Burundi

Super Easy ways to Send Money to Burundi

Information verified correct on January 20th, 2017

How to send and receive money between Burundi and America

Burundi is a landlocked country with a rich history of violence and cultural divides. Much of its economy, or 40% to be more precise, is supported by foreign aid. Fortunately for the rest of the world, one part of its agricultural exports that employs 90% of its labour force, is coffee and tea exports.

The country is known for its coffee that has intensely bold flavor qualities as rich as its volatile history, with a sweetness that hints at the potential of the country. Many Americans have no doubt enjoyed a cup of single-origin Burundi on their way to work.

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Rates last updated January 20th, 2017

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USD 20
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An online money transfer service ... An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
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World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee ... Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
USD 500 2 days
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Case Study: How to compare money transfer companies for 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 and potentially stranded.

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 AMoney transfer company B
Exchange rate1 USD = 1674.50 BIF1 USD = 1,683.89 BIF
Transfer fee40 USD25 USD
Amount of BIF received in Burundi for 1,000 USD1,674,500.00 BIF1,683,890.01 BIF
Transfer timeMinutes, 1-2 daysMinutes, 1-2 days
Transfer optionsOnline, Phone, AgentOnline, Phone, Agent
Difference in amount9390.01 BIF9390.01 BIF

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How did Dez compare money transfer companies to send and receive money between Burundi and the United States?

  • Exchange Rates. The exchange rates in Burundi can be in a volatile state depending on the political situation. It can 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.
  • Bank to Bank Benefits. Bank to bank relationships to Burundi from other international locations is limited. Citibank supports the BIF currency but does not necessarily transfer money to bank accounts in Burundi.
  • 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 is 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. Or, if a low amount is sent from Burundi where there is no minimum sending amount sent and the currency is too weak to actually have a AUD available for that amount.
  • Customer Service. Customer service is extremely important when visiting countries with a weakened economy and political upheaval as Burundi does in the latter 2015 and 2016. Make use of MoneyGram and Western Union’s phone support and compare which supports you best. Email support is vital in having tracking records of conversations where difficulties arise and is advised where possible to cover your own tracks when sending money and experiencing a difficulty.
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How can friends of Dez send some money to Burundi from America?

  • Money transfer servicesAvailable international money transfer companies are MoneyGram, Western Union, and World First Foreign Exchange.
  • 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.
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How can you receive money from Burundi when you are in the United States?

If any of Dez’s fellow activists will need money from her, she will need to go to an agent location as specified below and send money through a MoneyGram or Western Union service. If the bank is supported in America, she can send money to a bank account that supports the BIF currency for e.g. Citibank. Alternatively, she can send money to a MoneyGram or Western Union agent location in Australia and one of her associates can do a cash pickup.

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  • Urgent emergency cash transfers to Burundi

For emergencies, Dez can go to one of the agent locations in Burundi’s main towns where there is preferably a lot of business activity. Below are listed a couple of MoneyGram and Western Union locations for a cash pickup. She can visit one of these agent locations with her photo ID and tracking or reference number to pick up cash that has been sent to her.

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PRO TIP:

Don’t ignore these tips for picking up cash in Burundi!

Burundi in its current state is not a travel-friendly country. The Australian government has declared it as too politically unstable, a hotspot for terrorist attacks, and extremely high in crime and violence to travel to.

This means that in the case of Dez, she has herself in a tricky situation. The general safety advice is to not travel at night ever, and to stay away from areas other densely populated business areas. Public transport has also received a no-go from travellers. Because of severe laws against money theft, Dez is advised to carry more than sufficient proof that the money she picks up is intended for her.

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What are the steps that you need to follow to send money to Burundi?

When sending to an agent location in Burundi:
1. You will need a copy of the photo ID to be safe and details of recipient
2. The details of the specific agent location (to make sure they have the available currencies)
3. Specified amount
4. If you’re doing it online, you will need to register an account with the service provider you are going to use.
If you are sending money to a supported bank account in Burundi:
1. Details of the bank and bank account number
2. The branch number of the bank along with any of the necessary SWIFT / BIC / IBAN details
3. Amount in the supported currency
4. Details of the recipient
Background information about Burundi

Burundi experienced a consistently high Real GDP growth above worldwide averages up until the end of 2015. Political instability in 2015 had a negative impact on the latest 2015 Real GDP reports, but fortunately, its coffee exports have not disappeared! Australia is Burundi’s 24th highest export destination and ranks Australia as 32nd in its sources of imports.

Main imports from Australia is in the form of wheat which totals A$812,000 of the almost A$1 million imports. Total merchandise trade between the two countries reaches just past A$1.5 million.

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