Little Known Ways to Send Money to Tanzania Faster

Wondering how to send moneytanzania-dar-es-salaam-national-museum to Tanzania from Canada? Here’s the information you need.

A handful of Tanzanian-born people, mainly skilled migrants, arrived in Canada shortly before and after Tanzania’s independence from Britain in 1964. While there are not many Tanzanian immigrants in Canada, there is often a need for those who have settled in the country to send money back home to family, friends and loved ones.

Some Canadian banks allow transfers to Tanzania, however it’s best to use a specialist money transfer service. These money transfer services usually offer more competitive exchange rates and lower fees. Furthermore, they can often send the funds much faster than the banks can.

While sending money to Tanzania from Canada is not particularly common, you can find different ways to do so. Read through this guide to find out which method will work best for you.

Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies

Neema arrived in Canada as a student. She did not return to Tanzania at the end of her education because she got a job in Canada that permitted her to continue living here. However, her parents still live in Tanzania. While her father makes enough money to sustain their livelihood, Neema wants to help them out so they can live a more comfortable lifestyle. She figures she can afford to send around $1,000 Canadian dollars every two months.

First, she checks if she can use her Canadian bank for the transfer. Since it does not deal with the exotic currency used in Tanzania, she decides to compare two specialist money transfer services. You can see the results of her comparison below.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rate$1 CAD = TZS 1,720.16$1 CAD = TZS 1,711.68
Transfer feeCAD$5CAD$50
Amount received for $1,000 CAD
Transfer timeOne dayJust minutes
Transfer optionsBank account, cash pick-upCash pick-up only
Difference ofTZS8,474.72

As you can see above, the first money transfer service offers much cheaper fees and a slightly more competitive exchange rate. However, it takes longer to send the transfer overseas to Tanzania. The second money transfer service can deliver the funds in just minutes, but for cash pick-up only and with much more expensive fees. Since Neema isn’t in a hurry to send the money to her parents, she’ll choose the first service since the fees are $45 cheaper and she can send TZS8,474.72 more each time.

How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Tanzania?

Comparing banks and money transfer companies is not difficult, provided you know what factors to compare.

  • Fees and exchange rates. Some service providers may offer fee-free services, but can hide unfavourable exchange rates inside these seemingly great deals. Similarly, paying high fees to get an apparently great exchange rate also does not make sense. An easy way to pick the best deal is to compare the total money your recipient stands to receive.
  • Ways to send money. Banks that offer wire transfer services to Tanzania can let you go through the process online, over the phone or in person. Sending money in person is also an option if you choose a suitable money transfer company like MoneyGram or Western Union. There are numerous money transfer companies that operate in the online world. Some of these let you send money over the phone as well.
  • Ways to receive money. If you have the recipient’s bank account details, you can transfer funds directly into a Tanzanian account. Collecting transferred funds from a cash pick-up centre is also an option.
  • Transfer options. Some money transfer companies let you schedule regular payments, which takes away the need to go through the entire process every time you wish to send money. Some let you purchase market orders and forward contracts as well, which can be useful if you hope to benefit through fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.
  • Using the same bank. You can benefit by using a bank for the transfer, provided both you and your recipient have accounts with the same institution. Benefits can come in the form of a quicker turnaround time and reduced fees. This may be difficult to find an institution that provides this service between Canada and Tanzania.
  • Minimum limits. Some service providers have minimum transfer amounts in place, which can be as low as $5 or as high as $500.
  • Customer service. You never know when you may need to contact a company’s customer service team. You should ideally be able to do so over the phone, via chat and via email. Some services may even have in person teams that can assist you at local branches. Furthermore, make sure that the service is available during times that you are as well.

How do I send money to Tanzania from Canada?

There are a few options when you want to send money between Tanzania and Canada, including:

  • Banks. There are a few banks in Canada that let you send money to Tanzanian bank accounts, which you can do in person, online or over the phone. You can also think about mailing a bank-issued cheque, draft or money order. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas.
  • Non-banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you transfer funds to Tanzanian bank accounts. You can use their services to send money to cash pick-up centres in Tanzania as well. Using PayPal is also an option, as long as you and your recipient both have PayPal accounts. You can open a new PayPal account for free in a short amount of time.

How do I receive money from Tanzania in Canada?

