Transferring money between Ireland and Latvia isn’t difficult, but if you’re not sure what service to use, it can be more expensive than it has to be. Our guide will cover how to compare transfer services and how you can reduce the large fees often charged by banks.
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Latvia.
This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks versus money transfer companies
You might think the best place to go when you need to send an international money transfer is to your bank. While your bank can help you send money to Latvia, however, they won’t do it cheaply. High fees and low exchange rates are hallmarks of international transfers through banks, so you’re better off looking elsewhere for a more cost-effective solution.
Specialist money transfer companies are the best place to start. These companies offer fast, secure and much more affordable transfers to Latvia and around the world. Their fees are usually lower than the banks’, their exchange rates higher and the transactions can be handled from the comfort of your own home.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Latvia
By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay.
- Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
Back to top
Lukas sends money to Latvia
Lukas wants to send a €1,000 gift from Ireland to his parents in his home country of Latvia. He wants them to spoil themselves for their anniversary, but he doesn’t want the transaction to cost him any more than it has to. Instead of using his bank, which charges a €25 transfer fee, he compares two money transfer companies to get the best deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||1-3 business days||3 business days|
As you can see, Lukas can save €15 in transfer fees by using the second money transfer company.
How to send money to Latvia
- Compare money transfer companies.
- Register with the provider.
- Create your account, including your bank account information.
- Enter your recipient’s personal information and preferred method of pickup–bank account transfer or cash.
- Complete the transaction and pay.
- Save your tracking number to follow up on the progress of your transfer.
Back to top
How safe is a money transfer?
When processed through a reputable provider, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. Many large money transfer services use the same electronic security systems as the banks so there is no undue risk when using a reputable and well-known money transfer service. Money transfer providers operate under a financial licence, which you should be able to check via the provider’s website.
How can I send money to Latvia?
Back to top
- Bank transfers. Most banks in Ireland will allow you to send money to Latvia.
- Money transfer providers. Providers can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers with cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
- PayPal. You can transfer funds from your PayPal into the account of another user in Latvia.
Emergency cash transfers in Latvia
Although it’s completely possible to find a money transfer service that can quickly wire funds from your account in Ireland to someone else in Latvia, this is often the most expensive option. Unless it’s a true emergency–like a relative having an overdue bill–you’re better off finding a company that takes a couple of days rather than hours. It is also likely to cost less in fees.
Picking up cash
Whether picking up funds in Riga or somewhere else in Latvia, you should take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself from becoming a target for thieves.
- Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash.
- Bring a friend. Having someone with you while you’re picking up cash can help. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and you’ll be able to spot a potential threat faster.
- Deposit your money immediately. The longer you walk around with a large amount of money, the more likely you are to lose it. Put it in your bank account or a safe at home as soon as possible to reduce the potential for loss.
- Keep your money hidden. Store your money somewhere on your person, not in a purse or bag.