Send Money To Colombia

Since 1996, Colombia has been experiencing increased levels of migration. High unemployment rates, declining economic growth, social tension, and insecurity are among the contributing factors.

Most Colombians live in the United States, Venezuela, Spain, and Chile. Remittance data confirms that Colombia received $1,767 million from the United States, $1,697 million from Venezuela, $841 million from Spain, and $41 million from Chile in the 2017 financial year.

Therefore, as a Colombian living in the diaspora, it helps to know the various ways to send money home, 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.

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USD
COP
United States
Colombia
United States
Colombia
Amount Received 3,139,153.54 COP
Fees: 9 USD
Rate: 3167.6625*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Amount Received 3,119,034.60 COP
Fees: 10 USD
Rate: 3150.5400*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Current Mid-Market Rate:   1 USD = 3424.5000 COP
* Some rates may be indicative.

How To Send Money To Colombia

Sending money to Colombia 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 Colombia

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.

    Ways to Send Money to Colombia

    According to Banco de la República (Colombian Central Bank), Colombia received $ 6.3 billion in remittances in 2018. Slicing and dicing the data reveals several methods used to send in the money. Below are the different avenues used.

    Bank Transfers

    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

    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.

    Xoom, WorldRemit, Western Union, MoneyGram, Small World FS, TransferWise, and XE Trade are among the popular money transfer services to Colombia. 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 an account before you can send money to Colombia You can fund it using debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers or cash deposits. After that, you can send at your convenience. Western Union allows you to begin the process online and complete it in-store if that is convenient for you.

    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

    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.

    What’s Needed to Send Money to Colombia

    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.

    • Your government-issued I.D.
    • Your credit or debit card information if using this method to fund your transfers
    • The full name of the recipient and it should match their I.D.
    • The physical address of the recipient
    • If doing a bank transfer, the recipient’s bank details including the bank name, account number, branch, and routing number.

    A quick note, the information may vary marginally depending on the money transfer service provider and the transfer method you use. 

    What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in Colombia

    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.

    Through bank accounts – 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.

    What Is Required to Receive Money in Colombia?

    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:

    • Your government-issued I.D. The details should match those provided by the sender.
    • The PIN, reference number or money transfer control number (MTCN) sent to you. If you don’t have it or you misplaced it, ask the sender to give it to you again.
    • You’ll be required to identify the sender, the amount you expect to receive, and the country of origin.

    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 you receive it.

    Common Reasons For Sending Money To Colombia

    In a survey done on households in the Central Western Metropolitan Area to profile the emigrants from Colombia, most of them were found to be 35 years and older with at least 12 years of schooling. On average, 50% of the emigrants managed to secure employment in the host countries. Approximately 70% of emigrants send money to Colombia for several reasons, including:

    Household Consumption- Approximately 55% of the money sent home is for daily living expenses. Food, water, and electricity are some of the typical household expenditures.

    Mortgage Repayment and Rent

    mortgage repayments is one of the most common reasons for sending money to Colombia. Of the 15% of remittances budgeted for housing, 5.5% goes to mortgage repayments while 9.5% goes to rent. Through an initiative dubbed Mi casa con remesas, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group and the private sector have joined hands to help households receiving remittances to purchase homes.

    Education

    Many Colombians abroad are educated and skilled. Therefore, they value education for their siblings back at home. About 8% of the remittances go towards paying private school tuition fees for elementary, secondary, and higher learning institutions.

    Health

    Colombia operates a subsidised medical scheme called SISBEN. This system is for the poor and homeless. However, families receiving remittances tend to move to Entidades Promotoras de Salud (EPS) or Medicina Prepagada. These are quality but costly healthcare systems. Data shows that households spend 6% on healthcare.

    Transport

    Part of the money received (5%) is used to pay for transport, mainly the public transport system.

    The use of the money as specified by those sending may not necessarily be the actual use by the households. Beneficiaries may alter the usage of funds to suit their immediate and most pressing needs.

    Why Use a Money Transfer Service?

    Sending money to Colombia using online money transfer services is becoming the new norm. The penetration of smartphones and internet services has made life much easier for Colombians abroad to use the web to transact. Below are the advantages of sending money to Colombia via money transfer services.

    Favourable Exchange Rates

    There are three exchange rates at play in the currency markets: the buy rate, sell rate, and midmarket rate. When sending to Colombia, banks use the Colombia Peso (COP) sell rate. This rate is more expensive for you.  Most online money transfer service providers use rates falling in between the buy and sell rates. These rates guarantee you a better deal. Some providers also allow you to lock the exchange rate for a defined time.

    Lower Transfer Charges

    Transfer charges differ based on the service provider, the amount you want to send, and the mode of funding your transfer. Faster transfers are the most expensive but significantly cheaper compared to international wire transfers and checks. Before sending money to Colombia, look at the charges displayed by your provider and make a cross-comparison with other providers.

    Online money transfers take advantage of trade volumes to offer their customers low rates per transaction.

    Multi-Currencies

    With Colombians spread in over 15 countries, having a money transfer service that supports different currencies is crucial. Irrespective of the country you are domiciled, most money transfer service providers can allow you to send money back home.

