Are you looking for a way to send money to Tunisia without spending too much in fees?
Located in Northern Africa, Tunisia is a common place for Canadians to send money to. Whether for business or family matters, you have a few different options at your disposal to send money overseas.
While some Canadian banks do allow transfers to Tunisia, the banks tend to charge very high transfer fees, provide less competitive exchange rates and slower transfer speeds. On the other hand, specialist money transfer companies provide more competitive exchange rates, lower transfer fees and faster transfer speeds than the banks. They can do this since they specialize in sending large sums of money around the world.
If you need to send money between Tunisia and Canada, read our guide for some handy tips.
Compare money transfer services in the table below
Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies
Work has taken Karim to Canada, however his wife and son continue living in Tunisia. Since the money his wife earns is not enough to keep their existing lifestyle going, he needs to send them some money periodically. He thinks he can afford to send around $1,500 Canadian dollars back home every month.
The Canadian bank Karim has an account with does not allow international money transfers to Tunisia, since the Tunisian dinar is an exotic currency. While he can turn to other Canadian banks, he decides to compare specialist money transfer companies instead. After doing some research online, he creates a comparison table. You can see the results of his comparison below.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = 1.81 TND||CAD$1 = TND|
|Amount received for CAD$1,500||2,720 TND||2,630 TND|
|Transfer time||One to two days||Just minutes|
|Transfer options||Online only||In person at a branch|
|Difference of||+90 TND|
Karim’s wife will receive 90 TND more if he chooses the first transfer company. Furthermore, Karim will save a whopping $60 Canadian dollars in transfer fees each time he sends a transfer with the first company. He recognizes that the second company charges high fees because they can deliver the money in just minutes, however fortunately Karim is not in a rush to send the money and can therefore save a lot of money in fees.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Tunisia?
There are a number of money transfer companies that let you send money to Tunisia from Canada, so comparing a few is important in order to get the best deal. Consider the following factors:
- Exchange rate and fees. Compare both rates and fees together to understand how much your transfer will cost you. While high transfer fees might accompany a seemingly competitive exchange rate, you may end up getting an unfavourable rate through a service provider that does not charge fees. An easy way to understand the deal you are getting is by comparing how much money your recipient stands to receive.
- How you can send money. Banks that offer money transfer services to Tunisia can let you do so online, over the phone or in person. You can send money in person by visiting a money transfer company’s store or kiosk, like MoneyGram or Western Union. Several money transfer companies limit their operations to the online world, like WorldRemit and WorldFirst. Some let you initiate the process over the phone as well, while others may allow mobile app transfers.
- How your recipient can receive money. If your recipient wishes to receive money directly in a Tunisian bank account, you’ll need their bank account details, including their full name, contact details and bank account number. Receiving money by visiting a cash pickup centre is also an option.
- Processing time. If you’re sending money that your recipient will collect from a cash pickup location, the transfer can take place almost immediately. With transfers to bank accounts, banks tend to take longer to send the money, while specialist transfer companies can generally send the funds within one to three days.
- Transfer options. If you plan to send money to Tunisia on a regular basis, you should consider working with a company that lets you schedule regular payments. With this service, you won’t have to go through the entire process before each transfer. Some money transfer companies let you purchase forward contracts and market orders. Choose a company that offers you the services that you require.
How do I send money to Tunisia from Canada?
There are a few different ways to send money to Tunisia, including:
- Banks. If your Canadian bank allows money transfers to Tunisian accounts, you may be able to initiate the process by visiting a branch, logging into your Internet banking or calling your bank. Remember that banks tend to charge high fees for international money transfers. You can also consider sending a bank-issued check, draft or money order to Tunisia by mail. Also known as “snail mail”, this is the slowest way to send money overseas.
- Cash pick up services. Money transfer companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, let you send money to Tunisia from Canada. You can send a transfer online or in person with Western Union, while you must visit a branch location in Canada to send money via MoneyGram.
- PayPal. As long as both you and your recipient have PayPal accounts, you can send and receive money using the service. Accounts are free and easy to set up online.
- Specialist money transfer companies. Companies like WorldRemit and WorldFirst will likely allow you to send money to Tunisia. Since the currency is considered exotic, not many transfer companies offer the service.
How do I receive money from Tunisia in Canada?
