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How to send money to Pakistan
Find a fast, low-fee way to transfer cash to friends, families and businesses.
Your local bank won’t be the fastest or cheapest way to convert your hard-earned US dollars into Pakistani rupees. For that, turn to digital money specialists the flexibility to fit your budget, turnaround and other needs.
Compare money transfer services that send to Pakistan
Compare minimums, speed, fees and more when converting US dollars to Pakistani rupees.
What's in this guide?
- Compare money transfer services that send to Pakistan
- How to send money to Pakistan online
- What's the best way to send money to Pakistan?
- How to get the most out of your money transfer to Pakistan
- Pakistani exchange rates explained
- Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Pakistan
- What to watch out for
- Bottom line
How to send money to Pakistan online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for an account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Pakistani bank account details.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Pakistan. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What’s the best way to send money to Pakistan?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Pakistan. Some pair services with local mobile wallet companies like JazzCash. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and long turnaround.
Pakistani rupees aren’t a popular currency, which means banks may not offer them. If your bank supports rupees, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Services like Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Pakistan — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly.
Digital money transfer specialists
Companies like OFX and TransferWise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer a variety of options for your recipient to receive your money, like to a JazzCash account or for cash pickup at an agent location.
Crunching the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Pakistan
Let’s say you need to send $1,000 to family in Pakistan. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of February 18, 2020.
|Bank transfer||Cash transfer||Money transfer service|
|Fee||$24 + additional correspondent bank fees||$9||$3.99|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 138.75 PKR||1 USD = 146.21 PKR||1 USD = 153.73 PKR|
|Transfer speed||2 to 5 days||Minutes||Minutes|
|Amount received||135,420 PKR||144,894 PKR||153,117 PKR|
|Verdict||Slowest and most expensive||Better than bank transfer||Fastest and best value|
The bank transfer is slow and results in the smallest amount transferred to your recipient, given a weak exchange rate. With the specialist money transfer service, your recipient ends up with 17,697 more rupees. Speed is similar for a cash transfer and a money transfer service, both of which can arrive in minutes.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Pakistan
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Pakistan to meet your needs:
- Exchange rates. The USD–PKR relationship is relatively stable, so providers should offer exchange rates close to the mid-market rate. If they don’t, consider taking your business elsewhere.
- 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 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 number of Pakistani rupees you’re sending.
- 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.
- Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between the US and Pakistan, which means companies with high minimums transfers may not be your best choice.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Pakistani bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
When it’s more important to get your money to Pakistan 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.
How to send money to Pakistan without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. 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 cash without a bank account.
Pakistani exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Pakistan’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the US dollar, which means it shifts during large global events but typically doesn’t change much day-to-day. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Track how the Pakistani rupee trades against the US dollar in our historical rate chart.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Pakistan
To send money to Pakistan from the US, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Pakistan may be different by company.
Documents to send money from the US
To send money from the US to Pakistan, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SSN.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Pakistani bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Pakistan
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
- Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID. A Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC), National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or passport is typically accepted.
- Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
- Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
Typically, Pakistan imposes no restrictions on remittances to the country through banks and money transfer companies. But in the US, banks and companies are required to comply with banking and recording standards that help them avoid the appearance of money laundering. These standards require customers to submit valid ID, log high-amount transfers and submit precise recipient information.
Sending your hard-earned money to Pakistan 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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