On February 27, 2022 the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation issued a warning that the provision of any assistance to a foreign state, including money transfers, during its military operation in Ukraine will be regarded as treason under Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The punishment for this crime is up to 20 years imprisonment.
This means that, at the time of writing, a money transfer from a Russian national to any Ukrainian legal body or Ukrainian person will be considered high treason punishable with up to 20 years of jail time.
National Bank of Ukraine measures
In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the National Bank of Ukraine has adopted a resolution in connection with the declaration of martial law. These measures will affect anyone looking to send money from Ukraine to other countries. Measures include the following:
A moratorium has been introduced on cross-border foreign currency payments - this is a temporary suspension of international money transfer activity.
Cash releases in foreign currency have been prohibited.
Banks issuing e-money are to suspend the issuance of e-money, replenishing e-wallets with e-money and e-money distribution - this is likely referring to fiat currencies held in digital accounts through platforms like Venmo or PayPal.
The foreign exchange market has been suspended, with the official exchange rate fixed as of February 24, 2022.
Cash withdrawals from banks accounts have been limited to UAH 100,000 per day (excluding salary and social benefits).
Given the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it is currently challenging to send money to family, friends or businesses in the country. However, it isn't impossible. Several international money transfer companies and banks are still supporting transfers to Ukraine, with some even temporarily waiving their money transfer fees in order to support the people of Ukraine. Here you can learn more about what money transfer options are at your disposal, as well as compare transfer speeds and any fees attached to sending funds.
Looking for the best way to send money from Canada to family, friends or businesses in Ukraine (or even to your own overseas bank account)?
Don't head straight to your Canadian bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better UAH exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of Canadian dollars you send, your recipient will receive more hryvnias.
Of the companies we've compared, Simplii Financial is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? Simplii Financial can get money to your recipient in Ukraine within minutes.
Best ways to send money to Ukraine from Canada
The best way to send money to Ukraine depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
Bank transfer. Typically the cheapest option, bank transfers are an easy way to send money to Ukraine but are often slower than other methods.
Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in Ukraine.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer. With this type of transfer, the transfer service matches people buying Canadian Dollars in one country with people who are selling it in another, potentially securing a more competitive exchange rate.
Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.
Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Ukraine
Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Ukraine. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to Ukraine.
Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to Ukraine. Simplii Financial and PayPal have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.
When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to Ukraine, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:
Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your Canadian bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market
CAD/UAH exchange rate.
Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many hryvnias your recipient will end up with.
Fastest way to send money to Ukraine
Many online providers can offer transfers to Ukraine within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.
Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to Ukraine:
Simplii Financial — within minutes
Remitly — within an hour
Wise (TransferWise) - Under 10k — within hours
Actual transfer times from Canada to Ukraine can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.
Safest way to send money to Ukraine
The safest way to get your money to Ukraine is to use a provider registered with Canada's industry regulator, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Canada and Ukraine.
A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended
reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.
Large money transfers to Ukraine
If you need to make a sizable money transfer to Ukraine, consider using a provider such as Simplii Financial or Wise (TransferWise) to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.
Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
Tax guidance. Large transfers to Ukraine may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on CRA's latest advice.
Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the UAH exchange rate you want.
Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as Remitly and Simplii Financial can give you support over the phone.
How to send money to Ukraine from Canada
To send money to Ukraine, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
Compare your options.
Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to Ukraine. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
Create an account.
You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
Provide your recipient's details.
Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Ukrainian bank account, you'll need the account number,
SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
Enter your transfer amount.
Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total hryvnias your recipient gets.
Complete your transfer.
Send your money transfer to Ukraine. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to Ukraine
When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from Canada to Ukraine, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:
Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the UAH you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to Ukraine for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
Transfer type. Does your recipient have a Ukrainian bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example,
instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than
Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as Simplii Financial offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to Ukraine faster and cheaper than banks.
Transfer purpose. Whether your transfer is for personal or business reasons influences which provider you want to use. If it is a one-off personal transfer, then fast and cheap may be the way to go. But if you make recurring transfers or send large amounts, a business transfer specialist like may be more economical.
Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Simplii Financial has a transfer limit of $30,000 while Wise (TransferWise) - Under 10k allows transfers up to $1,500,000.
Customer support. If you're sending larger amounts or looking for some guidance, it's important to choose a provider you can contact by phone like Remitly.
Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of hryvnias.
Frequently asked questions
There are multiple ways to pay for your money transfer to Ukraine. The most common payment methods include bank transfer, credit card and debit card.
How you pay can influence how quickly your hryvnias arrive and the total cost of your transfer, so consider both when deciding.
Photo identification: Most providers require a driver's license, passport or other Canadian government-issued ID.
A way to pay: Your options depend on the provider's services. Popular methods include cash, debit or credit card and bank account transfers.
Recipient information: You'll need their name (matching their ID) plus contact details. If sending to a Ukrainian bank account, you'll need their account number, SWIFT and branch details.
Transfer number: The reference number – sometimes called a PIN, MTCN or tracking number.
Government-issued ID: An official ID, such as a Ukrainian passport or driver's license.
The transfer amount: To know how much has been sent, usually to within 10% of the total.
Sender information: The sender's name and address and the transfer's country of origin.
This depends on the provider you choose as each will have its own sending limit. For example, services such as Wise (TransferWise) - Under 10k and TransferGo allow you to transfer as little as $1 while others will have a significantly higher minimum threshold.
Remember that some providers will have maximum transfer amounts as well, either as a result of Canadian tax policies or because their service is more limited. If you need to send a large transfer, look for a provider that has higher or no sending limits to Ukraine.
The turnaround time for a money transfer to Ukraine depends on the provider and how you pay for the transfer. Expect your transfer to arrive within minutes if you pay using cash or with a debit or credit card. Paying by bank transfer can take longer – usually 2–5 days.
Yes, you can still send a money transfer if neither you nor your recipient in Ukraine has a bank account. Look at cash transfer providers such as Simplii Financial where you can pay with cash and your recipient can collect it as cash or as mobile phone reload on the other end.
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