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Facts about Sending Money to Afghanistan That Can Help You save Money

Information verified correct on January 19th, 2017

How to send money to Afghanistan without hassle or fear.

Afghanistan has experienced vast amounts of political turmoil in the last couple of years and it has shown in its economic relations with many countries, including Australia.

Fortunately, there have been elements of growth taking place between Afghanistan and Australia. Exports to Afghanistan have increased by 57% in the last year. Australia has a list of tenders available that offer opportunities for business in Afghanistan and a Direct Aid Program allows for grant schemes that support and enhance the long-term productivity and sustainability of the natural and physical resources that Afghanistan offers.

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Rates last updated January 19th, 2017

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Money transfer companies vs no banks to send money

Jack has long been involved in political activism and has recently decided to do some journalling in Afghanistan to gain a better perspective of what’s really going on there. Because of the rich history, especially with regards to unstable conditions, he has decided to weigh up all his options for sending money ahead and also to receive money in emergency situations. He does calculations on money transfer companies only as he can’t find data on banks, but he notes that Citibank lists Afghanistan in its chain of global banks.

Money transfer company AMoney transfer company B
Exchange rateUSD $1 = AFN 64.82USD $1 = AFN 66.06
Transfer feeVaries based on amount sendingVaries based on amount sending
Amount of AFN received in Afghanistan for USD $1,000AFN 64,824.23AFN 66,061.80
Transfer timeMinutesMinutes
Transfer optionsOnline, mobile, account, cash pickupOnline, mobile, account, cash pickup
Difference in AFN+ AFN 1,237.57- AFN 1,237.57
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Variables to use when comparing banks and money transfer companies

Jack is very aware that the more research he can do before heading over, the better his day-to-day journalling can flow. When entering a country with known political and violent upheavals, it’s vital to compare data so that money is sent or received reliably.

  • Exchange rates and fees. Moneygram and Western Union both have higher fees than standard money transfer companies but offer competitive exchange rates.
  • Pickup methods. Cash pickup available at agent locations.
  • Fees. Because of the limited services available when sending money to Afghanistan, you can expect fees exceeding $USD 30.
  • Bank to bank benefits. None.
  • Turnaround time.  You need emergency cash, both Western Union and Moneygram can send money that will be available for pickup within minutes.
  • Transfer methods. You can either visit a branch or fill in the online application.
  • Transfer options. You can do international money transfers, mobile money transfers and quick pay.
  • Minimum transfer amounts. No clear minimum amounts are specified in the available services, but daily maximum limits of USD $5,000 can be expected.
  • Customer service. Western Union and Moneygram both have a big international brand and are reputable sources when going into unknown countries or towns for cash pickup.
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Two options you can use to send and receive money between Afghanistan and America

Due to its unstable economic and political past, the infrastructure for financial services in Afghanistan is still in development. In the meantime, banks in Afghanistan offer little insight on whether they can send money out of Afghanistan, and Citibank only mentions its reach into Afghanistan without international transfer details. When sending money to Afghanistan or receiving it in the United States, there is currently only one option available in Jack’s mind:

  • Money transfer services. Moneygram and Western Union allow you to send money from a branch or agent to various agent pickup locations in Afghanistan.
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  • How to do emergency money transfers to Afghanistan

Jack wants to be prepared for anything and has found that Moneygram and Western Union both offer money transfer options that allows a recipient to get cash within minutes. The cost of the transfers is usually higher than standard money transfer companies. Due to the speedy delivery of funds, Jack decides this is well worth the higher fees but also notes that he needs to find out about potential delays on the receiving end in Afghanistan.

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How quickly can the recipient collect transferred funds?

According to Western Union, once you’ve completed the transaction online and received your receipt with a tracking number (MTCN), the recipient will be able to collect the money within “minutes” from participating agent locations around the world. However, this will depend on the availability of funds at the receiving agents, exchange rate fluctuations, operating hours and local regulations on incoming funds. Contact a local agent before sending funds needed urgently.

 

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Find a money transfer location near you

Solid tips for receiving your money in Afghanistan
Afghanistan has faced war, violence and political turmoil over the past couple of years. It’s important to stick to main towns and not wander into unknown places when looking for a cash pickup agent. Moneygram and Western Union list  their cash pickup locations on their respective websites, so make sure to research the area well before heading to a location in a smaller town. When picking up cash, have valid photo ID and the correct reference or transaction number. Bringing a copy of the original receipt and the sender’s details is also recommended.

What will you need to send money to Afghanistan?

Before visiting a money transfer company branch, check for any additional requirements listed for that branch on the company website or by phoning in advance.

When sending money from America using a service like Western Union, you’ll need the following:

  • The recipient’s full name (as it appears on their ID) and address, and a Visa or MasterCard credit card, debit card or prepaid card issued by an American bank. You also must be over 18.
  • When you first register with Western Union, you will need to provide certain information to so that your identity can be confirmed and an online profile can be created for you. You’ll need an American driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport for this.
  • If additional information is needed, you may be asked to phone the call centre.
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