How to send money to West Bank and Gaza

Sending money to West Bank and Gaza can be easy, once you know how to go about the process.

When you need to get money to a loved one overseas, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United States to West Bank and Gaza doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to get the most Israeli shekels for your dollar.From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to West Bank and Gaza is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.

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    The Oslo Accords determine three currencies to be legal tender in the Gaza Strip, which include the Israeli shekel, the Jordanian dinar and the U.S. dollar. The use of the Israeli shekel and the Jordanian dinar is common in the West Bank as well.

    If you need to send money to West Bank or Gaza, this guide will help you navigate the process.

    Case study: Banks vs. money transfer companies

    Elyas Hamati moved to America alone, while his parents and wife continue living in the West Bank. He found a job almost as soon as he arrived, because a relative had arranged one for him in advance. Since his family back home depended on him financially, he had to start sending money to them quickly. To begin, he figured he could send them around $1,000 every two months.

    While Elyas could use the bank he had an account with for the transfer, he felt he might get a better deal if he weighed his options. He took to the internet and this is what he found.

    U.S. bankMoney transfer service
    Exchange rate$1 = ILS $2.4822$1 = ILS $2.6934
    Transfer fee$24$0
    Amount received for $1,000ILS $2,422.63ILS $2,693.40
    Transfer time3-5 days1 day
    Transfer optionsBank accountBank account
    Difference ofILS $270.77

    Not only did his bank charge a fee for the transfer, it also provided him with an unfavorable exchange rate, which is why Elyas decided to go with the money transfer company. Besides, the money transfer company got the money to his wife sooner than the bank.

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    How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money through the West Bank and Gaza?

    When you’re sending money to West Bank or Gaza from the U.S., several aspects require your attention.

    • Exchange rate and fees. Pay attention to both these factors before initiating a transfer. This is because a company that doesn’t charge a fee might not offer a competitive exchange rate. On the other hand, a highly favorable rate might come with inflated fees. Comparing how much money the recipient stands to receive should give you a clear picture of which deal is better.
    • Ways to send money. If you’re sending money through a bank, you may be able to do so at a branch, over the phone or online. Some money transfer companies operate out of physical locations that you can visit to send money in person. Several companies operate in the online world. Some offer their services over the phone as well.
    • Ways to receive money. The recipient can receive money directly into their bank account. To make the transfer you’ll need the recipient’s bank account details. Another option is to collect the transferred money by visiting a cash pickup center.
    • Transfer methods. If you plan to send money periodically, you can consider dealing with a business that lets you schedule regular payments, as this would save you time. If you’re hoping to benefit through fluctuations in the foreign exchange market, you can work with businesses that offer limit orders and forward contracts. Forward contracts allow you to lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later. Limit orders allow you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met.
    • Turnaround time. If the transfer involves the recipient collecting money from a cash pickup location, the transfer should go through almost instantly. When transferring money to a bank account, the time taken can vary significantly, depending on the service provide you choose. While some money transfer companies take as little as one day, some banks can take 10 days or more.
    • Minimum amount. Some banks and money transfer companies have minimum limits in place, which can be $500 or $1,000.
    • Customer service. You may wish to contact a company representative for different reasons. You should ideally be able to do so over the phone as well as via chat and email.
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    Foreign exchange rates explained

    The 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.

    How do I send money to West Bank and Gaza from the U.S.?

    You can send money to West Bank and Gaza from America different ways.

    • Banks. You can find banks in the U.S. that let you send money to West Bank and Gaza. Depending on the bank you choose, you can initiate the process online, in person or over the phone. Bear in mind that the fees you have to pay and the turnaround time can vary from one bank to the next. You can also consider sending an international check, money order or draft via mail.
    • Non-banks. International money transfer companies such as Western Union have a physical presence in America as well as West Bank and Gaza. You can use their services to transfer funds to bank accounts or to send money to a cash pickup center. Using the services of an online company such as PayPal is also an option.
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    Emergency cash transfers in West Bank and Gaza

    If you’re in West Bank or Gaza and find your wallet missing, the first thing you should do is report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen. Then you can think about getting some emergency money using different methods.

    • Cash pickup. The easiest way is to get a friend or family member to send you some money through a money transfer company. Start by identifying an easily accessible cash pickup location and pass the details on to the sender.
    • Credit card cash advance. If you have a Visa or Mastercard credit card, you can get an emergency cash advance. To get money this way you’ll have to visit a local participating bank.
    • Travel insurance. The right kind of travel insurance can be beneficial when you travel overseas. It can give you access to emergency money to deal with unexpected medical expenses, flight delays and cancelations as well as lost and misplaced baggage.
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    Tips for picking up cash in West Bank and Gaza

    The U.S. government advises Americans to think seriously about traveling to West Bank and Gaza because of the high levels of risk in these regions. If you go, make sure you do your research in advance, take safety precautions and have contingency plans in place. There can be frequent power disruptions in West Bank and Gaza, so don’t expect fund transfers to come through immediately. A risk of violent confrontation at checkpoints exists. Avoid traffic congestion at areas where options to leave are limited.

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    What are the steps to send money to West Bank and Gaza?

    When sending money to West Bank or Gaza, the steps you have to follow and the information you have to provide depend on the method you choose.

    1. Transfer to bank account. If you’re transferring funds using your own bank, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and account number along with the name of the bank and the bank’s routing number. If you’re sending money through a different business, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card as well. Remember that not all money transfer companies accept payments via credit cards. You can track the progress of your transfer using the reference number you get.
    2. Cash pickup. If you’re sending cash from a physical location, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and a desired cash pickup location. In all other cases, you’ll have to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details as well. Once you initiate the transfer, you will receive a reference number, which the recipient needs in order to collect the money.
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