Understand what your options are when transferring funds to Iraq
Emergencies are not the only reason why you may want to use money transfer services to send money to Iraq. You may even be sending birthday and holiday presents or even for taking care of ongoing bills that you still may be responsible for paying. Whatever the reason, with some research you can find a service that’s reliable and convenient, both to you and the recipient back in Iraq.
International money transfer products and services that allow transfers to Iraq
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Banks vs money transfer services
Exchange rates for different currencies fluctuate with the economy. Keep in mind that while you can compare official exchange rates to get an idea of movements in rates, banks and other money transfer companies will typically offer the service at a less competitive rate.
Case study: Abdel’s Australian transfer
Abdel was temporarily transferred from the company he works for in Iraq to their offices in Australia six months ago. He would like to continue adding funds to his savings account back home and has decided that he will send payments to his account whenever possible. To find the best prices available he compares two money transfer companies.
|Money transfer Service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||1 Australian dollar is equal to 987.356 Iraqi Dinar||1 Australian dollar is equal to 985.2 Dinar|
|Transfer Time||Within minutes||Within minutes|
|Transfer fee||60 Australian dollars is charged to the sender for sending $1,000. There should be no charge to the recipient when picking up the money.||70 Australian dollars is charged to the sender for sending $1,000. There should be no charge to the recipient when picking up the money.|
|Amount received in Iraqi Dinar for $1,000 Australian dollars||Recipients will get 987,356.27 IQD.||Recipients will get 985,119.27 IQD.|
|Hidden charge||Approximately 41,544 Dinar is lost in the exchange rate difference.||Approximately 43,781 Dinar is lost in the exchange rate difference.|
With Abdel’s first option, not only will he save $10 on his end, his family will receive 2,237 Dinar more depending on if they are charged to convert funds to the Dinar. The frequent changes in exchange rates would make it sensible for Abdel to check these rates every time he is preparing to make a transfer.Back to top
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Iraq
Due to political issues, options for sending money to Iraq from Australia are more limited than what they would be for other countries. As the case study shows, even with limited competition it is important that you look carefully at the details to get the most value when transferring money.
- Exchange rates. This is where you will want to focus your attention, as higher rates can be hidden by offering poor exchange rates. First look at the average exchange rate for your currency pair and then compare what the different transfer companies are offering.
- Fees. As you can see in the case study, there can be a substantial fee associated with the money transfer. This fee will change in relation to the amount of money you are sending, making it again important to compare companies with each transfer.
- Turnaround time. This is important if your recipient needs the money immediately. Also check online to see if a tracking service is offered so that you can check on the status of the transfer and know when it has been made available for pick-up.
- Transfer methods. If you plan on sending money often, it may be in your best interest to look into online methods. Transfer companies have branches you can use, but some will also allow you to transfer the money directly from your bank account from their online site.
- Transfer amount limits. Keep in mind that with any institution there is going to be a limit not only on the amount you may transfer at one time, but also on the amount you may transfer in a single day. These types of regulations are in place for your own protection.
How to send money to Iraq from Australia
Western Union will allow you to make transactions between Australia and Iraq. The Iraqi Dinar is considered an exotic currency, making it difficult to find other services to conduct the transaction for you.
The following is a list of financial institutions worth looking into that may permit you to conduct transfers from the Australian dollar to the Iraqi Dinar:
- Citibank. As a worldwide bank, you can transfer money from your Australian Citibank account to any account in Iraq using the Citibank Plus Transaction account.
- Western Union. Western Union is the most direct service for transferring money from Australia to Iraq. They allow you to conduct transactions on-line, or you can find a location close by using their store locator.
Emergency cash transfers in Iraq
If you are travelling in Iraq and find yourself in need of an immediate cash transfer from Australia you do have a couple of options available to you:
- Money transfer companies. Travellers are also able to pick up money at Western Union locations in other countries. You will need to have a valid passport or other picture ID in order to get your money.
- Credit card. If the credit card you used to pay for your travels is lost or stolen, if your credit card has complimentary travel insurance it could provide you with essential cash until the card can be replaced.
- Travel insurance. You should always buy travel insurance when booking a trip overseas. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you may be eligible for cash in the event that you are the victim of a crime while on vacation. Call your insurance provider for details if you are robbed or lose your wallet while travelling in Iraq.
Western Union cash pickup locations in Iraq
Listed here are a few of the cash pick up locations you will find when travelling in Iraq. Before you go to the location make sure that you have the money transfer reference number, the senders name and location, amount sent and your passport:
Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center Airport Area
Open Sunday through Thursday from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M.
United Arab Money Transfer Co
Almansoor District 609 St 18
Open Sunday through Thursday from 8.30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.
Basra Algeria Street
Opposite Al Basra Airline
Al Basrah, Al Basrah
Open Monday 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. Sunday and Friday 12 A.M. to 11 P.M.
Iraqna Money Transfer
Basrah 14 July St
Al Basrah, Al Basrah
Open Monday 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. Sunday and Friday closed.
Tips for picking up cash in Iraq
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travellers should avoid travelling to Iraq. If you absolutely must make the trip, proceed with extreme caution when frequenting a financial institution to retrieve cash. Go to a well known location, such as the one inside of the Baghdad airport, and bring along a friend who is familiar with the area and local customs if possible.Back to top
How to send money to Iraq
Sending money to your family in Iraq will depend on the method in which you use. If you are able to use an international bank to easily transfer funds, you will need to open an account in an Australian bank that can be linked to your Iraqi account. To do this you will typically need:
- Account information. The account details for your bank account home. This will include the bank routing number and your account number.
- Address. Your Australian address as well as your last address in Iraq.
- Passport. A copy of your passport and your valid visa.
- Employment details. Some banks may require that you supply details about your current employment in Australia.
If the Western Union money transfer is the better option for you be prepared to give your full name and contact information as well as the full name of the recipient and their contact information. It is imperative that the name you give matches the name on your recipient’s photo ID exactly to avoid any delays in the transaction. You will be given a tracking number for the transaction which you will have to pass along to your recipient in order for them to be able to pick up the money. In some cases, a code question can also be used to help confirm the identity.
Unlike other countries, you are limited in options when sending money to Iraq. Explore those that you do have and compare the services they offer with the currency exchange rates and fees they charge to save you the maximum amount possible when transferring money from Australia to Iraq.Back to top