When sending money to Sudan from Canada, there are only a few options. Do you know which one works best for you and your bank balance?
Prior to the First Sudanese Civil War from 1955 to 1972, the majority of Sudanese immigrants headed to Canada to pursue better work and educational opportunities. The Second Sudanese Civil War was largely a continuation of the first and lasted from 1983 to 2005, making it one of the longest civil wars in history. Six years after the second civil war, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. The 2011 Census determined that there are over 16,500 people of Sudanese ancestry living in Canada.
In recent years, there have been sanctions placed on Sudanese banks, stopping foreign currency from entering the country. This has resulted in problems sending money between Canada and Sudan. Although many Canadian banks will not send money to Sudan, some specialist money transfer providers will allow you to send money between the two nations.
With political unrest and increasing immigration to Canada, there is a growing need for affordable and simple international money transfers between Sudan and Canada. Read our guide below to help you discover ways you can send money overseas.
Case study: Banks versus money transfer companies
Suleyman Abbas arrived to Canada as a student. He got a job once he completed his university education, after which he figured he could start sending some money back home to his ageing parents living in Sudan. He planned to send around $1,000 Canadian dollars every month.
Suleyman did not have a preference when it came to choosing between transferring funds into his father’s bank account or sending it to a cash pickup location. Since he wished to send an exotic currency, he could not initiate the transfer through his Canadian bank. However, he did have a couple of money transfer companies to choose from. This is what he found when he took to the Internet.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 CAD = £13.76 SDG||$1 CAD = £13.01 SDG|
|Amount received for $1,000||£13,760 SDG||£13,001 SDG|
|Transfer time||One day||One to two days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||+ £759 SDG|
The first money transfer company offered Suleyman a better deal in terms of the money his father stood to receive. With slightly higher fees, the first company provides a much more competitive exchange rate, allowing Suleyman’s father to receive over $52 more than the second company.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Sudan?
When you’re sending money to Sudan from Canada, a few factors require your attention in order for you to find the best deal possible. These important factors include:
- Exchange rate and fees. Some money transfer companies offer highly competitive exchange rates, but may cut their losses by charging reasonably high fees. You may also find companies that offer fee-free services, but provide unfavourable exchange rates. Comparing how much money your recipient stands to receive should give you a clear indication of the deal that is best for you.
- Ways to send money. On top of any currency sanctions, since the Sudanese pound is an exotic currency, not many Canadian banks offer fund transfer services to Sudan. Banks that do can let you initiate a transfer online, in person or over the phone. Some money transfer companies have stores that you can visit to send money in person. The most number of options you’ll find to send funds from Canada to Sudan is in the online world.
- Ways to receive money. Receiving money directly into a Sudanese bank account may be an option. Your recipient can also collect money by visiting a local cash pickup centre.
- Turnaround time. Money transfer companies tend to process electronic fund transfers quicker than banks can. While specialist money transfer services may take one to three days, banks can take up to five or six business days. If you’re sending money to a cash pickup location, the transfer can be processed and ready for collection by your recipient in a matter of minutes.
- Transfer options. If you plan to send money to Sudan periodically and don’t want to go through the entire process every time, you can consider using the services of a money transfer company that lets you make scheduled payments. Some businesses also let you purchase forward contracts and market orders.
- Minimum transfer amounts. While some money transfer companies have no minimum transfer limits in place, some others don’t let you send less than $500 or $1,000 Canadian dollars. Others will have maximum limits in place.
- Customer service. Good money transfer companies offer support in different ways, which include over the phone, via chat and via email. Other companies may have in person offices in which you can receive help. Always choose a reputable company.
How do I send money to Sudan from Canada?
You can send money to Sudan from Canada in different ways. These options include:
- Banks. In recent years, Sudan had sanctions in place blocking banks from accepting foreign currency into the country. In late 2017, some of these sanctions were removed. Find out if your Canadian bank lets you transfer funds to a Sudanese bank account. If it does, you may be able to initiate the process by visiting your branch, lodging the transfer through online banking or over the phone. If your account comes with a cheque book, you can write a cheque and send it via mail. Purchasing a money order from your bank and mailing it is also an option, however mailing money orders and cheques are the slowest ways to send money overseas. There is also the risk the cheque never makes it or gets lost in transportation and becomes void.
