Easy Ways to Send Money to Uruguay Without Even Thinking about It

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Casapueblo-Uruguay

Sending money to Uruguay from Australia requires that you learn how to pick the right service provider.

Records show that immigrants from Uruguay first arrived to Australia in the 1960s, when the former was witnessing increased political turmoil and economic deterioration. Uruguay saw a significant rise in unemployment levels during the late 1960s and early 1970s. By 1973, around 400,000 people left Uruguay, some of whom found their way to Australian shores.

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As per the 2006 Australian census, around 9,300 Australians were born in Uruguay. Around 6,500 claimed to be of Uruguayan descent.

Australia and Uruguay maintain trade relations. They also share an interest in fisheries within the Southern Ocean. Both nations are members of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Cairns Group. Between 2007 and 2008, imports from Uruguay to Australia stood at $27 million. Exports to Uruguay during the same period valued at around $24 million.

Instances of transferring money to Uruguay from Australia are not uncommon. This guide takes you through the options you get and tells you how to pick one in accordance to your needs.

Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies

Work got Lucia Rodriguez to Australia and she’s to remain here indefinitely. Her mother, younger sister and ailing grandmother continue living in Uruguay. Lucia has to keep sending money back home so her family can meet everyday expenses and pay for her grandmother’s treatment. She figures around $1,000 every month should suffice.

Lucia checked with her bank to see if she could use its services for the transfer. However, since the Uruguayan peso is an exotic currency, her bank did not transfer funds to Uruguay. She decided to compare money transfer companies using the Internet. This is what she found.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rate$1 = UYU21.6282$1 = UYU21.0643
Transfer fee$60$0
Amount received for $1,000UYU20330.47UYU21,064.30
Transfer time1 day1-2 days
Transfer optionsCash pickupBank account
Difference ofUYU733.83

While the first money transfer company offered a better exchange rate than the second, the latter did not charge any fees for its services. This resulted in Lucia’s mother receiving more money through the second service provider. Besides, she was more than happy to transfer the money directly into her mother’s Uruguayan account. Going forward, Lucia decided to keep comparing her options every now and again.

How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Uruguay?

Don’t go with the first money transfer company that comes your way. Instead, compare your options across different aspects.

  • The monetary aspect. The case study goes to show that a lower exchange rate does not necessarily mean you’re getting a better deal. Some money transfer companies that provide fee-free services may offer unfavourable exchange rates. The reverse can be true as well. To find out which deal is best, simply compare how much money the recipient stands to receive.
  • Methods to send money. Banks that let their customers transfer funds to Uruguay can offer their services at branches, online and over the phone. Some money transfer companies have stores and kiosks that you can visit to send money. Some let you initiate the process over the phone as well. A number of these companies operate in the online world.
  • Methods to receive money. The recipient can receive money directly into a Uruguayan bank account. Collecting transferred funds in person by visiting a cash pickup centre is also an option.
  • Different methods. Are you looking at sending money to Uruguay on a regular basis? If so, you can find money transfer companies that let you make regular scheduled payments. Some even offer forward contracts and market orders.
  • Using the same bank. If you and the recipient have accounts with the same bank, you can consider using its services for the transfer. This is because you could end up saving time as well as money.
  • Turnaround time. When a funds transfer involves a cash pickup, it goes through almost immediately. When you’re transferring funds into a bank account, the time the process takes depends on the service provider you choose as well as the recipient’s bank.
  • Minimum limit. If you’re planning to send a small sum, this aspect requires your attention. Some money transfer companies don’t let you send less than $500 or $1,000.

How do I send money to Uruguay from Australia?

You get to choose from different options when sending money to Uruguay from Australia.

  • Banks. Find out if your bank lets you send money to Uruguay. If it does, you may be able to do so by visiting a branch, over the phone or online. If your account comes with a chequebook, you can write a cheque and send it to Uruguay via mail. You can also consider mailing a money order.
  • Non-banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have cash pickup centres at various locations in Uruguay. You can send money to any of these centres. You can use the services of PayPal to send money to Uruguay from Australia, provided both you and the recipient have PayPal accounts. You don’t have to pay any fees to open a new PayPal account.

How do I receive money from Uruguay in Australia?

