withdraw from) a casino account is that it’s swift (instant) and very safe, especially when it’s done online by using a Visa or MasterCard credit card.
- Another advantage can be the pre-paid Western Union MasterCard that allows players to benefit from even more options in online payments and money transfers.
Disadvantages Using Western Union
- The main disadvantage is that Western Union money transfers can be quite costly, especially when the amount transferred is low and the online casino won’t refund the fee Western Union asks for its services.
- Also having to displace yourself (when the online option is not available) to find a Western Union agent that can make the deposit can be a time-consuming and therefore inconvenient disadvantage.
Where to Pay with Western Union?
As nowadays there many other ways to deposit money to (or withdraw from) the casino account there aren’t too many NetEnt Casinos that offer this payment solution. To see which NetEnt Casinos do, have a look at the examples on this page.