I received a remittance from my friend in the US last week. It was a quick and easy transaction for me. It’s easy to understand why Western Union is the leading remittance service.

Here’s how my transaction went…

  1. I received an email from my friend at around 10am. It contained the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). She also advised me that I need to bring two valid IDs.
  2. I immediately visited the Western Union website to check the availability. The website asked for my MTCN and name of the sender. I got information that the remittance was already available from any Western Union agent.
  3. I went to a nearby mall and asked where the nearest Western Union agent is without knowing for sure if there was one in the mall. True enough, there was one and I walked right up to the Western Union agent.
  4. I filled up 2 forms, each having almost the same information, but with a different format. One form was the standard form for receiving money. The second form was like a “registration” at the Western Union agent. Had I been a returning client, I would have filled-up only the first form.
  5. I was asked where the money was coming from (I needed to specify the state in the US where it came from), I was asked what amount I was expecting and from whom the remittance came from. I was also asked to present a valid ID — note, I was asked for just one ID.
  6. Within 10 minutes of walking into the Western Union agent’s stall, I had the money with me in Philippine Pesos. Very convenient! I received the money within 3 hours of the email from my friend.

Here are some additional information on acceptable IDs and some Frequently Asked Questions on receiving money via Western Union:

Contact Western Union:

  • 888-1200 (Metro Manila)
  • 1-800-1-888-1200 (free calls outside Metro  Manila)
  • 0917-888-1200 (standard SMS charges apply)

As I mentioned, it’s no surprise that Western Union is the leading remittance service. A neighbor was raving about how fast the remittance service is, able to deliver within the same hour (depending on timezones and office hours). And people pay a premium to have this convenient and fast service.

ka edong
northern onion

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