Most of the transfers to Russia come from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany, Belarus, and Uzbekistan. On average, Russia receives about $8 billion, 30% of which comes from Ukraine. The Russian remittance corridors are dominated by various types of players including banks, online money transfer services, cash transfer operators among others.
When sending money to Russia, factors such as the exchange rate, transfer fees, hidden third party fees, and speed of transfer are important to consider. Some money transfer providers like TransferWise charge a fixed transfer fee and a percentage fee based on the amount you are sending.
Making transfers to your friends and family in Russia shouldn't be a hassle. In fact, knowing the options available enables you to make optimal decisions. This guide will help you explore the different ways you can send money to Russia, the information that is required when sending, what the recipient will have to provide to access the money and other factors to consider when sending the money.
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There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Russia 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.
Russia has been in the crosshairs of geopolitical forces that have affected among other things the movement of funds in an out of the country. Thanks to technology, banks and peer to peer (P2P) money transfer service providers have made significant progress connecting Russians in the diaspora with their families back home.
Diaspora Russians can transfer money to their families, friends and business partners back home through the SWIFT network. Interestingly, as from 2014, Russia started developing an alternative to the SWIFT mechanism to cushion itself against risks of sanctions that would affect the SWIFT network.
The System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) is now up and running offering a variety of services one of which is financial institution transfers. Over 18% of money transfers in Russia are going through the SPFS and as of November 1, 2019, over 390 participants had already enrolled in the system among them Asian banks.
Due to currency control processes, sending money through the banking system to Russia can be a nightmare. The law requires financial institutions to have a correspondent account with the Russian Central Bank for them to transfer funds to the country.
Because of these tough regulations, sending money through the bank can be expensive, result in cancellations, reversals and delays. Some of the top banks in Russia to consider when transferring money are Sberbank, VTB Bank, GazpromBank and Alfa Bank JSC.
When sending money to Russia from the UK, through Barclays Plc, you will be charged £0 for online banking, but there will be receiving fees of £13 for payments between £0 and £2,600. Payments over £10,000 are charged a receiving fee of £50. If you send money through the branch, you will be charged £25 or £40 if you are in priority banking. This excludes any recipient fees you may have to pay. Transfers can only be in GBP, EUR, USD.
Once you sign up for a transfer account, input the recipient details, the amount you want to send, and pay for your transfer, the provider will do the rest. Typically transfers can take up to 3 days depending on the payout option. You can pay for your transfer using a credit card, debit card or bank transfer.
There are three payout methods you can opt for when transferring money through online transfer providers.
Money transfer operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow its customers to send money to Russia through direct to bank or cash pickup options. Western Union offers direct-to-bank transfers of up to 4,000.00 EUR and cash pickups of up to 5,000.00 EUR.
Western Union payout quote and receipt can be generated in both USD and Russian Ruble (RUB). The recipient can collect the money in either currency. MoneyGram transfers to Russia allow up to a maximum of 6000.00 GBP to a cash pickup location. Unlike Western Union, MoneyGram doesn’t have the direct-to-bank option when sending to Russia from the United Kingdom.
Sending to a recipient in Russia through Paypal, Yandex or WebMoney is another channel you can use to send money to your loved ones. All the above methods work in a similar manner where the money ends up in a virtual wallet from where you can withdraw to a local bank.
Yandex has over 18 million e-wallets, while WebMoney has more than 30 million registered users. Compared to the online money transfer providers, e-wallet solutions may add another layer of fees and exchange rate conversion margins. That being said, you can pay your bills right from the e-wallet without the need to withdraw the cash.
When sending money to Russia, the information you’ll be asked to give will depend on the country you are sending from and the provider you choose. Typically, you will be required to give the following:
Transfers to Russia are utilised for different purposes. The spectrum of reasons is almost inexhaustible but the following are the common pull and push factors for remittances to Russia.
Diaspora Russians with families living in Russia often send money home for family support.
Some of the remittances to Russia are for payment of salaries for their Russia-based staff and freelancers.
Whether it is funds generated from the sale of assets abroad or earnings repatriation back home, diaspora Russians have been using banks and online providers to send money to their home country
Suppliers of goods and services based in Russia are normally paid in their home currency by their overseas clients.
Since the passing of legislation that brought into force the Land Code of 2001, the Russian property market has seen increased activity. People living outside Russia can now own property and have the right to use. Some of the funds sent are used to pay for registration fees, notaries´ fees, taxes, agents´ fees, and lawyers´ fees.
Any loan commitments Russians in the diaspora have back home or their families debt obligations are among the reasons they send money.
Money transfer service providers have endeared themselves to diaspora Russians. The speed of transfers, the fees, the attractive rates and reliability are just some of the features that money transfer providers are leveraging.
Before you send money to Russia, there are certain factors you need to bear in mind. Failure to do so may inconvenience the recipient or interfere with your transfer.
Therefore, sending money to Russia is such a simple, fast and painless process with online money transfer providers. However, you need to do your homework, read through money transfer provider reviews and compare their main features before settling on one or the other.
The fastest way to transfer funds to Russia is through Ria Money Transfer’s fast service. Ria Money Transfer has offices in major Russian cities, including Moscow Saint Petersburg, and Kursk. With Ria Money Transfer’s fast service, your money should reach its Russian destination in a matter of minutes. It also doesn’t cost that much to use Ria Money Transfer’s fast service, when compared to the slower competition.
The cheapest way to send funds to Russia is through Western Union’s standard service. With Western Union’s cheaper (but much slower) option, you pay minimal upfront fees and the hidden currency conversion rates.
The only problem with Western Union is that it takes a long time. If you send money with Western Union, the wait time will be 3-5 days.
The easiest way to transfer money to Russia is through TransferWise. The process of sending funds to Russia with TransferWise is very simple. All you need to do is tap in the amount of money you want to send and the destination. After that, all you need to do is pay TransferWise, then your money is on its way.
TransferWise doesn’t cost much money to use either, and the delivery times are faster than most of the competition This is especially true considering the rates they offer.
The current exchange rate for the Russian Ruble (RUB) is 63.7125 RUB per American Dollar (USD) as of the time this was written. The average exchange rate for the RUB was 64.1913 RUB per USD over the last 90 days. The RUB reached a low of 63.4367 RUB per USD, and a high of 65.7935 RUB per USD during the last 90 days.
The average volatility of the RUB against the USD was 0.82% over the last 90 days. This is a minor volatility rate, although the Russian Ruble has fluctuated significantly over the course of the last two years. You can reasonably expect moderate fluctuations to continue, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The overall best way to get your money from anywhere you are to Russia is also through TransferWise. TransferWise offers the best balance between cost, speed, and ease of use. There is also something to be said of how ubiquitous TransferWise has become, as you can transfer funds to Russia from a huge selection of countries. In the end, TransferWise offers the most well-rounded option if you're transferring funds to Russia.