Expatriates from Laos who currently reside in Canada might have any number of reasons to send money back to the region. Whether you’re looking to send money to family and friends traveling in Laos or you have a portfolio of business expenses to manage, check out our handy money transfer guide to find the best deal.
Send money to Laos 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
If you want to send money from Canada to Laos, you have a couple of options at your disposal. Two notable ways to send money include your bank or an online money transfer company.
Bank. Banks typically charge high fees and offer mediocre exchange rates on international transfers, so even a small transfer can end up costing a significant amount.
Money transfer company. If you’re looking for quick and affordable transactions to thousands of destinations around the globe, bank on a company like OFX or XE Money Transfer to facilitate your transaction.
Case study: Keo sends money to Laos
Keo emigrated to Canada from Laos as a child, and has been living and working in Vancouver for over 20 years. When Keo returns to her home country in her early 30’s to visit her parents and her grandfather, she decides that she wants to move back to the region. She begins by sending regular transactions to her family to cover the cost of a down payment on a small house on the outskirts of Vang Vieng. She decides to compare her Canadian bank to an online money transfer service to see if she can track down a better deal. The comparison below is based on exchange rates in the spring of 2018, so check current rates before making your choice.
Money Transfer Service 2
CAD$1 = LAK 6,300
CAD$1 = LAK 6,500
Amount received (for $1,000)
2 – 5 days
1 – 2 days
Bank-to-bank tranfer or cash pick-up
Keo is pleased to discover that she can save LAK 200,000 (around $30) in the exchange rate with the money transfer option, with an additional $15 in fees on a transfer of $1,000. If Keo sends money every month, this amounts to almost $540 over the course of one year.
How should you compare transfer companies when sending money to Laos?
Competitive exchange rates.Exchange rates are often one of the most important factors to keep in mind when trying to figure out how much money you can save on an international transfer. Aim to track down a rate similar to the one that appears when you search “CAD to LAK exchange rates” on Google.
Minimal fees.Fees can range from $4 to over $60 depending on the money transfer service you use, with cash transfer services typically charging more for transfers than bank-to-bank transfer services. Compare 3 – 4 services before you settle on a service.
Various transfer methods.Transfer methods can range from cash pickups to bank-to-bank transfers and even mobile wallet top-ups. Look for a service that will work for both you and your recipient.
Fast transfer times. A speedy transfer service can really pay off in an emergency, but it’s often more expensive to book a transfer that takes only minutes to process. Be mindful of whether you’re willing to pay a little bit extra for the service.
Reliable customer service. Find a company that offers multiple customer service options including web chat, phone and e-mail. It pays to have the information you need at your fingertips in case you run into a tough spot.
What are your options for sending money to Laos from Canada?
Money transfer services. Send convenient and affordable money transfers to Laos using a traditional online money transfer service like OFX orWorldRemit. If you want to send money to Laos in a matter of minutes, try using a service like Moneygram or Western Union.
Banks. Some of the big Canadian banks may be able to send transfers to Laos, including RBC, TD and Scotiabank. This may be due to relationships these banks have with a local bank in Laos called Canadia Bank Ltd. Visit a local branch to determine the available currency options and costs involved.
Safe ways to send emergency cash transfers to Laos
Emergency money transfers can be sent from Canadian branches of MoneyGram and Western Union and can be picked up in Laos at multiple locations. Some Canadian banks may also be able to transfer emergency cash funds to Canadia Bank for pick-up at certain locations. Major credit cards can also sometimes offer emergency cash to travelers (which is typically extended as a loan) or you may also be able to purchase a travel insurance policy to cover loss and theft while on vacation.
Tips for picking up cash
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian travellers take normal security precautions in Laos (as of 15 September 2018). Street crime is prevalent in cities and towns, including Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng and bag theft occurs frequently. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. If you do need to collect cash at an agent location, be sure to do so in a safe neighborhood before dark and in the company of a trusted friend. Avoid displaying signs of affluence or carrying large sums of cash and be cautious when withdrawing money from ATMs.
What are the steps to send money to Laos?
When you’re ready to book a transfer you can click ‘Go to Site’ next to your chosen transfer provider on the interactive transfer comparison table at the top of the page. The process for transferring money to Laos varies depending on the method you choose.
Bank transfers.If you want to send the money to a bank account in the region, you’ll need your recipient’s bank account details which can include transit, branch and account number.
Cash collection. Send cash directly by providing the full name and personal details for yourself and your recipient. Once you’ve sent your transaction, provide your recipient with the booking number which they’ll need to present to collect their cash.
Once you’ve lodged the transfer, you’ll get a tracking number as a reference. Keep this handy as the customer service staff will request this number should you have questions about your transaction.
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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