Are you looking for ways to send money to Laos? This guide will show you how.
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- Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.
Compare money transfer services to Laos
Comparing money transfers companies for sending money to LaosAilani decided to study in the U.S. Now, as a successful working woman, Ailani wants to pay back some of the student loans she had to take out through her years of study, and also invest into her parents’ lives. She does a comparison of all the money transfer companies available to transfer money back to Vientiane in Laos and draws up the table below using $1,000 USD as her transfer amount.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 8,085.7100 LAK||1 USD = 8,102.4000 LAK|
|Transfer fee||25 USD||10 USD|
|Amount of LAK received for 1,000 USD||7,883,567.2500 LAK||8,004,852.9000 LAK|
|Transfer time||10 minutes||2-4 days|
|Transfer options||Phone, online account, agent||Phone, online, mobile app|
|Difference in LAK||– 121,285.65 LAK||+ 121,285.65 LAK|
After comparing the two, Ailani decided to use transfer company B, since there was no rush to get the funds to her parents.
How should I compare transfer companies when sending money to Laos from America?
- Exchange rates. Bear in mind that currency exchange is only legal at official bank branches. Some of the companies will offer a more competitive exchange rate but might require an actual phone call with a call center to book a rate.
- Delivery methods. Some companies, like Moneygram, can only send a USD amount which will be picked up at an agent location and will still need to be exchanged legally as mentioned above. Western Union sends the cash pickup in LAK. Receiving the money in a bank account is also an option.
- Fees. The fees can vary quite a bit, depending on the type of transfer service used and whether it is above or below certain minimum and maximum amounts. Generally speaking, the marginal increase in fees is justified by the short amount of transfer time.
- Bank to bank benefits. Money transfer services are available through local banks in Laos and in America, but both will require a call or visit to a branch to determine rates and fees.
- Turnaround time. The turnaround time for available companies ranges between a couple of minutes and five days. Anything longer than that is not worth paying for compared to what competition offers.
- Transfer methods. you can choose either a local agent she is comfortable with or set up an online account with regular payments. If she’s hasty and needs someone else to the admin, she can easily phone support and do a payment.
- Transfer options. These include recurring payments, spot contracts, and once-off payments.
- Minimum/maximum transfer amounts. The available options offer freedom in having a wide variety of minimum and maximum amounts.
- Customer service. The services used to send money all offer phone and email support. A physical bank branch might yield the fastest results if you hit a snag somewhere in your payments.
Economic growth in Laos
Even though it has shown strong real GDP growth that has averaged above 8% since 2009, Laos still relies heavily on economic donor support as a Least Developed Country according to worldwide classification.
What are your options to send money to Lao PDR from America?
- Money transfer services – The money transfer companies that can send money to Laos are MoneyGram, Western Union and World First Foreign Exchange. Moneygram and Western Union have a long history of international money transfers and are especially able in sending cash for pickup within minutes. World First Foreign Exchange brings out weekly updates on market exchange rates.
- Banks – Citibank will allow you to send money to Laos. Visit a local branch to determine the available currency options and costs involved.
How can you receive money from Lao PDR in America?
- Money transfer services – Moneygram and Western Union will both allow a person to send money from a local agent in Laos to America for cash pickup or to a bank account.
- Banks – Although Citibank lists branch locations in Laos, support for sending money to America needs to be verified at the branches.
What are the steps to send money to Lao PDR?
|Sending money through a bank or online service provider to a bank account in Lao PDR|
|Send money to a person for cash pickup|
|Picking up cash from an agent location|
Safe ways to send emergency cash transfers to Laos
There is nothing more frightening than having a family emergency halfway across the world. Moneygram and Western Union both offer emergency cash transfers to Laos in multiple locations. Below are locations for some of the bigger areas in Laos.
Tips for picking up cash in Lao PDR
With some transactions, the actual amount received will not necessarily be received in the native currency of Laos. It is advised to make a note that any currency exchange can only happen at an official bank outlet.
Timing is also important in Laos and most money transfer services won’t offer services after 5 p.m. This means that you will need to time trips well with workdays to visit an agent location before it closes – or before available currency runs out!
Always take along something to carry the money in that doesn’t scream to everyone around you that you have a significant amount of cash. Carry the cash in a way that fits into your normal day in life, for example, an envelope in your briefcase.Back to top