Xoom vs Western Union

Xoom vs Western Union


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Struggling to choose between Xoom and Western Union? You’re not alone. With so many similar features, finding the right fit can be daunting.

Enter Western Union, a trusted veteran with global availability, agent locations, and cash pickups. Then there’s Xoom, boasting low fees, speedy transfers, and competitive rates. But how does Xoom fare against Western Union’s industry experience?

Discover more in our in-depth Xoom vs. Western Union comparison below.


New user incentiveFirst transfer for free
Fees and costs🟢
Transfer speed🟢
Transfer limits🟢🟢
Ease of use🟢🟢
Customer reviews🟢
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Xoom vs Western Union Company Comparison


Xoom is an electronic money transfer company founded in March 2001 and was acquired by PayPal in November 2015. The company allows users to send money to friends and family in over 160 countries. 

Xoom has over 250 million customers who use the service for the following reasons:

  • Transfer money to a recipient’s debit card, mobile wallet, or bank account
  • Pay international bills
  • Reload their prepaid mobile phones
  • Send money as cash for home delivery or collection

Since Xoom is a part of the PayPal service, users must have a PayPal account to send money. Recipients aren’t required to have a Xoom account to receive money. 

Xoom users can send money using their mobile phones, tablets, or PCs, and the recipients can receive the money in their local currency. Xoom is also available as an app for Android and iOS devices.

Xoom money transfers are processed within minutes. However, transactions can take longer, depending on the payment method, location, and withdrawal method (bank, home delivery, or cash pick-up). 

Generally, bank deposits take up to one business day to be processed. If you choose the cash pick-up option, your transfer can be completed within minutes. 

New customer incentives: Xoom has a referral program that involves referring another person to sign up for their platform. A $10 Amazon eGift card is given to you and the person you referred. 

See our review of Xoom.

Western Union

Founded in 1850, Western Union is the oldest money transfer company. Western Union is available in 200 countries and supports over 130 currencies. In addition, the company has more than 500,000 agent locations globally, making it one of the most accessible international money transfer services.

Western Union domestic transfers take up to 24 hours, most of which are processed within a few minutes. Transferring funds between the same bank or financial institution often result in faster transfers. 

On the other hand, international money transfers can take up to 5 business days to be processed. Moreover, it can take up to 21 days to send money to countries classified as ‘slow-to-pay’ by Western Union. 

New customer incentives: Western Union allows users to send their first transfer for free. The My WU Rewards program also allows users to receive points for making transfers. These points can be saved over time and used to receive cashback coupon rewards or to reduce the cost of transfer fees. 

Overall, Xoom wins when it comes to transfer times, fees, and exchange rates. Having said that, Western Union’s wide reach and variety of agent locations are significant features that will be better for some. 

Fees and Costs Comparison


Xoom local money transfer charges depend on several factors, which include transaction amount, type of transaction, and payment method. 

All transactions under $1,000 result in a standard 1% fee for customers using their bank accounts to fund payments. However, Xoom can charge you an extra fee if you choose a credit or debit card as your payment method. 

The charges for international money transfers depend on the destination country, payment method, delivery method, and the recipient’s currency. You will pay $2.99 if you transfer money from your bank or PayPal account and deposit it directly into your recipient’s bank account. 

Transferring money from a debit or credit card is more expensive as a fee of $3.99 is charged. Xoom charges $3.33 for cash pick-ups, regardless of the payment method used by the sender. 

Xoom has an in-app calculator, which allows users to see all the applicable fees before sending the money. It also allows users to see the current exchange rate if they wish to convert the money to another currency before sending it. 

Western Union

Western Union doesn’t have a flat fee for money transfers. Instead, all money transfer fees depend on the transfer amount, payment method, country, and whether you send the money via an agent or online. 

While bank transfers take longer, they are free. Using a credit or debit card as your payment method is more costly but faster than the other payment options. Like Xoom, Western Union has an online calculator, allowing users to see the fees upfront.

Western Union users may incur additional costs when sending money based on their bank. For instance, your bank might charge you an origination fee, and the recipient might be charged landing fees by their bank. 

If you send money using a credit card as your payment method, your credit card company may charge you additional fees.

FeesXoomWestern Union
Transaction Fee1% fee for international transfers below $1000
Bank to PayPal: $2.99
– 3% fee for international transfers in foreign currency
– Up to 30% for local money transfers
– Up to $50 for international transfers in USD
Exchange Rate4 – 6%Varies according to the destination and transaction amount
Credit Card Fee$1.99Depends on transaction 
Minimum Limit$10$20
Maximum Limit (24 hours)$50,000$50,000
Upfront QuoteYesYes
Fee-Free First TransferNoYes

As far as fees go, Xoom is cheaper compared to Western Union. 