You can receive money from Tanzania in Canada through different means, including:

  • Banks. One way is to get the sender to transfer the funds into your Canadian bank account directly. For this to happen, you’ll have to provide your account details to the sender first, and then the sender can use the services of a bank or a money transfer company. Alternatively, you can receive a cheque, money order or draft by mail. As mentioned above, this is the slowest way to receive money from overseas.
  • Non-banks. Businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a significant presence across Canada. There are many MoneyGram locations inside Canada Post branches across all provinces. Western Union have hundreds of locations across Canada. If you wish to collect money in person, you can do so by visiting any of these centres. PayPal also allows transfers from Tanzania to Canada, however both you and your recipient must have PayPal accounts. These are free accounts to set-up.

Emergency cash transfers in Tanzania

If you find yourself in Tanzania without your wallet, report your debit and credit cards as lost or stolen as soon as you can. Report the matter to the local police as well and obtain a police report. You can think about getting some emergency money in these ways:

  • Cash pick-up. Is there a friend or family member who can send you some money through a money transfer company? If so, locate a cash pick-up centre in your area and pass on the details to the sender.
  • Credit card cash advance. Existing American Express, Mastercard and Visa credit card holders can think about getting money in the form of a cash advance. To get money this way, you’ll have to visit a local participating bank. Call your credit card provider for more details.
  • Travel insurance. The right kind of travel insurance can come in handy when dealing with unexpected medical expenses, flight delays and cancellations as well as lost or misplaced baggage. Some policies cover stolen money.

Western Union/MoneyGram branches in Tanzania

Western Union and MoneyGram have numerous cash pick-up centres spread across Tanzania. If you’re visiting any of these centres to collect cash, make sure you take a valid reference number as well as an acceptable form of ID, such as your passport or driver’s license. If you’re collecting a large sum of cash, call ahead to confirm the availability of the funds. Here are some cash pick-up locations in Tanzania.

Western Union

  • Dar es Salaam

    Advans Bank Tanzania Manzese
    Plot No 137 Opposite Temeke Co
    P O Box 34459
    Dar es Salaam
    Open 8:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12:30pm Saturday, closed on Sunday

  • Amana Bank Main Branch

    Pspf-golden Jubilee Tower
    Ohio Street
    Dar es Salaam
    Open 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Saturday,
    9am to 2pm Sunday

  • Mwanza

    Advans Bank Mwanza Branch
    Lumumba Road Near Mayi Hotel 11142
    Open 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday,
    9am to 1pm Saturday, closed on Sunday

  • Bugando Post Office

    Bugando Hospital Building
    Open 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday,
    9am to 12pm Saturday, closed on Sunday


  • Dar es Salaam

    Twiga Bancorp – Mlimani City
    Sam Njoma Road
    Dar es Salaam
    Open 8:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm Saturday
    10am to 3pm Sunday

  • Tanzania Posts Corporation – University

    Dar es Salaam University
    Dar es Salaam
    Open 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday,
    8:30am to 12:30pm Saturday, closed on Sunday

  • Mwanza

    Azania Bank
    Nkrumah Street
    Open 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday,
    8:30am to 12:30pm Saturday,
    9:30am to 1:30pm Sunday

  • Twiga Bancorp

    Liberty St Off Nyerere
    Open 8:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday,
    8:30am to 12:30pm Saturday, closed on Sunday

Tips for picking up cash in Tanzania

The Government of Canada advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Tanzania. Petty theft accompanied by violence and armed robberies are common in Tanzania, especially in the city of Dar es Salaam.

Instances of bag snatching from moving vehicles are common. When you’re driving, make sure you keep your vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed. Exercise vigilance in isolated areas and refrain from travelling to these areas alone or after dark.

Remain vigilant when travelling on public transport, as well as at popular tourist sites and bus stations. Stick to using registered taxis. Don’t accept food or drink from strangers as it may be spiked.

What are the steps to send money to Tanzania?

The steps involved in sending money to Tanzania from Canada depend on the method you choose.

  • Transfer to bank account. If you’re sending money through your bank, you’ll have to provide your recipient’s full name, account number, bank name and the bank SWIFT code. If you’re using another bank or a specialist money transfer company, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card as well. You will receive a reference number once you initiate the transfer. You can use it to track the progress of the transfer at any time.
  • Cash pick-up. You’ll have to provide your recipient’s name and a desired cash pick-up centre along with details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. You get a reference number, which the recipient needs in order to collect the transferred money.
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