Western Union is one of the oldest money transfers that operates in Zimbabwe and it is quite popular around the world. They don’t have branches of their own and instead, they have partnered with local banks. This means that if someone sends you money via Western Union you have to visit a participating bank in order to collect.

Their biggest advantage is that they are an established brand and a way to send money to Zimbabwe. They are also in a lot of countries which means the sender can be in any country.

How much does it cost to send money to Zimbabwe via Western Union?

In general Western Union charges a fee of about 6% when you send money through them directly. They also charge you an exchange conversion fee if you are sending money to Zimbabwe from a country that has a currency that is not USD. For example, if you are in the UK which uses Pound Sterling you will be charged a fee to convert your Pounds to USD. The prevailing rate changes from time to time.

Where can I collect money send via Western Union in Zimbabwe?

As said above, Western Union has partnered with local banks in Zimbabwe. Almost all banks offer Western Union services. However, in our experience, not all branches do offer these services. You might want to inquire with the local bank branch before you send money via Western Union.

We had a lot of trouble finding a local branch to collect money from in Southerton Harare for example. Although you can find Western Union collection points in Zimbabwe here you should be aware that this list is often out of date and is not necessarily accurate. For example, BancABC only allows you to collect at some branches but not all. Ecobank only serves you if you have an account with them, lots of POSB branches don’t have Western Union even though the site says they do and some branches/agents listed on that site no longer even exist.

The best way to collect money sent via Western Union is at CBZ branches. Again make sure to research and find out if your desired collection point exists and has USD cash available and will be able to serve you/your recipient.

NB Only send money via Western Union if for some reason you cannot send it via Mukuru. You have been warned.

How easy is it to collect USD money sent via Western Union in Zimbabwe?

In our experience, once we found a branch that could serve as we were able to get our USD cash only. Again the best place to get USD is to go to a CBZ branch. The requirements and collection procedure is a bit more laborious though compared to Mukuru where you just have to fill a slip. With Western Union, you are dealing with banks and the RBZ so you will need a photocopy of your ID and a number of forms.

Which countries have Western Union?

Western Union is virtually in every country. However, in some countries like South Africa, they operate through partnerships with entities such as MamaMoney. If you want to cheaply send money via Western Union to Zimbabwe from South Africa you can use MamaMoney for example.

How hard is it to get US dollars from Western Union?

Not hard really once you have found a collection point you will get your USD without a problem. Again you are advised to find the nearest CBZ branch they offer the best Western Union services.

Does Western Union Zimbabwe open during lockdowns?

Yes, they do open during lockdown periods. The government has deemed them an essential service so they are open. Also, banks are an essential service which means they are open during lockdowns.

How hard is it to find a Western Union agent in Zimbabwe?

CBZ are the best when it comes to Western Union services. Some banks say they do offer Western Union services but don’t. For example, lots of POSB branches don’t have Western Union services even though the Western Union website says they do and they have signs saying they do offer these services. We also couldn’t access Western Union services at BancABC branches where the tailors keep saying the system is down. We tried on separate occasions and even months later and got the same story.

Make sure your recipient will be able to easily collect their money at a nearby branch before sending money via Western Union.

Our review of Western Union in Zimbabwe

What we think of Western Union Zimbabwe
This is a well-established company that has been operating through banks for years. It’s in a lot of countries which means the sender can be in any country. However, they have fewer collection points and those listed on their website are out of date. You should only send money via Western Union if Mukuru is not available to you as an option. Western Union is cheaper than Mukuru but the procedure for getting money is a bit more challenging and onerous. Signing up as a sender is also harder as you need a permit. They only offer USD and not Rand.
How easy is it to sign up
How easy is it to collect USD
How easy it is to collect Rand
How easy it is to find a collection point
How easy it is to send money
How easy it is to amend/change an order once money has been sent
How easy it is to pay for an order
Pros of Using Western Union
It is relatively affordable
A well-known brand that has been operating for years
It’s not very hard to get USD once you find a branch to serve you
They have a lot of branches in various towns, cities and even growth points
You can create an order online once you have signed up
Cons of using western union
Signing up is not easy as you need a permit and other documentation
Mostly affiliated with banks and collection is a bit onerous with photocopies to be made and forms to be filled
Not as many branches as Mukuru although they have good coverage
You cannot rely on the list of collection points on their website you need to do your own research
Once an order has been made it’s hard to amend it
You cannot collect Rands only USD