Here’s how you can send money quickly, simply and affordably from the U.S. to Zimbabwe.
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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 including the South African rand, Botswana pula, British pound, euro and the United States dollar are now acceptable forms of payment in Zimbabwe.
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 options available when you need to send money to Zimbabwe.
Compare money transfer services to Zimbabwe
Case study: Heath Sends Money to Zimbabwe
Heath is earning a living by working as a nurse in America, and he wants to send $1,000 to his parents in Harare in the form of U.S. dollars. Because he is sending USD, the exchange rate is not a factor for him, but he takes care to pay attention to the fee charged by each money transfer provider and the processing time.
|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 can vary considerably, as well as the processing time. So weigh your options carefully.Back to top
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.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Zimbabwe
- Exchange rates. Even a small difference in rates can add up to a big difference when you calculate the total cost of a transfer, so see how the rates of each provider stack up against each other.
- Fees. It’s a good idea to compare the fees that apply to an international money transfer. Some companies will even 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?
How to send money to Zimbabwe from America
- Bank transfers. Some U.S. 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.
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.This is why you should always take the time to read the fine print and make sure you’re fully aware of exactly how much your transaction will cost.Back to topBack to top
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.
Keep your cash and your wallet concealed so that you don’t advertise your money to thieves, and deposit the cash with your bank as soon as you can.Back to top
How to send money to Zimbabwe
Whichever option you choose for your money transfer from the U.S. to Zimbabwe, 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
- You address
- Your contact details
- Proof of ID
Once you’ve scheduled a transfer you will be given a receipt or a reference number that you can use to monitor the progress of your transaction.Back to top