Send Money To Brazil

United States, Japan, Portugal, Spain and Italy, are the top five countries contributing the most remittances to Brazil. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, about 4 million Brazilians live in the diaspora.

Approximately 50 per cent of Brazilians are in the United States. Paraguay and Japan take up 10 and 9 per cent respectively. Europe plays host to 25 per cent of Brazilian immigrants.

Statistics further reveal that most emigrants come from the following regions in Brazil: Minas Gerais, Goias, Parana, and Santa Catarina. It is quite interesting that most immigrants are people aged 35 years and above.

In 2018, Brazil recorded a total of $2.9 billion in remittances with Japan and the United States contributing slightly under 50 per cent. These numbers make money transfer a big business in Brazil.

Wherever you are in the diaspora, you can send money home to Brazil. There are official channels available to help you do so. However, knowing the different ways you can send money to Brazil, the information required, the role money transfer services play, and how your loved ones can receive the money you send is crucial.

This guide will run you through all that plus the different reasons why Brazilians send money home. Read along for a detailed exposition.

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How To Send Money To Brazil

Sending money to Brazil is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

Find a Trusted Provider

Use our comparison table to find the best provider for your needs.

Sign Up and Deposit

Sign up with the provider and deposit the amount you want to transfer.

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Brazil

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Brazil but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.

    Ways to Send Money to Brazil

    Japan to Brazil, the United States to Brazil, Portugal to Brazil, Spain to Brazil, and Italy to Brazil, are some of the busiest transfer corridors. Therefore, it helps to know how money moves in these corridors and the preferred ways of sending to Brazil.

    Slicing and dicing remittance data shows following main ways through which money gets sent to households in Brazil.

    International Wire Transfers

    The Brazilian financial system has a total of 174 banks consisting of 153 commercial banks, 12 investment banks, four exchange banks, and four development banks. The banks operate over 30,000 branches and approximately 170,000 ATMs.

    Most of the banks in Brazil allow for SWIFT transfers from remitters abroad. However, some of them may work through correspondent banks, making transfers costly and slow. The standard processing time for international wire transfers to Brazil from countries in Europe and North America is four business days.

    It is also important to point out that time differences, working hours, banks verifications and approvals, and wire amounts can affect the transfer process. With that said, interbank transfers can be done either in person at a branch or through the online platform.

    Very few banks allow customers to give instructions on the phone when doing transfers. However, customers with good bank relationships can call their account managers and transfer money to Brazil.

    Money Transfer Services

    Brazil has witnessed a transactional change in its remittance corridors. Traditional money transfer platforms such as banks are paving the way for digital platforms like Money Transfer Operators (MTOs).

    Small and medium money transfer service providers have increased their footprint in the Latin American country. However, the big international providers like Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Transfast are still the dominant players.

    For you to send money through MTOs, you need to sign up for an account, pay for your transfer using a debit card, credit card, or bank debit and send. You can sign up on their websites or through a downloadable mobile app.

    Sending money can be done in different ways including visiting a physical store, filling in forms and depositing the cash; sending online or starting the process online and finishing it up at a physical store. There are three main ways you can send money to Brazil through the MTO platform.

    Bank Transfer

    This process is similar to interbank transfers. The difference is that the bank transfers are from the MTO platform. They also cost less and take a shorter time to complete. MoneyGram, WorldRemit, and Xoom can send to your bank in less than two working days. TransferWise launched transfers to Brazil in 2016.

    Some providers have partnered with major banks in Brazil like Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco and Caixa for even faster transfers.

    Cash Pickup

    This mode of sending is almost instant. Your loved ones can receive the money in under an hour from agents in the payout network. Xoom has 250 pickup locations across Brazil including System of Credit Unions of Brazil. If you are sending from the United States, Western Union has over 42,000 physical agents you can visit. Also, you can send up to $5,000 with Western Union.

    Mobile Wallet

    You can send money directly to Brazil through MoneyGram mobile wallet transfers. All you need is the recipient’s phone number and the international country code for Brazil to send. This method is fast and convenient.

    International Electronic Money Order

    Correios, the Brazilian Post, offers this international financial transfer service for Brazilians in the diaspora to send money home. It is a faster, cheaper and safer way to send money to remote parts of Brazil, thanks to the extensive postal network.

    Brazilians can access money in over 6,000 accredited post offices across the country. The Central Bank of Brazil and the Ministry of Finance regulate the postal money transfer service.

    What’s Needed to Send Money to Brazil

    When sending money to Brazil, you’ll be required to provide information to help in the smooth transfer of your money. The information may vary per provider and the prevailing circumstances. However, the following is just about all the information you will need to send money to Brazil.

    • Government-issued identity document. In the United States, you can send using a social security card, passport or driving licence.
    • The amount you are sending
    • The recipient’s name as it appears on their national identity card.
    • The physical address and phone number of the recipient
    • If you are sending through the bank, you’ll need the bank SWIFT code, bank name, branch, and account number.