Exchange Rates Comparison: 


Xoom allows users to see the exact exchange rate on the app or website before completing the transaction. Its exchange rates depend on your recipient’s currency and the amount you are sending. The company adds a markup of 4% – 6%, but the exact markup will depend on the specific details of your transfer. 

Western Union

Western Union charges between 3-6% on top of the exchange rate. This varies depending on the currency you’re using, the location, and the amount of money being sent.  

You can use Western Union’s online calculator to get an idea about the exchange rate costs before going ahead with a transfer. 

Overall, Xoom is cheaper than Western Union for exchange rates as it charges a smaller markup. 

Transfer speed

When it comes to transfer speeds, Xoom and Western Union offer different options for sending money quickly and efficiently. With Xoom, users can send money internationally within minutes, subject to the recipient’s location and the chosen payout method. The platform leverages its partnerships with various banks and financial institutions to facilitate speedy transfers and ensure funds reach the intended destination promptly.

On the other hand, Western Union typically operates on a slightly longer time frame compared to Xoom. While Western Union also enables same-day transfers in certain cases, the exact speed of the transfer depends on factors such as the destination country, the chosen payout method, and the specific service used.

In summary, Xoom tends to offer faster transfer speeds, often completing international money transfers within minutes.

Safety Comparisons

Xoom complies with local and international money transfer regulations to safeguard its users against fraudulent transactions. It uses 128-SSL encryption to protect your sensitive financial information. 

The company also partners with reputable banks, home delivery services, and cash pick-up locations to ensure safe money transfers. 

Western Union encrypts all its data transmissions. It uses administrative, technical, and organizational safety measures that comply with government laws and regulations to protect user data. 

Both Xoom and Western Union are licensed and have the necessary security measures to protect your information. 

Ease of Use Comparison

Account Setup:

Western Union and Xoom provide users with the option of registering through their website or mobile app.

Payment Methods:

Both Xoom and Western Union support multiple payment methods, with the most common ones being credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and agent locations. 

Mobile App:

Each company has a mobile app that allows Android and iOS users to send money conveniently. 

Transfer Limits:

Xoom allows users with a basic profile to send up to $2,999. Users who have verified their accounts can send up to $50,000 per day.

WesternUnion has almost identical limits, with a maximum of $3,000 per day for unverified accounts and $50,000 for verified.

Customer Review Comparison:


Xoom has over 22,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot, with a rating of 2.9/5 stars. 85% of users have rated it as ‘Excellent’, citing fast and convenient money transfers, competitive exchange rates, and an easy-to-use website and mobile app. 

However, some customers have complained about delays in money transfers as well as a slow verification process and poor customer service.

Western Union

Western Union has over 42,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot and an overall rating of 3.9/5 stars. The company has received a 63% ‘Excellent’ rating, with most users saying they like its agent locations, which make sending or receiving money in cash convenient. 

Western Union’s negative reviews frequently mention expensive rates and unexplained transaction cancellations.

Western Union has a higher customer rating than Xoom with thousands more reviews. 

Availability Comparison

Xoom supports international money transfers to over 160 countries in over 98 currencies. The company has partnered with Ria Money Transfer to offer its customers over 150,000 pickup locations. You can use Xoom’s credit or debit card for in-store purchases. 

In contrast, Western Union has over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries. It also supports 130 currencies. 

You can find Western Union Agent locations in supermarkets, convenience stores, check cashers, and grocery stores. These locations accept credit cards, debit cards, and cash. 

Western Union’s agent locations, currency options, and destination coverage make it more widely available than Xoom. 


Xoom and Western Union have established reputations in the online money transfer industry. 

Western Union is one of the oldest money transfer services, however, despite all of its experience, Xoom takes the upper hand due to the faster transfer times and lower fees. 

Hopefully, the details found throughout our post have been useful in helping you to get a better idea about whether Xoom or Western Union is the best money transfer service for you. 


Is there a better solution than Xoom?

Wise is a fantastic alternative to Xoom for its low fees and fast transfer times. Similarly to Xoom, Wise allows users to transfer funds between many countries worldwide but at a cheaper price and with faster transfer times. 

However, Wise doesn’t offer cash pickups, which is a major factor to consider. 

Which is cheaper: Xoom or Western Union?

Xoom is cheaper than Western Union when it comes to money transfer fees and foreign exchange rates. 

How many currencies do Western Union and Xoom support?

Western Union supports 130 currencies and Wise supports 98 currencies. 


  1. https://www.xoom.com/about
  2. https://help.xoom.com/s/article/xoom-basics?language=en_US
  3. https://www.westernunion.com/us/en/send-money/app/price-estimator
  4. https://www.westernunion.com/global/en/privacy-statement.html
  5. https://www.xoom.com/online-security-and-privacy-at-xoom
  6. https://help.xoom.com/s/article/how-much-does-it-cost-to-send-with-xoom?language=en_US
  7. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.xoom.com
  8. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/westernunion.com
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