Want to send money to the Philippines? These days, there are a number of options available to help you get your money to the Philippines quickly, efficiently, and for a low fee. To help you find the best service for your needs, in this guide we’ve covered everything you might need to know about an international money transfer to the Philippines, plus how to find the cheapest and fastest options available to you.
Step 1: Compare providers to find the best service for you
Finding the best international money transfer service for your transaction to the Philippines can be found by looking at the costs, transfer times, rates, and payment options offered by the operators that support transfers between your sending country and your recipient. Our comparison form provides an unbiased, transparent look into the best money transfer providers for you, comparing all of these things and more.
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. You may also need to upload a picture of a valid photo ID to verify your identity. It’s important to make sure that the provider you are using does actually support transfers to the Philippines from your sending country.
Step 3: Start your transfer
Once you’ve registered for your free account with your chosen money transfer provider, you’ll want to add your transfer details. This will include selecting the conversion from your sending country to Filipino pesos, entering your recipient’s full name, bank details (if sending money via bank transfer), and your payment details.
Your transfer provider should give you a final overview of the fees to expect and how long your transfer should take before the transaction is locked in. If you’re happy with all the details entered, you can start your transfer and wait for confirmation that your recipient has received the funds on the other end.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in the Philippines 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 the Philippines through the banking system can be cheaper and quicker if the beneficiary bank has branches overseas. For instance, the Bank of America has several branches in the Philippines. In such a case, it becomes easier to transfer money to the Philippines as you only incur one-way charges.
The top five banks include Banco de Oro (BDO Unibank, Inc.), Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Landbank of the Philippines, and Security Bank Corporation.
Metrobank allows you to open a Foreign Currency account that enables you to receive any amount into your account. The cost per inward transfer is $5.00. When you transfer money from non-partner banks, the transaction fee is a little higher and it may also take longer for your loved ones to receive the money.
Sending through these money transfer operators (MTOs) is often faster, cheaper, and more reliable than a traditional bank. All you need is to sign up for an account online; through the website or mobile app. You can then pay for your transfer online or at a store and send.
There are three options for paying for your transfer online. You can use a credit card, debit card, or bank debit. Credit card is the most expensive because of provider fees, but it ensures that your transfer gets to your recipient in minutes.
There are three different ways you can send money through MTOs: bank transfers, cash pickup, door-to-door delivery, and mobile money.
This method of money transfer is similar to the interbank transfer except that an MTO comes in between to allow you to move the money faster and cheaper to the recipient’s bank.
Most MTOs have partnered with banks in the Phillippines to offer this service. For example, WorldRemit allows you to send to banks such as BDO Private Bank, Metrobank, Philippine National Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Xoom has nine banks on its payout network. It also partners with stores such as Palawan Pawnshop and the SM Store.
When you send money using this method, your loved ones can pick the transfer up as cash at the nearest location. Xoom, MoneyGram, and Western Union have 10,000+ cash pickup locations across the Philippines. Most of these locations operate 24/7.
Cash pickups are almost instant, especially when you pay for the transfer using a debit or credit card.
Sending money to the Philippines using this method is faster and cheaper, about 50% lower in fees than the cash pickup method.
Door to Door Delivery
Xoom offers door-to-door cash delivery services at no additional fee. If you send the money before 3 pm, delivery takes less than 6 hours to Metro Manila. For the rest of the 80 provinces including Tawi-Tawi in the south and Batanes in the far north, it takes 1 to 2 days.
The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST), offers this service to overseas Filipinos in the United States, HongKong, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, Qatar, and Malaysia.
The central post office gives guidance on the exchange rates to be used by all the 1,383 postal branches across the country.
Cryptocurrency traders have also joined in for a share of the lucrative remittance business. In the Philippines, virtual currencies such as bitcoins have become popular on the transfer corridors.
In 2015, more than $2 million per month was sent to the Philippines using digital assets. In the first half of 2017, an average of $8.8 million every month entered the Philippines through the blockchain network.
In 2017, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas licenced two virtual currency exchanges. There are 12 more cryptocurrency exchange applications in line.
Sending money to the Philippines is a simple process, especially if you use money transfer services. The following is what you need to send money to the Philippines:
You may need to provide additional information depending on the size of the amount or the location to which you are sending. These measures are part of the global anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime protection.
If your loved one abroad sends you money, there are several ways you can receive it.
This method is considered a secure way to receive funds from abroad, especially for large amounts of money. However, according to the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey (FIS), by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 77 per cent of Filipino adults are unbanked.
Without access to mainstream financial services and bank accounts, bank transfers can be challenging. For this reason, most people prefer receiving money through cash collections and mobile wallets.
This channel is the lifeline in most remittance corridors. Filipinos in rural areas with no access to formal banking services can leverage cash collections from agents in the different payout networks.
MTOs have partnered with supermarkets, grocery stores, fuel stations, and independent agents to extend their services to people in far-flung areas. When picking up cash, you should ask a friend or family member along for security reasons. Always choose a payout location that is closer to where you are and in a safer place.
