Diaspora remittance in the Gambia is the third-largest contributor to the economy following agriculture and tourism. In 2018, the country received $244 million in personal transfers which included cash and in-kind remittances. Due to the significance of the inflows as a percentage of the GDP, Gambia established The Gambia Diaspora Directorate among other mechanisms to regulate immigration processes and the well being of the Gambians abroad.
If you live outside the Gambia and you want to send money into the country, there are several channels you can use including banks and money transfer operators. However, these channels differ in the cost of remittances, the exchange rates they offer, and the delivery times.
It is therefore important that you consider the entire spectrum of providers, their characteristics, and suitability to your transfer needs. This guide will spotlight some of the areas you need to consider when transferring money to the Gambia. It will look at the channels available, the advantages of money transfer providers, and the information needed to send and receive money.
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There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in the Gambia 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.
Making a transfer to the Gambia can be simple if you find the right channel to send money into the country. There are various options available the top of which are discussed below.
Most of the transfers to the Gambia come from Europe, the United States, Nigeria, and Senegal. If you live in any of these countries, you could use your bank to transfer money to your family and friends in the Gambia. For instance, if you are sending money from the UK, you could use EcoBank to transfer money into the country.
Using a bank that has a presence in both the host and destination countries can be advantageous as it reduces the cost of sending and ensures your transfer arrives faster. Banks such as the Standard Chartered Bank, First International Bank, Prime Bank, Zenith Bank, and International Commercial Bank are some of the top 14 banks in the country that you can transfer to.
Most bank transfers cost anywhere between $30 and $40 per transaction and the exchange rates are marked up to about 5 to 7%. When you add these costs to the time it takes to deliver your transfer, you may find it worthwhile to consider other options such as online money transfer.
Money transfer companies such as Xendpay, WorldRemit, Transferwise, Azimo, and YaYeh Instant Services are some of the commonly used providers to the Gambia. They give you an easy way to send money as all you need is to sign up for a money transfer account and pay for your transfer.
Depending on the provider you choose, you can pay for your transfer in any of the following ways.
The online money transfer services support a number of payout options such as:
Some providers such as YaYeh Instant Services, WorldRemit and Xoom can also top up the recipients’ prepaid phones with airtime.
Transfer fees are usually minimal. For instance, when sending $1,000 to the Gambia, you will pay only $4.99 in fees if you use a bank account to fund your transfer. This is way cheaper than the $40 t6hat banks charge. Delivery times can range from instant to about 3 days.
Money transfer operators like Western Union, MoneyGram, Small World, Dahabshiil, and Ria offer agent-based cash transfers to the Gambia. This means you have to get to the store for you to send the money. Ria, MoneyGram, and Western Union also have internet-based sending platforms you can use.
MoneyGram gives you one of the best transfer deals in this category. Sending 1,000 GBP will cost you only 3.99 GBP in transfer fees. Western Union and MoneyGram also have mobile apps you can use to transfer money on the go.
The information you need to successfully send money to the Gambia is:
When using online money transfer, most of this information will be asked for when setting up your account. Thereafter, only the payment and payout methods and the recipient information will be asked. When you are transferring to the same person, some providers have a quick send option where you don’t need to fill any detail.
Gambians in the diaspora send money in varying amounts and frequency to support different causes back home. Some of the reasons for sending money home include:
Most Gambians send money to support their families back home. Families living in the North Bank, Lower River and Upper River Divisions are among the most financially dependent hence diaspora remittances play a key role in sustaining families here.
Gambians in the diaspora are slowly rethinking of building their lives and those of their families back home. After the political unrest, many of them are now sending money home to invest in savings vehicles, the real estate sector, and other productive areas of the economy.
The lower standard of living that most families in the Gambia find themselves in has affected even their ability to send their children to good schools. It takes remittances from siblings and relatives in the diaspora to keep children in school.
