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How to send money to Gambia

Sending money to family or friends in Gambia may seem like a difficult and costly process, but it doesn’t have to be. Money transfers from the United States to Brikama or anywhere else can be quick and affordable. Just compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the best deal.
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    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
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    Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies

    Lamin Dibba came to America as a student. After he completed his college education, he found a suitable job that let him remain in the U.S. Since his parents continue living in Gambia, he wishes to start sending them some money. He figures he can afford to send around $1,000 once every couple of months.

    The U.S. bank he has an account with does not carry out transfers to Gambia, given its exotic currency. Lamin turns to the internet to compare money transfer companies, and this is what he finds.

    Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
    Exchange rate$1 = GMD 26.5109$1 = GMD 27.42305
    Transfer fee$0$13.99
    Amount received for $1,000GMD 26,510.90GMD 27,039.40
    Transfer time1-2 daysInstant
    Transfer optionsBank accountCash pickup
    Difference ofGMD 528.50

    While the second money transfer company charges a fee for its services, it results in Lamin’s father getting more money because of the superior exchange rate.

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    How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Gambia?

    Since there are numerous money transfer companies to choose from, it is important that you compare them across different parameters.

    • The monetary aspect. Some service providers lure customers by offering highly competitive exchange rates or fee-free services. This can be a problem if a high fee accompanies a seemingly favorable rate, or if you get an unfavourable rate while not paying any fees. A simple way to pick the more lucrative option is to compare how much money the recipient stands to receive.
    • Ways to send money. If your bank permits fund transfers to Gambia, you can start the process in person, online or over the phone. Some money transfer companies operate out of stores and kiosks that you can visit to send money in person. Most let you carry out online transfers and some let you initiate the process over the phone as well.
    • Ways to receive money. Some prominent money transfer companies that provide money transfer services to Gambia from America only offer cash pickup as an option. However, you can find some international money transfer companies that let you transfer funds directly into Gambian bank accounts.
    • Methods. If you wish to send money to Gambia regularly, you can benefit from working with a company that lets you schedule automatic transfers based on a frequency of your liking. This takes away the need to go through the entire process repeatedly. Some money transfer companies also offer forward contracts and market orders.
    • Turnaround time. If you’re sending money that the recipient will collect from a cash pickup location, the transfer can go through almost immediately. If you’re sending money to a Gambian bank account, money transfer companies can take one to three days to complete the process. Banks tend to take longer.
    • Minimum limit. Some money transfer companies have minimum limits in place, which can vary from $500 to $1,000.
    • Customer service. Customer service of a money transfer company can play an important role, especially if you plan to send money periodically. Ideally, you should be able to contact a company representative over the phone and via chat, not just via email.
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    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. For example, in January 2018, the US dollar was worth approximately 47.52 Gambian dalasis. Exchange rates are flexible, which means they can change from moment to moment based on influences like interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
    Currency exchange rate for Gambia

    Steps to send money to Gambia

    1. Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
    2. Supply your recipient’s name, contact information and bank account details as required.
    3. Enter the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction.
    4. Keep track of any receipt you receive so you can monitor the progress of your transfer.

    Ways to send money to Gambia from America

    • Bank transfers. Some major banks offer wire transfers to Gambia.
    • Money transfer providers. Online providers like TransferWise and WorldRemit can help you transfer money quickly and easily. World First and OFX are both trusted partners of Finder.com and are offering Finder readers an exclusive deal of $0 in fees.
    • Transfer companies with cash pickup. Providers like Western Union and MoneyGram offer this service — your recipient can sometimes pick up the cast within minutes.
    • PayPal. You can send money abroad using your PayPal account.
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    Picking up cash in Gambia

    Whether you’re picking up cash in Gambia or any other country, 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.

    Same-day transfers to Gambia

    You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Gambia— for example, if a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.

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