Whether you’re a Colombian expat living abroad, or you’re a foreign resident looking to transfer money to the country for other responsibilities, it helps to know the various ways to send money home. Here, we’ll cover the information required when sending and receiving, the advantages of online money transfer services, and the specific considerations to make when sending money to your loved ones. You’ll find all this and more in the sections below.
Sending money to Colombia is a fairly straightforward, easy process which will generally follow the same steps no matter what transfer provider you use. Follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Compare providers to find the best service for you
Sending money to South America can be expensive if you’re not fully aware of the costs associated with your transfer.
Our comparison table for sending money to Colombia looks at fees, exchange rates, payment methods, transfer times and more for your specific needs. Use this to find a provider that not only supports transfers between the two currencies you need but also provides the best deal.
Step 2: Register with your chosen provider
Most providers will be completely free to sign up to, simply requiring your name, address and contact information. In most cases, you’ll also need to upload a picture of a valid photo ID to verify your identity.
Step 3: Start your transfer
Set up your transfer by providing your recipient’s information (name, contact details, and bank account information if you are selecting this payout method), the sum you are sending, and your payment details. You should be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take to reach your recipient.
You’ll also need to state that you want to convert your sending country’s currency into Colombian pesos. You should be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take to reach your recipient.
There are multiple ways to easily receive and send money to Colombia 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.
According to Banco de la República (Colombian Central Bank), Colombia received $ 6.3 billion in remittances in 2018. The most popular methods of sending these remittances were:
International wire transfers rank the highest as the preferred mode of sending money to Colombia. Part of the reason for this popularity is the extensiveness of the Colombian banking sector. As of 2019, the country had 25 banks with a total of 5,700 branches and approximately 16,000 ATMs spread throughout the country.
While bank wire transfers seem a reliable way to send money home, bank transfer fees, the exchange rates offered, and the ATM fees charged, can make this sending option costly. A wire transfer from the US will cost $20-50, from the UK will cost $30, and from Australia will cost about $6.75.
Your ability to bargain for better exchange rates largely depends on the amount you are sending. Smaller amounts have very little if any chance to get favourable rates. Therefore, you end up spending more money than you otherwise would with other options.
Online money transfers are increasingly becoming popular among Colombians sending money home. The transfer speed, the favourable exchange rates, the variety of services they offer, and convenience are just but a few of the factors that make online money transfer services attractive.
These services simplify the sending process by giving you convenient options such as sending from their websites, using mobile apps, sending in person from brick and mortar stores or even from Facebook messenger.
Almost all online money transfer services require that you sign up for a free account before you can send money to Colombia. Below are the two main options you can use when sending money to Colombia through online money transfers service providers.
Transfer to Bank Accounts – If the beneficiary has an account, you can use this option. The recipient gets the money within a few days. However, the length of time depends on your service provider.
Cash Pickup – Services such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom, WorldRemit, and TransferWise have over a thousand locations your recipient cash pick their money in Colombia. Ensure the service provider you choose has an agent location closer to the beneficiary.
International checks are still a viable and secure way to send money home. However, there are a few disadvantages such as long processing times and unfavourable exchange rates depending on the bank where you cash it.
When sending money to Colombia, you will be required to provide details to help make the transfer process as smooth as possible. Here is some of the information you need to have.
A quick note, the information may vary marginally depending on the money transfer service provider and the transfer method you use.
Beneficiaries in Colombia can receive money sent to them in lots of different ways. Depending on the provider the sender uses and the amount of money sent through, the following are some of the ways recipients can access their money in Colombia.
Cash pick up from agents – Providers such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom and TransferWise have thousands of locations spread out in different parts of Colombia. These are convenient for recipients of small amounts in particular.
Bank deposits – Recipients can have money transferred directly to their bank accounts. This is a preferred way receiving larger amounts that may be unsafe to pick up from agents.
Due to security concerns, there is no online money transfer service that delivers money to recipients by hand.
The recipient, much like the sender, needs to provide some information to pick up the money. There may be minimal differences based on the money transfer service provider the sender has used. To receive money in Colombia, you need:
If the sender transferred the funds directly into your bank account, there is no information you need to provide. You can begin transacting right away.
As a precaution, you should transact from safe agent locations. If you are picking up a large amount, consider going with a friend or deposit the money into your bank account immediately after you receive it.
The best way to send money to Colombia is almost certainly by using a money transfer provider. While perhaps not quite as popular as traditional international wire transfers currently, specialist transfer operators are able to offer faster transfers at lower rates compared to any other method.
Out of the payment methods most popularly offered by MTOs, you can choose to send money to Colombia via:
As to the best provider for sending money to Colombia, it really depends on where you are sending from plus a number of mitigating factors such as the amount you are sending and whether low cost or speed is a top priority for you.
For example, if you are sending money to Colombia from the UK, Azimo offers one of the most competitive rates and no fees (at the time of writing, their exchange rate is 1 GBP = 4,531.65353 COP. Another option with no fees and capable of processing your transfer within minutes is PaySend.
If you were looking to send money to Colombia from the US, one of the best ways to do this would be via WorldRemit. With an exchange rate of 1 USD = 3,397.8697 COP and fees starting from as little as $5, this money transfer operator is capable of sending your funds from the US to Colombia within the hour.
It’s important to make sure the money transfer operator you are hoping to sign up with does support transfers from your sending country to Colombia – our comparison engine helps to narrow this down for you.
Again, the fastest way to send money to Colombia is dependent on the individual circumstances of your transfer. Not only will your sending country affect the speed of your transfer (not all MTOs will support transfers from your country), but your chosen payment method can also affect how quickly your funds get to your recipient.
For some MTOs such as Azimo, sending money to Colombia can be processed within a matter of minutes when transferring directly to your recipient’s bank account.
If your sending country isn’t supported by Azimo, however, you might find the fastest way to get your funds to your recipient is via a transfer provider that supports cash pickups, such as WorldRemit or Western Union.
The cheapest way to send money to Colombia is usually by bank transfer or paying by debit card with a specialist money transfer operator. Compared to paying by credit card or cash or making an international wire transfer with your bank, these payment methods tend to be the most cost-effective way of getting your money to your recipient.
Nothing compares to the satisfaction you get when you know that your loved ones in Colombia are well-fed, sheltered, and doing well healthwise. This mental picture keeps on pushing you to send more and more each time.
Before you press the send button or sign off that check, there are a few things you need to consider.
Colombia remains a leading destination for remittances in South America. With over 10% of its nationals living abroad, the country is a lucrative money transfer route. Many providers are increasingly joining in with new products and technologies to get a share of this market.
This development is exciting for Colombians living abroad. They have more options than before and can send money home however they want. To get the best deals, Colombians in the diaspora need to know the various ways they can send money home, the requirements for sending and receiving, the opportunities available to them, and the unique remittance landscape in Colombia.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Colombia. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.