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.
Colombia holds the title of the 4th biggest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Its GDP was 271.40 billion US dollars in 2020, and the economy can be described as developing or emerging. Their main export is petroleum (45%), coal, coffee, and gold, although the country also has a fast-growing technology industry. The national currency is the Colombian peso, and at the time of writing, 1 USD is equal to 3,931 Colombian Pesos (COP).
Tourism in Colombia is also popular and growing every year. In 2019, the country had 4.53million international tourists – predictably, this number fell dramatically during the pandemic 2020, but numbers are quickly rising. 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 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 provide. 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 pay-out 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.
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.
Ways to Send Money to Colombia
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 2022, the country has 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 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.
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.
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.
A quick note, the information may vary marginally depending on the money transfer service provider and the method you use.
Ways of Receiving Money in Colombia
Beneficiaries in Colombia can receive money sent to them in many 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
Money Transfer Providers such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Dolex, Xoom, and TransferWise have thousands of locations spread out in different parts of Colombia. These are convenient for recipients of small amounts in particular.
Recipients can have money transferred directly to their bank accounts. This is a preferred way of 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.
Money transfer companies
Many money transfer companies serve Colombia that can be used to receive money. The transfer time is instant when using balance transfers between customers of the same company. Also, the recipient is notified of incoming transactions via email and text message.
The lower fees of money transfer companies mean you will save money on transfers to Colombia. It is perfect for tourists trying to save money while traveling or as business customers.
Specialist transfer providers like Xe and Wise match the mid-market rate, which means the FX rates are more competitive than traditional banks. The savings can be huge when converting USD, GBP, and EUR to COP.
Receiving money with a mobile app is fast and convenient. However, the choice of apps is overwhelming, so you should go with the best companies. Possible options include Azimo, Xe Money Transfer, and Instarem. These are rated highly and provide some of the best features in the money transfer marketplace.
Home delivery services exist as a pay-out option for money transfer providers. There is an added fee, and the time taken depends on the local availability. Usually, cash is delivered in the local currency, but other popular currencies may be included. The recipient should have their personal documents ready for verification when the delivery person arrives.
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. For example, to receive money in Colombia, you need:
If the sender transfers 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 depositing the money into your bank account immediately after receiving 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing compares to the satisfaction you get when you know that your loved ones in Colombia are well-fed, sheltered, and doing well. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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