- Non-banks. You can use the services of a money transfer company, such as Western Union, to send money to Sudan from Canada. While the location is not listed on their website, you may be able to call the company or visit a branch to lodge a transfer from Canada to Sudan. You can also send money via PayPal, provided that both you and your recipient have PayPal accounts. Opening a PayPal account when in Sudan may not be easy, however opening one from Canada is quick, easy and free.
How do I receive money from Sudan in Canada?
There are a couple of options available to you to receive money in Sudan from Canada. These options include:
- Banks. You can receive funds directly into your Canadian bank account. The sender can use the services of a bank or a specialist money transfer company to do this. You can also receive a bank-issued money order or cheque via mail, however this is the slowest way to send money overseas.
- Non-banks. Non-banking businesses, such as Western Union, offer money transfer services from Sudan to Canada. With these services, you can collect cash from a physical location. If you and the sender both have PayPal accounts, you can consider using its online services as well. Creating an account is free of charge and withdrawing transferred funds from your PayPal account to your bank account is simple.
Emergency cash transfers in Sudan
If you end up losing your wallet when you’re in Sudan, you should report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen without wasting any time. You can then think about getting some emergency money in different ways. These ways may include:
- Cash pickup. Have a friend or family member send you some money. For this method, you will need to locate a suitable cash pickup centre and pass the details on to the sender.
- Cash advance through credit card. You can think about getting a cash advance on your existing MasterCard or Visa credit card even if it’s not in your possession. You can do this by visiting a local participating financial institution or calling your bank to receive more information.
- Travel insurance. Getting the right kind of travel insurance can give you access to emergency funds in situations such as lost or misplaced luggage, robberies, flight delays or cancellations and unexpected medical expenses. It is advised that you never travel without travel insurance.
Cash pickup locations in Sudan
Money transfer companies, such as Western Union, may let you send money to cash pickup locations in Sudan from Canada. When collecting money from any cash pickup centre, you’ll need to provide a valid form of ID, such as your passport or driver’s license. If the transfer involves a large sum of money, you may want to call the centre in advance to ensure the full amount of funds are available. Here are some cash pickup locations in Sudan.
Open 7:30am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday
- Alsagana Branch
Open 7:30am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday
Open 7:30am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday
- Souk Libya Branch
P.o Box 2056
Open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday,
Open 9am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday
Tips for picking up cash in Sudan
The Government of Canada advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Sudan. Furthermore, Canadians are advised to reconsider their plans of travelling to Darfur, the Blue Nile State, the Abyei administrative region, the Southern Kordofan State, the Kosti–El Obeid–En Nahud road, and the areas bordering Eritrea and Libya.
After the formation of South Sudan, the Sudanese Government announced the issuance of new banknotes. This saw the withdrawal of some older versions. As a result, when you collect money from a cash pickup centre or when you exchange money, make sure you receive valid banknotes.
Khartoum has low levels of crime, but Darfur has high levels of violent crime. Instances of looting, carjacking and banditry are not uncommon, so it is best that you remain vigilant at all times. Take a friend with you to pick up money and use a trusted private transportation service to safely transport your funds back to a safe place.
What are the steps to send money to Sudan?
The steps involved when sending money to Sudan depend on the method you choose. You may also have to provide different details depending on the service you choose. Here are some examples:
- Transfer to a bank account. If you’re transferring funds using your bank, you’ll need to provide your recipient’s name, account number, bank name and the bank’s SWIFT/BIC code. If you’re using the services of a specialist online money transfer company, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. The time the transfer takes to complete essentially depends on the service provider you choose. Make sure all details are correct before lodging the transfer to avoid any problems.
- Cash pickup. If you’re sending money in person, you’ll have to provide your recipient’s name and the desired cash pickup location. The money transfer company might want to verify your identity. If you’re sending money online or over the phone, you’ll also have to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details. The transfer should take place almost immediately.