Sending money to Sri Lanka is faster and easier than ever.
Sending money overseas to Sri Lanka is a simple and straightforward process. After you’ve chosen an international money transfer provider to process your transfer, simply sign up for an account, deposit your funds into the account and then initiate the transfer.
There are over 100,000 people living in Canada who have full or partial Sri Lankan ancestry. With such high numbers of immigration between the two nations and a new booming tourist economy in Sri Lanka, there is a need for competitive and affordable ways to send money to Sri Lanka from Canada.
Compare your options below for sending money to Sri Lanka
Banks vs money transfer services – what is cheaper?
The first place many people turn to transfer funds to Sri Lanka is their local Canadian bank. Many major Canadian banks will allow you to send funds to Sri Lanka, offering a convenient option for some people. However, banks typically offer poor exchange rates and charge high fees, meaning it often makes much better financial sense to shop around for a better deal from a specialist money transfer company. Banks also take longer to send funds, generally anywhere between two and six days.
Case study: Arjuna Sends Money to Sri Lanka
Arjuna is living and working in Canada but wants to send $1,000 Canadian dollars to his grandparents back home in Sri Lanka. He knows his Canadian bank offers international money transfers, but he wants to shop around for a better deal from a specialist money transfer company. The results of his comparison can be found in the table below.
|Bank||Money Transfer Company|
|Exchange rate||$1 CAD = 116.38 LKR||$1 CAD = 120.29 LKR|
|Transfer time||Two to six days||One to two days for bank transfer, minutes for cash pickup|
|Transfer options||Bank transfer||Bank transfer, cash pickup (this option costs more)|
|Amount received for $1,000 CAD||114,385.39 LKR||118,870.38 LKR|
As this example demonstrates, not only will Arjuna enjoy a much lower fee when using a specialist money transfer company, he’ll also be able to send an extra 4,000-plus Sri Lankan Rupees home to his family.
How do I compare companies when transferring money to Sri Lanka?
It’s important that you compare the features and benefits of a range of companies before deciding on the best money transfer provider for you. Make sure to consider the following factors:
- Exchange rates. Look at how exchange rates differ between competing providers. Higher rates obviously offer a better deal, but keep in mind that companies with higher rates may also charge higher fees.
- Transfer fee. Compare how much each company will charge you for an international money transfer. Keep in mind that some companies will actually waive their fees if you send more than a certain amount, however this is generally $10,000 or more.
- Transfer methods. Can transfers be sent online, over the phone or by visiting a branch? Some companies may offer more than one option.
- Transfer options. What options does each provider offer to help you save money and enjoy greater convenience? Examples of such options include forward contracts, limit orders and the ability to schedule regular transfers.
- Transfer time. Compare how long it will take your funds to reach the recipient, a factor which is especially important when you need to send an emergency transfer. Some companies will be able to send your money in a matter of minutes, while others may take up to five or six days.
- Pickup methods. Can funds be picked up from a branch in Sri Lanka or is the entire transaction handled electronically?
- Minimum amounts. Keep an eye out for the fact that some providers will have minimum transfer limits in place. These can cause great inconvenience if you only want to send a small amount of money. Minimum amounts can be as low as $5 and as high as $250.
- Customer service options. It’s reassuring to know that customer assistance will be offered whenever you need it. Look for phone support, email assistance and live online chat. Some companies will be available 24/7, while others may only be available a few hours a day.
Ways to send money to Sri Lanka from Canada
There are a number of options available when you need to send funds to Sri Lanka, including:
- Bank to bank. Many major Canadian banks will allow you to transfer funds directly from your bank account to a Sri Lankan bank account.
- Money transfer services. Companies like WorldRemit offer quick online money transfers to Sri Lanka.
- Pick up. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send money from your credit card or deposit cash and your funds can then be picked up from agent locations across Sri Lanka within minutes.
- International money order. Although it may be time-consuming, you can obtain an international guaranteed cheque from your bank and then send it overseas. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas.
Emergency cash transfers in Sri Lanka
Sometimes situations arise where you need to send funds to Sri Lanka as quickly as possible. Perhaps your family in Sri Lanka may fall on difficult financial times or you may have a friend travelling through the region who has their wallet or purse stolen.
Whatever the case may be, there are a couple of companies that can help you to transfer funds overseas within minutes. Take the time to understand how much you will pay in fees and what exchange rate you will get, as well as the processing time offered.
Cash pickup locations in Sri Lanka
If you want to access fast transfers to Sri Lanka, WorldRemit, Western Union and MoneyGram can help. You’ll see the details of some popular cash pickup locations across Sri Lanka below, but make sure you take identification with you when picking up funds. You may also need to make prior arrangements with an agent if you are picking up a large sum of cash.
Bank of Ceylon
Central Bus Stand
Bank of Ceylon
City Office 41 Bristol Street, Colombo
Bank of Ceylon
115A D.Senanayayka St
Bank of Ceylon
Armour Street Pawn Shop 58
Armour St Colombo, Western
Open seven days 9 am to 6pm
Niketh Money Exchanger
325, Third Floor, Majestic City
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 7:30pm, open Sunday 10am to 5pm
Amana Bank Limited
No 105 Kotugodella Veediya
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
Lakderana Investments Ltd
159 Katugastota Road
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, open Saturday 9am to 1pm
Sampath Bank – Maradana
657 Kularathna MW
Maradana Rd Colombo 10 Maradana, 0
Open 8am to 5pm seven days a week
No 1119 Maradana Rd
Open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, open 8:30am to 1pm Saturday
Sampath Bank Kandy
NO 19 Dalada Veediya
Open 7am to 10pm seven days a week
National Savings Bank
88 Kotugodalla Street
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday
Tips for picking up cash in Sri Lanka
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian travellers in Sri Lanka should exercise a high degree of caution. With this advice in mind, it is important that you are very careful when picking up a cash transfer. Take a friend with you for added safety and make sure to keep your cash hidden. Avoid any areas where robberies are prevalent and head straight to a bank or a safe place to deposit all of your funds. Try to avoid public transportation when carrying large sums of money.
Documentation you’ll need for your money transfer
From bank transfers to the services offered by specialist money transfer companies, you have no shortage of options to choose from when you want to send money to Sri Lanka from Canada. While the exact transfer process differs depending on the method you choose, you’ll most likely have to set up an account online before you can send a transfer.
Doing this will require you to provide things like your name, contact details and proof of identity. Once you’ve sent a transaction, keep your receipt or tracking number so you can monitor the progress of your transaction. If you compare your options before deciding on a money transfer provider, you’ll end up finding a fast and affordable way to send money to Sri Lanka.