Renz is a digital technology enthusiast. He devotes his time to studying how these platforms can help make things work for us.
Western Union: Made Easier
In this digital age where everything happens with just a few taps on our mobile phones, a lot of tasks that used to take time have been made simpler and easier.
Take, for example, Western Union (WU). Previously, whenever I got my earnings via WU, I needed to visit a remittance center and queue up to get my remittance. Because remittance centers normally operate until 4:00 PM only, I'd end up rushing my lunch at my day job so I could queue up. There were times when I'd end up empty-handed because I would ran out of time just queuing up.
The Digital Revolution
Things are so much different now, especially since there's a better alternative to consummate the entire process. This doesn't include going to a physical branch. No more queuing up for me and no more time restriction.
I'll be sharing here in this article how retrieving remittance payments via mobile generally works. I also took screenshots from my phone so that you may follow the process.
Just in case you are dealing with Paypal (and not WU), I have a separate article on that which you may read here: How to Transfer a Paypal Balance to GCash in the Philippines.
5 Basic Steps to Withdrawing From Western Union
Here's an outline of how to get your Western Union remittance digitally. In my experience, it just takes about 2-3 minutes to get things done:
- Getting the Western Union reference number (MTCN)
- Selecting Cash-In > Remittance in the app
- Inputting the reference number and the expected amount
- Confirming the transaction details
- Receiving the payment or remittance
1. Getting the Western Union Reference Number (MTCN)
The easiest step is to take note of the WU reference number (MTCN), which you need to input. The sender usually emails this to you or communicates it in other ways (such as SMS).
If you are having trouble finding the MTCN, you may want to check the step-by-step illustration below.
2. Selecting Cash-In > Remittance in the App
Currently, only one app in the Philippines can claim remittance from Western Union. It's the app from Globe Telecom called "GCash".
It's basically a digital wallet with multiple functions, including cash-in via remittance. You'll need to have an account there so that you can use this function. Hence, if you haven't created an account, stop for a moment and register. The app itself will guide you through the registration process, so you don't have to worry about it.
3. Inputting the Reference Number and the Expected Amount
Once you are on the landing page of the GCash app, just tap "Cash-In" and then "Remittance." There are currently three options listed, including "Paypal" and "Western Union." Tap the latter.
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It will load up in-app at the Western Union facility, and you can only proceed by keying in the reference number (this is the one discussed in Step 1).
Another input is the expected amount to be received. If your transaction is in PHP, you need to key in the exact amount, but if the amount is in USD, in my experience, you can input an estimate close to the converted value in PHP. For example, if you are expecting $100, you can multiply it by PHP52 so that you can type in P5,200 as the expected amount.
4. Confirming the Transaction Details
The app will then flash the details for your confirmation. Carefully review the information. Once done, you may tap on "Confirm" to begin processing your claim.
5. Receiving the Payment or Remittance
You'll receive an SMS shortly from GCash if the claim is deemed successful. Afterwards, your balance will be updated by the amount shown on the Confirmation page. Voila, you are now able to get your WU transfer without going to a remittance center!
There are some things you may need to note. Of course, there are limitations as to the usage of this feature. Based on my experience, you can only use this facility if the name registered in the app matches that of the receiver's name indicated in the WU transaction details. Other than that, you should not encounter any problems.
I hope this guide is easy to follow. Should you encounter problems, you may share via comments below.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I tried to cash-in my money via Western Union but GCash said that it has already been claimed, but I didn't claim it yet. What should I do to receive my money from GCash?
Answer: This normally happens if you try cashing in an amount that will let you exceed your monthly transactions under GCash. However, you may want to call Western Union's customer hotline to verify the reason behind the 'claimed' status. You may also want to reach out to GCash Customer Hotline as an alternative.
Question: Can I cash-in a remittance from abroad (for example from Canada)?
Answer: Yes. As long as you have the WU reference number, you can cash-in the remittance coming from anywhere in the world to your GCash.
Question: I entered 3 wrong reference numbers, and it said that I have been blocked to do a cash-in. How can I complete my cash-in?
Answer: Based on GCash Help Center, you'll be locked out from claiming your remittance if the reference number was incorrectly entered three (3) times. You may try re-entering your reference number again after 24 hours.
Question: If I withdraw dollar from Western Union to GCash, how will I input the expected amount, since it’s asking to indicate the amount in Philippine Peso?
Answer: It’s easier to have an illustration. Let’s say you are withdrawing $100 from a Western Union transaction. What you need to do is to input an amount close to its translated value in Philippine Peso. You can Google the exchange rate USD:PHP, and use that to get an estimated value. If the exchange rate is $1:P52, you can input P5,200 as the expected amount. Don’t worry; Western Union will be using its actual exchange rate when you click on Proceed. So, you can get an amount higher (or possibly lower) amount.
Question: Can I cash-in a Western Union remittance even if the receiver's name is not mine?
Answer: No. It's not possible. It's one of the security measures in place.
Question: Were there any fees when you transferred the money from WU to GCash?
Answer: None. I wasn't charged anything when I remitted via GCash.
© 2019 Renz Kristofer Cheng
Jurie Macabebe on July 10, 2020:
What if the money didn’t cash in on gcash and I am not able to get it from remittance because I am underage and its international? Can you give me some advice about it.
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on June 30, 2020:
@maxine I believe that should be fine. In my experience physically claiming WU remittances, they don't look at the middle name.
maxine on June 30, 2020:
can i still cash in gcash thru western union even if i dont have may middle name in my gcash app/account but they put it in western union form