Here’s how you can send money quickly, simply and affordably from the US to Zimbabwe.
If you need to send money to a loved one in Zimbabwe, you might find yourself confused as to what type of currency to send since the Zimbabwean dollar was disbanded in 2009. Since then, a number of currencies can be used as legal tender in Zimbabwe. This includes the US dollar, which is the official currency for all government transactions in the country.
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What currency is used in Zimbabwe?
Following a period of instability and hyperinflation, the Zimbabwean dollar was phased out and is no longer accepted as legal tender as of 2015. Currencies that can be used include the South African rand, Botswana pula, British pound, the euro and the United States dollar.
This has several implications when you need to send money to Zimbabwe. While some banks and money transfer providers exclude Zimbabwe from the list of countries they send funds to, a range of popular currencies are now accepted as legal tender. This means that there are still options available when you need to send money to Zimbabwe.
Some of the banks and providers that allow you to send money from the US to Zimbabwe include WorldRemit, Western Union and MoneyGram.
Compare money transfer services to Zimbabwe
Heath Sends Money to ZimbabweHeath is earning a living by working as a nurse in America, and he wants to send $1,000 to his parents in Harare. Because he is sending USD, exchange rate is not a factor for him, but he does pay attention to the fee charged by each money transfer provider and the time it will take to process his transaction.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Transfer method||Cash pickup, mobile money transfer||Bank deposit, cash pickup, mobile money transfer|
|Processing time||In minutes/4 days||Instantly to 3 days, depending on transfer method|
As Heath’s example shows, the transfer fee and processing time can vary considerably. Weigh your options carefully before deciding on which transfer company to go with.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Zimbabwe
- Exchange rates. Even a small difference in rates can add up to a large amount when you calculate the total cost of a transfer, so see how the rates of each provider stack up against one another.
- Fees. It’s a good idea to compare the fees that apply to an international money transfer, and some companies will offer free transfers if you send more than a certain amount.
- Transfer methods. Compare the options available for placing transfers: online, over the phone, using an app and/or by visiting a branch.
- Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
- Turnaround time. Compare the processing times of different providers to determine how long it will take for your funds to arrive.
- Minimum amount. If a company imposes a high minimum limit on the transfers it handles, this can be restrictive if you don’t want to send a large amount of money.
- Pickup methods. While some companies allow your recipient to collect cash in person by visiting an agent location, others offer transfers direct to your recipient’s bank account.
- Customer service. Will you be able to access phone, email and/or online support if you need help with a transaction?
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rate is an important factor for most transfers because it determines how much one currency is worth against the currency of another country. Because Zimbabwe accepts a number of currencies as legal tender, understanding the global economics that impact exchange rate is important. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Inflation and interest rates play a part in exchange rates, so be sure to look at the trends of the last month before making a transfer.
How to send money to Zimbabwe from the US
- Bank transfers. Some US banks will offer transfers to banks in Zimbabwe, so you should check with your financial institution for more details.
- Online money transfer providers. Companies like WorldRemit allow you to make fast and easy online transfers to Zimbabwe.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to transfer funds that can be picked up from a number of local agent locations in Zimbabwe.
- Checks. Sending an international guaranteed check to Zimbabwe is a slow but secure money transfer method.
How to send money to Zimbabwe
Whichever option you choose for your money transfer, you’ll usually have to sign up for an account with the provider before you can send your funds. This will involve providing your full name, address, contact details and your government-issued ID.
Here are the basic steps:
- Find a money transfer company from the table above.
- Compare fees and processing time before making an account.
- Click Go to Site, enter your information and your recipient’s information.
- Choose the method you’d like to have the money transferred.
- Pay for your transfer and save the tracking number.
Once your transfer is complete, check back to make sure everything goes smoothly and your money is safely delivered to your recipient.
Emergency cash transfers in Zimbabwe
If you need to send an emergency transfer to Zimbabwe, be mindful that you will likely have to pay extra to get your funds to your recipient as soon as possible. Always read the fine print and make sure you’re fully aware of exactly how much your transaction will cost. If possible, waiting a day or two can save you money and get more cash into your recipient’s hands.
Tips for picking up cash in Zimbabwe
As theft is a common occurrence in certain areas of Zimbabwe, you should be cautious when you pick up cash. Take someone along with you for added protection and avoid any areas that are known for being unsafe. In addition, you should keep your cash and your wallet concealed so that you don’t advertise your money to thieves. Deposit the cash into your bank or put it somewhere safe as soon as possible.