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Case Study: How to compare money transfer companies when sending money to Burundi
Dez is a dynamic young leader of a non-profit organization in America that campaigns against human trafficking. Due to the latest political upheavals and violence between cultural groups in Burundi, most people are advising Dez not go. As an activist, she cannot help herself and goes about getting details for having enough cash resources when she is in Burundi.
After some research using $1,000 USD as a comparison amount, she concludes that her best options are companies that will be able to deliver her cash at agent locations in a safe area.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 1674.50 BIF||1 USD = 1,683.89 BIF|
|Transfer fee||40 USD||25 USD|
|Amount of BIF received in Burundi for 1,000 USD||1,674,500.00 BIF||1,683,890.01 BIF|
|Transfer time||Minutes, 1-2 days||Minutes, 1-2 days|
|Transfer options||Online, Phone, Agent||Online, Phone, Agent|
|Difference in amount||9390.01 BIF||9390.01 BIF|
Steps to send money to Burundi
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Provide your recipient’s name and contact information.
- Choose the amount of money you want to transfer.
- Complete your transaction and save any reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
How did Dez compare money transfer companies?
- Exchange Rates. The exchange rates in Burundi can be volatile depending on the political situation. It would be a smart move to book a rate in advance when things are looking good.
- Pickup Methods. Money can be received in a supported bank account or be picked up at a MoneyGram or Western Union agent location in one of the main towns. It is advised to stick to main cities when picking up cash.
- Fees. When you are comparing different money transfer companies, the fees can sometimes be tolerable due to a better exchange rate, or it can add to an already bad exchange rate.
- Turnaround Time. The turnaround time for sending money to Burundi can take minutes or a couple of days. The availability of currencies can also determine the turnaround time for money to be picked up at an agent location.
- Transfer Methods. The available transfer methods that Dez and her associates can use are to transfer the money through an agent, online account, phone or, where it is supported, a bank to bank account.
- Transfer Options. Depending on the service used, transfer options can include recurring payments, spot contracts, and booked rates.
- Minimum/Maximum Transfer Amounts. Minimum and maximum transfer amounts are important not only on the sending end, but also on the receiving end. It won’t help to send a maximum amount if a maximum amount cannot be received. .
- Customer Service. Customer service is extremely important when visiting countries with a weakened economy and political upheaval. Phone and email support is vital in case of a problem.
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Burundi’s exchange rates is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for Burundi
What are the ways to send money to Burundi?
- Money transfer services – Some available international money transfer companies include MoneyGram and Western Union.
- Banks – Citibank supports the BIF currency but does not report having branches in Burundi itself. A Citibank branch will be able to supply you with the necessary details on how they support the BIF and whether you can send money from the branch to a bank account in Burundi.
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, Burundi. 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.
Urgent cash transfers to Burundi
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Burundi if a relative traveling through the country loses their wallet or a similar misfortune befalls a loved one. When you need to transfer funds urgently, review the exchange rate and transfer fee that will apply to your transaction.
PRO TIP:Tips for picking up cash in Burundi
Whether picking up funds in Bujumbura or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.
- Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
- Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
- Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
- Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.