Mahmoud: My brother emailed about an emergency situation. He needs $300 by tomorrow, but how can I get cash to him within 24 hours if I’m here in Mexico City and he’s in New York?
Sharon: That’s easy. You can wire him the money from here and he can pick it up immediately there.
Mahmoud: You mean wire him money through the bank? I already checked with my bank and it’ll take at least five days for them to process the wire.
Sharon: You can just use a private wire service like Western Union and the money will be available to him immediately. I wire money all the time using Western Union. Here is a blank form. I can help you fill it out if you want me to.
Mahmoud: That would be great. Hey, this form is for a money transfer. Is that the same thing as a wire?
Sharon: Yes, it’s the same thing. Fill out the receiver or recipient information here and the sender information there.
Mahmoud: Can I pay in local currency? I don’t have that much cash in U.S. dollars.
Sharon: Sure. When you go to the Western Union office, they’ll calculate how much you’ll have to pay according to the current exchange rate.
Mahmoud: Is there a fee?
Sharon: Yeah, there is, and it’s a little higher if you want the money to be available immediately. If you had more time, you could save a little by using the slower service that makes the money available in three business days. All done?
Mahmoud: Yeah, I think so. Now what?
Sharon: Now you take this to the nearest Western Union office. They’ll give you a copy of this form with a control number. Your brother can use that control number to pick up the money from any Western Union office in New York.
Mahmoud: Sharon, you’re a lifesaver.
Sharon: So, what’s the emergency?
Mahmoud: Tickets go on sale tomorrow for my favorite baseball team. My brother and I have to get tickets.
Sharon: That’s the emergency?!
Mahmoud: For us, it’s a matter of life and death.
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