    Cases of money laundering and criminal network financing have increased globally. Therefore, you may be required to provide additional information such as the source and purpose of the funds.

    What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in Brazil?

    There are several ways of receiving money in Brazil including direct bank deposits and cash collections. The choice of the receiving channel largely depends on the proximity, convenience and other personal preferences. The following are the ways through which you can access money sent to you from abroad.

    Direct Bank Deposits

    If the sender has deposited money into the recipient account either through the MTO platform or SWIFT transfer, the recipient may have to wait for up to five days to receive the money. When receiving large amounts of money, this method is the safest.

    Direct bank deposits are not very common in Brazil because close to 40 per cent of the population is unbanked. In rural areas, the percentage could be higher, thus locking out rural Brazilians from the mainstream financial services.

    Cash Collections

    Amounts up to $5,000 can be comfortably received through this method. However, you should go with a family member, relative or friend when collecting large amounts for security reasons. If the agent is closer to a bank, you could immediately deposit the money. The same applies to money order cash collections.

    If the sender used the MoneyGram mobile wallet transfer method, you should collect your money from a MoneyGram agent near you.

    What is Required to Receive Money in Brazil?

    When your money finally arrives in Brazil, you’ll get an SMS notification or an email depending on the details the sender filled in. As you prepare to go and collect your money, you’ll need to put together the following information.

    • Your government-issued identity document. A passport or national identity card can suffice
    • The transaction reference number sent to you by the person who transferred the money
    • The name of the sender and the amount you expect to receive

    Providers such as MoneyGram may require that you fill out a form giving more details. Also, large amounts of money may attract scrutiny from the authorities.

    Common Reasons for Sending Money to Brazil

    Most of the people who leave Brazil are economic immigrants who hope for greener pastures abroad. They leave behind dependants who may be from the extended family or the immigrants’ children. The following are some of the common reasons why emigrants send money home.

    Basic Consumption

    High taxes, low labour productivity and poor infrastructure have made the cost of doing business in Brazil to increase. These costs are often passed over through basic commodities such as food, clothing, and utility bills. The direct impact is a rise in the cost of living and the need for income boosting.

    Education

    Brazil has a 100 per cent government-funded public school system for children between the ages of  7 and 14. However, the quality of education, equipping of the facilities and other parameters make private schools the first choice for many families. Once consumption is covered, the extra money goes to paying tuition.

    Medicare Expenses

    In Brazil, healthcare is a constitutional right. The government has put in place a Unified Health System to cater to all its citizens. In 2014, Brazil had a total of 6,706 hospitals. About 50 per cent of these facilities were in located in 5 out of 26 states. It is this unbalanced access to healthcare that is forcing many rural Brazilians to incur costs in search of health care treatment in private hospitals.

    Housing

    Whether it is home buying, ground-up construction or home renovations, Brazilians are sending money home to cater to these costs. Some of the money is used to repay mortgages for those who’ve decided to go that way.

    Savings and Investment

    Brazilians still have an attachment to their country and its development. Out of the money they send, some of it goes to savings for a rainy day. Investment is mainly in real estate and financial products like bonds and equities.

    Social Contributions

    The sense of community and general good has led to many Brazilians sending money home as part of social contributions. They give to charity, social events, weddings, and funerals.

    Why Send Money With a Money Transfer Service?

    If you are looking to send money to Brazil, money transfer services will give you a much better deal than other transfer methods. The following are some of the reasons why you should try out services of MTOs like Xoom, MoneyGram, Western Union, Ria, TransferWise and WorldRemit.

    Favourable Exchange Rate

    Irrespective of your source currency, money transfer providers will give you a competitive rate. They use the mid-market rate that is comparatively more favourable. You can also lock your exchange rate and benefit from predictable rates over a certain sending period.

    Geographical Spread

    Providers have extensive payout networks with agents in almost every part of brazil from Monte Caburaí in the north to Chuí, Rio Grande do Su in the south. This spread means your loved ones are covered irrespective of how remote they are. Xoom has 274 locations in Brazil.

    Low Transfer Cost

    MTOs have redefined money transfer to Brazil. Whether you are sending to a bank account or a cash pickup location, the fees you pay are a fraction of what traditional money transfer agencies charge. The low cost is made possible by innovation and low margins from leveraging large volumes of transactions.

    Multi-Currency Support

    MTOs like Western Union, MoneyGram and Xoom operate on almost all transfer corridors. Notwithstanding the country your sending from, you will find support in translating your currency to the Brazilian real.

    Simple to Set Up

    When transferring money through MTOs, the setup process takes minutes. You’ll have to signup for an account, pay for your transfer and send. If you decide to send online through the mobile app or website, the process is even faster.

