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Send money to Malawi

Compare options based on speed, cost and availability for recipients without bank accounts.

Specialized money transfer companies tend to offer the most competitive rates for international transfers. But you’ll want to choose one that offers delivery methods that work for you and your recipient.

How much does it cost to send money to Malawi? Compare your options

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Within minutes

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Within an hour
From $1.99

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New customers send USD 20 to Lebanon and use code ADD10 for a USD 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.

Compare up to 4 providers

Best ways to send money to Malawi

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Malawi. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others transfer to bank accounts.

1. Digital money transfer services

Companies like XE and PayPal specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective ways to send money to Malawi. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's bank account in Malawi, often in as little as a day or two.
  • Why? Digital money transfer services are cheaper because they exist online and don't have as many employees or physical locations.

2. Cash transfers

Services like WorldRemit and Remitly allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Malawi— 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.
  • Why? Picking up cash is more expensive because more people are involved.

3. Banks

The Malawian kwacha may be offered by your bank, but beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate. Compare bank transfers to digital services and other options before sending a wire transfer to Malawi.
  • Why? Banks offer money transfers as a secondary service so don't strive to offer competitive prices.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Malawi

Let's say you need to send $1,000 to family in Malawi. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates using today's rate of 1 USD = 807.510 MWK.
Digital money transfer service Cash transfer Bank transfer
Fee $0 $4 $25 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate 1 USD = 805.087 MWK 1 USD = 803.472 MWK 1 USD = 767.135 MWK
Transfer speed 1-2 days Minutes 2-5 days
Amount received MWK$805,087 MWK$800,267 MWK$747,956
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Malawi. A digital transfer sends the most, which is MWK$57,131 more than the bank. For speed, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Malawi in as little as 15 minutes. Make sure there's a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.

How to send money to Malawi online

Sign up and send money to Malawi with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Compare and pick a provider before signing up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you'll need their bank account details in Malawi.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Malawi. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

Get the most out of your money transfer to Malawi

Weigh costs and fees against convenience to best compare money transfer providers that send to Malawi. Consider:

  • Exchange rates. The USD–MWK relationship fluctuates, so using a service that allows you to lock in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Malawian kwacha rises against the US dollar.
  • 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 USD–MWK 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 amount of Malawian kwachas you're sending to Malawi.
  • 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 Malawi.
  • Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you're sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a bank account in Malawi or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

How to send money to Malawi without a bank account

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 Malawian kwachas without a bank account.

Emergency cash transfer

When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Malawi 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.

Malawi's exchange rates explained

Banks and money transfer companies use exchange rate to calculate how much Malawi's currency is worth when converted to USD. The USD-MWK relationship can change daily based on global economic stability, interest rates, inflation and more.

Today's exchange rate USD to MWK

Updated: 24 Oct 2021 05:59:57 UTC

What to watch out for

Sending money to relatives or family members in Malawi may be subject to taxes on the money transfer and certain documents may be required.

Taxes on transfers to Malawi

In general, any large transfers being sent from the US to Malawi should be filed with the IRS to avoid any penalties.

Required information

Receiving money in Malawi:

  • Transfer confirmation details like a transfer number, an MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID like a passport or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer.
  • Sender's information. Take along your sender's full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

Sending to Malawi from the US:

  • Proof of identification like a government-issued ID or your SSN number.
  • Recipient information like their name, address and bank account information in Malawi.

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to Malawi 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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