Find the most cost-effective and convenient way to make an international money transfer when you send money to Pakistan from the United States.
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Compare money transfer services to Pakistan
Banks versus money transfer companies/services
If you need to send money to Pakistan, you may approach your bank to initiate the transfer. However, if you use a major bank to complete the global money transfer, you most likely won’t receive a competitive exchange rate on your transaction, and you’ll have to pay sizable fees.
For a more cost-effective option, why not check out the services provided by a specialist money transfer company? These providers, such as Xoom and PakRemit, provide online transfers from the U.S. to Pakistan with better exchange rates than banks, and lower transfer fees.
Yousuf sends money to PakistanYousuf works in the United States and he wants to send $1,000 to his wife back in Pakistan. Although he knows his bank can take care of the transfer, Yousuf is put off by the bank’s low exchange rate and high fees. In an effort to save money, he compares the services of two online money transfer companies.
|Transfer company 1||Transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $99.40 PKR||$1 USD = $100.08 PKR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||Within minutes||2-4 business days|
|PKR Received||$99,400 PKR||$100,080 PKR|
As the table shows, not only can Yousuf save $15 in transfer fees by using the second money transfer provider, but will also see his family receive 680 extra rupees.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Pakistan
- Exchange rates. The exchange rate impacts how much money arrives in your recipient’s account, so see how each provider’s rates stack up against the competition. However, don’t forget that providers with better exchange rates may also charge higher fees.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas will usually incur a transaction fee, and these can range from $3 to $25 or more. Once again, remember to examine fees alongside the exchange rates offered by a provider.
- Transfer methods. While some providers only allow you to make transfers online, others will allow you to send funds over the phone or by visiting a branch.
- Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
- Turnaround time. If you need to send an urgent transfer, some providers allow you to send funds that become available for collection within minutes.
- Minimum amount. Some money transfer providers will impose a minimum limit on the amount you can send; for example, $500. This can be quite restrictive if you only want to transfer a relatively small amount of money.
- Customer service. If you need assistance with a transaction, can you take advantage of phone, email and/or live chat customer support? Is this available 24/7 or only during specific hours?
Foreign exchange rates explainedThe exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in January 2018, the U.S dollar was worth approximately 110.34 Pakistani Rupee. However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Compare live USD > PKR exchange rates
Options for sending money to Pakistan from America
- Bank to bank transfers. Speak to your financial institution about how you can send money from your U.S. bank account to your recipient’s Pakistani bank account.
- Online money transfer companies. Services like PakRemit, Ria and Xoom all allow you to send money to Pakistan online.
- Money transfer companies with a cash pickup option. MoneyGram and Western Union are two companies that allow you to send funds online or from an agent location in the U.S., and the cash can be collected from an agent in Pakistan.
- Checks. This money transfer method is not as efficient as other transfer methods, but it still enables you to send funds overseas.
How to send money to Pakistan
Whichever transfer method you choose, in many cases you will be required to sign up for an account with a provider.
To do this, you’ll typically need to provide the following:
- Your name and address
- Your contact details
- Proof of ID
Once you’ve supplied your recipient’s details and chosen a payment method, make your transaction and keep a copy of any receipt or transaction number you receive. This can then be used to check up on the status of your transfer.
Emergency cash transfers in Pakistan
Situations may arise where you need to send cash to Pakistan in a hurry so that your recipient can access it as soon as possible. When sending an emergency transfer, however, you should always be careful to take the time to review your transfer before sending it. Make sure you’re aware of the exchange rate that will apply and any fees associated with your transaction.
Tips for picking up cash in Pakistan
U.S. travelers in Pakistan should exercise caution at all times, including when they pick up money from an agent location. Take care not to display your cash unnecessarily as you do not want to attract attention from strangers.
Avoid traveling through any questionable areas of town and deposit the cash you pick up in your bank account as soon as possible.