Mobile money has simplified the process of receiving remittances in the Philippines. Most MTOs have partnered with the GCash network to deepen their reach in the country. However, you need to have a GCash mobile account set up on your phone to receive money.
To enjoy the full benefits such as a monthly transaction limit of up to 100,000 Philippine Pesos (PHP) and international remittances, you’ve got to verify your account. You can withdraw mobile money from any of the 63,000+ merchants on the GCash network.
The provider delivers money right at your doorstep. If you are in Metro Manila cash deliveries can be done the same day. With that said, people in other provinces may have to wait a little longer.
Despite the safety concerns, especially in rural areas, this method is among the most convenient. Ensure that the sender gets your physical address right for prompt deliveries.
Once the money gets to the Philippines, you will get an SMS or email notification that you’ve got some money. For bank and mobile money deposits, you don’t need to provide any information unless requested by the authorities. You can start transacting right away.
For cash collections, you’ll need to provide the following information to complete the transfer.
MoneyGram may require you to fill out a form providing more information. Whatever the case, the cash collection process should be simpler and faster.
The best way to send money to the Philippines will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your transfer. Things that can affect your transfer include:
Ultimately, the best way to find the right provider for your international money transfer to the Philippines is to compare providers that support transfers between your sending country to here.
Sending money to the Philippines from the UK offers a number of options. Overall, Azimo offers the most competitive exchange rate at 1 GBP = 66.82830 (at the time of writing) with no fees for your international transfer. Likewise, Azimo is able to process your transfer within minutes.
In comparison, sending via Western Union would give you an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 1.00 GBP = 63.5492 PHP.
If you are looking to send money to the Philippines from elsewhere, it’s important to make sure you select a transfer provider that supports your currency corridor. For example, if converting USD to PHP, you may find that WorldRemit is the best choice for you. With an exchange rate of 1 USD = 47.75328 PHP and fees starting from $5.00, WorldRemit offers a reliably secure, fast, and cost-effective international transfer service.
The two main costs you need to be aware of when sending money are transfer fees and the exchange rate offered by whatever service you are using to send money.
Transfer fees can range from nothing to $30 and upwards depending on the provider you use, whether you opt for a rapid or regular transfer service, and on the payment method you select. Bank transfers, for example, may have higher fees than a mobile wallet transfer.
The exchange rate is the charge that can make a real difference to how much your recipient receives on the other end of your transfer. As a rough example, banks can add anywhere between 3 – 5% onto the mid-market rate for an international transfer, whereas MTOs usually add between 0.10 – 3% on the mid-market rate. This can vary massively depending on what provider you use, so is worth keeping in mind when comparing services.
Money transfer providers such as Azimo and PaySend charge no fees for international transfers to the Philippines and instead add a small markup on to the exchange rate. Sending £500 to the Philippines with either of these two providers, for example, would give you an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 66.860 PHP or 64.346 PHP respectively (at the time of writing), with no fees, giving your recipient a total of 33,430.43
PHP with Azimo, or 32,173.26 PHP with PaySend.
Other providers, such as TransferWise, offer international transfers at the mid-market rate and for a set fixed fee, which can often work out cheaper overall. Sending the same sum of £500 with TransferWise would give you an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 64.894 PHP at the time of writing, with a fixed fee of £4.52, giving your recipient a total of 32,154.03 PHP.
In this case study from December 2020, therefore, we could conclude that the cheapest way to send money to the Philippines from the UK is Azimo. This is susceptible to change however and the cheapest provider may vary depending on your sending country, the current exchange rate, and what payment/delivery method you select.
For some international transfers, your money could be with your recipient within a matter of minutes. Providers such as WorldRemit, Azimo, Currency Fair, and PaySend can all process your transfer within two hours, if not sooner. Make sure that your chosen provider does support transfers from your sending country before starting your transfer.
Equally, your payout method can affect the speed of your transfer. Selecting a cash pickup from one of Western Union’s 8,400 agent locations, or one of the banks WorldRemit has partnered with, can be one of the fastest way to receive money in the Philippines, with most cash pickups available immediately. Of course, you’ll need to make sure there is an agent location close to your recipient’s address for an easy collection.
It’s worth noting that the fastest transfer is rarely the cheapest transfer. Would you rather get your transfer to your recipient quicker, or for less fees?
In 2019, the Philippines was in the top five receiving countries for USD remittances, with millions of overseas Filipino workers sending money back home to support family and loved ones. There is no doubt that these regular remittance payments are a vital means of support for many families within the Philippines, providing a boost to local economic all over the country.
When sending money to the Philippines, there are a few considerations to take into account. The top must-think-about factors are exchange rates and taxes.
Therefore, sending money to the Philippines is dependent on your preferences, how much you know about providers, the different ways of sending money and the factors to consider. The information you’ve just gone through is critical.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the Philippines. 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