Wondering how to choose the right option when sending money to Estonia? We help you in this guide.
The 2011 Census revealed there were over 24,000 Estonian Canadians living in Canada. While immigration rates are not high between the two nations, many expats conduct business from Canada in Estonia. This has created a need for affordable and fast ways to send money between the two nations.
Whether you need to send money overseas to Estonia to pay business expenses or help out a family member in need, there are now fast and cost-effective ways to do so. While your Canadian bank may allow transfers to Estonia, specialist money transfer providers offer much more competitive exchange rates, faster transfer speeds and lower fees.
Canada was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Estonia in 1991. With this said, the two nations have very strong relations ensuring imports, exports, tourism and immigration brings in large sums of money for each country.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Sofia moved to Canada to study as an international student at university. After studying in Canada for four years, she managed to secure a job and decided to stay in Canada for a five year contract. Her parents still live back in Estonia and they recently retired. Since they helped pay her way through university, Sofia would like to send them money each month to help them with expenses. Ideally she would like to send $1000 Canadian dollars back every other month.
Sofia knows that her Canadian bank will allow her to make transfers to Estonia online, over the phone or in person at a branch. She has recently heard that it is much cheaper to send funds online via a specialist money transfer service. After comparing her bank and a money transfer service, she organized her findings in the table below.
|Canadian bank||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 CAD = 0.649||$1 CAD = 0.662|
|Amount received for $1,000 CAD||EUR628.40||EUR648.26|
|Transfer time||2-5 days||Less than 24 hours|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
Sofia chooses to send the money with the specialist money transfer service. Not only does the specialist money transfer company offer a noticeably better exchange rate, it also assures that the money will reach her father’s bank account within one day. She also saves CAD$15 each time she sends money back home.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending and receiving money?
When you’re comparing money transfer companies to send money from Canada to Estonia, or vice versa, these factors require your attention:
- Financial viability. Deciding which company to go with based solely on the exchange rate offered can be a mistake. This is because you may end up paying high transfer fees and forfeiting any benefit you may have otherwise received. The best way to know which company offers a better deal in terms of money is to look at the total amount your recipient stands to receive. Compare both transfer fees and the exchange rate offered.
- Methods of sending money. One way to send money to Estonia is to visit a branch location and send it in person. Banks let you do this as well as some specialist money transfer companies like MoneyGram, XpressMoney and Western Union. Some businesses limit their operations to the online world, while others let you initiate the process over the phone.
- Methods of receiving money. Your recipient can collect the money by visiting a cash pick-up location in Estonia. He or she can also receive funds directly into an Estonian bank account, depending on the company used to send the funds.
- Time taken to process the transfer. If your recipient is to collect cash from a physical outlet, the transfer can take place almost immediately. When it comes to transferring money into an Estonian bank account, money transfer companies tend to offer quicker turnaround times compared to banks, however it may still take a few days.
- Using the same bank. You can consider using the services of a bank if you and your recipient have accounts with the same institution. In this case, you can save both time and money.
- Transfer options. Do you wish to make the transfer when you get your desired exchange rate? Do you want to transfer funds regularly? While some service providers only offer one-time transfer options, some other companies provide scheduled payments, market orders and forward contracts.
- Minimum amount. This is not a concern if you plan to send a substantial amount of money. However, if you want to send a small amount, keep in mind that some money transfer companies have minimum transfer limits in place, which can be as low as $5 or as high as $1,000.
How do I send money to Estonia from Canada?
If you wish to send money to Estonia you can choose from these options:
- Banks. If your bank offers overseas money transfer services, you can use it to transfer funds to Estonia. The fees you will have to pay can vary from one bank to the next, as can processing time. You can also write a physical cheque in the name of your recipient and send it over my mail. Buying a money order from your bank and sending it by mail is another option. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas
- Non banks. Businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you transfer money to Estonian bank accounts, as well as to cash pick-up centres. PayPal lets you transfer money online, however both you and your recipient should have PayPal accounts. Opening a new account is easy, free and takes very little time.
How do I receive money from Estonia in Canada?
