Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Rwanda.
Sending money to Rwanda doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. By taking the time to compare different money transfer companies that work with an exotic currency like the Rwandan franc, you can save on fees and get money to your recipient quickly. Just keep an eye out for exchange rates — the amount your recipient receives depends on it.
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Compare money transfer providers who service Rwanda
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to someone in Rwanda by exchanging your US dollars for Rwanda francs. You can choose to work with a bank, independent money transfer company or other provider, which will convert your money and deposit it in your recipient’s bank account or make the cash available for pickup.
Celia compares money transfer companiesCelia and her family immigrated to the US from Rwanda in the early 1990s. She was a young girl at the time and finished her education here. Now that she is earning money, she wants to send $1,000 back home to her family still living there. She has drawn up the table below to compare her options.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 875.672 RWF||1 USD = 870.953 RWF|
|Transfer fee||$10 if transfer is under $10,000||$25|
|Amount of RWF received in Rwanda for $1,000 USD||875,672 RWF||870,953 RWF|
|Transfer time||10 minutes||2 to 4 days|
|Transfer options||Phone, online account, mobile app||Phone, online, agent location|
As you can see, Celia can send an extra 4,719 Rwandan francs and save money on fees. Since she doesn’t need to send it right away, the multiday transfer time won’t have an impact on her transfer.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Rwanda
- Exchange rates. How do each company’s exchange rates compare to the competition? You’ll want to find a provider that gets your recipient more francs for every dollar you send.
- Fees. How much will you have to pay to send the transfer? Can you avoid a transfer fee if you send a larger amount? Make sure providers with low exchange rates don’t charge exorbitant fees.
- Transfer methods. Can transfers be placed online, over the phone, by visiting a branch and/or by using a mobile app? Pick the option that works best for you.
- Transfer options. What types of transfer options does the money transfer company offer? Can you set up multiple transfers, or does the company only offer one-off transfers?
- Turnaround time. Will the funds be available for your beneficiary in minutes, or will they take several working days to arrive? If you’re in a rush, it may be worth it to pay higher fees for quicker turnaround.
- 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? You’ll want to choose an option that makes it easier for your recipient to get the money they need.
- Customer service. What sort of customer support is offered and during what hours can you receive assistance?
What are my options for sending money to Rwanda
- Money transfer services. The following companies can be used for an international money transfer: MoneyGram, Western Union, World First Foreign Exchange and Xpress Money. Check their websites to see if they offer money transfers to Rwanda.
- Banks. Citibank supports the RWF currency but doesn’t have any listed branches in Rwanda itself. Visit a Citibank branch to find out how you can send or receive money to a bank account in the RWF currency.
- Paypal. Have your recipient check local banks to confirm which ones support uploading or withdrawing of funds to and from PayPal.
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 yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in January 2018 the US dollar was worth approximately 859.14 Rwandan francs. However, most exchange rates are flexible. This means the market will affect the exact amount your recipient will receive when you make an exchange.
How to send money to Rwanda through an independent transfer provider
- Browse our selection of money transfer companies or research other potential transfer options.
- Once you’ve found a suitable provider, create an account.
- Provide information about your recipient and enter how much money you want to send.
- Pay for your transaction and save your tracking number or receipt.
If you have any troubles during the transfer or simply want to check to see the status, you can use your tracking number to follow up on the transfer’s progress.
Emergency cash transfers are possible within minutes to Rwanda
In the case of an emergency, you may be able to send money to Rwanda through companies like MoneyGram, Western Union and Xpress Money. However, this may be a costly option. You will likely pay extra in fees and receive a less favorable exchange rate. However, in an emergency, it will likely be your quickest way to get money to your recipient.
Tips for picking up cash in Rwanda
When you pick up cash, have your ID and transfer number handy. You should bring a friend and avoid traveling at night. Always remain aware of your surroundings. You can minimize risk by avoiding showing your cash in public and storing it safely at a bank or in a safe.
Rwanda may only have a few money transfer options, but it still pays to do your research and compare options before settling. Compare exchange rates, fees and transfer speed to find the most efficient way to get money to your recipient in Rwanda. And if you want to learn more about the process, you can read our international money transfer guide.