There are a few different ways to choose from when receiving money from Tunisia in Canada. These include:
- Banks. Getting the money directly into your bank account is an option. For this to happen, you’ll have to pass your bank account details on to the sender. The sender can initiate the transfer through a bank or a money transfer company. You can also consider receiving a money order, cheque or draft via mail. Also known as “snail mail”, this is the slowest way to send and receive money overseas.
- Cash pick up services. Western Union and MoneyGram let you send money to Canada. You can send a transfer online or in person and have the money available for cash pick up within just minutes.
- PayPal. As long as both you and your recipient have PayPal accounts, you can send and receive money using the service. Accounts can be set up for free online within minutes.
- Specialist money transfer companies. Companies like WorldRemit and WorldFirst may allow you to send money to Canada from Tunisia. These services are online only and have reputable customer service teams, low transfer fees and speedy transfer times.
Emergency cash transfers in Tunisia
If you’re in Tunisia and end up losing your wallet or purse, you should report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen immediately. If you were robbed, you can attempt to obtain a police report. You can then think about getting some emergency money in different ways.
- Cash pickup. You can have a friend or family member send you money via a cash pick up service. Consider using companies like Western Union or MoneyGram, who have hundreds of thousands of locations around the world. Money can be picked up within just minutes.
- Credit card cash advance. If you have an existing MasterCard, Visa or American Express credit card, you can get an emergency cash advance by visiting a local participating financial institution. Keep in mind the money you receive will be added to your credit card balance.
- Travel insurance. Getting the right kind of travel insurance before going to Tunisia is very important. It is recommended that you never travel without insurance. This is because you can then get emergency money to deal with lost and misplaced luggage, flight delays and cancellations, as well as unexpected medical expenses. If you have been robbed or pickpocketed, you should obtain a police report in order to file a claim with your insurance company. This is not the fastest way to receive cash, however it is a good back up plan.
Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Tunisia
Western Union and MoneyGram have a noticeable presence throughout Tunisia. If you wish to collect money from any of their cash pickup centres, you will need a valid reference number as well as an acceptable form of photo ID, such as your passport or driver’s license. If the transfer involves a large sum of money, call the branch location in advance to confirm the availability of the funds. There are some cash pickup centres in Tunisia listed below.
- Agence 61
Comptoir Des Particuliers3 Rue De Hollande TunisTunis+216-71131114Open 8am to 7pm, Monday to Sunday
- Agence Alain Savary
Angle Rue M. Sfar Et A. SavaryTunis+216-71164850Open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
- Agence Sfax Bab Bhar
Angle Avenue Habib Bourguiba Et Marche CSfax+216-71164720Open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
- Agence Sfax Boulila
Sfax Immeuble Lafrane CenterSfax+216-71164321Open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Avenue Mohamed V 10 BisBp 49Tunis+216-71340000Open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Avenue De Londres 16Tunis RpTunis+216-71253751Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Port De PecheSfax+216-4227465Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Avenue Taieb Mhiri 19Sfax+216-4226012Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Tips for picking up cash in Tunisia
The Government of Canada advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Tunisia. They recommend avoiding all non-essential travel to particular regions including the Greater South area and regions bordering Algeria.This is due to violent confrontations between protesters and security forces across a number of cities and towns in Tunisia, as well as terrorist attacks and civil unrest.
There has reportedly been an increase in instances of petty crimes such as bag snatching, pickpocketing, theft and scams. As a result, when you collect money from a cash pickup location, remain vigilant. Theft of valuable items from hotel rooms and vehicles is also not uncommon.
You should exchange foreign currency through banks or authorized dealers only. Keep receipts for all the dinars you obtain. Before you leave Tunisia, you can convert a maximum of 3,000 Tunisian dinars into foreign currency. You cannot take Tunisian dinars out of the country.
What are the steps to send money to Tunisia?
The steps involved in sending money to Tunisia depend on the method you choose.
- Transfer to a bank account. When sending money through your bank, you’ll have to provide your recipient’s name, email and/or address, account number, bank’s name and bank’s SWIFT/BIC code. If you’re using a service provider other than your bank, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card in order to pay the transfer fees. You can use the reference number you receive after sending the transfer to track the transfer’s progress at any stage.
- Cash pick up. If you’re sending money in person, you’ll have to provide your recipient’s name and the desired cash pickup location. When sending money online or over the phone, prepare to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details as well in order to pay transfer fees. After you initiate the transfer, you will receive a reference number. Pass this onto your recipient so they can retrieve the funds. You should also supply them with the amount of money sent and the type of currency sent.