How to cancel a Western Union transfer

Samuel Clennett

Western Union has an impressive global reach, covering 200 countries and territories with their network of over 500,000 agents worldwide. You can send and receive money online or via an agent location, and some locations also offer services such as bill payments.

This guide will take a look at your options, if you’re wondering how to cancel a Western Union money order or transfer.

We’ll also highlight some alternatives to the service Western Union provides, for comparison - including Wise. With Wise you can make fast, safe, low cost international payments - and you can also get a Wise borderless account to make your day to day spending easier. More on that later.

Sending money with Western Union

A note before we begin. Transfers with Western Union are also called money orders. In this guide we’ll use the terms transfers and money orders interchangeably, as they mean the same thing.

To get started with Western Union, you’ll need to register. Once you’ve done this, you can send money online, or visit one of the 3,700 Western Union agent locations across Australia to arrange your payment¹.

To register you must provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Phone number and email
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth

You’ll also have to provide proof of ID with an Australian driver’s license, proof of age card or passport.

Once your account has been verified you can make payments. You’ll start by modeling the transfer you want to make - either online or in store - this will generate a quote showing the fees and exchange rates on offer. If you decide to go ahead you’ll then pay Western Union using cash, card or a bank transfer. The money is then sent to your recipient for collection, or as a direct payment into their nominated bank account.

Cancelling a transfer with Western Union

So you might be wondering how to get a Western Union refund - or indeed, if you can you cancel a Western Union transfer at all once it’s been arranged.

The answer is: it depends. Timing matters. If your payment has been released to the recipient - in cash or to their bank account, you might not be able to get your money back.

If the payment has not yet been processed, you can contact Western Union and ask them to stop the payment and return your money. In this case, you may not get your transfer fees back, and the method of refund is at Western Union’s discretion. You might, for example, need to visit an agent location to get your money back.

Contacting Western Union

You can contact Western Union in any of the following ways:

  • Use the online contact form available on the Western Union website
  • Call the customer service number - 1800 173 833
  • Write - Western Union Financial Services, Inc., P.O. Box Q1522, QVB Post Office, Sydney, NSW 1230

If you’re trying to get a refund on your payment, time is of the essence. Phoning the customer service number might be the best way to get an immediate response.

Some alternatives to Western Union

Before you arrange your money transfer, it’s worth looking at alternative services. Although Western Union has a large branch network in Australia and around the world, they may not be the cheapest or most convenient for your payment. You might find there’s a better option out there if you do a little research.

If you’re planning on arranging your transfer online it’s simple to check out a few alternatives at the same time.

You might look at a service like PayPal if you’re sending money to friends and family in Australia⁵. PayPal payments within Australia are free if you fund them with your PayPal balance or linked bank account. However, there are charges for some other methods of payment. Sending money internationally with PayPal can also be costly, so check out the full fee structure before you commit. There’s lots more about PayPal international fees, here.

You could also try Beem it if you’re sending within Australia⁶. Beem it is owned by Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac, and offers domestic transfers for registered users. However, this service won’t work if you’re sending money to a friend or family member overseas. It’s also worth noting that your recipient will need to register an account with Beem it to get their money.

If you plan on making an international money transfer, check out Wise. Wise cross border payments are made using the mid-market exchange rate with no mark-up, and for just a low transparent fee. This can work out up to 8x cheaper than regular banks.

You can also get a Wise borderless account for simple day to day money management. You’ll be able to hold dozens of different currencies in the same account, and switch between them using the mid-market exchange rate when it suits you. You’ll only ever pay a low fee per transaction. You can send money from within your account to friends and family all over the world, knowing your money is safe, and you’re getting a great price for your transfer.

Western Union is a global super brand. But they’re not your only option. Check out some alternatives, to see if you can save.



All sources accurate as of 13 December 2019

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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