Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Panama.
When sending money to loved ones overseas, it can involve navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. But transferring money from the United States to Panama doesn’t have to be expensive.
From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds in minutes, sending an international money transfer to Panama is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the most Panamanian balboas for your dollar.
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- Low upfront fees and exchange rates.
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- Get cash to family and friends in minutes.
Compare money transfer services to Panama
Case study: Money transfer companies compared
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 will not lose too much money in the process of sending capital through Panama.
She has made some comparisons with available companies to send $1,000 to 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||2–3 days|
|Transfer options||Online, phone, agent||Online, bank to bank|
|Difference||+ $38||– $38|
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 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 December 2017, the US dollar was worth approximately one Panamanian balboa. 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.
Get live exchange rates for PAB
How can you send money to Panama from the US?
Money transfer services
You can use World Remit, MoneyGram, Western Union and similar services to send PAB to Panama. Note that Panama also accepts US dollars, which opens up considering other transfer companies when sending money to Panama.
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 the USD, which can be used in Panama. Visit your local bank to verify whether you can send USD to a bank account in Panama to be used there.
This online giant can help you get money from your PayPal account to Panama. Here’s the wrinkle, however: 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.
Find a money transfer location near you
How to send money to Panama through an independent transfer provider
When sending funds to Panama, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- Your name, address, contact information and valid photo ID.
- Your beneficiary’s name, address and information, along with their bank account info if the funds will be deposited in their bank account.
- How much money you’re sending, in what currency and which country you’re sending it to.
- If you’re not using cash for this transaction, you’ll need to provide your banking info in order to have funds drafted from your account.
Once you have completed your transaction, you will be given a tracking number. Make a note of this number so you can monitor the progress of your money transfer.
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.