The main goal why Gambians leave the country is in search of employment opportunities. During Yahya Jammeh reign close to 100,000 Gambians left the country some with no proper documentation. Their priority is to make the most of the opportunities abroad and send money home.
Gambians with loan facilities back at home send money for repayment according to the loan covenants signed. Some credit facilities are taken by their families to sustain themselves and then funds are sent to help with the repayment.
Those with businesses in the Gambia send money to boost the capital base and finance operations in areas such as payment of salaries and wages, supplies, purchase of goods and so forth.
Money transfer services are arguably the best when sending money to the Gambia. They have many obvious advantages to traditional channels. Below are some of the top reasons why you should use them in your next transfer.
When sending money to the Gambia, there are certain things you should consider to avoid missed opportunities or inconveniences in the course of the transfer.
With the diaspora strategies being rolled out by the Gambian government, Gambians abroad stand a better chance to get good deals sending money to their country. Knowing how to compare and contrast the various features of the providers will help you get the best sending option to your family and friends.
The fastest way to send money to the Gambia is through Ria Money Transfer’s fast option. With Ria Money Transfer’s fast option, your money should reach its Gambian destination in a matter of minutes. Ria Money Transfer offers a well-rounded deal that is often priced lower than much of their faster competition.
Ria Money Transfer’s slow option is the cheapest way to send money to the Gambia. Ria Money Transfer’s slow option charges a small upfront fee, and a small hidden currency conversion fee as well. When both variables are considered, Ria Money Transfer is quite cheap when you use their slow option. The only downside is long waiting times, as it will take 3-5 days for the transfer to be completed.
If you don’t like using Ria Money Transfer, MoneyGram offers a similarly cheap option for sending money to the Gambia
The easiest way to send money to the Gambia is through a TransferWise bank transfer with SWIFT/BIC. After you connect your TransferWise account to the recipient’s bank account, sending money becomes a breeze. The TransferWise platform is known for being a younger and more intuitive one. There are very few steps to using TransferWise to send money.
The current exchange rate for the Gambian Dalasi (GMD) is 51.1504 GMD per American Dollar (USD) as of the time this was written. The GMD reached a high of 51.1504 GMD per USD and a low of 51.0999 GMD per USD during the last 90 days. The average exchange rate for the last 90 days was 51.1278 GMD per USD.
The GMD had an average volatility rate of 0.08% against the USD for the last 90 days. This is a very low volatility rate. Going forward, you can reasonably expect only minor fluctuations to continue, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The overall best way to send money to the Gambia is through a TransferWise-supported bank transfer. This option allows you to maintain simplicity while not spending too much money or wasting too much time. When you consider all of the variables above, TransferWise transfers with SWIFT/BIC are simply better, safer, and more pleasant.
What do we mean by the top provider?
The top provider is the money transfer service that we believe is the most suitable for the country you’re sending money to. In order to keep our service free we factor in the commercial agreements we have with partners into this ranking.
How do we choose providers to display?
We make sure that each table displays the most relevant brands to the country you are sending money to and from. We consider many factors when choosing the providers to display in the table.All of the providers we display are fully regulated to provide money transfer services in the jurisdiction you are searching, relevant regulatory authorities are the FCA, ASIC, Fincen, FINTRAC & AMF. Alongside being regulated the services are manually checked by our team for both quality of service and online trust from such platforms like Trustpilot and Google reviews.We base our rankings primarily on the quality of the service provided, the benefit to the consumer and to keep our service free - the commercial agreements we have.
How do we order our comparisons?
We are affiliated with some of the partners displayed in the tables. However, the order of the providers is based on the quality of the service for the particular country corridor followed by the commercial agreement in place. You don’t pay any extra and the deal you get isn’t affected by our commercial agreement with the money transfer provider. We may receive a commission when you click through to a listing or when you make a transaction.We aim to find the balance between the quality of the service, customer satisfaction and the commercial agreements we have, and continue comparing services in a transparent way.If you have any questions about our listings, please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the Gambia. If you're looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.