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Send Money To Uganda

Here you will find the information you need when sending money to Uganda and the different factors that you need to bear in mind when sending your transfers.

Updated: 07/09/2022
Read time: 17 minutes
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How To Send Money To Uganda

Sending money to Uganda is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1

Find a Trusted Provider

Our comparison table for sending money to internationally looks at your specific transfer needs to and from any country in the world. Use this to find a provider that provides the best all-round service for you.
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

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Uganda

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Uganda but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about the best ways to send money to Uganda.

Sending Money To Uganda
Receiving Money In Uganda

Ways to Send Money to Uganda

Depending on the country you are sending money from, there are a number of channels you can opt for. The most common of these are bank to bank transfers, online money transfer, in-store cash transfers, and mobile money transfer. Let us look at each of these channels in greater detail.

Bank to Bank Transfers

This is one of the traditional ways of sending money that Ugandans still use to date. Those in the middle east send money to local banks in Uganda such as Stanbic Bank, Centenary Bank, Standard Chartered Bank among others. Using this channel has the advantage of safety and reliability.

Most of the banks in Uganda are international banks which means you can get either their branches or headquarters in your host country. This multinational feature makes it easier to transfer money and ensures faster delivery.

With that being said, most transfers through the banking system experience systemic delays and cost escalations. For instance, you may send money from a country as closer to Uganda as Kenya or Tanzania and it takes up to 5 working days for the transfer to be delivered.

For instance, sending money from Barclays Bank PLC in the United Kingdom to Uganda will cost you £25 if you do it through the branch or over the telephone. You may also incur overseas delivery charges and cover charges.

Using this channel also requires that both the sender and the recipient have bank accounts. Financial inclusion reports indicated that more than 50% of Ugandans mostly from rural areas have no access to formal banking services. This complicates the use of bank-to-bank transfers even further.

Online Money Transfers

Money transfer operators using the internet as the access point for their transfers have grown in number over the years. Uganda and to a larger extent Sub-Saharan Africa have provided a lucrative destination for remittances through online money transfer providers.

Companies such as Wave, Small World, WorldRemit, TorFX, Xpress Money, and Ria have dominated the Uganda remittance corridors. Others including TransferWise, Transfast, and Xoom are also gaining widespread popularity.

The advantage of using online money transfer providers when sending money to Uganda is that they are fast, simple, and cost-effective. To start off, you’ll have to sign up for an account, have your details verified, pay for your transfer and send the funds to your loved ones in Uganda.

The information requested is minimal compared to what banks ask for and you have lots of payment options. Depending on the provider, you may pay for your transfer using a credit or debit card, bank transfer, direct debit, Sofort, and many other options.

The payout options available range from cash pickups, direct-bank-deposits to mobile transfers. The option you choose largely depends on your personal preferences and the proximity of the provider’s disbursement network to the recipient.

Online money transfer providers not only charge lower transfer fees but also give senders comparatively higher exchange rates. For instance, sending 1000 GBP to Uganda from the United Kingdom through TransferWise will cost you about 18.28 GBP, with zero margins on exchange rates. For the same transfer, WorldRemit will charge you 13.99 GBP in transfer fees plus 2.85% exchange margin.

In-Store Cash Transfer

Apart from the internet being an access point, you can also send money from an agent. Money transfer operators such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Dahabshiil, and Xpress Money, allow their customers to send money from stores near them.

If you are in the UK, you can send up to 8,000.00 GBP on Western Union and the recipient in Uganda will collect it from a cash pickup location at a cost of only 12.90 GBP. The transfer takes a few minutes to get to Uganda. On MoneyGram, the maximum you can send to Uganda is 5828.00 GBP and the cost is 3.99 GBP.

Both MoneyGram and Western Union have partnered with banks such as Equity Bank, Housing Finance Bank, Post Bank Uganda, KCB Uganda, Bank of Alexandria, and DTB. These banks serve as cash pickup points. Xpress Money and Ria pickup locations are commonly found in malls and supermarkets across the country.

Mobile Money Transfer

There are two dimensions to mobile money in Uganda. The first dimension is that you can send money from an online money transfer service such as WorldRemit direct to MTN Mobile Money, Warid Pesa, and Airtel Money accounts.

The other dimension about mobile money is that you can send from one mobile money service to another. Ugandans who live in Kenya can send money from their Mpesa mobile accounts to the MTN Mobile Money, Warid Pesa, and Airtel Money accounts of their recipients in Uganda.

