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Send Money To Ecuador

Sending money to Ecuador can be risky. The currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar and, if you are not sure how to go about the process, read along this guide to see the different factors to consider and find out the different ways of sending money to Ecuador.

Updated: 06/09/2022
Read time: 16 minutes
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How To Send Money To Ecuador

Sending money to Ecuador is simple and easy if you know how to do it properly. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1

Find a Trusted Provider

Our comparison table for sending money to internationally looks at your specific transfer needs to and from any country in the world. Use this to find a provider that provides the best all-round service for you.
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

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Ecuador

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Ecuador but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about the best ways to send money to Ecuador.

Sending Money To Ecuador
Receiving Money In Ecuador

Ways to Send Money to Ecuador

There are various ways you can send money to Ecuador. You can transfer funds using inter-bank wire transfers, online money transfer services, or mobile top-ups.  The option you choose depends on your personal preferences, the urgency, availability of the transfer method, and payments options.

Here are some of the common ways Ecuadorians living abroad have been using to send money home.

International Wire Transfers

These transfers are facilitated through the banking system. For instance, in the Italy-Ecuador remittance corridor, banks such as Banca Intesa SanPaolo, Unicredit Banca, and Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A, are the commonly used transfer institutions. They charge between 4-15% in transaction fees and take approximately 1-5 days to complete transfers.

In the United States-Ecuador transfer corridor, the banking institutions Ecuadorians frequently use to send money home are Walmart2World, Wells Fargo, and Delgado Travel. On average, these institutions charge between 2-4% per transfer and can take 1-2 days to complete a transfer.

Ecuadorians sending money from Spain use banks and non-banking institutions like La Caixa, Europhil, and Caja Madrid to wire money home. Thanks to the sending frequency, transfers along this route take a relatively shorter time to get to the recipient.

If you are transferring through a less frequent route or in currencies that are less traded, you may end up paying more for banks and your transfer may take a longer time to get to the recipient. This combined with the fact that only 51% of Ecuadorians 15 years and above have bank accounts, sending through banks can become a challenge especially in rural areas.

Online Money Transfer Services

The sheer number of money transfer operators offering money transfer services through online platforms is an indicator of the sweeping popularity of these services. The providers take a shorter time to deliver funds, they are safe, convenient, and senders take a shorter time to set up their transfers.

Like banks, online money transfer providers differ based on the remittance corridor. A quick glance over the top three busiest remittance routes reveals the following.

The United States-Ecuador: The money transfer providers frequently used on this route include Remitly, Uniteller, MoneyGram, Western Union, and Xoom.

Spain-Ecuador: This route is dominated by providers such as Ria, WorldRemit, MoneyGram, Western Union, and Remitly. On average, these money transfer operators charge between 2.14 and 4.12%.

Italy-Ecuador: If you are sending from Italy, you enjoy a variety of online money transfer methods. Some of the providers you may want to look at are Remitly, MoneyGram, Western Union, Small World, Azimo, and WorldRemit. On average, you’ll spend between 1.83% and 8.88% per transaction.

In order to send through online money transfer services, you’ll need to sign up for an online account. You can do that through their website.  You can take just 5-10 minutes to set up. Thereafter, provide the recipient’s details and pay for your transfer. Providers vary as to the transfer payment options. There are those that allow you to pay via debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, and ACH. Others restrict payment to bank transfers.

For faster transfer speeds, pay using a debit or credit card. The funds become available to the provider faster for onwards transfer to the recipient. A huge percentage of money transfer providers nowadays have mobile applications you can use to send and track transfers.

In-Store Money Transfers

These are money transfer operators who allow you to deposit cash at physical stores and send to your family in Ecuador. Providers such as MoneyGram, Western Union, Ria, Valutrans, NEC Money, Delgado Travel, Vigo, Uniteller, Quisqueyana, Giroso, and Walmart2World are some of the frequently used by Ecuadorians abroad.

Typically, you will find these stores in places such as travel agencies, supermarkets, grocery stores, airports, mailbox centres, and many others. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to begin the process on the online platform and complete it at any agent near you.

Mobile Topup

You can gift your family and friends talk time by sending directly to their phones. In Ecuador, you can reload phones within minutes. The participating telcoms in Ecuador when sending through Xoom are Movistar and Claro.

To send airtime, enter the phone number of the recipient, pick an amount, and pay. In case of delays, you can track your transaction through the app or customer care service.

