Would you like to send money to someone who doesn’t have a bank account? Or someone who cannot access their account – for example because they are on holiday? In such cases you can send money using money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram (to send money abroad), or a postal order (in Belgium).

Beware of fraudsters!

Only use money transfer services when sending money to people you know very well and trust, i.e. never when buying from an unknown trader. Because fraudsters readily use these systems for their fraudulent practices.

Be wary of this classic fraudsters’ trick: you receive an e-mail purporting to be from a family member or friend, or a so-called family member, who is abroad and urgently requires financial assistance. Always be aware that this could be a message from a fraudster. Don’t send money immediately. Always contact the person in question first, or their close family or friends, to check whether this is true.

Sending money: how does this work?

Money can easily be sent online (via a secure website, following registration and identification), or via a money transfer service agency or post office.

In order to send money you need to communicate your own and the beneficiary's contact data, as well as the amount.

You will then receive a reference number that you have to communicate to the person to whom you wish to send the money. Have you opted for a postal order? In that case the number will be sent to the beneficiary’s home address.

The beneficiary then has to take the reference number, together with proof of identity (e.g. ID card, passport, driving licence) to the money transfer service or post office. This is the only way they can collect the money.

Sending money: how long does it take?

Sending money and having it collected can be arranged in minutes. Obviously a postal order will take longer because the reference number first has to be sent to the beneficiary.

Sending money: how much will it cost?

To send money via a money transfer service you will normally have to pay a commission dependent upon the amount you are sending, and possibly exchange charges also.

Would you prefer to send money online? For example via PayPal. Find out how from the ECC.