Sitting on the west coast of South America, Ecuador is a culturally diverse nation known for its lush rainforests, white sand beaches and world-famous landmarks. Since thousands of Canadian tourists visit Ecuador each year, it’s become a hot spot for international money transfers. If you’re looking to send money to Ecuador in the near future, check out our handy money transfer guide to find the most competitive exchange rates and lowest fees.
Send money to Ecuador 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
Which provider should I use to send money to Ecuador?
If you need to send money to Ecuador, the first question you should be asking yourself is whether you plan to use your bank or a dedicated money transfer service to get the job done.
Banks.Many Canadians consult with their banks to facilitate international money transfers, even though this is typically a more expensive process since banks often charge exorbitant fees and exchange rates.
Money transfer services. Dedicated money transfer providers are often a more convenient and affordable choice. Money transfer services are able to offer lower fees and more competitive exchange rates, which can save you a ton of money in the long run. This can be especially handy if you carry out regular transactions.
Case study: Kevin sends money to Quito
Kevin’s sister Nadine has been travelling through Ecuador for two months when she calls him from a payphone in Quito to tell him that her purse has been stolen and she needs some fast cash. Kevin offers to send her $1,000 and decides to compare the services of two cash transfer services to see which will offer him a better deal. The comparison below is based on exchange rates in the spring of 2018, so check current rates before making your choice.
Cash Transfer Service 1
Cash Transfer Service 2
CAD$1 = USD 0.75
CAD$1 = USD 0.72
Amount received (for $1,000)
Kevin realizes that he can save USD 30 (around CAD$40) in the exchange rate with the first money transfer option, although he’ll need to spend an additional five dollars in fees. He gives Nadine the coordinates for the money transfer agent in Quito and she is overjoyed when she receives her money in a matter of minutes.
Tips and tricks to compare companies when transferring money to Ecuador
Exchange rates. Banks often charge exorbitant exchange rates while many dedicated money transfer services will offer rates that are closer to the mid-market rate (the rate that comes up when you search “CAD to USD exchange rates” on Google. Look for a service provider with competitive exchange rates and low fees.
Fees. Most money transfer companies charge a fee of around $4 – $12 for transferring money to Ecuador while most banks will charge over $25. It’s important to note that some companies charge hidden fees so be sure to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.
Transfer speeds. Transfer times can vary between 10 minutes (for cash transfer services) and five business days (for banks). Keep in mind that transfers that can be sent in minutes are often much more expensive than those that take 1 – 3 days to process.
Transfer methods.Every transfer service will offer different transfer methods, which can range frombank-to-bank transfers to cash pick-ups to mobile top-ups, so don’t forget to double check what’s on offer and pick the best option for you.
Transfer limits.Minimum amounts depend on the service you choose, which can range from a $100 – $5,000 limit. Some companies also have maximum transfer limits in place.
Bonus features. Some companies specialize in providing one-off transfers only, but others can offer flexible features such as forward contracts and limit orders which allow you to book a lower exchange rate in advance of your transfer.
Customer service. Methods of contact will vary between companies – some are available 24/7 while others may only be available during regular business hours. Choose a company that is available to answer all of your questions through either web chat, phone, e-mail or in person at a branch location.
How can you send money to Ecuador?
Banks. You can send money transfers through your Canadian bank. Banks tend to charge high transfer fees, offer less competitive exchange rates and take up to three to five days to process your transaction.
Money transfer services. Most money transfer companies will support transfers to Ecuador given the USD currency. Most money transfer options charge less than the banks for direct bank account transfers.
Cash pickup transfers. Western Union and MoneyGram offer easy and fast cash transfers to Ecuador, although they typically charge higher fees than money transfer companies.
PayPal. You can send and receive money using the online services of PayPal. Both you and your recipient must have PayPal accounts before using this transfer method.
Emergency cash transfers to Ecuador
In the event of an emergency, cash pick-up options like MoneyGram and Western Union can help you get your money to where it needs to be in as little as 10 minutes. These companies offer cash pick-ups at thousands of agent locations across the globe and can be a lifesaver when you’re in a tight spot. Just beware that they’re often more expensive than a bank-to-bank transfer. If you have a flexible timeline, it can pay to look at bank-to-bank transfer services like OFX and World First to complete your transaction.
Tips for picking up cash
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian visitors to Ecuador exercise a high degree of caution (as of 04 September 2018) due to an increase in crime. Petty theft including purse snatching, car break-ins and pickpocketing is a daily occurrence in major cities. If you need to pick up cash at an agent location, find a cash collection point in a safe neighborhood and make sure to visit during daylight hours in the company of a trusted friend. Return to your hotel to stow your cash in a safe place as quickly as possible.
What are the steps to send money to Ecuador?
The transfer process when sending money to Ecuador will vary depending on the transfer provider you choose to use, but most providers will require you to follow these basic steps:
Sign up for an account.Provide personal details such as your name, contact information, proof of ID and bank account details.
Enter transaction details. Log your recipient’s personal and banking information, and specify the amount of money being sent as well as currency and destination country.
Submit and track transfer. Confirm the details of your transfer and then track your payment using the supplied verification code.
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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