    Western Union is present in over 200 countries and territories. Xoom allows its customers to send money from over 130 countries including 32 European countries. TransferWise officially closed the Colombia route on June 1, 2019, for new customers. Old customers can still send money uninterrupted.

    Safety and Reliability

    The last thing you would want to hear is that your money never got to your loved ones or it got delayed in between. Safety and reliability are irreplaceable. Online money transfer service providers have invested in the top of the range safety technologies that guarantee total privacy when sending and receiving money.  The encryption software conceals personal details and safeguards the funds transferred.

    You can track your transfer using the given PIN or reference number. The assurance gives you peace of mind that your money is safe and en route to your family, relatives or friends.

    Simple Setup

    Signing up for an account is super easy and fast. You only need your name, a few other details, and email address. Once the account is operational, you can use any of the several ways of funding your transfer. There is the debit card/credit card option, in-person cash deposit, and bank transfer. With your account loaded, you can choose when and to whom to transfer. 

    Transfer Speed

    Nothing beats the convenience of faster transfers. Your family in Colombia is guaranteed to receive the money within a few minutes or days in the case of bank transfers. WorldRemit has so far sent a record 90% of its bank transfers in less than 10 minutes.

    Western Union, Xoom, MoneyGram, and Ria Money Transfer have options for slow and fast transfers. Funding your transfer account using a debit or credit card gives you the fastest experience.

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    Things to Consider When Sending Money to Colombia

    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.

    1. Alternative Investment Opportunities - Bancolombia has been championing for financial inclusion among families in Colombia that receive remittances. The bank wants to transform the money sent into savings and investments. It has lined up a wide range of products you can add to your portfolio as you build your nest egg. The second option is to directly invest in the Mi casa con remesas private sector - IDB initiative. This initiative enables you to own a house through their mortgage programme. The third investment opportunity is the house purchase programme run jointly by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the construction sector. You should purpose to attend their housing fairs when they visit your country of destination.
    2. Taxation - Colombia charges a tax of 0.04% on financial transactions including ATM withdrawals and wire transfers. The regulated financial institutions and the Banco de la República have the responsibility of deducting this tax at source. Your loved ones can claim 50% of the financial transactions tax for income tax offsetting if they keep proper records. The second most relevant tax is income tax assessed and paid by Colombia residents. For tax purposes, a resident is a person who is present in Colombia for 183 days in the year of income. Colombians living abroad may still have to pay taxes home if they fall under tax residency. However, they may claim credit for the income tax paid in the country of destination.
    3. Regulation of the Currency Market - Banco de la República heavily regulates inflows and currency exchange rate movements in the country. Transfers are subject to certain limits. Online money transfer services have their limits set. However, when doing international wire transfers, transfer specialists can be of great help.

    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.

    Your Questions Answered

    What’s The Fastest Way To Send Money to Colombia?

    The fastest way to transfer money to Colombia is through any of the major online transfer services’ fast versions. These include Western Union, Xoom, MoneyGram, and Ria Money Transfer. The faster versions of Western Union, MoneyGram, and Xoom are all very fast, but they also cost a lot of money.

    Fortunately, the aforementioned company, ShareMoney, also sends money in a matter of minutes. For both its fast speed and versatility, we recommend ShareMoney as the fast option for Colombia.

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

    The cheapest way to transfer money online to COL (Colombia) would be by transferring the money online through ShareMoney. ShareMoney has a very low stated rate of $3 to transfer funds to CLO from the US. This isn’t the lowest flat fee available to you, but with ShareMoney you save a lot of money on hidden conversion costs. When you add up all of the costs, ShareMoney is providing you the best deal financially. Furthermore, it’s a fast service that should have your money in a Colombian account in a matter of minutes.

    Other cheap options include Small World FS and Ria Money Transfer. Be aware that these options are more expensive than ShareMoney and will take significantly longer (days) to reach the destination.

    What’s The Easiest Way To Transfer Money To Colombia?

    The easiest way to transfer money online to Colombia is through Payoneer. While it certainly isn’t the cheapest option, it’s relatively inexpensive. However, it’s Payoneer’s ease of use and convenience that make it shine.

    The person on the receiving end of a Payoneer transfer can also get the money directly on their debit card. Once the money is received, they may withdraw it immediately. Payoneer also offers a direct bank transfer option.

    Current Exchange Rates For Colombia

    The exchange rate for the Colombian Peso (COP) today is 3,424.5000 COP for every American Dollar (USD). The highest exchange rate in the last 90 days was 3,517.0500 COP per USD. The lowest rate during the same three-month period was 3,310.0000 COP per USD. The average exchange rate for Colombian Peso is 3,419.2344 COP per USD.

    The exchange rate has demonstrated a volatility of 0.5% over the last 90 days. When coupled with geopolitical and economic challenges in the region, you can reasonably expect minor fluctuations in exchange rates.

     

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

    When all factors are considered, ShareMoney is the overall best option for sending money online. The versatility offered by ShareMoney is uncanny, at least when it comes to their Colombian business.

    If you use ShareMoney, you can expect low rates and fast transfer times for Colombia. The only downsides are a few inconveniences reported by other users, including the fact that some reported being unable to send money while the sender is not in their home country. Otherwise, the rates and wait times are very good.

    Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else?

    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.

    Jonathan Merry
    Written By
    Jonathan Merry
    Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com