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How to send money to Malawi

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


Fact checked

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

The table below shows how much it costs to send money to Malawi with different providers. Enter your transfer details into the table below to get an estimate.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 733.034 MWK 3,665,170 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
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USD 1 Same day USD 0.00 737.106 MWK 3,685,532 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 737.329 MWK 3,683,701 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Step by step: How to send money to Malawi

To send money to Malawi, complete the following steps:

  1. Compare transfer services and pick the one that’s best for you.
  2. Go to its website, create an account and wait to be verified.
  3. Fill out the transfer form with details such as the recipient and the amount.
  4. Confirm the information and make your payment.

What’s the best way to send money to Malawi?

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Money transfer services

Specialist money transfer services will often offer a range of payment and delivery options. These tend to be the cheapest options available.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Cash transfer services are a popular option, but although they’re convenient and fast, they can also be expensive.

Picture not described: BlueBankIcon_Infogram_62x56.png Image: Infogram


Many banks will let you send money to Malawi, but this will often be slower and more expensive than other options.

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

The table below shows how much it costs to send $1,000 to Malawi with two different services. The first is a company that lets you send cash from an agent location in the US for pickup in Malawi. The second lets you pay online using a bank account or credit card, but still lets your recipient pick it up as cash.

Cash transferMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1 USD = 664.6540 MWK1 USD = 725.2035
Transfer speedWithin minutesWithin minutes
Amount receivedMWK660,001.42MWK715,783.11
OverallMWK55,781.69 lessMWK55,781.69 more

In this case, using the online provider lets you send an extra MWK55,782, or about US$75, to your recipient. It’ll get there just as fast, but you’ll need a credit card, debit card or bank account to be able to use the service.

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How long will it take to send money to Malawi?

How long it takes to send money to Malawi will depend primarily on your payment method and the recipient’s collection method.

Making your payment with card or cash instead of a bank transfer can speed things up. Similarly, if your recipient elects to get the money as a cash pick-up or mobile money payment rather than a bank transfer, it can also be faster.

Emergency cash transfer

If you need to send money to Malawi ASAP, a cash transfer may be the most suitable option.

You can pay with card or cash at a cash transfer agent in your location, and the money can be available for pickup at various spots in Malawi within minutes.

What services send emergency transfers?

How to send money to Malawi without a bank account

Cash transfer services can also be helpful if you don’t have a bank account but need to send money. Similarly, your recipient may also find them to be a convenient choice if they don’t have a bank account.

What to watch out for

Malawi is an underbanked country, and the majority of people in Malawi don’t have a bank account. This means that cash is going to be one of the best delivery options.

But more residents have mobile money accounts than bank accounts, so if your recipient is among them, you might be able to save money by sending funds to their phone number directly.

Documentation you’ll need to send money to Malawi

Transfers will typically involve providing the following information and documentation:

  • Identification. You will need to provide personal identification such as a driver’s license, as well as some details about yourself.
  • Transfer amount. You need to say how much you want to send before paying that amount plus the fees.
  • Recipient’s details. You also need to say who you’re sending the money to and provide some details so the recipient can pick up their money.
  • Reason for sending the money. You may be asked to provide a reason for sending the money.

What to compare to get the best deal

  • Fees. How much are you paying in upfront costs?
  • Exchange rates. How much money will your recipient get?
  • Transfer speed. How long will the transfer take?
  • Payment options. How do you want to pay for your transfer?
  • Delivery methods. How does the recipient want to collect their money?
  • Customer service. Who do you contact in case something goes wrong?

Foreign exchange rates explained

Exchange rates are how much of one currency you get for another. The mid-market rate (shown below) is the official exchange rate at any given time, but the actual exchange rates offered by transfer services will vary.

Generally, the best exchange rates will be the ones as close to the mid-market rate as possible.
Today’s exchange rate USD to MWK

Cash pickup locations in Malawi

Bottom line

Using an online transfer provider is generally the cheapest way to send money to Malawi. If you’re in a hurry, look for a provider that offers cash pickup so that your recipient can get the money almost instantly. And to get the best deal, compare money transfer providers before getting started.

Compare money transfer services now

Image source: Getty Images

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