Find the best exchange rate and low fees when you send money to Nepal from the United States.
Close to 50,000 American tourists visit Nepal every year, while more than 300,000 Americans can trace their ethnic origins back to Nepal. As Nepal’s tourism industry grows and ties between the two countries continue to grow ever stronger, more people are looking for the cheapest and easiest way to send funds from the United States to Nepal.
There are several options to choose from when you need to send money internationally, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to shop around for a better deal before committing to a transaction.
Banks versus money transfer services
As the Nepalese Rupee is an exotic currency within global markets, most banks will not offer you the option of sending Nepalese Rupees overseas. Instead, you may need to send US Dollars which can then be converted into Nepalese Rupees at your recipient’s bank.
Banks aren’t necessarily the cheapest option when it comes to international money transfers as they offer low exchange rates and charge high fees on transfers. A more cost-effective option is to use a specialist money transfer company that, rather than offering a diverse array of products and services, concentrates solely on moving money internationally. Such companies typically offer better exchange rates, lower fees and faster processing times.
John’s 19-year-old daughter Amanda has gone to Nepal for a backpacking holiday to “find herself”. Unfortunately, after a couple months of travelling, Amanda’s bank balance is starting to get low. She phones home to ask her dad to send her $1,000 and when John discovers his bank won’t allow him to send money to Nepal, he jumps online to compare the services of different money transfer providers. The results of his comparison are below.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 99.52||1 USD = 100.53 NPR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Processing time||2 business days||3 days|
|Amount received (in Nepalese Rupees)||99,520||100,530 NPR|
As the results show, while one transfer service offers a lower transfer fee and a faster processing time, using its services will mean Amanda receives 1,010 NPR fewer than if John uses the second transfer company.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Nepal
- Exchange rates. It’s vital to compare the exchange rates offered by a range of providers to see how they stack up against the competition. However, remember that some companies may charge high fees in conjunction with their better-than-average exchange rates.
- Transfer fees. You should consider all the fees that will be associated with your transaction. Low fees can end up saving you a whole lot of money.
- Transfer methods. Can you lodge your transfer over the phone, online or by visiting a branch?
- Transfer options. Some providers allow you to take advantage of market conditions by placing forward contracts; others enable you to schedule regular payments in advance.
- Transfer time. Can your money arrive to your recipient within minutes, or will they need to wait several days for the funds to be deposited into their bank account?
- Pickup methods. While some providers only offer cash pickup services, others will offer the opportunity to transfer funds direct to a Nepalese bank account.
- Minimum transfer amounts. Keep an eye out for minimum transfer amounts that may affect your ability to transfer small sums.
- Customer service options. If you ever need assistance with a transaction, does the provider offer phone, email and online support?
How to send money to Nepal from America
- Bank transfers. Speak to your bank to check whether it offers the opportunity to transfer funds to a Nepalese bank account.
- Online money transfer providers. Companies like Ria and WorldRemit allow you to send funds online to a bank account in Nepal.
- Money transfer provider with cash pickup options. Western Union and MoneyGram are two providers that allow you to send funds that can be collected from agent locations in Nepal.
- Checks/telegraphs. Sending an international guaranteed check is another way to securely transfer funds overseas.
Emergency cash transfers in Nepal
There are some situations where you may need to send funds as quickly as possible, such as in John’s example in the case study above. In those cases, keep an eye out for any differences in exchange rates and fees that your provider may charge you for the privilege of having your funds sent as quickly as possible. Failing to do so can end up costing you a whole lot of money, so double check all the details of your transfer before you submit it.
Cash pickup locations in Nepal / Western Union / MoneyGram / Ria branches in Nepal
Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria all allow you to transfer funds which can be picked up by your recipient from agent locations across Nepal. Your recipient will need to provide photo ID and a transaction reference number when picking up the cash, while it’s also a good idea to confirm an agent’s opening hours before sending your transfer.
Check out a list of popular agent locations in Nepal below.
Atlas Savings and Credit Co-operative
Ka Ma Na Pa Ward No 14
Open 9:30am to 5:30pm Sunday to Thursday
A to Z Money Exchange
Ka Ma Na Pa Ward No 29
Open 9:15am to 6:15 pm seven days
Western Union does not have any locations in Pokhara
Evershine Money Transfer
Way of American Embassy
Open 9am to 7pm seven days
Open 9am to 5pm Sunday to Friday
Sabhagriha Chowk New Road Pokhara
Open 8am to 6pm Sunday to Friday, 11am to 4pm Saturday
Near Police Beat
Open 8am to 5pm Sunday to Friday, 8am to 12pm Saturday
Opposite Rastrya Banijya Bank
Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 2pm
Reliable Finance Ltd
New Road, Ranjana Galli, Kathmandu
Open 10am to 3pm Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 2pm Friday, 11am to 2pm Saturday
In front of NBL Building, Taxi Chowk, Bagar
Pokhara – Bagar KS
Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 2pm
Nepal Remit International (Bishwa Bikash Bank Limited)
Chipledhunga (B.P. Chowk), Pokhara, Nepal
Open Sunday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 2pmBack to top
Tips for picking up cash in Nepal
Although Nepal is considered a relatively safe country for travellers, you should take precautions if you’re picking up cash from an agent location. Take a friend along to deter any strangers, don’t advertise your new-found wealth in public, and deposit the funds somewhere safe as soon as you can.
Check out travel blogs and forums for more detailed advice on how to protect yourself when travelling and managing your funds in Nepal.
How to send money to Nepal
There are several reputable providers who will help you send money to Nepal conveniently, and the majority of them will require you to sign up for an account before you’re eligible to send a transfer. To do this you will usually need to provide your name, address, contact information, payment details and proof of ID.
You’ll also need to supply details of the money you’re sending, where you’re sending it and who you’re sending it to, and you’ll then be able to lodge your transaction. Keep track of the reference number you receive in order to track the progress of your transfer.
Sending money to Nepal is quick, easy and affordable, so make sure to compare a range of transfer options to find the provider that offers a secure and cost-effective transfer solution for you.