If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck when sending money to Burundi, check out this useful guide, which breaks down the difference between banks and online transfer companies, and offers a side-by-side comparison between the two services.
Send money to Burundi with WorldRemit
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Choose how you want to send your money - via bank transfer, cash pickup or mobile money
Depending on your financial institution, you may be able to send funds to Burundi through your bank, but this doesn’t mean that they should be your first choice. Why not? Banks have a knack for jacking up exchange rates while also charging over-the-top fees. When it comes to transferring funds overseas, many Canadians choose to use online transfer services as an alternative to their bank, particularly because these services trade in large volumes of currency day in, day out, which allows them to offer competitive exchange rates with lower fees than the bank.
Case Study: Dez sends money to Burundi
Dez is the dynamic young leader of a non-profit organization in Canada that campaigns for reproductive health in Burundi. As Dez prepares to travel to Bujumbura (the nation’s capital) for work, she pays special attention to her money transfer options, since it’s imperative that she have access to a reliable source of cash for the duration of her stay. Although Dez has recently opened a Canadian bank account, she wants to see how much it will cost to transfer $1,000 with an online transfer service, so she compares two side-by-side.
Money transfer service 1
Money transfer service 2
CAD$1 = BIF 1400
CAD$1 = BIF 1311
Amount of BIF received for CAD$1,000
Dez realizes that she can save approximately BIF89,000 (around $64) in the exchange rate alone, with an additional $15 savings in fees, by selecting the second money transfer service option.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Burundi?
Dez’s experience demonstrates how much money you can save by comparing your money transfer options. Different money transfer services offer different fees, exchange rates and pick-up methods so consider the following features when deciding which service to choose:
Exchange rates.Even a small difference in rates can account for a big markup in cost, so make sure to compare your options. The exchange rates in Burundi can be volatile, depending on the political situation, so it can help to book a rate in advance if possible.
Transfer fees.Many providers will do you a favour and waive your transfer fee if you send large amounts of money. Others offer zero fees, but might deal in less competitive exchange rates to compensate.
Pickup Methods. Money can be received in a supported bank account or be picked up at a MoneyGram or Western Union agent location in one of the main towns. It’s advisable to stick to main cities when picking up cash.
Speed of transfers.The turnaround time for sending money to Burundi can range from minutes to days. The availability of currencies can also determine the turnaround time for money to be picked up at an agent location.
Minimum amount.Many companies will require you to transfer a minimum amount in order to use their services. This minimum limit could be as high as $1,000, so look for a company that suits your needs.
Pickup methods.While some companies allow your recipient to collect cash in person by visiting an agent location, others offer transfers direct to your recipient’s bank account.
Customer Service. Customer service is extremely important when visiting countries experiencing political upheaval. Find the right service that will offer you adequate support in the event of an emergency.
Sending money to Burundi from Canada
Bank transfers.Some Canadian banks may offer transfers to banks in Burundi, so you should check with your financial institution for more details.
Online money transfer providers. Online money transfer services are designed to let you make fast and easy online transfers to Burundi.
Money transfer companies with cash pickup options.Companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to transfer funds that can be picked up from a number of local agent locations on site.
Cheques.Posting an international guaranteed cheque to Burundi is a relatively slow but markedly secure way to send money overseas.
Compare fees and exchange rates
Money Transfer Service
Transfer Fee (CAD)
Exchange Rate Markup
Total in BIF minus fees (from CAD$1000.00)
Gisabo Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer
Rates updated as of 19 February 2018
Emergency cash transfers to Burundi
If you find yourself needing to send money to Burundi as quickly as possible then search for a cash pick-up option like Western Union to finalize your transactions in as little as 10 minutes. While these services are generally faster than other online options, it’s important to note that they’re also typically less cost-effective, charging higher transaction fees while also marking up exchange rates. Once your money is sent, your recipient will just need to get to the appropriate agent location with passport in hand to collect their funds.
Tips for picking up cash
The Government of Canada recommends that you avoid all travel to Burundi, due to ongoing political tensions. Street crime which includes pickpocketing, bag-snatching and robbery is common. If you need to go to an agent to pick up cash, avoid travelling alone and make sure to stow your cash in a safe place, preferably back at your hotel, before venturing out for the day.
How to send money to Burundi
You will need precise information for your recipient when sending money from Canada to Burundi. Prepare yourself and your recipient ahead of time with the following information.
Name.You will need to know the exact name on the recipient’s identification. Check the paperwork given to you before leaving the location to make sure that the agent has also spelled it right.
Transfer number.At the conclusion of your transaction you will be given a transfer number. The recipient will need to know this number in order to pick up the money.
Amount.The recipient will be asked for the amount sent along with your name and possibly your contact information. Make sure that they have this information before attempting pickup.
Security question.In some cases you can arrange for a security question to be answered by the recipient as further proof of identification.
You will receive documentation at the conclusion of your transaction. Make sure that you save this in the event that your recipient has a problem with collecting the transfer.
Once you have found the money transfer company that gives you the best rates and fees, you will find that you are able to send even more money to Burundi. Carefully conduct your investigation into all of the options available to make sure that you are getting the most value for your hard earned dollars.
Background for Burundi
Burundi is a country bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Although troubled by a long-standing ethnic conflict, Burundi is an off-the-beaten-track marvel, boasting powdery white sand beaches, soaring mountain peaks and laid-back lakeside communities. Trade relations between Canada and Burundi are modest but stable, as Canada recognizes the major efforts made by Burundi to consolidate peace and contribute to peace and security in the world, notably in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic where Burundian soldiers are working on peace missions.
Claire Horwood is a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, along with an Associate's Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire's coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. She has also worked extensively in the field of "Blended Finance" with the Canadian government. In her spare time, Claire loves rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.