Are you looking for a quick and cost-effective way to send money to Senegal from the U.S.?
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Compare money transfer services to Senegal
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Senegal?
- 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?
Case study - Banks vs money transfer companiesAmadou Diome moved to the U.S. because of work, while his parents and younger brother continue living in Senegal. Since they depend on him financially, he’ll have to send them money from time to time. Given his income, he feels he can afford sending around $1,000 every month.
He first turned to his bank to go make the transfer, only to learn that since the West African CFA franc is an exotic currency, his bank does not carry out fund transfers to Senegal. Instead of turning to other banks, he chose to compare money transfer companies using the internet. This is what he found.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 = $413.1809 XOF||$1 = $413.75 XOF|
|Amount received for $1,000||$388,391.00 XOF||$413,750.00 XOF|
|Transfer time||Instantly||1-3 days|
|Transfer options||Cash pickup||Bank account|
|Difference of||$25,359.00 XOF|
The fact that Amadou chose the second money transfer company over the first comes as no surprise. Not only did it get the money directly into his father’s bank account, his father also stood to receive more money. The longer turnaround time did not bother him, since there was no urgency involved.
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 2016, the U.S dollar was worth approximately 19 Mexican pesos. 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.
What are my options for sending money to Senegal from the U.S.?
- Banks. Find out if your bank lets you send money to Senegal. If it does, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a fee to use its services. You can also think about sending a bank issued check, money order or draft via mail.
- Non-banks. Non-banking institutions such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you send money to cash pickup locations in Senegal. You can also find international money transfer companies that let you send money directly into Senegalese bank accounts. PayPal allows transfers to Senegal from the U.S., so you can use its services as well. In this case, both you and the recipient should have PayPal accounts.
How to send money to Senegal through an independent transfer provider
When sending funds to Senegal, 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 are not using cash for this transaction, you will 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.
Emergency cash transfers in Senegal
There are certain situations when you might need to send a transfer as quickly as possible. When you do need to send an emergency transfer, remember that you will usually have to pay extra in order to get your funds to your beneficiary ASAP. Make sure to check the exchange rate and fees that apply so you know exactly how much it will cost.
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Tips for picking up cash in Senegal
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Senegal? 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.