When you want to send money to family, friends or colleagues in Ghana, you don’t want to deal with a complicated and expensive process. Whether you use bank transfers or online transactions, compare transfer fees and exchange rates to help you get the best deal.
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Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Ghana. Some offer cash pickup in as little as few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Banks, PayPal and other options are available, but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Ghana bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Digital money transfer services often let you send money to Ghana mobile money accounts. These accounts, also known as mobile wallets in Ghana, allow recipients to receive and spend money directly from their mobile phones without having to visit an agent location or bank.
Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Ghana — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.
Ghanaian Cedis aren’t a popular currency, so your local bank probably won’t be able to exchange them. If your bank does support Ghanaian Cedis, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,500 to Ghana
Let’s say you need to send $1,500 to family in Ghana. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of April 23, 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 USD = 5.734 GHS
1 USD = 5.756 GHS
1 USD = 5.621 GHS
Better than a bank transfer
Fastest and best value
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the cash transfer, your recipient can receive 320 Ghanaian cedis more than the bank and the money will typically be delivered to Ghana in as little as 15 minutes.
How to send money to Ghana online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Ghanaian bank account details.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Ghana. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Ghana
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Ghana to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The USD-GHS relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of Ghanaian cedis you’re sending.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Ghana.
Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between the US and Ghana, which means companies with high minimum transfers may not be your best choice.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Ghana bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
When it’s more important to get your money to Ghana quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Ghana’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Ghana’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the US dollar, which means it shifts daily, if not more. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Ghana
To send money to Ghana from the US, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Ghana may be different by company.
Documents to send money from the US
To send money from the US to Ghana, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SSN.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Ghanaian bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Ghana
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. A Ghanaian Passport, Ghanaian Driving License or a similar government-issued ID is typically required to pick up cash.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
According to the US Embassy in Ghana, the most common types of money scams involving Ghana typically include:
Disbursement of money from wills.
Contract fraud (C.O.D. of goods or services).
Purchase of real estate.
Conversion of hard currency.
Transfer of funds from over invoiced contracts.
Sale of crude oil at below market prices.
Sale of gold at below market prices.
Advance fees or ‘gifts’ requested to enable U.S. companies to be awarded lucrative tender.
Advance fees to finalize an offer of employment.
For detailed descriptions and more information on how to detect a money transfer scam when sending money to Ghana, visit the US Embassy in Ghana’s website on money transfer scams.
Sending your hard-earned money to Ghana shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder who’s been specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for four years — covering everything from ICO booms, crypto winters, memecoins and more. He’s mined and minted cryptocurrencies, and remembers the days when DOGE was just for fun. Zak’s focus is in breaking down technical concepts (like yellow papers) for the average folk to digest on their morning commute. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.
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