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We compare and review more than 350 money transfer operators, to help you find the best option for each of your international transaction.

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Western Union vs Paypal

Western Union vs Paypal. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer company.

    Our recommendation: compare other options

    Last updated March 29, 2019
    Written by François Briod

    On one side, we have Western Union, the most well known money transfer company, which has made a successful transition to the digital economy, with a strong digital offering.

    On the other, Paypal is a pioneer in peer-to-peer money transfer and has a strong reputation and service. However, Paypal is not suitable for international money transfers as they charge super high fees in the form of hidden currency exchange rate margin and is never the cheapest option available..

    We believe that other alternatives may be more interesting and cheaper than Western Union and Paypal depending on where your send money, how much and the types of pay-out method you're looking for. We recommend you to compare all your options first with our live price comparison tables.

    Compare Paypal, Western Union and 100+ international money transfer services

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    Western Union VS PayPal

    Western Union wins the comparison with a score of 7.1/10 versus 5.2/10 for PayPal.

    Winner

    Monito score 7.1/10

    Good

    What we like about Western Union

    • An enormous network of agent locations (over 550,000) across the world that enable cash pickup, and the ability to send and receive money in over 200 countries

    • Money can be sent both through several channels, including at Western Union agent locations, on its website, mobile app, or over the phone

    • Wide variety of services available for consumers and businesses

    What we dislike about Western Union

    • Sending to certain countries or sending cash at an agent location can be expensive

    • Not all channels are available in every country

    • Exchange rate margins are not transparent

    Monito score 5.2/10

    Poor

    What we like about PayPal

    • Credibility: PayPal is the largest internet payment company in the world

    • Widely available and convenient

    • With over 250 million active account holders globally, many people already have PayPal accounts and are already familiar and comfortable with using PayPal's services

    What we dislike about PayPal

    • Total cost of a cross-border transfer with a currency exchange is at least 2.5%

    • In most extreme cases, you could lose close to 10% of the amount you transfer

    • Lack of transparency about exchange rates

    • Extremely poor Trustpilot reviews

    Detailed breakdown of our comparison between Western Union & Paypal

    Western Union
    PayPal
    Fees & Exchange Rates
    6.6
    6.6
    1.5
    1.5

    With a score of 6.6/10, Western Union has a more competitive pricing than PayPal.

    Ease of Use
    5.8
    5.8
    6.5
    6.5

    PayPal received a better score (6.5/10) than Western Union in our "ease of use" evaluation

    Credibility & Security
    8.5
    8.5
    8.5
    8.5

    With a score of 8.5/10 for both, it's a tie.

    Service & Coverage
    9.5
    9.5
    8.0
    8.0

    PayPal's coverage and diversity of services isn't as good as Western Union's who get a score of 9.5/10.

    Customer satisfaction
    7.6
    7.6
    3.3
    3.3

    Western Union has a higher number of positive customer reviews than PayPal

    Customer support
    6.5
    6.5
    7.3
    7.3

    We rated PayPal's customer support at 7.3/10, better than Western Union's 6.5/10 score.

    Transparency
    5.0
    5.0
    2.8
    2.8

    Western Union wins the "transparency" competition with a score of 5/10

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