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Send Money To Colombia

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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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.

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. 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.

We’ve put together a list of top 10 money transfer companies, however some of them include: 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.

Best Ways To Best Ways To Send Money To Colombia

Filter
Amount
1000
USD
COP
United States
USD
Colombia
COP
USD
Top Provider
Amount Received
3,689,082
COP
Fees: 0
Rate: 3,707.62000*
Payment Options
Speed
Debit Card
1-2 Hours
Credit Card
1-2 Hours
Bank Transfer
1-2 Hours
Key Features
First 3 Transfers Free
Cash pickup to over 170,000 locations
No domestic transfers
Amount Received
3,608,775
COP
Fees: 0
Rate: 3,608.77500*
Payment Options
Speed
Bank Transfer
3-5 Days
Debit Card
3-5 Days
Key Features
Internationally renowned bank
Amount Received
3,544,992
COP
Fees: 0
Rate: 3,580.80000*
Payment Options
Speed
Bank Transfer
3-5 Days
Debit Card
3-5 Days
Key Features
Internationally renowned bank
Current Mid-Market Rate: 1 USD = 3730 COP
* Some rates may be indicative.

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.

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

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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. 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