If you’re to receive money from Uruguay in Australia, you get to choose from these options.

  • Banks. If you can get the sender to transfer the money directly into your bank account, all you have to do is provide your bank account details. The sender can initiate the process through a bank or a money transfer company. You can also get the sender to mail you a bank-issued cheque or money order.
  • Non-banks. Businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a number of cash pickup centres across Australia. You can collect transferred money by visiting any of these centres. If you and the sender have PayPal accounts, you can use its services for the transfer. You can open a PayPal account for free.
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Emergency cash transfers in Uruguay

What do you do if you end up losing your wallet when you’re in Uruguay? Start by making the necessary calls to report your debit and credit cards as stolen. Don’t forget to report the matter to the police as well. Next, you can think about getting some emergency money in different ways.

  • Cash pickup. Getting a friend or a family member to send some money through a money transfer company can give you quick access to funds. Locate a convenient cash pickup centre and provide the details to the sender.
  • Credit card cash advance. Existing American Express, Visa and MasterCard credit cardholders can get access to emergency money upon losing their cards. To get money this way, you’ll have to visit a local participating financial institution.
  • Travel insurance. With the right kind of travel insurance, you can get emergency money to deal with a variety of situations such as lost and misplaced luggage, flight delays and cancellations as well as medical contingencies.

Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Uruguay

Western Union and MoneyGram have several cash pickup centres in Uruguay. If you’re going to collect cash from any of these centres, take an acceptable form of ID such as your passport or driver’s license with you. If the transfer involves a large sum, call the centre in advance to find out if it has enough money. Here are some cash pickup locations in Uruguay.

Western Union

  • Montevideo

    Agencia 04 02
    Zonamerica Edificio Beta 3 Local 14
    Punta De Manga, Montevideo
    +598-25182727
    Open 24 hours

  • Agencia 19 26

    Dr Aquiles Lanza 1281
    Entre Soriano Y San Jose
    Centro, Montevideo
    +598-29085056
    Open 24 hours

  • Salto

    Agencia 25 14
    Artigas 798 Esq Larranaga
    Salto
    +598-47330496
    Open 24 hours

  • Indumex Servicios Financieros

    Avda Batlle Y Ordonez 2265
    Salto Shopping
    Salto
    +598-47337400
    Open 10am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday

MoneyGram

  • Montevideo

    Redpagos Cofas
    Acevedo Diaz 1663
    Montevideo
    +598-4012949
    Open 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday,
    9am to 1pm, Saturday, closed on Sunday

  • Cambio Matriz

    De Julio 18 1581
    Montevideo
    +598-4011646
    Open 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday,
    9am to 2pm, Saturday, closed on Sunday

  • Salto

    Redpagos Tata Salto – #328
    Dr. Francisco Soca 220
    Salto
    +598-47320722
    Open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday

  • Redpagos Luzardo – #466

    Apolon De Mirbeck 1058
    Salto
    +598-47334447
    Open 8am to 8:30pm, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday

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Tips for picking up cash in Uruguay

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians to employ normal safety precautions in Uruguay. When you pick money from a cash pickup centre, see if you can get someone to go with you. Don’t keep too much money with you and refrain from wearing expensive jewellery or watches.

Petty crime such as bag snatching and pickpocketing is common. Avoid using ATMs on the street. Exercise caution in areas frequented by foreigners in and around Montevideo. These include Avenida 18 de Julio, La Ciudad Vieja and Plaza Independencia. Avoid walking alone in the port and downtown area. Try to avoid the Cerro neighbourhood completely.

Instances of petty crime increase in summer months, especially in areas that house beach resorts.

What are the steps to send money to Uruguay?

The steps involved in sending money to Uruguay depend on the method you choose.

  • Transfer to bank account. Keep the recipient’s name, account number, bank’s name and bank’s SWIFT code handy. If you’re using a money transfer company or a bank other than your own, you’ll have to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details as well. Processing time depends on the service provider you choose, and can vary from one to 12 days.
  • Cash pickup. You can initiate the process by visiting a store-front. Provide cash or pay using your debit or credit card. You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name along with a desired cash pickup centre. If you’re sending money online, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. Cash pickup transfers tend to go through almost immediately.
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WorldRemit International Money Transfers

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Transferwise International Money Transfers

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