If you’re expecting some money from Estonia, you can receive it in the following ways:
- Banks. You can have the funds transferred directly into your bank account. The sender can do this using a bank or a specialist money transfer company. If you receive a cheque or a money order, you can deposit it into your bank account.
- Non banks. Money transfer companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, let you collect transferred funds in person by visiting a cash pickup location. You can also receive funds from Estonia using the services of PayPal. You and the sender should both have PayPal accounts for the transfer to happen. After the money reaches your PayPal account, you can withdraw it directly into your bank account.
Emergency cash transfers in Estonia
If you find yourself without your money or wallet when you’re in Estonia, remember that you can still get some emergency money. First, make sure you cancel all of your credit and debit cards by calling your Canadian bank. After taking this precaution, you can consider getting money using these methods:
- Cash pick-up. Find a cash pick-up location around you. Pass this information onto a friend or family member who can send you some emergency money. After the transfer has been lodged, simply go and collect cash from the chosen location. An emergency transfer like this generally takes around ten minutes to reach the destination.
- Credit card emergency cash advance. If you have an existing Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card, you can get an emergency cash advance. For this to happen, you’ll have to contact your bank and then visit a local participating financial institution to pick up the funds.
- Travel insurance. Never travel without insurance. Getting the right kind of insurance before you travel overseas can be complicated, however if you do some research, you can find the right insurance for you. Check to see if your travel insurance covers these types of situations and you may be able to get access to money to deal with scenarios such as flight delays, flight cancellations, lost and misplaced luggage as well as medical contingencies.
Cash pick-up locations in Estonia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Estonia
Picking money up at cash pick-up locations in Estonia is easy because money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a widespread presence in this country. When collecting large sums of money, you should call ahead of time to ensure that there’s availability of funds. To collect money, you’ll have to provide some kind of suitable ID such as your passport or driver’s license. Here are some cash pick-up locations in Estonia:
Narva Mnt 1Tallinn, 10111+372-6257304Open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday
Viru 20Tallinn, 10140+372-6616616Open 10:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm Sunday
- Tartu Postkontor
Riia 4Tartu, 51004+372-6616616Open 9:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 3:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday
- Eedeni Postkontor
Kalda Tee 1cTartu, 50703+372-6616616Open 10:00am to 9:00pm Monday to Sunday
- Eurex – Viru Keskus
Viru Valjak 4Tallinn, 10111+372-6164980Open 9:00am to 9:00pm Monday to Sunday
- Monex Ou
Viru Valjak 4/6Tallinn, 10111+372-6101588Open 8:45 am to 9:15pm Monday to Sunday
- Monex Ou
Riia 1Tartu, 51013+372-7314802Open 8:45 am to 9:15pm Monday to Sunday
- Eesti Krediidipank
Ulikooli 4Tartu, 51003+372-7351548Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Tips for picking up cash in Estonia
Most visits to Estonia will probably be trouble-free. However, you should take precautions against petty crimes, especially when you collect money from a cash pick-up location.
There has been an increase in recent years in crimes that target tourists, especially instances of petty theft. Know that you face a risk of pick-pocketing and muggings in hotels, nightclubs, bars and pubs in the Old Town section of Tallinn.
There have been instances of groups of thieves targeting travellers at train stations, airports and parks. Instances of theft from cars and car thefts are also common. Try to steer clear of parks and side streets after dark. When possible, keep your valuables in your hotel safe. Avoid public transportation with large amounts of cash and always put large sums of money in a safe place as soon as possible.
What are the steps to send money to Estonia?
The steps involved in sending money to Estonia depend on how you plan to transfer the funds:
- Transferring to a bank account. You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name, his or her bank account number, the name of their bank as well as the transfer codes. If you’re sending money using the services of a specialist online money transfer company, you’ll have to provide details from your bank account, debit card or credit card.
- Cash pick-up. If you’re visiting a physical location to go through with the transfer, you’ll have to provide an acceptable form of ID to verify your identity like a passport or driver’s licence. You’ll have to submit your recipient’s name along with a desired cash pick-up location. If you’re initiating the process online, you’ll have to provide details of an account from where the money should be debited. This can be a bank account or a credit card account, depending on the service provider you choose.