How to send money from PayPal to Western Union? (Full Guide)

Adam Rozsa

In this guide, we’ll look at whether you can link Western Union and PayPal. If so, you’ll be able to use your PayPal balance to pay for WU transfers. We’ll look at the different options available, including how to access your PayPal funds in cash so you can pop into a local WU branch to set up a transfer.

But remember, Western Union isn’t the only option for international transfers. You can send money worldwide with Wise, for low fees¹ and the mid-market exchange rate.

Get a Wise Account today

Is it possible to link Western Union and PayPal?

Unfortunately, no - you can’t link Western Union and PayPal together.

Western Union doesn’t support PayPal as one of its payment methods, which is what you’ll use to fund and pay for international transfers. It’d be great if it did, as you could simply select PayPal when confirming your transfer.

However, there are some ways around this. You can still use your PayPal balance to pay for Western Union transfers, but you’ll need to complete a few extra steps. It’ll take you some extra time, and could potentially incur additional costs. We’ll run through your options next.

💡 Want to compare the two providers? Check out our review here: Western Union vs PayPal.

How to send money from PayPal to Western Union - your options

So, you can’t link Western Union and PayPal together directly. But the good news is that there are other ways you can use PayPal to fund WU transfers. Here are your main options:

Option 1 - Use a PayPal debit card³

PayPal offers its own debit card, which you can use for online and real-world shopping and spending. You can use it anywhere that Mastercard is accepted, which includes Western Union.

Western Union accepts debit and credit cards to fund transfers. So in theory, you should be able to enter your PayPal debit card details when the time comes to pay.

However, there is a chance that your card payment will be blocked by PayPal as part of its anti-money laundering policies. If it does go through, there may be fees to pay.

Alternatively, you can use your PayPal debit Mastercard to withdraw cash at an ATM. Then, you can simply head to your local Western Union branch and pay in cash for your transfer.

Option 2 - Transfer via your bank account

The second option is to transfer money from your PayPal balance to your bank account. Then, you can use your bank account to pay for your Western Union transfer.

This option involves a couple of extra steps, but is reasonably straightforward. The most important thing to do is make sure your bank account is linked to PayPal. Here’s how to do it³:

  1. Login to your PayPal account
  2. Go to ‘Wallet’
  3. Select ‘Link a bank’
  4. Enter your bank account details
  5. Follow the verification steps - this may involve PayPal depositing a tiny amount in your checking account, alongside a 4-digit code. You’ll need to enter this in your PayPal account to turn your bank account from ‘unconfirmed’ to ‘confirmed’.

Once this is done, it’s easy to withdraw your PayPal balance to your bank account. Then, on Western Union, select your bank account as the payment method.

Option 3 - Use a Western Union Prepaid card²

The final option to try is using a Western Union Prepaid card to send money from PayPal to Western Union.

Here’s how it works. You’ll need to sign up for a WU debit card, then add it as a linked card in your PayPal account - just like with an ordinary bank account or card. Then, you can withdraw funds from your PayPal balance to your WU card.

When setting up your Western Union transfer, you can use this card (loaded with PayPal funds) to pay for it.

Save money on international transfers with Wise

Sending money abroad? Make sure you also check solutions like the Wise Account, which is fast and free to open online.

Open a Wise account for free¹, and you can send, convert and hold 50+ currencies at once. It also offers:

  • Local bank details to get paid in 10 different currencies
  • Low-cost money transfers, using the mid-market rate plus a small fee¹
  • For a fee¹, order the Wise international debit card, for low-cost spending in 174 countries.

See how much you can save with Wise:

Are there any fees to pay?

Using any of the above methods to send money from PayPal to Western Union, it’s likely that there will be fees involved. It’s difficult to give these exactly, as these methods are a little complicated and involve different steps.

On the Western Union side, you may have to pay a transfer fee. This can vary depending on the amount you’re sending, currency, payment and collection methods. There’s also likely to be a margin added onto the mid-market exchange rate, which makes the transfer more expensive overall.

PayPal also charges a number of fees, especially if currency conversion is involved. So if you’re sending a WU transfer in a currency other than USD, you could pay a 5% international payment fee - plus a currency conversion fee of 4%⁴.

PayPal also charges a fee of 2.90% + a fixed fee when you send a domestic personal transaction by card⁴.

💡 If you want to find out more about what are the fees for using Western Union, check out our guide here

💡 If you want to find out more about what are the fees for using Western Union, check out our guide here.

Due to the fees, complications and extra steps involved, it may not be worth using your PayPal account for Western Union transfers. If you have a bank account, it’s probably simpler to use this as your preferred payment method.

But there are alternatives. You can skip Western Union altogether and use Wise to send money all over the world, for low fees¹ and the mid-market exchange rate.

Learn more about Wise

Sources used for this article:

  1. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.
  2. Monito - Send money from PayPal to Western Union
  3. PayPal - How do I add my bank account to my PayPal account?
  4. PayPal - Fees

Sources checked on 08-Feb-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 TransferWise 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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