How to find a quick and cost-effective way to send money to Senegal from the US.
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Compare money transfer services to Senegal
Banks vs. money transfer companiesAmadou Diome moved to the US because of work. His parents and younger brother continue living in Senegal. Since they depend on him financially, he sends them $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 doesn’t carry out fund transfers to Senegal. Instead of turning to other banks, he chose to compare money transfer companies using the Internet.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 = £560.90 XOF||$1 = £562.54 XOF|
|Amount received for $1,000||£650,900 XOF||£562,540 XOF|
|Transfer time||Instantly||1 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Cash pickup||Bank account|
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, but his father also stood to receive more money.
Foreign exchange rates explainedExchange rate is used to determine how much one currency is worth when converted to the currency of a different country. The West African CFA franc is a bit different, though. It’s pegged to the euro at a steady rate of 655.9570 XOF per 1 EUR. When you’re sending money to Senegal from the US, though, the rate can fluctuate because of the differences between the dollar and the euro. Some recommend exchanging your dollars into euros first and then converting those euros into West African CFA francs. This can make the math a little easier, and it may also make it easier for your recipient to receive euros that can then be converted as needed.
What are my options for sending money to Senegal from the US?
- 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 US, 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
- Choose a provider from the table. Since there are limited options for XOF, choosing EUR may be a good second choice.
- Create an account with the provider.
- Start a transaction. Supply your recipient’s information and the amount you want transfered.
- Pay for your transfer and keep your tracking number handy in case you want to follow the progress of your transfer.
Emergency transfers in Senegal
Because there aren’t many options for USD-XOF transfers, making an emergency transfer to Senegal may be difficult. You’ll have to find a provider that does same-day transfers, and then you’ll likely be charged a high fee on top of a poor exchange rate. If your recipient can wait, it will likely save you both money by giving the transfer a few days to process.
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.
Making a money transfer to a small country like Senegal doesn’t leave you with many options, but you should still take the time to compare your options and find a money transfer company that won’t charge you high fees or offer a subpar rate. And if you want to learn more about the process, you can read our guide on money transfers to familiarize yourself before deciding on a provider.