Is Western Union in the UK safe for sending money?

Gert Svaiko

If you’re thinking of sending money online, it’s only natural that you’ll be concerned about security. You need to know that your money, financial information and your transfer is protected.

With this in mind, we’ll be taking a look at security with Western Union, the US company that’s one of the big names in the money transfer world.

So, is Western Union safe for UK customers, and what security measures does it have in place? Read on to find out.

We’ll also touch on an alternative financial services provider, Wise. You can send money worldwide with Wise, for low fees, fair exchange rates and a full suite of security features working away in the background.

Learn more about Wise

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Can you send money safely with Western Union?

Yes, Western Union is a safe way to send money, and you shouldn’t encounter any security issues when using the service. The company is a trusted name within the money transfer industry, with a history dating back over 160 years.¹

It’s regulated in the UK and uses sophisticated measures and technology to protect your money. WU even has a Fraud Resource Center with information and advice to help you avoid scams.

Is the app safe to send money transfers?

The Western Union app has lots of security features designed to stop anyone else accessing your account, and to protect your transfers. This includes:²

  • Touch ID enabled - fingerprint login prevents anyone from guessing your password
  • Encrypted transfers
  • Transfer tracking - so you can keep any eye on your transfer and make sure it arrives safely.

Is sending money online through Western Union safe?

The Western Union website is just as safe to use for money transfers as the app. Transfers are encrypted, and the company uses the latest technology to make online money transfers safe. This includes protecting the bank details you use to send money abroad.

And is it safe to send money through Western Union online using your card? The good news there is that WU has also added an extra layer of security to protect you from fraud when you fund transfers and pay WU transfer fees with credit or debit cards

Additionally, Western Union has Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) measures in place. Also known as 3D Secure, this is where multi-factor authentication through PIN, password or biometrics is required in order to authenticate payments.⁴

How are money transfers kept safe with Western Union?

For your peace of mind, here are Western Union’s security features and protocols at a glance:

  • PCI DSS compliant
  • SSL encrypted transfers
  • MTCN tracking numbers and notifications to monitor transfers
  • Biometric login to the WU app
  • SCA/3D Secure multi-factor payment authentication
  • Fraud Resource Center for advice and info on avoiding scams
  • Automated fraud warnings
  • 24/7 support, including dedicated fraud hotline (0800 026 0309).⁵

Who regulates Western Union?

In the UK, Western Union is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).³

So, are Western Union money transfers safe? In short, yes - the company has lots of measures in place to protect you and your money. Just make sure to visit the Fraud Resource Center to read up on how to avoid scams, so you can keep yourself safe when sending money online.

If you’re looking for a Western Union alternative, make sure to check out Wise. Wise uses advanced security measures such as 2-factor authentication and a dedicated anti-fraud team to protect you when you send money online.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region.

Sources used:

  1. Western Union - Is Western Union safe?
  2. Western Union - Money transfer app
  3. Western Union - FAQ - Send money online
  4. Western Union - FAQ - Payment authentication
  5. Western Union - Fraud

Sources last checked on date: 31-May-2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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