Serbia may be one of the smaller economies in Europe, but you can still find money transfer options when you need to send money to a loved one. The process doesn’t have to be expensive. By comparing exchange rates and fees, you can make a quick money transfer from Canada to Serbia without having to spend extra time — and money — settling for the first option you find.
Send money to Serbia with XE
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Serbia. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Serbian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram, Ria Money Transfers and Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Serbia — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
Serbian dinars are not a popular currency, but your local bank may be able to exchange them. If your bank supports Serbian dinars, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Serbia.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Serbia
Let’s say you need to send $1,000 to family in Serbia. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 29, 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$50 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 CAD = 73.2277 RSD
1 CAD = 71.1355 RSD
1 CAD = 66.4866 RSD
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Serbia. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with RSD 10,066 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, or your recipient wants to pick up cash, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Serbia in as little as an hour. Confirm there is a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to send money to Serbia online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Serbian bank account information.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Serbia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What are the ways that I can send money to Serbia
Bank transfers. Some major Canadian banks will allow you to send money to Serbia.
Money transfer providers. Providers like XE and CurrencyTransfer can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
Providers with cash pickup. Western Union, Ria Money Transfers and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from Canada to Serbia.
Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international cheque or money order overseas, obtained from your bank or Canada Post.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Serbia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Serbia to best meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The CAD-RSD relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Serbian dinar rises against the Canadian dollar.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger CAD-RSD exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Serbian dinar you’re sending to Serbia.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Serbia.
Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Serbian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to Serbia
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Serbia quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Serbia without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Serbia’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Serbia’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the Canadian dollar, but the CAD-RSD relationship typically doesn’t make sharp, drastic movements. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Serbia
To send money to Serbia from Canada, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Serbia may differ by company.
Documents to send money from Canada
To send money from Canada to Serbia, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SIN.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheques.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number and Serbian bank account information.
Documents to receive money in Serbia
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, an MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. A Serbian Passport, Serbian ID or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
When you send money to family members in Serbia, the money may be subject to taxes but it depends on a lot of variables. In general, you won’t have to report any amount of money to the CRA that you transfer out of Canada. But it’s still a good idea to keep all records of transfers just in case.
Sending your hard-earned money to Serbia shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder. He’s ghostwritten hundreds of articles on fintech, finding his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Traveling internationally for nearly half his life — and getting burned once by an OTC money exchange — Zak's vowed not to settle for anything short of the mid-market rate again.
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