What Is Needed To Send Money to Ecuador

Depending on the money transfer provider, there is specific information you will need to provide to send money to Ecuador. In general, the following is the information required.

  • A government issued-ID document. If you are sending from the United States, Spain, or Italy, you can use a passport, social security card or driving license.
  • The recipient’s name as it appears on their official documents
  • The address and phone number of the recipient
  • If you are sending directly to a bank account, the recipient bank details (bank name, branch and account number)
  • The amount of money you want to send

Depending on the country you are sending from, you may be asked to disclose the source and purpose of the money.

Common Reasons for Sending Money to Ecuador 

The transfers to Ecuador vary in amount and frequency. This is because of the various needs and reasons for sending. The most common reasons include:

Regular Expenditures

About 61% of Ecuadorians spend the funds they receive on day-to-day expenditures such as buying food, travelling and paying rent. Households that receive less than $250 spend 74% of that on regular expenditures while those who receive between $500 and $1,500 use 44% on regular expenditures.

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Business Investments

Close to 8% of the remittances to Ecuador are put in investments at the family level. The sender is the key decision-maker on what percentage goes to investments. However, there are cases where money earmarked for investments is diverted to regular expenditures because of the pressing needs.


Most Ecuadorians make plans for their future return into their home country. As part of these plans, they send in money for savings. As expected, they are the decision-makers on the percentage that should go towards savings.

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Buying Property

Some Ecuadorians in the diaspora have taken advantage of the falling property prices at home to invest in as much as they can. Properties in places like Malacatos and Vilcabamba which were selling for about $20 to $30 per square meter are now down to $10 to $15 per square meter. In high-end areas such as Loja, you can get properties at $800 per square meter.

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Thousands of Ecuadorians abroad send money to their families to keep their siblings in school. This is important as it helps to reduce instances of child labour. The average increase in education spending for remittance-receiving households in Latin America is 50%.

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Many of the households who receive remittances in the range of $500 to $1,500 spend about 31% of the income on luxuries. A survey done in Ecuador didn’t come up with a clear answer as to the decision-makers behind the luxury purchases.

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Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

There are many benefits as seen in the preceding sections for sending money through money transfer providers. Below is a recap of the benefits.

Exchange Rates

Most providers charge a margin on top of the mid-market rate for transfers. However, on frequently used routes such as the United States to Ecuador, none of the transfer providers charges an exchange rate margin.  This makes transfers cheaper.

Geographical Spread

The providers in Ecuador have such extensive sending and disbursing network coverage rated as high by the World Bank. This means even people in remote areas and in cities such as Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil can be able to receive money without delay.

Speed of Transfer

Typically, transfers range from instant receipts to about 2 days to get to the recipient. During times of emergencies, the speed of transfer is an important factor to be considered. MoneyGram takes a day while Western Union and Ria take minutes to deliver the transfer.

Ease of Set up

You only need a few minutes to sign up for an account, pay for your transfer, and send to your loved ones. This cannot be compared to banks which may take longer due to extensive verification processes.

Multi-Currency Support

Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency. This was after the collapse of their Sucre in 2000 following a financial crisis. The US dollar is a standard currency readily acceptable by all money transfer providers.

Transfer Fees

With fees as low as 2.5%, money transfer service providers give Ecuadorians abroad less expensive ways to send money to their family and friends. The fees are paid by the sender meaning the recipient gets it in full.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Ecuador

Before you send money to Ecuador, it is important to understand the dynamics involved including the legal provisions open to the recipients. Below are a few, but important factors to consider.

  • Property Tax – If you invest in property in Ecuador, you are excluded from paying taxes whose value is below $183,000 when you attain the age of 65. For married couples where one is over 65 years, their tax bill gets reduced by 50%. 
  • Taxes on Remittance – Income generated abroad by Ecuadorians is tax-exempt as long as the tax is paid abroad for the respective amounts. However, Ecuadorians working in low tax jurisdictions are not excluded from tax on their income. 
  • Currency Restrictions – Generally, there are no currency restrictions in Ecuador. However, funds in excess of $10,000 must be declared. 
  • Duty-free Items – If you send your family in Ecuador gifts and personal effects whose value is $500 or less, they will not be charged any customs duty. 

With remittances to Ecuador rising and their significance becoming even stronger to the country and the families back home, sending through proper channels can be beneficial. Ensure you have all the information required and you understand the remittance landscape before sending money home. 

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Ecuador. 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