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Send Money To Colombia

Whether you are a Colombian expat living abroad, or a foreign resident looking to transfer money to Colombia 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 about how to send money to Colombia in the sections below.

Updated: 26/03/2022
Read time: 24 minutes
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Understanding the Economy in Colombia

Colombia holds the title of the 4th biggest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Its GDP is $264,933 million, and the economy can be described as developing or emerging. Their main export is petroleum (45%), and there is a fast-growing technology industry. The GDP per capita is 85th in the world. The national currency is the Colombian peso, and at the time of writing, 1 COP is equal to 0.00027 USD. 

Since the start of the 2010s, there has been an emphasis on exporting Colombian culture, including television shows, films, music, food, and video games. Colombia understands that diversifying its economy is key to a prosperous future. 

Tourism in Colombia is also popular and growing by 12% every year, and it is expected that by 2023 they will receive 15 million tourists. In addition, multiple money transfer providers exist for tourists traveling to Colombia, which makes access to local currency straightforward.

How To Send Money To Colombia

How to send 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 on money transfer to Colombia:

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 looks at fees, exchange rates, payment methods, transfer times, and more for your specific needs to find out the best way to send money to Colombia. Use this to find a provider that supports transfers between the two currencies you need and provides the best deal. 

Step 2: Register with your chosen provider

Most providers or money transfer services 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. Finally, you should be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take to reach your recipient.

send money to colombia

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 the best way to send money to Colombia.

Sending Money To Colombia
Receiving Money In Colombia

Ways to Send Money to Colombia

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:

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, if you are looking for the cheapest way to send money to Colombia, 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 favorable 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 favorable 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 UnionMoneyGramXoomWorldRemit, 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 unfavorable exchange rates depending on the bank where you cash it.

What’s Needed to Send Money to Colombia?

When sending money, 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 before making a money transfer to Colombia.

  • 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 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 method you use.

Best Ways To Send Money To Colombia

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 can 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 several 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 for the best way to send money to Colombia from the US, one of the 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 can send your funds from the US to Colombia within the hour.

Make sure your provider supports your country

It is essential 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.

Fastest Ways To Send Money To Colombia

Again, the fastest way to send money to Colombia is dependent on the individual circumstances of your transfer. Your sending country will 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, the transfer 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 send money to Colombia to your recipient is via a transfer provider that supports cash pickups, such as WorldRemit or Western Union.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money To Colombia

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 and cheapest way to send money to Colombia and get your money to your recipient.

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.

  • 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 – the IDB initiative. This initiative enables you to own a house through their mortgage program. The third investment opportunity is the house purchase program run jointly by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the construction sector. Finally, you should purpose to attend their housing fairs when they visit your country of destination.
  • 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 the 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 Colombian 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 destination country.
  • 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. As a result, 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.

Benefits of Sending Money With a Specialist Transfer Company

Customers that have never used a money transfer company may not be aware of the benefits. This section shares what you need to know about the advantages of sending money to Colombia and other worldwide locations. 

  • Fees: the cost of sending money can add up when using a bank with around $20-50 per transfer. On the other hand, specialist transfer providers are a good choice for saving money. The savings made from lower operating overheads are passed down to customers. Make sure to choose the correct fee structure for the size of your payment. For example, if you are sending low amounts of money, then select a percentage-based fee structure. 
  • FX rates: when sending money to Colombia, you may want to convert currencies from USD, GBP, and EUR to COP. Ideally, you should get the mid-market rate that offers the best deal. It means you are not charged a markup percentage when converting currencies. Companies like Instarem and Wise offer some of the best FX rates for most currency pairs. 
  • Transfer speed: in emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, you may need extra funds quickly in Colombia. Therefore, fast transfer speeds are essential, and specialist transfer providers offer the quickest processing times. Balance transfers made with services like Wise allow the recipient to get funds instantly. Also, email and text messages are sent to keep the parties informed. 
  • Ease of use: money transfer websites and mobile apps generally have good UX designs. Expect a minimalist design that streamlines the process of sending money. Therefore, newcomers can get used to a new service without a steep learning curve. Also, the recipient details can be saved, so you do not need to enter them every time. Test each service out for yourself to see if the website design matches your preferences. 
  • Mobile app: sending money to Colombia with a mobile app is convenient and straightforward. Check Google Play and App Store to see if an app is available for the service you are using. Also, check the features to determine if international money transfers to Colombia are available. Finally, read customer reviews to learn about the pros and cons of an app. If you do not have the patience to read, then take note of the overall score – 4.0+ out of 5 is ideal. 
  • Worldwide coverage: check the list of accepted countries to determine if you can send money to Colombia and other desired countries. Most specialist transfer providers offer 150+ countries in their network, including Azimo and WorldRemit. Note if there are limitations for specific countries, including transfer size or a list of accepted payment methods.  
  • Cards: many money transfer services provide credit and debit cards that can be used to pay for products in Colombia or withdraw cash at an ATM. Look out for cards that offer free ATM transfers. However, the free service usually has a small monthly cap, and the ATM provider may have additional charges. Companies like Wise provide a free digital card that you can use to book flights and hotels. 

Top 3 Companies for Sending Money to Colombia

The choice of money transfer services is vast. Every year new companies form in the hopes of providing the best service. We have researched the top specialist transfer providers for sending money to Colombia to save you time. 

1. Azimo

Azimo offers several advantages for sending money to Colombia. The low transfer fees allow you to save money whether you send small or large amounts. Also, a minimum limit does not exist, which is ideal if you want to send small transfers. Azimo offers worldwide coverage of over 200+ countries, so it is a good choice for customers that send money internationally.  

The multi-lingual support of Azimo’s customer service department is perfect for users where English is not their native language. Also, multiple payout options exist that allow customers to get cash in Colombia. 

2. WorldRemit

WorldRemit provides a simple experience that offers transparent fees and competitive FX rates. On the homepage, you can enter the currency you wish to send, and the amount received in COP will be displayed. WorldRemit offers 150+ countries in their network, which includes Colombia. 

The competitive transfer fees of WorldRemit mean it provides savings compared to banks. Therefore, it is ideal if you want to send funds to family, for business purposes, or travel money. However, this service is not ideal for large transfers because there are caps in many countries. 

3. Wise

Wise is a top-tier transfer provider that offers some of the industry’s best features. The transparent fees and FX rates allow customers to easily compare with other services. You get a preview of fees, and there are no hidden charges. The percentage-based fee structure means that it is a good choice for sending small amounts of money. 

Wise has a TrustPilot Score of 4.6 out of 5, which means that most users are satisfied with the quality of the service. Also, the user interface is simple and filled with handy information to help users send money internationally. 

Your Questions Answered

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Colombia. So if you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

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