A money order is similar to a check, except it's prepaid and not linked to a bank account. You can generally deposit a Western Union money order in your bank account, or cash it at a check-cashing store or Western Union outlet.
Western Union Money Orders
You can purchase money orders in a variety of places, including post offices and at stores that work with Western Union. If someone sends you a money order from any of these places, it will work essentially the same way.
If you receive a Western Union money order and you have any questions about it, you can contact Western Union for more information. You can also contact Western Union if a money order is lost or stolen or if you need to know whether or not it has been cashed.
Depositing at the Bank
Many banks accept deposits of money orders, similar to how they accept deposits of checks. Just like with a check, you must sign the back of the money order before depositing it.
Most banks will allow you to deposit a money order with a teller, and you may need to fill out a deposit slip. Some banks will also allow you to deposit money orders by mailing them to the bank, by depositing them in an ATM or even by taking a photo of the money order with your smartphone. Photo deposits can be difficult, though, because it's hard to capture the image thanks to security features printed on money orders. Your bank may also be able to cash your money order for you if you prefer to have the money immediately in cash.
Check with your bank to find out which of these is possible and best suits your needs.
Cashing it in
You can also cash money orders from Western Union or other sources at various types of locations, such as retail stores with Western Union counters. Check the Western Union website to find stores that offer this service or check with your local check-cashing store, supermarket or convenience store to see if this is a service they can provide. Not all stores will cash all money orders, so check with the store you're planning to visit before you go.
Some stores will charge a fee for cashing a money order, and the fee may vary from store to store, so it can be worth calling around to find the best deal. You'll generally need to bring photo identification to cash your money order as well.