If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck when sending money to Zambia, check out this useful guide, which breaks down the difference between banks and online transfer companies, and offers a side-by-side comparison between the two services.
Send money to Zambia with WorldRemit
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Choose how you want to send your money - via bank transfer, cash pickup or mobile money
Some Canadian banks may allow transfers to Zambia but they tend to charge high transfer fees and offer poor exchange rates. On the other hand, using the services of a dedicated money transfer company can secure you cheaper transfer fees and more competitive exchange rates, in addition to fast transfer speeds.
Case study: Thandi sends money to Zambia
Thandi has been living and working in Winnipeg for a couple of years and she sends money home from time to time to help her parents, who run a small grocery store in Lusaka. She has always used her bank to facilitate wire transfers, but is fed up with their sub-par exchange rates and a steep $50 fee per transfer. She decides to compare two online money transfer providers to see if she can track down a better deal. The comparison below is based on exchange rates in the fall of 2018, so check current rates before making your choice.
Money transfer company A
Money transfer company B
CAD$1 = 7.12 ZMW
CAD$1 = 7.01 ZMW
Amount of ZMW received in Zambia for $1,000
Online, by phone or at a branch
Thandi realizes that she can save around ZMW 110 (around $11.50) in the exchange rate with the second money transfer option, with an additional $31 in fees. If Thandi sends money every month, this amounts to approximately $510 over the course of one year.
What factors should you consider when transferring money between Zambia and Canada?
Exchange rates and fees. Compare the exchange rate on offer with the transfer fees charged by each company. Look for an exchange rate that’s as close as possible to the mid-market rate (which is the rate you can find by searching “CAD to ZMW exchange rates” on Google).
Pick-up methods. You can generally send money directly into your recipient’s bank account or make cash available for pick-up at an agent or branch location.
Turnaround time. The turnaround time for each company can range from just a couple of minutes for cash transfer companies to up to three business days for other money transfer companies. Banks generally take three to five days to send money.
Customer service. Always choose a reputable company that has positive feedback from customers. If you have any problems, find a company that will allow you to contact them via phone, email or online chat.
How to send money to Zambia from Canada
Banks. Some Canadian banks may let you send money directly to Zambian bank accounts, in which case you’ll need the recipient’s bank account details. You can also think about sending a bank-issued cheque, money order or bank draft using snail mail.
Non-banks. Cash transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have several cash pick-up locations in Zambia. Other money transfer companies like WorldRemit allow you transfer money directly to a Zambian bank account. PayPal also allows transfers to Zambia from Canada, so long as both you and your recipient have PayPal accounts.
Emergency cash transfers in Zambia
Cash transfer providers like MoneyGram and Western Union can be a real lifesaver in the event of an emergency but buyer beware:these are often the most expensive options for sending money overseas. Make sure to pay special attention to the overall cost of exchange rates and transfer fees before you sign on the dotted line.
Tips for picking up cash
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian visitors to Zambia exercise a high degree of caution (as of 01 October 2018). Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatchings and vehicle break-ins are common, particularly in and around bus and railway stations, nightclubs, some shopping areas in Lusaka, Copperbelt towns, other main cities and tourist centres. If you do need to collect cash, look for an agent location in a safe neighborhood and call ahead to make sure they’ll have cash on hand. Visit during daylight hours in the company of a good friend and return to your hotel to stow your cash in a safe place as quickly as possible.
Steps to send money to Zambia
The steps you have to follow when sending money to Zambia from Canada depend on the method you choose.
To a bank account. If you’re sending money through your Canadian bank, you may need to provide your recipient’s name and account details, along with a SWIFT code (which is an international banking code). The same information is typically required by a money transfer service, but you will need to go through the additional step of registering for an account, which often takes less than 10 minutes.
To a cash pick-up location. You’ll need to provide the name of the recipient along with a desired cash pick-up location. To pay for the transfer, you should provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. After initiating the transfer, you’ll receive a reference number, which your recipient will need to collect the cash.
Claire Horwood is a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, along with an Associate's Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire's coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. She has also worked extensively in the field of "Blended Finance" with the Canadian government. In her spare time, Claire loves rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee.
Read Finder’s BoC Interest Rate Forecast Report for forecasts from some of Canada’s brightest minds in economics and property as well as their thoughts on how recent rate hikes could affect Canada’s property market.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.