Find a reliable and affordable way to send an international money transfer to Russia from Canada.
In the 2011 census, over 550,000 Canadians claimed to have full or partial Russian ancestry. With such high numbers of immigration between the two countries and many business opportunities, there is a great need for affordable and speedy money transfer services between the two nations.
If you ever need to send an international money transfer from Canada to Russia, perhaps to provide financial support to friends or family or to pay business expenses, there are several banks and money transfer companies that can help. Keep in mind that it’s important that you compare your options and shop around for competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees, otherwise your international transfer could end up costing you a whole lot more than it should.
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Banks versus money transfer services
Many people forget to compare their money transfer options and instead head straight to their banks. They think that if the bank handles all of their other financial needs, why not see if it can handle an international transfer to Russia as well? Unfortunately, banks often offer poor exchange rates on international wire transfers, not to mention charging high fees on each transaction. Furthermore, bank transfers generally take anywhere from two to five days to arrive.
The banks offer such a raw deal on international money transfers that recent years have seen the emergence of several specialist online money transfer companies. With expertise in moving funds overseas, these companies, such as TorFX and WorldRemit, offer competitive exchange rates and lower fees than the banks. There are plenty of other reputable specialist online transfer providers available – you can find a list of them at finder – but many of them don’t offer any support for Russian rubles from Canada. With that said, a fair number of companies do offer this service between Russia and Canada including TorFX, FairFX and TransferWise. These companies should allow you to send Russian rubles.
Another option is to use a money transfer company with a cash pick-up option, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These two companies offer large worldwide transfer networks and allow your recipient to pick up the cash you send within minutes. You can usually send bank transfers with both of these companies too.
Case study: Vera sends money to Russia
Vera has been working in Canada on a contract and after working here for six months, she’s decided she will one day apply to become a permanent resident. Although she loves Canada, Vera still maintains strong ties with her homeland, specifically with her parents who still live in Russia. So when they need money to help pay their mortgage, Vera offers to send $1,000 Canadian dollars as soon as possible. Instead of accepting the low exchange rate offered by her bank, Vera compares two money transfer companies to see which one will offer a more affordable solution.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 CAD = 45.79 RUB||$1 CAD = 42.98 RUB|
|Transfer method||Direct deposit||Cash pick-up|
|Transfer time||Less than 24 hours||Just minutes|
As you can see, Vera can send the money cheaper with transfer company 1, however the money will take up to one day to arrive. If she chooses the slightly more expensive option with a less competitive exchange rate, she will be able to send the money in just minutes and have her parents pick it up in cash. Money companies that can send the cash faster tend to charge higher fees.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Russia?
- Exchange rates. What exchange rate does the company offer when converting Canadian dollars to Russian rubles? Keep in mind some companies will convert your CAD to USD and then to RUB, meaning you will lose more to the exchange rate.
- Transfer fees. Compare how much each company will charge you for sending your money overseas. Some companies will completely waive fees if you send over a certain amount of money, however this is usually somewhere around the $10,000 mark.
- Transfer time. How long will it take from the moment you pay for your transfer to the moment your recipient gets the cash in hand or in their bank account?
- Transfer methods. Will you place your transfer online, over the phone or will you need to visit a branch?
- Pick-up methods. Does the company offer a cash pick-up option or transfers directly into bank accounts? If they offer cash pick-ups, do they have locations convenient for both you and your recipient to access?
- Flexible options. Can you place forward contracts and limit orders, or perhaps schedule regular payments to provide extra convenience?
- Minimum transfer limit. Does a minimum limit apply to all transfers and will you be able to exceed it? Keep in mind some companies may also set a maximum limit.
- Customer service. Will you be able to access phone, email and online support if you ever need help with a transaction? Some companies will be available 24/7, while other companies may only be available for a few hours a day. Finding a company with a reputable customer service team is important.
How do I send money to Russia from Canada?
- Bank-to-bank transfers. Ask your bank about sending an international money transfer to Russia. Most of the big Canadian banks like RBC, TD, Scotiabank, CIBC and BMO will allow you to send money from Canada to Russia.
- Online money transfer providers. Compare online transfer companies to see which ones offer transfers to Russia. As mentioned above, FairFX, TorFX and TransferWise should allow transfers from Canada to Russia.
- Money transfer providers with cash pick-up option. Companies like Western Union, MoneyGram and Xpress Money offer this service between Canada and Russia.
- International money order. Ask your bank if they can provide you with an international bank draft. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas.
Emergency cash transfers in Russia
While sometimes you have the luxury of being able to wait several days for your funds to arrive, there are other times when you need to send your money to Russia as quickly as possible. When you find yourself in such a situation, always remember to check the exchange rate and any fees that apply to your transaction, as urgent transfers will usually cost more. Read and understand all of the details of your transaction before you hand over your money, as this will prevent any nasty surprises in the future.
Cash pick-up locations in Russia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Russia
If you want to send a cash transfer to Russia, Western Union and MoneyGram both offer plenty of agent locations throughout Russia. Some popular cash pick-up locations are listed below, but ask your recipient to confirm the addresses and opening hours before visiting. Taking along a transaction tracking number and photo ID is also essential to pick up the funds without any problems.
- MTC Bank
Open 9:30am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 3pm Saturday
- ВТБ 24
Красная Пл., 3
Open 10am to 10pm seven days
Leninskaya Ul 2
Open 8:30am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm Saturday
- MTC Bank
Сенная Пл., 5
Open 9am to 10pm Monday to Friday
Menzhinskogo Dom 36 Korpus 2
Open 9am to 9pm seven days
Pyatnitskoe Sh 39
Open 10am to 10pm seven days
Nauki Pr-Kt Dom 14
Open 9am to 10pm seven days
- Bank Viking
Nevskiy Prospekt 35
Open 10am to 10pm seven days
Tips for picking up cash in Russia
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian travellers in Russia exercise a high degree of caution, explaining that petty crime, pickpocketing, mugging and threats of terrorism are all common problems in high tourist areas. With this in mind, make sure to exercise extreme caution when picking up a cash transfer in Russia. Only visit a transfer agent in an area where you feel safe and make sure to stay aware of your personal security at all times. Don’t display your money in public and leave it somewhere safe as soon as possible. Try to avoid public transportation with lots of cash and always withdraw funds in the daylight.
How to send money to Russia
As you can see, there are several options at your disposal when you need to send money to Russia. Transfer processes will vary depending on the provider you choose, but you will usually have to provide your name, address, contact details and proof of ID before you can send a transfer.
Next, you’ll need to supply your recipient’s information, such as their name and contact details, and in some cases their bank account information. Once you’ve entered how much money you would like to transfer and in which currency, you can pay for your transfer and wait for the funds to be sent to your recipient.
You will also usually be given a tracking number to allow you to check up on the progress of your transfer.