Do you need to send funds to Zambia from the U.S.? These tips will help you save money.
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 Zambia doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal.From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to Zambia is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
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Compare money transfer services to Zambia
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Zambia. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Case Study: General money transfer companies vs. immediate money transfer servicesJenny is a businesswoman from Zambia and has recently moved to America to make sure her father’s rubber export company continues to experience smooth sailing in the U.S.
Since her father has a successful exporting company, she won’t need to send money to Zambia to support her family, but she still needs to pay off her student debt. She decides that while she is earning U.S. dollars, it will be better for her financial future to tackle the debt and send money while she is still in America.
She takes the time to speak to fellow Zambians and does some research before coming to the following conclusions using a benchmark of $1,000 USD. She compares the fees and exchange rates for two different money transfer companies so that she is sure to receive the most Zambian kwachas.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $8.146 ZMW||$1 USD = $7.782537 ZMW|
|Transfer fee||Flat fee of $10 USD if amount is under $10,000 USD||$25 USD|
|Amount of ZMW received in Zambia for 1,000 USD||$8,145.44 ZMW||$7,782.54 ZMW|
|Transfer time||1-4 Days||Minutes|
|Transfer options||App, Online, Phone||Online, Agent|
|Difference in ZMW|
What criteria did Jenny use to compare transfer companies when sending and receiving money between Zambia and U.S.?
- Exchange Rates. Jenny found that exchange rates were relatively consistent but that she could get the best rate using a money transfer company that got its rates through the bank. The drawback to this was usually the time delays in sending money.
- Pickup Methods. Zambia offers a robust financial infrastructure and allows someone to receive money in their bank account, as well as cash at an agent or branch location.
- Fees. Fees are much higher if Jenny wants to send her money with a quick delivery and a low amounts,but are generally standard and not above $30 USD.
- Bank to Bank Benefits. There is no clear bank to bank benefit that Jenny could find through her research, but she has noticed that Citibank has branches in Zambia and that she can send money using Commonwealth Bank.
- Turnaround Time. The turnaround time can range from minutes to five days in sending money to Zambia.
- Transfer Methods. There are a couple of options through the services she has found including branch, bank accounts, online, phone and agent.
- Transfer Options. Because Jenny wants to pay off debt, she will most probably want to find a recurring payment solution. She also sees the value of a currency option so she can fix her rates when they are low.
- Minimum and Maximum Transfer Amounts. Although some companies specify these (and a minimum can be as high as $5,000 USD), Jenny notices that the lower the transfer amount, the higher the fees can be.
- Customer Service. MoneyGram and Western Union have been around for years and offer vast support structures worldwide, whilst Xpress Money is newer with support features like live chat. Citibank also has a huge reach with customer support ranging across global boundaries.
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 Jenny’s options for sending money to Zambia from the U.S.?
- Money transfer services – Moneygram, Western Union, Xpress Money and World First Foreign Exchange are available to send money to Zambia.
- Banks – Citibank has branches in Zambia, but requires a visit to the branch to send and receive money. Commonwealth Bank allows you to send money to Zambia and receive it. It can also be used to send money to someone with a supported bank account in Zambia.
Tips for picking up cash in Zambia
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Zambia? 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.
What are the steps to send money to Zambia using various services?
What will you need when picking up cash at an agent location in Zambia?
- A government issued ID.
- The tracking or reference number.
When sending money through an agent in the U.S. or Zambia
- Visit the agent you have identified with a of photo ID (can be passport, driver’s license, national ID, government-issued ID).
- You will need to fill out an application form along with the specified amount you want to send and all necessary fees.
- It is then your responsibility to contact the receiver of the money and provide them with the tracking or reference number.
- Some branches may require a proof of address.
When sending cash pickup using an online profile
- You will need to create a free online profile.
- Choose the country (Zambia), amount (USD/ZMW) you want to send and the delivery method (cash).
- Enter the receiver’s name.
- Pay using a debit or credit card.
- You will receive a confirmation email with the tracking number, which you can share with your receiver for the cash pickup.
If you are sending the money to an account overseas
- Bank code, full name and address of the bank that you’re transferring to.
- Recipient’s name, address and account name.
- Account number or International Bank Account Number.
- Amount and currency you are sending.