How to send money to the Central African Republic (CAR)

Your options will be limited, but you can still get competitive rates.

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The Central African Republic is not a popular transfer destination, which means you’ll have fewer providers to choose from. But you can still save money by using a transfer specialist instead of your bank.

Restrictions on sending money to the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is subject to international sanctions. As a result, you may be required to provide additional information when sending money there, and some transfers may be restricted.

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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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Step-by-step: How to send money to the Central African Republic

  1. Compare money transfer services and choose the one that’s best for you.
  2. Create an account on the chosen transfer service’s website.
  3. Create a new money transfer. Enter the amount you want to send and the recipient’s details in the space provided.
  4. Confirm the details of the transfer, provide any additional information the transfer service requires and make your payment.

What’s the best way to send money to the Central African Republic?

There are several different ways of sending money transfers to the CAR. The following are the main options:

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Money transfer services

Money transfer services will offer different options to suit the recipient, including bank account deposit, cash pickup or mobile money account deposit.

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Cash transfers

Cash transfer services will let the recipient pick up cash at agent locations around the country.

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Banks

Some banks will offer money transfers to the Central African Republic, but these can be slower and more expensive than other options.

How long will it take to send money to the Central African Republic?

How long it takes depends on the transfer method you choose. If you pay with your bank account and have the money deposited into your recipient’s bank account, it will often be quite slow. Paying by card and having the funds delivered to a mobile wallet or cash pickup location will be a lot faster, often within the same day.

Emergency cash transfer

Services like MoneyGram and Western Union can let you pay with cash at a wide range of agent locations and let the recipient almost immediately pick up cash in the Central African Republic.

But the transfer speed will still be subject to the receiving agent’s business hours and how fast the recipient can get to an agent.

How to send money to the Central African Republic without a bank account

If you don’t have a bank account, you can still send money by paying with cash. The recipient can similarly get the money without a bank account.

If you have a mobile account with a service like Orange Money, you may be able to send mobile money directly to the recipient without either of you needing a bank account.

What to watch out for

There are restrictions on currency imports, which vary depending on which country they’re coming from.

Meanwhile, due to risk factors in the Central African Republic, incoming money transfers may be subject to additional scrutiny and controls.

Documentation you’ll need to send money to the Central African Republic

When sending money to the Central African Republic, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Your personal details, including your name, address and other information.
  • The transfer details, including the amount, the currencies and the recipient’s details.
  • The reason for sending the money. You may be required to provide evidence of this. For example, an invoice if you’re sending a business payment or some kind of proof of relation if you’re sending money to your family.

You’ll generally need to provide documentation including personal identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, and you may also be required to provide additional documents to verify your reason for sending the money.

What to compare to get the best deal

When comparing money transfer options for the Central African Republic, look at the following:

  • Fees.How much will you be charged for the transfer?
  • Exchange rates.How many Central African CFA francs will you be getting for your money?
  • Transfer speed.How long will it take the funds to arrive?
  • Payment options.What are your payment options?
  • Delivery methods.How can the recipient collect their funds?
  • Customer service.Will you be able to contact the transfer service promptly in the event of a delay or other issues?

Foreign exchange rates explained

Exchange rates show how much of one currency you’ll get for another. The chart below shows the current mid-market rates, but transfer services will often have their own exchange rates.

To work out how much you’re paying in exchange rate margins, compare a quoted exchange rate from a transfer service to the mid-market rates.

Today’s exchange rate USD to XAF

Cash pickup locations in the Central African Republic

Bottom line

The West African CFA franc isn’t one of the world’s most popular currencies, which means your transfer options will be limited. But you can still choose to send money via bank deposit, mobile money or cash. To get the best deal on your next transfer, compare money transfer providers before getting started.
Image source: Getty Images

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