    Transfer Speed

    When transferring money using MTOs, speed is one of the obvious benefits you will enjoy. The fastest channel is cash pickup transfer. For even faster speeds, pay for your transfer using a credit or debit card. Your loved ones will receive the money in minutes.

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    Things to Consider When Sending Money to Brazil

    Brazil is an influential BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economy and the largest in GDP in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Between 2003 and 2014, Brazil lifted 29 million of its population out of poverty. However, when sending to Brazil, take note of the following.

    • Gift and Donations Taxation - Due to struggles with fiscal sustainability, the country has resorted to taxing remittances. Each of the 26 states has its taxation rate for gifts and donations. Rio de Janeiro charges 4 per cent and Santa Catarina 7 per cent. Some states give recipients exemptions up to a given amount. Find out the applicable taxation code where your loved ones live before sending, to avoid unnecessary taxation expenses.
    • Declaration of Large Remittances - Brazilians are required by law to declare large remittances and file taxes accordingly. Failure to declare and file the taxes attracts a penalty of up to 20 per cent of the taxes owed. There is also a possibility of imprisonment for up to 2 years. Therefore, it is crucial that you notify your loved ones when sending large remittances. If they feel uncomfortable dealing with taxes, they should contact a tax professional.
    • Foreign Currency Transfer Regulations - As part of the anti-money laundering laws and regulations in Brazil, funds transfer in foreign currency cannot be directly credited to the beneficiary’s account. A foreign-exchange transaction must take place first between the beneficiary and an authorised agent.  The Brazilian Central Bank requires that the beneficiary provides sufficient documentation to support the transaction.

    The Brazil remittance corridors are getting busier and lots of money transfer players are coming in. Therefore, knowing the nitty-gritty when sending money home will help you transfer your money faster, safer, and cost-effectively.

    Your Questions Answered


    What’s The Fastest Way To Send Money To Brazil?

    There are several ways to transfer money to Brazil very quickly. For the purposes of this guide, we will introduce you to Ria Money Transfer’s fast service because they add affordability to their fast transaction speeds. With Ria Money Transfer’s fast service, your money should reach its Brazilian destination in a matter of minutes. The cost should be very low too, as they offer a low upfront fee and their hidden currency conversion costs are relatively low as well.

    Other fast options for sending money include ShareMoney, and the fast versions of Western Union, Xoom, or MoneyGram. Keep in mind that although all of these options should work in less than an hour, they are all very expensive options.

    What’s The Cheapest Way To Send Money To Brazil?

    The cheapest way to transfer money to Brazil is through Ria Money Transfer. If you are considering this option for its cheap rates, make sure you are choosing the slow version of Ria Money Transfer. With the slow version of Ria Money Transfer, it should only cost about $7 USD to send $1000 USD to BRL from the US. They charge a very low upfront fee, but it’s the hidden currency conversion rates that keep Ria Money Transfer relatively cheap. Their hidden rates are next to nothing.

    The only problem with Ria Money Transfer’s slow service option is that (unsurprisingly) it’s very slow. You can expect each transfer to take 3-5 business days.

    What’s The Easiest Way To Send Money To Brazil?

    The generally easiest way to send funds online is through TransferWise. TransferWise makes it exceedingly easy to transfer money. All you need to do is tap how much money you need to send, and the destination. After that, you only need to make the payment. The interfaces are straightforward, and you’d be getting a pretty good deal all-around with TransferWise. The transfer would only take a couple of days and it’s the cheapest option after Ria Money Transfer.

    Current Exchange Rates For Brazil

    As of the time, this was written, the exchange rate for the Brazilian Real (BRL) is 4.1880 BRL per American Dollar (USD). The high for the last 90 days was 4.1880 BRL per USD, with the low being 3.9877 BRL per USD. The average exchange rate was 4.0987 BRL per USD over the last 90 days.

    The 90-day average volatility for the BRL was 0.63% against the USD. This is relatively high volatility which reflects the current economic challenges in Brazil. The BRL has fluctuated widely and unpredictably over the course of the last two years. You can reasonably expect large fluctuations to continue going forward, barring unforeseen changes in circumstances in Brazil.

    What’s The Overall Best Way To Send Money To Brazil?

    The overall best way to transfer money to Brazil is through Ria Money Transfer’s fast service. While the faster service will cost you more than twice as much as their slow service, the overall value is still great. You can expect a standard upfront fee and relatively low hidden fees that work out to a much better value than the competition. To add even more value, it is one of the fastest options available to you, taking only minutes to complete a transfer. With Ria Money Transfer’s fast service, you get better rates, better speed, and a better overall deal when you send money online.

    Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else?

    Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Brazil. If you're looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

    Jonathan Merry
    Written By
    Jonathan Merry
    Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Having previously worked in the FX trading industry and observing the ways money is exchanged to create wealth for traders, Jonathan gained a passion for how currency is exchanged. Using this knowledge he discovered a need for transparency and education to help people save money on their online transfer, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com