These days, sending money to Mexico is a fairly straightforward process wherever you are in the world. Getting the best deal – which means fewer fees for you and more funds for your recipient – lies in being informed about your options. Here, we’ll cover the various different ways to send money to Mexico, what information you’ll need, and the best way for your family and friends to receive the money you’re sending from abroad.
Sending money to Mexico is simple and straightforward. Follow these steps to get started.
Step 1: Compare providers to find the best service for you
Our comparison table for sending money to Mexico looks at transfer fees, exchange rates, payment methods, transfer times and more for your specific needs. Use this to find a provider that not only supports transfers between the two currencies you need but also provides the best deal.
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: 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 payout method), the sum you are sending, the currencies you are converting to (from your sending country to Mexican pesos), and your payment details. You should be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take to reach your recipient.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Mexico 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.
Records maintained by the Bank of Mexico show that 98% ($34.95 billion) of remittances to Mexico were carried out through electronic funds transfer (EFT) in one year. The remaining two per cent were dispatched by money order, cash and cash-like instruments.
The most popular ways to send money to Mexico are:
Mexico has a total of 48 banks, seven of which control 78% of the total market share. Despite delays, bank-to-bank transfers remain a reliable and secure method of sending money to Mexico. On average, a bank transfer can take up to 4 days to get to the recipient.
When the bank you are sending from has no established financial relationship with the recipient bank or the currency you are sending from is different from the destination currency, a correspondent bank acts as an intermediary. This intermediation can cause transfer delays, so it’s important to make yourself aware of your bank’s relationship with the receiving bank.
Other factors that slow down international wire transfers include the source currency, payment method, the effect of weekends and holidays, cut-off times and timezones. Apart from time, banks charge higher fees and their exchange rates are unfavourable.
Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) have increased their dominance on most Mexico transfer corridors. These services bring a greater level of cost-efficiency, timeliness, and flexibility in sending money to Mexico than traditional banks can typically offer. Notable providers supporting transfers to Mexico include WorldRemit, XE, and PaySend.
Signing up for an account with MTOs is very simple and completely free. Depending on the provider, you may need to provide your name and email address only. Other providers may ask you for a few verification details to set you up, such as a valid photo ID to verify your identity. You can sign up on the website or through a downloadable mobile app.
Once you are set up, you’ll be given the option to pay for your transfer using a debit or credit card, bank transfer or cash deposit (although not all providers will offer all of these options). When sending money using money transfer services, there are a couple of options you can choose from:
Bank Transfer – This sending option is similar to bank wire transfer. However, the difference is that the transfer moves from an MTO to a bank on the MTO-bank platform. Instead of taking days, bank transfers can take a few hours, which is definitely one reason why MTOs have grown in popularity so quickly. Some of the Mexican banks and non-bank institutions that money transfer service providers have partnered with are Grupo Elektra, BanCoppel, BBVA Bancomer, and Banco Azteca.
Cash Pickup – Depending on the provider, cash pickups can be available for your recipient within minutes. If you choose WorldRemit, for example, the recipient can pick up the cash in any of the 7,800 locations on the provider’s payout-network. Western Union has 42,000 locations while MoneyGram has partnered with banks and OXXO, a chain of convenience stores.
This money transfer service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) replaces the international money order. The sending limit per day currently stands at $1,500. When sending the money, the USPS will give you a currency translation rate. Sending money through this method takes only 15 minutes. In 2014, the government of Mexico ended the agreement that authorised the USPS to sell paper money orders to Mexico.
Despite being one of the top destinations for remittances, sending to Mexico is not any different from sending to other countries. Some of the information you’ll need to send money include:
Your loved ones in Mexico can receive the money you send in several ways depending on their location and the provider you use. Most emigrants are remittances are directed back to areas such as Chiapas, Guerrero, Puebla, and Oaxaca, so if you may want to make yourself aware of the services offered in these areas (for example, how close is the nearest agent location for a cash pickup?).
Whether your family and relatives live in the north, the north pacific coast, the Bajio, the south pacific coast, the south, the gulf or Central Mexico, they can receive remittances in several ways:
Bank Account Deposit – It’s estimated that over half the population in Mexico is unbanked. However, the government is in a drive to extend financial services to every person in the country. This move will make it feasible for more people to own an account and receive direct deposits. That said, receiving remittance through bank transfers is common in Mexico and this is a convenient way to receive money ready to be used immediately.
Physical Cash Collection – Using the network of agents and payout partners in Mexico, money transfer operators like Xoom, Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit, and Remitly make it possible for households to collect cash from locations near them. MoneyGram has 39,000 locations while WorldRemit has connections to over 13 large branches with thousands of locations across the country.
The diverse nature of the Mexican population ranging from the very rich to the rural poor has made money transfer service providers standardise the information required to receive money. Despite the variations based on providers, here’s the information that will be needed.
On a case by case basis, authorities may ask for additional information. The size and frequency of transactions are triggers for such measures.
The best way to send money to Mexico will vary depending on the individual circumstances of your transfer. Factors such as the country you are sending from, whether you are prioritising cost or speed, the payment method you select, and more can all affect the right option for you.
Some of the top transfer providers supporting international transfers to Mexico include WorldRemit, XE Money Transfer, PaySend, and TransferWise. All of these providers include the option to pay for your transfer by bank transfer, debit card, or credit card, with varying fixed fee structures and markups on the exchange rate, which is why comparing transfer operators is always highly recommended.
Equally, the payout method you need will greatly affect the best way to send money to Mexico, especially if the person you are sending does not have a bank account to receive the funds. WorldRemit is one of the top money transfer operators to offer cash pickups for a low fee and competitive rate, so might be worth considering if this is the best way for you to get your money there.
Money transfer operators have made it increasingly easier to get your money to Mexico rapidly. When comparing providers, the average transfer time for each is:
Of course, this transfer time can change depending on where you are sending money from, how much you are sending, and the payment method you select. Equally, it’s also worth considering that the faster way to send your money is rarely the cheapest, so you may want to weigh up which is more important for you.
It’s important to note that often, the fastest transfer method is rarely the cheapest. If you want to avoid paying higher transfer fees for the convenience of your transfer reaching your recipient instantly, you may want to consider a slightly slower (hours rather than minutes) method of transfer.
Equally, the cheapest way to send money to Mexico is dependent on where you are sending from, the amount you are sending, and what method of payment you select. The two main fees you need to be aware of are:
Comparing providers and the different fee structure they have in place for both of these charges is essential to find the cheapest way to send money to Mexico for your specific transfer.
Some transfer corridors such as the US-Mexico and Canada-Mexico routes, take up more than 95 per cent of the transfer volume. Sending money through such corridors may seem so obvious. However, there are considerations you should make when sending money to Mexico:
With an increase in MTOs supporting transfers to and from Mexico, sending money to Mexico should be a breeze. However, you need to look across the various providers, their rates, speed, and convenience before sending. You should also watch the economic movements and geopolitical shifts between Mexico and the U.S. to help you plan your remittances.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Mexico. 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