Compare your money transfer options and find the method that’s right for you when sending money to Macedonia.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is located in the Balkans in Europe’s southeast. The landlocked country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, and is famous for its lake-covered landscapes and towering mountain peaks.
It is said that there are over 120,000 Macedonians living in Canada. This thriving migration between Canada and Macedonia has created a need for affordable money transfer services between the two nations.
If you are considering sending money between Canada and Macedonia, it’s vital that you shop around and compare what different money transfer providers can offer. Comparing your options now can save you a lot of money in the long run.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Most people approach their bank when they need to send money overseas, which is completely understandable when you consider the convenience of sending funds from your own bank account. The problem, however, is that banks charge high transfer fees and offer some of the lowest exchange rates for money transfer services.
Sending money via your bank often ends up being much more expensive than it should be, so it pays to shop around and compare your bank’s services with those offered by specialist money transfer providers. These companies concentrate solely on sending money overseas, so they offer much cheaper transactions than any of the major banks. Their fees are lower, their exchange rates higher and they offer safe and secure transfers.
The local currency in Macedonia is the Macedonian dinar, however the euro is sometimes accepted. Many specialist transfer companies will not send money in the local currency, so you may have to send funds in euro or USD.
Case study: Vesna sends money to Macedonia
Vesna left Macedonia in the late 1990s to move to Canada permanently, and although she’s settled here, she still stays in regular contact with her parents in Skopje. She regularly sends them money to help them keep their heads above water during their retirement, and when their home is damaged following a storm, Vesna makes plans to send them an urgent transfer of $1,000 Canadian dollars to help pay for repairs. She compares her current bank to an international money transfer service to see which one can offer a fast and affordable transfer.
You can see the results of her comparison below, where it is cheaper and faster for Vesna to send the money via the specialist money transfer company.
|Canadian bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = 0.62 EUR||CAD$1 = 0.64 EUR|
|Transfer method||Online, phone or in person||Online|
|Processing time||Three to five days||One day|
|Amount received (in EUR)||€620.30||€640.58|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Macedonia?
- Exchange rates. Shop around to see what exchange rates are available among different providers. Be aware that better exchange rates will sometimes also come with higher fees attached.
- Transfer fees. You’ll usually need to pay some sort of fee each time you send a transfer, so compare the amounts charged by different providers. Some companies will waive fees completely on large transfers, however this is usually on amounts over $5,000 or more.
- Transfer methods. Some companies will offer a variety of different transfer methods including online, over the phone, in person at a branch or using a smartphone or tablet app.
- Flexible options. Some companies let you get a better exchange rate by placing forward contracts and limit orders, while they may also offer you the flexibility of scheduling regular repayments in advance.
- Turnaround time. Check to see whether the funds can be received within the same day or if your recipient must wait two or three days to have access to the funds.
- Transfer limits. Check to see whether the provider imposes minimum and maximum transfer limits on each transaction.
- Pickup options. While some companies will allow your recipient to collect the cash you transfer from their nearest branch, others will offer transfers directly into your recipient’s bank account.
- Customer service. It’s essential to investigate a company’s reputation before lodging a transfer with them. Check to see whether they offer friendly and efficient customer service, so if you have any problems you won’t deal with them alone.
How do I send money to Macedonia from Canada?
- Specialist transfer companies. Shop around to see which specialist transfer companies will help you send money to Macedonia from Canada. Some companies, like Fairfx, will allow you to send funds to Macedonia, however the money may need to be sent in USD and face an exchange rate from CAD and then again on arrival to Macedonia.
- Cash pickup transfer providers. Western Union and MoneyGram both have several locations in Macedonia.
- Bank transfers. Speak to your bank about the cost involved in sending a transfer to Macedonia. Most of the big Canadian banks will allow transfers to Macedonia.
- International guaranteed cheques. Posting an international guaranteed cheque to Macedonia is an old-fashioned and time-consuming transfer method, however it is a safe and secure way of sending money.
How do I receive money from Macedonia in Canada?
- Specialist transfer companies. Do your research to find out which companies allow transactions from Macedonia to Canada.
- Cash pickup transfer providers. Start searching today for your nearest cash pickup transfer location. Western Union have plenty of locations across Canada and MoneyGram have a partnership with Canada Post and have plenty of locations across the nation, with many of them located in Canada Post office branches.
- Bank transfers. Bank transfers are a secure but sometimes expensive way to send and receive money.
- International guaranteed cheques. Check how much your bank will charge you in fees when you cash an international cheque. Keep in mind this is the slowest way to send or receive money and is often referred to as “snail mail”.
Emergency cash transfers in Macedonia
There are plenty of situations where you may potentially need to send a fast emergency transfer to Macedonia, to help a relative settle an overdue debt or help out a friend in need. When you send an emergency transfer, make sure you’re aware that these transactions can be quite costly. High fees and lower-than-usual exchange rates generally apply, so double check all of the details of your transaction before you decide to pay any money to send the transfer.
Two companies specialize in sending funds that can arrive to your recipient just minutes after being sent. These companies include MoneyGram and Western Union. You can find cost estimates online and send a Western Union transfer online in Canada, however you will need to visit a MoneyGram branch location to send funds in person.
Cash pickup locations in Macedonia / Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Macedonia
As the two largest cash pickup transfer companies in the world, Western Union and MoneyGram both operate a number of cash pickup locations in Macedonia. Your recipient will need to take a transaction ID number and photo ID when they go to collect funds, while phoning to confirm a location’s opening hours is also recommended. Some popular cash pickup locations are listed below.
Petar Petrovic Njegosh Br.12
Open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm Saturday
Dobrivoje Radosavljevic 3
Open 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 1pm Saturday
Orce Nikolov 54
Open 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday
Open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, open 8am to 2pm Saturday
Kapital Bank AD
Bul. Jane Sandanski N.
Loc. 26-1 6
Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm Saturday
Str Jhon Kenedi No. 5
Open 8am to 10pm seven days
Open 8am to 9pm seven days
Euro Pop 87
Str. Boris Kidric 24
Open 8am to 9pm seven days
Tips for picking up cash in Macedonia
The Government of Canada advises Canadian visitors to Macedonia to exercise normal safety precautions. When picking up cash, keep a few basic safety tips in mind:
- Don’t go alone – take a friend with you
- Stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously
- Only visit a cash pickup location in an area where you feel safe
- Don’t display your cash in public
- Don’t carry the money around with you for any longer than necessary
What are the steps to send money to Macedonia?
Although transfer methods differ from one company to the next, you will generally need to:
- Register for a free account. This is usually done online and you will need to supply your name, contact details and proof of ID.
- Provide transaction details. The next step is to provide information about how much money you’re sending, in which currency and where the money is going.
- Finalize your transaction. After reviewing the exchange rate and fee that will apply to your transfer, pay the necessary funds and use the receipt you are given to track the progress of your transfer. Always keep your tracking ID number or receipt incase you encounter any problems.