Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Panama.
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Compare money transfer services to Panama
How can I send money to Panama from the US?
- Money transfer services. You can use World Remit, MoneyGram, Western Union and similar services to send money to Panama. And because Panama also accepts US dollars, you have even more money transfer companies to choose from.
- Banks. Citibank and HSBC both have a reach that extends to branches into Panama. Visit your nearest branch to see whether you can do a bank-to-bank transfer to a branch in Panama. Most banks in the world also support USD transfers.
- PayPal. This online giant can help you get money from your PayPal account to Panama. But there’s a catch: PayPal doesn’t send to Panamanian bank accounts. Your recipient’s PayPal account must be linked with a US bank account in Panama. Ask your recipient to confirm with their bank if they can withdraw in US dollars or Panamanian balboas.
How to send money to Panama through an independent transfer provider
If you decide to send money to Panama, follow these steps to make your transfer easy and quick.
- Compare your money transfer options in the table above.
- Click Go to site and register with a provider.
- Start a transaction and supply your recipient’s information.
- Select how much money you want to send.
- Pay for your transfer and save your tracking number.
Case Study: Shana compares money transfer companies
Shana is an investor from New York and has recently been contacted by a group of investors in Panama. Part of her feasibility analysis of the opportunity is to make sure she won’t lose too much money in the process of sending capital through Panama.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $0.993 PAB||$1 USD = $0.895 PAB|
|Amount of PAB received in Panama for $1,000 USD||$933 PAB||$895 PAB|
|Transfer time||10 Minutes||2 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Online, phone, agent||Online, bank to bank|
As you can see, even though company B doesn’t charge a transfer fee, its poorer exchange rate makes it more expensive.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Panama
When comparing your options, pay attention to these factors:
- Exchange rates. How do each company’s exchange rates compare to the competition?
- Fees. How much will you have to pay to send the transfer? Can you avoid a transfer fee if you send a larger amount?
- Transfer methods. Can transfers be placed online, over the phone, by visiting a branch and/or by using a mobile app?
- 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, or does the company only provide one-off spot orders?
- Turnaround time. Will the funds be available for your beneficiary in minutes, or will they take several working days to arrive?
- Minimum transfer amount. What is the minimum transfer limit imposed by each company, and will this affect the size of your transfers?
- Pickup methods. Can your beneficiary pick up the cash from their nearest transfer agent, or will the funds be deposited into their bank account?
- Customer service. What sort of customer support is offered and during what hours can you receive assistance?
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rate is used to determine the value of one currency when exchanged for another. A strong currency will generally yield more when exchanged for a weak currency, but the Panamanian balboa is worth approximately the same amount as the US dollar. Why does this happen? The Panamanian balboa is pegged to the US dollar so it won’t fluctuate. So if you can’t find a money transfer company that will convert balboas to dollars, you may be better off just sending a lump sum in US dollars instead.
Read these tips before you pick up cash transfers in Panama
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Panama? Follow a few simple steps to ensure that you and your money stay safe:
- Avoid any areas where crime is known to be a problem.
- Keep your wallet and/or bag safe and secure at all times.
- Take a friend along to provide additional security and peace of mind.
- Don’t flash your cash around in public.
- Don’t carry large sums of money around for any longer than is absolutely necessary.