Send more money to Korea with the right transfer service.
Divided by a contentious border, the Korean Peninsula is a world unto itself, promising travellers and residents alike a remarkable range of experiences, along with jaw-dropping landscapes and nothing short of 5,000 years of embedded culture and history. From the peaks of its craggy mountains to the sprawl of the idyllic countryside, tourists and young professionals are flocking to this dream destination in droves.
While Korea is a land of ample opportunity, it is also one of the most expensive countries in Asia. Luckily, when it comes to sending money to Korea, Canadians have plenty of suitable options. So how do you make sure you choose the right service for you? Look for one that offers the most return on your dollar, with better exchange rates and lower transaction fees.
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Banks vs money transfer companies or services
While banks can help you send money from Canada to Korea in a pinch, that doesn’t mean that they should be your go-to. Unlike money transfer services, banks are notorious for jacking up exchange rates; they trade at the mid-market rate (the rate often found by conducting a simple Google search) but then they upsell exchange rates to clients and often tack on exorbitant administrative fees to boot. For this reason, it’s often worth your time and energy to compare your options.
When it comes to transferring funds overseas, many Canadians opt for online transfer services specialized in offering safe and affordable international transfers. Since these companies trade in large volumes of currency every day, they are better-positioned to offer competitive exchange rates with lower fees than the bank.
Case Study: Mi-Cha sends money home to Korea
Before moving back to Korea, Mi-Cha’s mother helps her brother to open a restaurant in Toronto while Mi-Cha pursues a Bachelor in Economics at the U of T. Mi-Cha graduates four months after her mother’s departure, and begins to work as her brother’s accountant. Every month, she calculates her mother’s share of the restaurant profits, and transfers a lump sum back to Korea. Mi-Cha knows that the bank is notorious for overcharging on exchange rates so she compares two well-known international money transfer services to find the best deal.
|Bank||Money Transfer Company|
|Exchange rate||1 CAD = 718.83 KRW||1 CAD = 787.99 KRW|
|Transfer time||Up to 2 days||Within minutes|
|Transfer options||Online transfer, overseas telegraph transfer||Account to account, cash transfer|
|Amount received for $1,000 (in Korean Won)||718,830 KRW||780,788 KRW|
By choosing to send funds with the money transfer service, Mi-Cha pays a smaller transfer fee, the money arrives within minutes and her mother receives an additional 60,000 KRW .
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Korea?
Mi-cha learned a lot from her inquiry into her money transfer options. When comparing services, look for the following features and rates to find the one that offers the most value.
- Competitive exchange rates. Track down the best rates. While official rates are set, financial institutions can make adjustments to cover their costs, which means more money out of your pocket. Exchange rates can have a big impact on your bottom line and it pays (quite literally) to do your homework.
- Minimal fees. Look for flexible fees. The bank charges a standard fee on all transfers regardless of the amount. Money transfer services have flexible fees that vary according to the amount being transferred. Simply plug in different cash amounts to see how much your fee is going to be with each service.
- Various transfer methods. Discover your options. Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer a bank account to bank account transfer rather than a cash pickup. Figure out your limitations, and then choose the right fit for you.
- Fast transfer times. Don’t get left behind. Money transfer services have faster processing times (most completed within one business day). For regularly scheduled payments the bank is an option, but in case of an emergency, your friendly neighborhood transfer service is your best bet.
- Suitable transfer amounts. Know your limits and play within them. Some services have a minimum and maximum amount that can be sent with each transaction. Make sure to do your homework.
- Reliable customer service. Hold reputation in high regard. When transferring money frequently, ensure peace of mind by using a reputable service that will connect you with an agent immediately if there’s a problem with pick-up.
How do I send money to Korea from Canada?
There are several transfer methods from which to choose, including:
- Canadian Banks. Many Canadian banks can facilitate overseas transfers online, but most cost more than a dedicated international money transfer service.
- Money Transfer Services. Most money transfer services offer lower exchange rates and fees.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. Western Union and MoneyGram both have several cash pickup locations in Korea.
- PayPal. Paypal is operational in Korea, so if you and your recipient have Paypal accounts, you can send money online.
- International money order. Most banks accept deposits in exchange for an internationally bank-guaranteed cheque that your recipient can deposit into his or her bank account.
Emergency cash transfers in Korea
If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and you need to send money to Korea as quickly as possible than search for a cash pick-up option like Western Union to complete transactions in as little as 10 minutes. With this type of service, higher transaction fees and exchange rates often apply, so just make sure you know what you’re agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line. Once the money is sent, the recipient just needs to present with their passport at the appropriate pick-up location to collect funds.Back to top
Cash pick-up locations in Korea
With scores of locations in Canada and Korea, Western Union and WorldRemit both offer fast and convenient cash transfers between the two countries. You’ll typically need to provide a reference number, transfer details and some identification when picking up cash.
- Find a pick-up location with the Western Union Agent Location tool.
- Cash is available to collect instantly from any branch of Suhyup Bank.
Tips for picking up cash in Korea
If you do plan to visit Korea, the Government of Canada recommends that you exercise a normal degree of caution. That being said, if you need to go to an agent to pick up cash, avoid travelling alone and return to your hotel to stow cash in a safe place before continuing on with the rest of your day. The rates of violent crime are low in general, but incidents of burglary and purse-snatching still occur in the big cities.Back to top