Send money to Afghanistan

Send money to Afghanistan using an international money transfer service and you could beat the bank's rates.

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If you’re considering sending money overseas but aren’t sure exactly where to start, then look no further! While Canadians have limited options to transferring money to Afghanistan, hopefully this guide can shed some light on how to choose the best service for you.

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The table below lays out some of the options that you can access to transfer funds from Canada to Afghanistan. You can also use the table headings to sort products by applicable fees and other categories showing differences.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 20.00 51.746 AFN
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Show details
CAD 1 1 day CAD 8.00 51.714 AFN
Easily transfer cash to more than 350,000 locations around the world. Show details

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The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Money transfer services for Afghanistan

While some banks might be able to help you send money to Afghanistan, the majority of banks in Canada do not transfer money to Afghanistan. This may be partly due to mechanisms implemented by the Canadian government to prevent the concealment and transfer of funds or assets to listed terrorist entities, including Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It can also be challenging to find a reputable money transfer service willing to send money to Afghanistan.

Case Study: Abdul Sends Money to Afghanistan

After travelling to Malaysia to seek asylum, Abdul registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and after many years in transit, was brought to Canada under Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program. Abdul has found a job as a sales manager in Vancouver, and wants to send $1,000 per month back to Afghanistan for his brother Hadi and their elderly parents in Kabul. Abdul compares two well-known cash pickup transfer companies to see which one will save him the most money.

Money transfer company AMoney transfer company B
Exchange rateCAD$1 = AFN53.00CAD$1 = AFN54.20
Transfer feeCAD$30CAD$32
Amount of AFN received in Afghanistan for AUD$1,000AFN53,000AFN54,200
Transfer timeMinutesMinutes
Transfer optionsOnline, mobile, account, cash pickupOnline, mobile, account, cash pickup
Difference in AFN+ AFN1,344.4

While the first company offers a lower transfer rate, the second company allows Abdul to send an additional AFN1,344 to his family overseas.

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How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Afghanistan?

Abdul learned a lot from comparing his money transfer options. When looking into eligible transfer companies, it’s important to consider the following information before settling on a service.

  • Competitive exchange rates. Exchange rates can make or break a transfer in terms of cost-effectiveness – it’s best to do a quick comparison between a couple of companies to see who’s offering the best deal.
  • Minimal fees. Many transfer companies offer minimal fees in comparison to the banks, which can make a big difference to your bottom line.
  • Various transfer methods. Whether you’re looking at transferring money directly into your recipient’s bank account or even onto their mobile phone, it’s best to determine expectations in advance.
  • Fast transfer times. If you need your money in a matter of minutes, it’s probably best to go with a cash pickup option, while if you’re happy to wait a few days, you can potentially get a better deal by siding with a bank-to-bank service.
  • Suitable transfer amounts. Some services have a lower and upper limit that you need to meet in order to send funds – just make sure you check in with your transfer company in advance to find the best service for you.
  • Reliable customer service. Before you settle on a company, take a look at their reputation, as that can be a big factor in getting the assistance you need if you run into a hitch with your transaction.
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Emergency cash transfers in Afghanistan

When time is a big push factor, and you need to send money to Afghanistan in a matter of minutes, it’s best to search for a cash pickup option like MoneyGram or Western Union to complete transactions in as little as 10 minutes. These types of services often charge higher fees with less competitive exchange rates, so make sure you’re aware of all of the costs before you sign on the dotted line. Once your money is on its way, your recipient will just need to present with their passport at the appropriate pickup location to collect funds.

Cash pickup locations in Afghanistan

With plenty of on-site agent locations in Canada and Afghanistan, Western Union and MoneyGram are able to offer fast and convenient cash transfers between the two countries. You’ll usually need to have a reference number, transfer details and some identification on hand when when picking up cash on the other end.

Western Union


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Tips for picking up cash in Afghanistan

The Government of Canada recommends that Canadians avoid all travel to Afghanistan (as of 6 February 2018). The threat of terrorist and criminal violence is extremely high and ongoing. That being said, if you need to go to an agent to pick up cash, try to avoid travelling alone and get back to your hotel to store cash in a safe place before continuing on with the rest of your day.

Background for Afghanistan

A multi-ethnic country located in the heart of south-central Asia, Afghanistan has seen its fair share of political turmoil in the past 30 years. From the Soviet invasion of 1979 – 1989 to the removal of the Taliban in 2001, and the ensuing American and NATO invasion, the people of this country have been involved in one protracted conflict after another. Economic recovery is slow as continued insecurity curtails private investment and consumer demand. While Canadians are advised against all travel to Afghanistan (as of 06 February 2018), bilateral relations between Canada and Afghanistan are strong, with around 80,000 Afghans living in Canada.

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