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Find the best way to send money to Sri Lanka

Learn how to send money to Sri Lanka from the US in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for the best way to send money from the United States to family, friends or businesses in Sri Lanka (or even to your own overseas bank account)?

Don't head straight to your American bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better LKR exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of US dollars you send, your recipient will receive more Sri Lanka rupees.

Of the companies we've compared, MoneyGram is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? Wise (TransferWise) can get money to your recipient in Sri Lanka within minutes.

Best ways to send money to Sri Lanka from the US

The best way to send money to Sri Lanka depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying US dollars or Sri Lanka rupees , money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
  • Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to Sri Lanka, but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. US banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
  • 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 Sri Lanka.
  • 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.
  • 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 Sri Lanka

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Sri Lanka. 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 Sri Lanka.
1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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Cheapest way to send money to Sri Lanka

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to Sri Lanka. MoneyGram and Instarem 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 Sri Lanka, 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 American 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 USD/LKR 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 Sri Lanka rupees your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to Sri Lanka

Many online providers can offer transfers to Sri Lanka within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to Sri Lanka:
  • Wise (TransferWise) — within minutes
  • MoneyGram — within minutes
  • Instarem — within hours

Actual transfer times from the United States to Sri Lanka can depend on several several factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.

Safest way to send money to Sri Lanka

The safest way to get your money to Sri Lanka is to use a provider registered with the United States's industry regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. All the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both the United States and Sri Lanka.

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 Sri Lanka

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to Sri Lanka, consider using a provider such as OFX 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 Sri Lanka may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on the IRS'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 LKR 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 Wise (TransferWise) and Instarem can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to Sri Lanka from the US

To send money to Sri Lanka, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to Sri Lanka. 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".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Sri Lankan bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Make sure you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total Sri Lanka rupees your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to Sri Lanka. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it, too.

Example: Muhammad sends money to Sri Lanka

Muhammad is working in the United States as a software engineer and he regularly contacts his elderly parents back home in Sri Lanka. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Muhammad plans to send them $2,000 from the United States.

He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.

Bank Money transfer company
Exchange rate 1 USD = 299.29 LKR 1 USD = 303.26 LKR
Transfer fee $10 $2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
Amount received 595,594.98 LKR 605,754.06 LKR

The money transfer company enables Muhammad to send an extra \u0dbb\u0dd410,159.08, which is transferred straight to his parents' Bank of Ceylon account.

How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to Sri Lanka

When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United States to Sri Lanka, 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 LKR 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 Sri Lanka 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 Sri Lankan bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type has different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers .
  • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as MoneyGram 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 Sri Lanka faster and cheaper than banks.
  • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, MoneyGram has a transfer limit of $25,000 while Instarem allows unlimited transfers.
  • 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 Sri Lanka rupees.

Is this a good time to send money to Sri Lanka?

Compared to a month ago, the US dollar is stronger against the Sri Lanka rupee. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to \u0dbb\u0dd41,523,900.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to \u0dbb\u0dd41,483,444.00. That's an increase of 2.73% over the past month.

But compared to a year ago, the US dollar is a little weaker against the Sri Lanka rupee. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to \u0dbb\u0dd41,525,788.00. That's a decrease of 0.12% over 12 months.

What's more important, however, is where the strength of the US dollar against the Sri Lanka rupee goes from here – which is harder to call. But whichever way it goes, shopping around has the potential to get you more Sri Lanka rupees for your US dollars and can help you get the best out of any market conditions.

Ready to compare rates?

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Frequently asked questions

Whether products shown are available to you is subject to individual provider sole approval and discretion in accordance with the eligibility criteria and T&Cs on the provider website.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
WorldRemit - 4free
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
PayPal (business)
Within minutes
$0
Provides business solutions for small business owners in over 24 currencies worldwide. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers Business
Within minutes
From $8.16
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 40 currencies, while saving up to 90% over local banks.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
PayPal
Within minutes
From $0
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    lakshikaAugust 2, 2018

    How Can I by the money to Sri Lanka from Friend in USA? And he transfer money through the process in shipment. Is suitable or not and is it legal or not?

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaAugust 11, 2018Finder

      Hi Lakshika,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Regarding your question, did you mean how you can receive the money from the US? If yes, your friend can send you the money by using one of the money transfer service providers listed on this page. Your friend can indicate how you can receive the money. It could be deposited directly into your bank account or you can visit a pick-up location. Physically shipping the money would be more costly and inconvenient.

      Yes, it is legal to send money from the US to Sri Lanka.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    CharmaineMay 12, 2017

    I wish to send money to India from Srlanka, what is the quickest method of sending the money?

      AvatarFinder
      HaroldJune 28, 2017Finder

      Hi Charmaine,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      I highly recommend you check our list of companies who do money transfer to India. Check out that list and see which one best fits your needs.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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