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How to send money to Southeast Asia
Sending money to Southeast Asia is easy, affordable and convenient when you find the right money transfer company.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
Send money to 110+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide.
Your first transfer is free with the code FINDER.
- Low upfront fees and exchange rates.
- Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
- Get cash to family and friends in minutes.
Compare international money transfers to Southeast Asia
How do international money transfers work?
International money transfers are the means by which you can send money to a recipient in one of the many countries in the Southeast Asian region. You can convert your USD to nearly any other currency by contacting a money transfer company or bank, and you can pay for the transfer by card, cash or bank account withdrawal. Similarly, your recipient can receive their funds as cash or a deposit into their bank account, whichever is more convenient.
Banks vs. money transfer companies
Banks can easily handle a money transfer to most countries in Southeast Asia, which makes them the first choice for many people. However, if you want the best deal, you likely won’t find it at a bank. That’s because they’re known for high fees and less favorable exchange rates. Money transfers tend to cost more on your end and be worth less on your recipient’s end when you go through a bank, so instead, it might be worthwhile to consider an independent money transfer company.
From WorldRemit and OFX to Western Union and MoneyGram, these companies tend to offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks. The transactions are secure, and your recipient may even be able to pick up their funds within minutes.
Matt Sends Money to ThailandMatt’s brother is traveling through Thailand on a backpacking trip, but when he realizes he didn’t budget enough for his journey, he asks Matt to send him $500 to cover some unforeseen expenses. Matt knows his bank doesn’t offer quick transfers of Thai baht, so he compares his options with two money transfer companies.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 32.30 THB||1 USD = 31.74 THB|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Processing time||1 to 3 business days||10 minutes|
|Amount received||16,150 THB||15,870 THB|
Although Matt can send more using the first company, the second company can complete the transfer quickly so his brother doesn’t have to wait days for his funds to come through.
What are my money transfer options?
- Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers are reliable but can be quite expensive, especially if you’re sending a less-traded currency to your recipient.
- Online money transfer providers. Companies such as OFX and WorldRemit offer secure and affordable online transfers that can be sent to almost any country in Southeast Asia.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria offer this service to many customers in Southeast Asia.
- PayPal. Check with PayPal to see if it offers international transfers to your recipient’s country in Southeast Asia.
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rate is used to determine how much the currency of one country is worth when converted to the currency of another country. A strong currency will yield more when exchanged for a weak currency, and since the US dollar is stronger than most of the currencies in Southeast Asia, you will likely be able to send your recipient a decent amount of money with smaller transfers. However, the amount is flexible, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the fluctuations if you plan on frequently sending money to Southeast Asia.
How to send money to Southeast Asia
- Use our table to compare your rates. Confirm that the provider you choose can send money in your specific currency by selecting the currency code in the drop-down menu.
- Click Go to site to create an account. Provide information about yourself, your bank account and your recipient in order to start a transfer.
- Select how much you want to send and in what currency, then pay for your transfer and save your tracking number to check up on the progress to be sure your transfer gets to your recipient on time.
Emergency cash transfers in Southeast Asia
Emergency transfers to the countries in Southeast Asia are possible, but they will generally cost you more. This is because money transfer companies tend to charge higher fees and offer lower exchange rates when you need a quick transfer. It pays to check the full details of your transfer before you pay. And if your recipient can wait, it may be worthwhile for both of you to opt for a regular transfer to save on fees and get a better exchange rate.
Tips for picking up cash in Southeast Asia
When your recipient goes to collect cash, make sure they follow these simple tips to stay safe.
- Visit transfer agents in safe locations with low crime rates.
- Bring a friend or family member to provide extra security.
- Never take out large amounts of your cash in public.
- Avoid carrying around your funds for longer than necessary.
- Quickly put your money somewhere safe, either a bank account or safe.
Sending money to the countries in Southeast Asia doesn’t need to be a frustrating process. By comparing your options, you can get the money your recipient needs without spending too much on fees and sacrificing good exchange rates. Read our international money transfer guide to better understand the process so you can ensure you’re getting a good deal.
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