More than 60% of the remittances to Poland come from Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2017, Poland received $6.8 billion in remittances from the diaspora. Germany hosts over 783,000 Poles with 55,000+ living in the capital Berlin. They come in the second position as the largest foreign community in Germany after Turks.
Most of the Poles leaving their country are driven by promising job opportunities and greener pastures in other countries. The booming job market in Germany and its close proximity to Poland are attractions that are hard to resist for most of them.
In the United Kingdom, Polish citizens are by far the largest group of EU citizens living in the country. As of 2018, there were 832,000 Poles living in the UK followed by Romanians at 392,000.
Expectedly, at different times in the year, the over 20 million Poles living abroad send money home to their families and friends, for investment, mortgage repayments and so forth. The advantage with the Poland remittance corridors is that they have attracted lots of money transfer players making it much easier to send money from whichever host country.
With that being said, you need to be extra careful when sending money home if you are to get better deals on exchange rates, speed of transfer, and transaction fees. This guide will help you gain a deeper understanding of the various ways of sending money to Poland, the information you need to successfully transfer funds, the advantages of online money transfer services and lots of other information. Let’s jump right in!
Sending money to Poland is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Poland 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.
Irrespective of the country you are domiciled in, there are three main ways you can send money to Poland. You may decide to use the mainstream banking system, the online money transfer services, or in-store cash transfers. Some providers also allow you to top up mobile phone airtime right from their platforms.
You can send money to Poland using international wire transfers. This is a much slower method, especially when sending money from outside Europe. Banks in Poland such as Millennium Bank, ING Bank, and PKO Bank process lots of remittances into Poland.
Apart from the high transaction fees banks charge, sending money through the banking system to Poland can take up to 5 days to process. This can be inconveniencing when sending money for emergencies.
Despite their reliability and strong institutional framework, banks tend to charge a higher margin above the mid-market rate. This means for every unit of the sending currency; you get less of the Poland złoty.
When sending large amounts of money and you fear that the exchange rate can move unpredictably, online money transfer service providers can help you lock in the rates or better still get an attractive forward rate.
While the bank is an excellent channel to transfer funds to Poland, there are inherent disadvantages in the banking sector. Online money transfer providers come in as the best alternative to sending money to Poland.
Companies such as Xendpay, CurrencyFair, TransferWise, OFX, WorldFirst, and Xoom have come in to even out the playground. In October 2019, TransferWise announced that its customers in Poland would now be able to receive money directly into their bank accounts in Polish zloty.
Signing up for a transfer account with any of the above providers is a matter of minutes. Some may take a little longer to verify your details but it is nothing compared to the hassle in banks. After the account is open, you can pay for your transfer using a debit card, credit card, bank debit or bank transfer and send.
There are two main payout methods, cash pickup and direct bank deposit that you can choose. However, this varies with the provider. There are some who offer only a bank deposit as a payout option.
To make it easier to send and receive money, some online money transfer service providers have developed mobiles applications that are free to download on Google Play and App Store. Through these apps, you can send money, track transfers, add recipients, check exchange rates and even cancel transfers.
Western Union and MoneyGram are the main players in this space. Setting up is also very simple and you have the option of sending online or through an agent. If you prefer sending via an agent, you have the option of choosing cash pickup or direct bank deposit as payout methods.
Through Xoom, you can reload prepaid mobile phones in Poland direct from the platform. Xoom works with 5 carriers in Poland to make this possible. They include Heyah, Orange, Play, Plus and Tak Tak. The recipient gets a text message informing him or her that they’ve received an airtime top-up.
To successfully send money to Poland, money transfer operators require certain information and documents. Some of them may be needed only on the first transfer and subsequently the demands may reduce. Here is the information you need:
There are two ways you can receive money in Poland. Depending on the provider, you may have a cash pickup option and the direct bank deposit option.
Xoom has 4,544 locations in Poland from where you can collect your transfer in cash. Western Union has 8,300 pickup locations and MoneyGram has 6,000 locations. Xoom has a partnership with Poczta Polska, the postal office of Poland to serve as its pickup locations.
MoneyGram also has key partnerships with Poczta Polska, Bank Pocztowy SA, and Bank Polskiej Spoldzielczosci.
Cash pickup is a preferred payout method for small amounts of money. Handling large sums of money in cash can be risky. If you can, get someone to accompany you when picking up the cash. Cash pickups arrive in minutes or can take a few hours. In the case of Western Union and MoneyGram, transfers can take one business day.
Online money transfer providers can send a transfer directly to the recipient’s bank. All major banks in Poland accept direct deposits. It is a safer method and most preferred when receiving large amounts of money.
If the money has been deposited into the recipient’s bank, there is nothing else to do other than waiting for the credit. However, for cash pickups, there is some information you need for the agent to verify your identity and give you the cash.
• Your government-issued ID
• The transaction number- In the case of Western Union, the number is called the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). For MoneyGram, you’ll fill in the number when filling out the simple form they will give you
As noted in the opening paragraph, many Poles leave their country in search of employment and better lives abroad. Looking at how the remittances are used back home; some reasons stand out as the common push factors for sending money home.
Some of the Poles in the diaspora still have their families in Poland. From time to time, they send money to support them or supplement up their incomes to enable them pay for household expenses. This has been shown by the rise in household spending due to increased disposable incomes.
Many Polish homeowners are paying up foreign currency-denominated mortgages mostly in Swiss franc. These mortgages and other loans that are taken in between are some of the common reasons Poles in the diaspora send money regularly for repayment.
Most Poles consider venturing abroad as an opportunity they cannot afford to waste. They use their earning to invest in building constructions and other real estate opportunities back home. The constructions are a mixture of private houses and homes for sale or rent.
Many Poles living abroad support their siblings back home through education. They often send remittances in form of school fees to enable them stay in school or advance their education for better opportunities in future.
Most Poles look forward to retiring at home. According to the Polish ambassador to the UK, only 27% of them have so far applied for settled status in the UK. This means many of them are looking forward to returning home at some point in the future. Some of the money they send home is to be used for savings and building of cash reserves.
Transferring pension from abroad to Poland is now easy with customised services offered by money transfer providers. Many Polish nationals are now sending pension payments back home in simple and cost-effective ways through providers such as OFX, TransferWise, Currencies Direct, and WorldFirst.
If you live outside Poland and you’ve been using banks to transfer money to your family back home, chances are you have been paying high fees and experienced delays in delivery. Money transfer service providers come as a relief to help you with some of these inconveniences and costs.
Sending money back home to Poland is more of a social contract some Poles have with their families and friends. However, before you pay for your transfer and send, consider the following factors.
Therefore, sending money to Poland should not be a hassle for anyone in the diaspora. You only need to get the right information and compare across for providers offering attractive rates, low fees and faster transfers.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Poland. 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