The southeast Asian nation of Cambodia boasts a wonderful array of attractions for tourists, from the ancient majesty of Angkor Wat through to the bustling modern city of Phnom Penh to the white sand beaches of Koh Rong. Over 34,000 Canadians report having partial or full Cambodian heritage and thousands of Canadians also live, work and travel in Cambodia every year. With increasing rates of immigration between the two nations, there is a need for affordable and fast money transfer services. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you compare your bank to reputable money transfer providers so that you can find the best deal for you.
Send money to Cambodia 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
When it comes to sending money overseas, many Canadians settle on either their bank or a dedicated money transfer service to get the job done. While we can’t necessarily tell you which is the right service to choose, we can do a quick comparison between both services to help you make an informed decision.
Banks. Most Canadian banks will make it easy for you to send money to Cambodia – the problem is that they may charge high fees and offer sub-par exchange rates for the service. In addition, banks usually take 2 – 5 days to process the same transactions that money transfer companies can process in 1 – 2 days.
Money transfer companies.Dedicated money transfer providers are often a more convenient and affordable choice. They offer bank-beating exchange rates and fees, with safe and secure online transfers to destinations around the world. These companies process transactions much faster than the bank, with certain transfer services waiving fees when you send large amounts.
Case Study: Bianca Sends Money to Cambodia
Bianca needs to send an urgent cash transfer of $1,000 to her sister, Jane, who is backpacking through Cambodia and has had her wallet stolen. While Jane didn’t think to carry any spare cards or cash to cover her back in case of an emergency, she has been able to borrow some money from another traveler at her hostel, so Bianca has a bit of time to spare. Since Bianca is strapped for cash herself, she wants to find the best possible deal to send money to her sister. She decides to compare her bank to a cash transfer company operating in Cambodia before she settles on a service.
Cash pick-up transfer company
$1 CAD = KHR 3,000
$1 CAD = KHR 3,100
Two to five days
Amount received (in USD)
Bianca realizes that she can get money to her sister in minutes, while also saving KHR 100,000 (around $32) in the exchange rate with the cash transfer option. On the downside, she’ll need to pay an additional $5 in fees, which will bring her total savings to around $27.
How do I compare transfer companies when I am sending money to Cambodia?
Exchange rates. Check to see how each provider’s exchange rates compare with those of other transfer companies. Some companies will hide high transfer fees inside competitive exchange rates. Others may charge higher fees and provide less competitive exchange rates.
Transaction fees. Many transfer companies charge lower fees than the bank,and a select few even provide zero-fee services. The best way to be sure you’re getting the best deal is to compare 3-4 services.
Transfer methods. Some companies offer online or in-branch transfers only, while others also offer over-the-phone and mobile app transfers. Bonus features can include limit orders and forward contracts which allow you to lock in a premium exchange rate in advance.
Minimum transfer amounts. Some companies will require you to send a minimum amount each time, or they may even impose a maximum limit on the amount you can send. Check to see whether those limits will affect your regular transfer needs.
Customer service. Some companies will offer 24/7 customer service with phone, online chat, in person and email customer service options, while others may only be available a few hours a day through a limited number of channels.
How do I send money to Cambodia from Canada?
Bank transfers. Check with your bank to get an idea of the exchange rates they offer and the fees they charge for international transfers. There is one bank in Cambodia that was founded by Canadians called the Canadia Bank, which may offer cheaper transfers than most.
Money transfer providers.Choose a service like OFX or CurrencyFair to send money to Cambodia with low fees and competitive exchange rates.
Cash pick-up transfer companies. Send cash to hundreds of agent locations across Cambodia with cash transfer providers likeWestern UnionandMoneyGram, but expect to pay more for the service.
International cheques. Arrange aninternational money draftwith your bank, which can then be sent through the mail (for those of us who aren’t so tech-savvy!)
Emergency cash transfers to Cambodia
If your recipient in Cambodia needs an urgent cash transfer, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer this type of service. However, you should be aware of the fact that these transfers tend to cost more than online transfers. High fees and poor exchange rates usually apply, so it’s always a good idea to review the full cost of your transaction before you sign on the dotted line. Make sure that you have photo ID and a transaction ID number to avoid any hiccups when picking up cash.
Tips for picking up cash
The Government of Canada recommends that you exercise a high degree of caution in Cambodia (as of 22 August 2018) due to an increase in thefts, robberies and opportunistic crimes. Street crime targeting foreigners, including pick-pocketing, is common in urban areas, includingPhnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, particularly in the Boeung Keng Kang area. If you do need to collect cash at an agent location, be aware that crimes occur at any time of day or night so you need to be vigilant at all times. It’s best to travel during the day, and to pick up cash in the company of a trusted friend. Try not to carry your cash around for too long before returning to your hotel.
What are the steps to send money to Cambodia?
Although different transfer companies have different transfer methods, you will usually need to:
Sign up for an account. The transfer provider will need your full name, your contact information and proof of ID. You can usually sign up for a free account online.
Enter your transaction details. Specify where you’re sending the money to as well as how much money you want to send and the type of currency you aim to transfer.
Pay for your transfer. The final step is to review the details of your transfer and then pay for your transaction. You can usually monitor the progress of your funds through the transfer provider’s online tracking service.
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.
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