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Send Money To Guatemala

Sending money from countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain to Guatemala requires awareness of the existing channels. Thanks to technology, a lot of the traditional transfer channels and their inherent inefficiencies have been improved and other transfer methods sprang up over time. This guide will help you compare the different money transfer options available so that you can make the right decision.

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How To Send Money To Guatemala

Sending money to Guatemala 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 Guatemala

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Guatemala 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 Guatemala
Receiving Money In Guatemala

Ways to Send Money to Guatemala

Money transfer operators and banks dominate most Guatemala remittance corridors. However, the specific players may change depending on the transfer route. There are three main ways you can send money to Guatemala.

International Bank to Bank Transfers

Depending on your host country, you can make a wire transfer to a bank in Guatemala. For instance, from the United States, you can make a transfer through banks that have correspondents or branches in Guatemala. Look for banks like Bantrab, Banrural, Inter Banco, Citi Bank, Banco Promerica among others.

The banking system is reliable and safe. However, your transfer may cost you a little more to process. On average, banks charge between 25 to $40 to complete a wire transfer to Guatemala. Depending on the network of banks involved, the time to complete the transfer may extend even up to 5 days.

The other inconveniencing aspect with bank wire transfers is that both the sender and the recipient must have bank accounts. Some of the immigrants in countries like Mexico, Belize and Spain do not have the required documents to sign up for mainstream bank accounts. This barrier forces some of them to use informal methods to send money home.

Online Money Transfers

Money transfer services with online access points such as Xoom, Pangea, Remitly and TransferWise can help you to quickly send money to Guatemala. These providers are fast, offer high exchange rates and low transfer fees. To initiate your transfer, you simply need to sign up for an account, have your details verified, pay for your transfer and send.

There are various ways you can pay for your transfer depending on the provider. Some of the common transfer payment options include:

  • Debit or credit card
  • Direct bank debit
  • Bank wire transfer

The recipient in Guatemala may choose to receive the cash through a direct bank deposit or as a cash pickup. The choice depends on the sender-recipient preferences. The transfer fees charged are a fraction of what other channels charge. For instance, sending $1000 through Xoom to Guatemala will cost you $15.99 when you pay using a debit or credit card and only $4.99 if you pay using a bank transfer or PayPal balance.

WorldRemit charges $2.99 to send $1000 to Guatemala through cash pickup. The exchange rate margins that online money transfer service providers charge, range from 0.5% to 3.5%. Banks charge you upwards of 5%.

Apart from physical cash or bank deposits, you can also send the recipient airtime direct to their phones. WorldRemit and Xoom offer direct airtime top-ups to phones in Guatemala that are on Claro, Movistar and Tigo networks.

You do not need to have a bank account to send money through online money transfer platforms. This aspect has made these services accessible to many people.

In-Person Cash Transfers

Apart from the internet-based money transfer providers, there are agent-based money transfer operators such as Xpress Money, Vigo, MoneyGram, Western Union, and Ria. These operators require that you visit designated agents to deposit and make your transfer.

These operators are relatively fast and reliable. For instance, Western Union takes only a few minutes to transfer money from the UK to Guatemala. To transfer 1,000 GBP on Western Union, it only costs 9.90 GBP which is way lower compared to banks that charge up to 30 GBP.

MoneyGram allows for direct deposit into bank accounts and pickups from cash locations. You can send up to 6,000 GBP and the money will be available in minutes or within a few hours. Western Union and MoneyGram also have a feature where they allow their customers to initiate their transfers online and complete them in-store.

What is Needed to Send Money to Guatemala

Depending on the provider you choose, you’ll be asked for some information and documentation before you can make your transfer. Online money transfer companies will ask for the information when opening your account. Here is what you need:

  • A government-issued photo ID
  • The name of the recipient, their address and phone number
  • The recipient’s bank details if the transfer is to a bank account
  • The transfer payout method

Online money transfers give you the convenience of sending money from the comfort of your seat as long as you have the required information.

