Ukraine and Russia have a unique bond not just in political arrangements but also in terms of economic relations. The Crimea annexation tension notwithstanding, many Ukranianians call Russia home. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry notes that about 3 million of its nationals live and work in Russia. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a shock that over 50% of the $7.9 billion Ukraine receives in remittances comes from Russia.
The rest of the remittances come from countries such as the United States, Germany, Kazakhstan, Italy, Poland, and Belarus. Most Ukrainians in Russia predominantly use Western Union to send their money home. Those in the United States use a combination of providers and institutions such as MoneyGram, Western Union, Ria, Xoom, and Walmart2World.
The Ukrainians in Italy use a mixture of banks and money transfer operators such as MoneyGram, Western Union, Azimo, Ria, TransferWise, Extrabanca, Poste Italiane, Unistream, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.
With lots of options available to send money to Ukraine, you may be wondering which is the best method. Not every channel is suitable for you, there is some background information you need to enable you to make the right decision.
This guide will help bring onto the surface issues such as the information needed when sending money to Ukraine, transfer channels available, factors you need to bear in mind when transferring money to Ukraine and so forth.
Sending money to Ukraine is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Ukraine 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.
There are three main ways through which you can send money to Ukraine. You can use the banking system, online money transfer providers, or in-store cash transfer methods.
As long as the recipient has a bank account and you have an account in the host country, you can make these transfers. For instance, if you send money from Banca Intesa SanPaolo in Italy to a local bank in Ukraine, it will take about 2-3 days for the transfer to get there.
Walmart2World, international wire transfer service, takes minutes to get the money to Ukraine. This is because of its unique partnership with MoneyGram. Generally, banks take a little longer, up to 5 days, to deliver transfers to Ukraine. They also charge more in transfer fees and exchange rate margins, thus making them unattractive options.
Online Money Transfer Services
The bulk of the transfers to Ukraine from many of the countries with the exception of Russia are made through online money transfer service providers. Talk of Azimo, TrnsferWise, Xoom, Ria, and WorldRemit, all these providers are frequently used on the Ukraine transfer corridors.
Sending money through these providers is simple and fast. All you need is to sign up for an account, pay for your transfer and send. There are lots of options when paying for your transfer. You can make a bank transfer, use a debit card, pay via a credit card or other country-dependent payment options.
Online money transfer methods enjoy a wide sending and disbursing network coverage, have faster transfer speeds, and competitive fees. For instance, TransferWise supports 55+ countries including Ukraine and Xoom supports 30+ countries.
When sending money to Ukraine through online money transfer providers, there are three payout options you can choose from:
In-Store Cash Transfer
Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, and Unistream are some of the money transfer companies that allow for cash deposits at stores in the sending countries. If you are sending money from the United States to Ukraine through Western Union, you can pay cash in-store or online. The only payout option available is cash pickup and the maximum you can send is 5,000.00 USD.
When sending your transfer from the UK to Ukraine through MoneyGram, the maximum amount you can send is 6000.00 GBP and the payout option is cash pickup.
Money transfer providers require that you give the following information when sending money to Ukraine.
In Ukraine, you can receive money through the bank or cash pickup. It all depends on the payout option the sender selected at the time of the transfer.
Bank Deposit- Receiving money through bank deposit is a safer method when huge transfers are involved. It takes about 1-2 days for the transfer to be delivered. One thing you’ll have to watch out for is bank operating hours in Ukraine.
Cash Pickup- The recipient collects money in cash from an agent closer to them. Cash pickups are normally instant. Ensure you check out the provider you use to get a clear indication of whether their agents are in Ukraine.
Direct-to-bank deposits do not need any form of identification. The money is credited into the recipient’s account and they can start transacting right away. In the case of cash pickups, the following information will be required from you:
You may be asked for more information depending on the frequency of your transfers and the amounts involved.
The lack of well-paid jobs and security concerns have led to a lot of Ukrainians to leave their country. Some of them leave their families behind. Combined with other reasons, this situation explains why many Ukrainians send money home.
Remittances supplement household spending in many Ukranian migrant families. The funds are used for basic expenses such as food, medication and utilities.
Cash from Ukrainians living abroad has found its way into the local property market. Strategic places like the prairies of western Ukraine have become a magnet for diaspora investors. The high-rise apartment complexes around Lviv are financed by cash from Ukrainians living abroad.
With remote working now becoming a normal way of life, overseas clients send money regularly to freelancers working from Ukraine. For those with businesses, sending money for operations and wages is a common practice.
Some of the funds sent are for paying tuition fees. Ukraine has placed a premium on education and everyone strives to get the best qualification they can afford.
A bigger percentage of the over 5 million Ukrainians in the diaspora still plan on coming home someday. To prepare for this, some of them put aside money in savings accounts and time deposits.
When sending money to Ukraine, few people use the banking system. In fact, a significant percentage still use informal channels including crossing the border with hard cash. Instead of risking your hard-earned cash or exposing it to the high fees and lower rates offered by banks, opt for money transfer services to enjoy the following benefits:
There are certain factors that you need to look at before you hit the ‘Send’ button on your transfer to Ukraine. This guide cannot exhaust them all but will give you an overview of what is important.
Sending money to Ukraine can be quite expensive if you don’t use the right channel. Money transfer providers have made the process simpler, faster, and more affordable even to people sending small amounts to their families back home.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Ukraine. 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