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Compare services to send money to Indonesia
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, Indonesia. 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.
Banks versus money transfer companies
We use our banks to take care of all our other financial needs, so surely we should use them when we need to send an international money transfer, right? Not necessarily. While major U.S. banks offer money transfer services, they usually present less competitive exchange rates coupled with high transfer fees.
You can often save money by using the services of a dedicated money transfer company. These providers specialize in handling overseas money transfers, offering attractive exchange rates and affordable transfer fees. This translates to big savings for you.
Case Study: Jenny Sends Money to Indonesia
When Jenny’s daughter Lauren headed off for a year of backpacking in Indonesia, Jenny knew the slightly naive teenager was bound to run out of money before the 12 months were up. So when Lauren phoned home after 7 months and requested a quick injection of funds, Jenny was ready with $1,000 to transfer. In order to find the cheapest transfer method, Jenny compared the services of two transfer providers:
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 13,741.61 IDR||1 USD = 13,899.13 IDR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||2-3 business days||1-4 business days|
|Amount received (in IDR)||13,741,610 IDR||13,899,130|
As you can see, not only does the second transfer company offer a $4 saving on fees but it also allows Jenny to send more than 157,000 IDR extra to her daughter.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Indonesia
- Exchange rates. A difference of just a couple of cents in exchange rates can equate to hundreds of dollars once you calculate your transfer amount. Keep an eye out for companies that offer better rates than their competitors.
- Fees. Most companies charge a fee to send your money around the world, though some will waive that fee for large transfers. The fee and the exchange rate determine how much your transfer will cost.
- Transfer methods. Some companies will only offer online transfers but others will also allow you to make transfers over the phone, in a branch or by using a mobile app.
- Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments, or does the company only provide one-off spot orders?
- Turnaround time. Some companies can send transfers within about 10 minutes, while others will take several business days. However, keep in mind that quicker transfers usually cost more.
- Minimum transfer amount. Read the fine print offered by each company to see if they impose a minimum transfer limit. A high minimum transfer limit can severely restrict your transfer options.
- Pickup methods. Bank account transfers and cash pickup from an agent are the two most common options.
- Customer service. It can be very reassuring to know that phone and email customer support will be available if you ever have a question.
How safe is a money transfer?
When processed through a reputable provider, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. When sending money internationally, federal protections are in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees upfront and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.
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. Indonesia’s exchange rate 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 Indonesia
How to send money to Indonesia from America
- Bank transfers. A Bank-to-bank transfer is a secure way to send money to Indonesia, but it can be expensive.
- Online money transfer providers. Companies like WorldRemit and TransferWise offer online transfers to your recipient’s Indonesian bank account.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union and MoneyGram are two companies that offer this option.
- PayPal. PayPal offers secure international money transfers to Indonesia.
- Checks. International checks from your bank are a reliable but slow transfer method.
Steps to send money to Indonesia
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Supply your recipient’s name, contact information and bank account details as required.
- Enter the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction.
- Keep track of any receipt you receive so you can monitor the progress of your transfer.
Same-day cash transfers in Indonesia
There are certain situations when you might need to send a transfer as quickly as possible to Indonesia. When you do need to send an emergency transfer, remember that you will usually have to pay extra in order to get your funds to your beneficiary ASAP. Make sure to check the exchange rate and fees that apply so you know exactly how much it will cost.
Tips for picking up cash in Indonesia
Whether you’re picking up cash in Indonesia or any other country, take a safety-first approach. Use common sense, such as keeping your cash hidden and depositing it with your bank as soon as possible. Taking a friend along with you to collect the funds is also a good idea.
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