Best Ways To Send Money To Guatemala

Filter
Amount
1000
USD
GTQ
United States
USD
Guatemala
GTQ
USD
Top Provider
Amount Received
7,615.45
GTQ
Fees: $5.00
Rate: 7.65372*
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
7,375.18
GTQ
Fees: $10.00
Rate: 7.44967*
Payment Options
Speed
Bank Transfer
3-5 Days
Debit Card
3-5 Days
Key Features
Internationally renowned bank
Amount Received
7,318.00
GTQ
Fees: $10.00
Rate: 7.39192*
Payment Options
Speed
Bank Transfer
3-5 Days
Debit Card
3-5 Days
Key Features
Internationally renowned bank
Current Mid-Market Rate: 1 USD = 7.699921 GTQ
* Some rates may be indicative.

Common Reasons for Sending Money to Guatemala

Remittances play a significant role in Guatemala. In terms of GDP, they account for more than 11%. The reasons behind these inflows differ from one remittance to another. Some of the common reasons include.

Household Expenses

Most of the remittance-receiving households in Guatemala allocate remittances to expenses such as utilities, food and rent.

Health Expenses

Whether it is paying for structured health plans or direct medical costs, some of the inflows are directed towards achieving health outcomes.

Education

To keep their siblings and children in school, Guatemalans send tuition money directly to schools or indirectly through their families.

Savings and Investment

Guatemalans through national and private initiatives have investment forums through which they get information about investment opportunities back at home. Some of the investments are in equities and bonds and others in real estate.

Repatriation of Earnings

Some of the Guatemalans abroad are in contractual employment subject to renewal. With such a work arrangement most of them periodically send their earnings back home as a precautionary measure just in case they decide to return home after the expiry of their contracts.

Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

Money transfer services have an advantage over most if not all traditional forms of money transfer. Some of the outstanding advantages of these transfer services include:

Speed of Transfer

Transfers to Guatemala from most sending countries take minutes to a couple of hours to complete. Cash transfers are the fastest especially when paid for by credit or debit card.

Transfer Fees

With as little as $5.50 you can send up to $6000 to Guatemala. This is a fraction of the cost that banks and other traditional money transfer channels charge to send money to Guatemala.

Ease of Setup

Signing up for a money transfer account takes minutes. Some providers may ask for verification of the details you’ve provided, an exercise that can take a couple of hours to complete. All the processes are done online and this makes it convenient for you. Banks may require you to submit hard copy documents which go through a series of processes before you can be allowed to transact.

Exchange Rate Margin

Money transfer services make money from the difference between the mid-market rate and the exchange rate they charge for any currency pair. Most of them charge a margin fee of between 0.5-3.5%. TransferWise wise charges zero exchange rate margin that means all transfers are made at the real exchange rate.

Multi-Currency Support

When sending money to Guatemala, you don’t need to convert your sending currency to another intermediate currency before completing the transfer. Online money transfer providers support lots of different currencies making it easier to make a direct transfer to the Guatemala quetzal.

Security

Money transfer service providers are licenced and authorised by government bodies such as Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These entities require strict adherence to security provisions and measures.

In addition, providers hold customers funds in separate accounts from operating funds. This guarantees the safety of funds even when the money transfer company goes through financial headwinds.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Guatemala

When transferring money to Guatemala, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • No Legal Constraints on Cash Transfers - Guatemala doesn’t impose any restrictions on capital inflows or any other remittances into the country. Therefore, you can send in any amounts without fear of your money being withheld.
  • Holding a Foreign-Currency Denominated Account  - Effective May 2001, Guatemala allowed banking institutions to offer accounts in foreign currency. This means you can hold an account in Guatemala denominated in your host country’s currency making it easier for you to transfer money to your family and business associates in Guatemala.
  • Extra Regulations for Foreign Exchange Cash Transactions - As from October 2010, the Guatemalan monetary authorities established regulations limiting foreign exchange cash transactions to $3000. Any transactions above this amount are subjected to a secondary layer of regulations which include the depositor declaring that the source of the money is legitimate.

With more transfer corridors to Guatemala opening up, knowing the best ways to send money to your family and friends is imperative. Ensure you compare across the different providers before settling on any money transfer operator.

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

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