The maximum amount you can send from Mpesa in one transaction is $700 dollars. When sending amounts greater than $700, you’ll have to split the transaction into two.

Airtime Recharges

Through WorldRemit and Xoom, you can send airtime to your friends and family in Uganda. The carriers supported include Orange, Warid Uganda, MTN Uganda, Africell, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, and Smart Uganda. It is free to send the airtime and the top up is instant.

What is Needed to Send Money to Uganda

Sending money to Uganda from whichever country is simple as long as you have all the required documents and information. Typically, you are to provide the following information.

  • A government-issued photo ID document. Depending on the country you are sending from, you can use a passport, social security card or driver’s license.
  • The recipient’s name as it appears on their legal documents
  • The recipient’s physical address and phone number
  • If you are sending directly to a bank account, the recipient bank details (bank name, branch and the account number)
  • The amount of money you want to send, the transfer payment option and payout methods

For repeat transfers, you won’t have to give most of this information. The platform captures and can recall historical information.

Common Reasons for Sending Money to Uganda

Most Ugandans leaving their country for other countries do so almost purely out of economic reasons. They are looking for greener pastures to build capital and wealth. For these reasons, most of the inflows into the country are directed at certain identifiable needs.

Family Support

Most Ugandans do not emigrate with their families, they leave them behind. In between visits, they send money to support them. Some of the immigrant’s households depend entirely on remittances to pay for their living expenses.

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Despite the clamour for affordable education, Uganda like many countries in the region still grapple with high education costs. Diaspora Ugandans send money especially at the beginning of school terms to help keep their siblings in school.

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Buying Houses

Having a place to call home is one of the prioritized items on the list of many Ugandans in the diaspora. They send money home to their relatives to help them buy homes or they may buy directly through real estate companies that often pitch their tents in the host countries.

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Apart from home purchases, Ugandans abroad are exploring other investment niches such as financial assets in the Uganda Securities Exchange and other vehicles off the exchange.

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Most Ugandans in the diaspora have plans to return home someday. To prepare for this period, they regularly send money home for savings in time deposit vehicles and other interest-earning accounts.

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Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

Money transfer services have carved a niche for themselves. When sending money to Uganda the first set of factors that pop up are cost, the simplicity and speed. Money transfer service providers check all these boxes and more. Here is how they fit the bill when it comes to funds transfer.

Speed of Transfer

It takes anything from a day to 2 or 3 days to have your transfer delivered to Uganda. Banks can take up to 5 days to have the same transfer completed. In times of emergency, getting your transfer across to the recipient fast is crucial.

Ease of Sign Up

Setting up a money transfer account with any of the providers is simple. As long you provide the information required and allow for the provider to verify all your details, you should have an account within a couple of hours if not less. From there on, you can pay for your transfer and send money to your family in Uganda.

Exchange Rates

How much you get when you exchange your host currency for the Ugandan currency (UGX) largely depends on the exchange rate margin the provider charges. Money transfer operators like TransferWise, don’t even charge exchange rate margins, they process your transfers at the mid-market rate. Other providers charge between 0.5% and 3% which is still affordable.

Multi-Currency Support

Inflows into Uganda come from all different routes. Money transfer providers give you the platform to send money from any country to Uganda. This is because they support lots of currencies both exotic and standard. Providers such as Xoom support 40+ currencies with others supporting over 60 global currencies


Money transfer providers have invested in bank-grade security to protect users’ financial information and their funds. Security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and Security Sockets Layer (SSL) help in safeguarding the integrity of transfer processes.

Transfer Fees

Compared to bank wire transfers, the transfer fees money transfer providers charge are less than 50%. The money you are left with to send your family is much more than what banks leave you with. Banks may also charge you landing fees, origination fees and other charges.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Uganda

When transferring money to Uganda, there are a couple of things that you need to bear in mind.

  • Mobile Money Tax – On July 19, 2018, the Ugandan cabinet announced its clarified position that mobile money withdrawals will be taxed 1.0%. If you send your family $100 to their mobile money account, on withdrawal, they will only get 99% of that. However, if they choose to spend the money directly from their mobile accounts, they will not be charged the tax.
  • Diaspora Programs – The Diaspora Services Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Uganda Investment Authority, World Bank and UNDP have come up with programs targeting  Ugandans in the diaspora. The programs such as Uganda Conventions, Home is Best Summit and the Social Networking Event, and other annual events educate Ugandans abroad on the opportunities available back home.

Your Questions Answered

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

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