Send and receive money
Western Union

Western Union is a fast, reliable and convenient way to send or receive money around the world. Through selected Absa branches, you’ll have access to over 500 000 Western Union agent locations in 200 countries and territories.

Why should I use Western Union?


  • Each transfer can be tracked using a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)
  • This number is given to the receiver only ensuring that only the receiver can collect the money


  • Western Union Money Transfer service uses advanced technology and a unique, worldwide computer network to ensure quick payout in more than 200 countries and territories around the world
  • Money is available for collection in minutes, subject to agents operating hours and differences in time zones


  • If you are an Absa customer and a registered user you can experience the convenience of sending or receiving money with Internet Banking or Cellphone Banking
  • The money is available within minutes, depending on when the banks are open and the time differences around the world
  • You don’t need to have a bank account to use the Western Union Money Transfer Service

Through selected Absa branches you also have access to over 500 000 Western Union Agent Locations worldwide to collect or send money. Please note that in certain countries only the ‘receive money’ service is available.

Regulations and documentation

According to South African Reserve Bank Exchange Control Rules and Regulations, only the following types of Western Union Receive Transactions are allowed:

  • Foreign tourists visiting South Africa receiving funds from abroad relating to their holiday or business visit to South Africa
  • Foreign students studying in South Africa receiving funds from abroad to pay for their living expenses, tuition, books, etc
  • Earnings of SA resident temporarily abroad
  • Monetary gifts received from abroad - Gifts, other than to charitable, religious, cultural or educational organisations

The following persons cannot perform a Western Union Money Transfer transaction:

  • Residents of Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia
  • Section 22 permit holders (asylum seekers)
  • Business transactions or any entity not transacting as an individual
  • Non-residents are not allowed to send funds from South Africa via Western Union Money Transfer
How it works online or for cellphone banking:
  • Send Money: This transaction will enable you to send money to a person in another country making use of the Western Union network of agents.
    • A Random Verification Number (RVN) will be sent to you
    • You will need to first create a Western Union beneficiary by using any of the following options:
    • Under the Payments menu select the Western Union Money Transfer option
      • Open the Add beneficiary tab
      • Once created, there will be a waiting period of an hour as part of the Absa validation process
      • Once done, you can send money to the beneficiary created by using the Payments menu and selecting the Send Money option
      • Follow the step-by-step process as indicated on the Send Money
  • Receive Money: This transaction will enable you to receive money from a person in another country making use of the Western Union network of agents
    • You can perform a Receive Money transaction by selecting the Payments menu and the Western Union Money Transfer option
    • Open the Receive Money tab
    • Follow the step-by-step process as indicated on the Receive Money screens
  • Cancel Send Money: This functionality will allow you to initiate a cancellation enquiry. On confirmation that the funds have not been paid out, you will receive notification that the ‘send’ transaction has been cancelled and you can claim the money back via an inbound/receive money transaction using the ‘Nature of Payment’ code 902
    • You can raise an enquiry to cancel your Western Union Send money transaction online
    • This can be done by selecting the Western Union Money Transfer container under the Payments option
    • Select the View and manage tab
    • You will be required to select the specific beneficiary from the list displayed
    • Then select the transaction you want to delete and click on the cancel outbound money transfer icon
    • You will be required to enter a reason for cancellation and an email address so that we can contact you about your cancellation request
    • Note: There is a turnaround time of up to 3 working days for the cancellation request to be affected
  • Trading hours: The Western Union Money Transfer service will only be available online in the following time frames:
    • 08:00 to 16:00, Mondays to Fridays
    • 08:00 to 12:00, Saturdays
    • This transaction type is not available on Sundays and Public Holidays
    • Note: The service will also not be available during Public Holidays in countries where there is a Western Union presence
  • Transaction limits: A maximum amount of R30 000 per transaction is allowed for this transaction type; but your normal Absa Online Payment limit will also apply. This means that if your payment limit is less than R30 000, the lowest limit will apply. In addition to this, a South African Reserve Bank Exchange Control limit will be applied per “Nature of Payment” (BoP code)
  • The charge for this transaction type will not form part of your Absa Online monthly charge. The charge will be affected at time of transaction and will be shown to you before you accept the Western Union send money transaction. You will accept the quote and the charge together with the principal amount, will be debited from your ‘from’ account as selected.
Speak to Absa about your needs
Visit an Absa Branch or call
0860 151 151
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International Banking
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