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Send money to Yemen
Safe, secure and cost-effective transfer options when you need to send money to Yemen.
Due to the ongoing Yemeni Civil War, which began in 2015, there is an increased need to send money to Yemen, particularly for the 6,500+ Canadians who claim Yemeni descent and have family and friends still living in the region. While Yemen is often listed as a “no money transfer zone” by banks and other services due to the volatile nature of the political situation in the country, there are still options for sending your money to this fragile and conflict-affected state.
- Banks. Many Canadians trust their banks to facilitate international money transfers, but this typically isn’t an option when it comes to sending money to Yemen. Even in cases where it is an option, many banks often charge a much steeper price tag than dedicated money transfer services.
- Cash transfer services. Western Union is one of the only cash transfer agents operating in various parts of Yemen, including Sana, Mukalla, Aden and Taiz. MoneyGram can also facilitate transfers to 34 cities in Yemen. Most other money transfer companies won’t send money to the region
- Bitcoin. You can buy Bitcoin in Canada which can then be sent to Yemen and converted into Yemeni rial. As of September 2018, a Bitcoin costs around $8,488. You can also purchase portions of Bitcoin to send overseas.
Case study: Mahmoud sends money to Yemen
style=”font-size: 16px;”>Mahmoud obtains refugee status and is resettled in Ottawa with his wife and three children. Although his family is becoming accustomed to life in Canada, Mahmoud is concerned about his mother and father who are still living in Yemen. Mahmoud has managed to find a job with a technology firm style=”font-size: 16px;”> in the city and is ready to start sending money home to his parents in Aden. Since Mahmoud can’t send money to Yemen with his bank account, he decides to look at the services of two reputable money transfer providers.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = YER 180||CAD$1 = YER 190|
|Transfer method||Online transfer||Online transfer|
|Transfer time||1 – 3 days||1 – 3 days|
|Amount received (in QAR)||YER 180,000||YER 190,000|
Mahmoud realizes that he can save YER 10,000 style=”font-size: 16px;”>(around $52) in the exchange rate with the second money transfer option, with an additional $2 in fees. If Mahmoud sends money every month, this amounts to almost $648 over the course of one year.
While Mahmoud doesn’t claim to have all the answers, he does have some advice to offer if you’re not sure what to look for when booking a transfer to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
- Transfer rates and fees. A better exchange rate does not necessarily translate into a better deal if you need to pay higher fees. Compare quotes from 3 – 4 services to get the best combination of low fees and competitive exchange rates.
- Various transfer methods. Transfer options can include cash pickups, bank-to-bank transfers and even mobile wallet top-ups. It’s a good idea to lock in a service that works best for both you and your recipient.
- Fast transfer times. If you need to send money to Yemen, the processing time for your transaction will depend on multiple factors. While the service provider you choose plays a role, there are also various parts of Yemen that suffer from intermittent Internet connectivity problems which can also work to delay your transfer. If you need to send money quickly, your best bet is to bank on a cash transfer service like Western Union.
- Minimum transfer amounts. The service provider you choose may have a minimum transfer limit in place, which can vary from $100 to $1,000, or its near equivalent in other currencies.
- Reliable customer service. Some companies set the bar high when it comes to customer service, so make sure to settle on a service that will make sure your transfer ends up in the right place at the right time, no questions asked.
If you need to send cash to a friend or loved one in Yemen in a matter of minutes, you can book a cash transfer with a service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These companies can be extremely helpful in case of an emergency, but they aren’t necessarily the cheapest option. If you have time to spare, it pays to do your research even if this requires you to wait a little bit longer for your transfer to process. In the case of a lost or stolen purse or wallet, your insurance policy might also be able to provide you with emergency assistance. You can also think about getting a cash advance using your existing Visa or MasterCard.
The Canadian Government advises Canadians against travelling to all parts of Yemen and has even advised all Canadians currently residing in the country to leave due to the high levels of ongoing conflict. style=”background-color: #ffffff; font-size: 14.928px;”>If you do decide to enter the country, be aware that there are only limited options for crossing the border and the Government of Canada cannot guarantee consular services to Yemen. If you need to collect cash while in the country, be sure to visit an agent location during daylight hours in the company of a trusted friend. Secure your cash in a safe place – like a purse or money belt – before leaving the office and return immediately to your hotel to secure your cash in a safe deposit box if possible.
- Transfer to bank account. If you want to transfer funds using your bank, you’ll need to provide your recipient’s name, account number, bank name and transit code. If you’re using the services of a specialist online money transfer company, you’ll need to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. Make sure all details are correct before lodging the transfer to avoid any problems.
- Cash pickup. To send money in person, you’ll need to provide your recipient’s name and the desired cash pick-up location. The cash transfer company might also want to verify your identity.
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