Trade between New Zealand and Bangladesh is witnessing growth. In 2016, bilateral trade between these two nations reached US$325 million. While dairy products, including New Zealand milk powder, make up a significant percentage of New Zealand’s exports, its imports from Bangladesh comprise largely of woven and woollen garments.
Instances of money transfers to Bangladesh from New Zealand are not uncommon.
Case study - Banks vs money transfer companies
Akash Bishwas arrived in New Zealand as an undergraduate student. He got a job as soon as he completed his college education, which allowed him to continue living here. However, his parents still live in Bangladesh. They really benefit from the financial assistance Akash can send, so he decides to send money on a monthly basis, starting with $1,000 per month.
The bank he opened an account with upon arriving in New Zealand does not allow fund transfers to Bangladesh, because the Bangladeshi taka is an exotic currency. He turns to the Internet to compare his available options and this is what he finds:
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 = BDT51.091||$1 = BDT51.30|
|Amount received for $1,000||BDT47,310.50||BDT50,838.00|
|Transfer time||Instantly||1-2 days|
|Transfer options||Cash pickup||Bank account|
The first thing that catches Akash’s attention is the hefty fee involved in transferring money to a cash pick-up centre. As his father has a bank account, he chooses to use the services of the second money transfer company, through which his parents stand to receive extra money. Going forward, Akash plans to compare his options before each transfer.
If you wish to send money to Bangladesh from New Zealand, several aspects require your attention.
- Exchange rate and fees. Looking at one without paying attention to the other can prove to be a costly mistake. This is because while a fee-free service may come with an unfavourable exchange rate, the reverse can also be true. To establish which deal is better monetarily, simply compare how much money the recipient stands to receive.
- Ways to send money. If your bank enables you to send money to Bangladesh, you may be able to do so in person, over the phone or online. Several money transfer companies will let you send money to Bangladesh online. With some, you can visit a store or kiosk and initiate the process in person; with a few allowing you to complete the process over the phone as well.
- Ways to receive money. If the recipient has a bank account, you can consider transferring funds directly into their account. Visiting a cash pick-up centre, to collect the transferred money, is also an option.
- Using the same bank. If you and the recipient both have a relationship with the same bank, you can consider using its services for the transfer. Transfers within the same bank tend to take place quickly and you can save in fees as well.
- Turnaround time. Transfers to bank accounts can take one to 10 days or more. Money transfer companies typically taking less time than banks. If you wish to send money to a cash pick-up centre, the transfer can take place almost instantly.
- Transfer options. If you plan to send money to Bangladesh periodically, consider working with a business that lets you schedule transfers, per your requirement. Some money transfer companies offer market orders and forward contracts, allowing you to make the most of fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.
- Minimum amounts. Some money transfer companies don’t let you transfer less than $500 or $1,000.
You can choose from different options when sending money to Bangladesh from New Zealand.
- Banks. If your bank lets you transfer money to a Bangladeshi bank account, it will in all probability charge a fee for its services. Another option is to send a bank-issued draft, cheque or money order via mail.
- Non-banks. Businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a noticeable presence throughout Bangladesh, so you can use their services to send money to cash pick-up centres or bank accounts. PayPal also allows transfers to Bangladesh from New Zealand. To use its services, both you and the recipient need a PayPal account and opening a new account is free.
When receiving money from Bangladesh in New Zealand, you can choose from these options.
- Banks. By providing the recipient with your bank account details, you can receive money directly into your account. The sender can use the services of a local bank or a money transfer company to do this. You can also consider receiving a check, money order or draft, via mail.
- Non-banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have numerous cash pickup centres across New Zealand. You can receive money from Bangladesh at any of these centres. Turning to PayPal is also an option, provided you and the sender have PayPal accounts. Withdrawing funds from your PayPal account to your bank account is easy.
Dealing with losing your wallet in a foreign land can be a challenge. If this happens when you are in Bangladesh, make sure you report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen immediately. You can then think about receiving emergency money in these ways:
- Cash pickup. Can a friend or family member use the services of a transfer company to send you some money? If so, identify a convenient cash pick-up centre first, because the sender will need its details. Make sure the centre is in a safe, convenient location.
- Cash advance through credit card. If you are still in possession of an existing Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card, you may qualify for an emergency cash advance. To find out, you will need to visit a local participating bank.
- Travel insurance. The right kind of travel insurance can provide emergency money to deal with situations such as medical emergencies, flight delays and cancellations as well as lost and misplaced luggage.
You can find Western Union and MoneyGram cash pick-up centres at various locations in Bangladesh. When visiting these centres to collect cash, make sure you take a valid form of ID, such as your passport or driver’s licence with you. If you are going to receive a large sum, call ahead of time to check if the centre has adequate funds. Here are some cash pick-up centres in Bangladesh.
- Agrani Bank Limited
Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday
Open 9:00am to 3:00 pm Friday
Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday
- Money Transfer Service
Begum Rokeya Avenue
Open 10:00 am to 4:00pm daily
- Agrani Bank Limited
Feringee Bazar Branch
Shib Bari Lane
Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday
Open 9am to 5pm Saturday, and Sunday
- Money Transfer Service
Sheikh Mujib Rd
Open 9:00am to 4:00pm daily
- Agrani Bank
Dilushka 9 D
Open Monday to Thursday 09:00 am to 3:00pm
Closed on Friday and Saturday
Open Sunday: 09:00 to 3:00pm
- MoneyGram Transfer Service
110 Motijheel C A
Dhaka Gpo 1000
Open 24 hours a day
- Inside SIBL
East Nasirabad Mosque
Open 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Thursday
Open 10:00am to 2:00pm Saturday
- Money Transfer Service
O. R. Nizam Road Central Shopping Center 562 A
Open 24 hours a day
Instances of violent crimes such as armed robberies are not uncommon in Bangladesh. Petty crimes such as snatch-and-grab attacks as well as pickpocketing are common, especially in trains, rickshaws and other modes of public transport. There is an increased risk of robbery at night, so it is best to avoid travelling or walking, especially alone, after dark.
Given Bangladesh’s political situation, it does sees protests and arbitrary acts of violence from time to time. Avoid large crowds and protests as they may turn violent without warning.
The steps you have to follow when sending money to Bangladesh depend on the method you choose.
- To a bank account. With this method, you will need to provide the recipient’s name, bank account number, bank name and the SWIFT code. If sending money through a transfer company or a bank other than your own, you will need to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card as well. You should receive a reference number upon initiating the transfer, which you can use to track its progress at any time.
- To a cash pickup centre. You will have to provide the recipient’s name and a desired cash pick-up centre. You will need to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card to make the payment. You should receive a reference number, which you need to make sure you pass on to the recipient.
New Zealand and Bangladesh have maintained friendly relations since 1972, with New Zealand being amongst the first nations to recognise Bangladesh. While the Bangladeshi community in New Zealand is small, it has grown consistently in recent times. In 2013, over 1,600 people who claimed Bangladeshi ethnicity lived in New Zealand, which was an increase of 9.1% from 2006.
These two nations cooperate in the field of education, with a number of Bangladeshi undergraduate and graduate students arriving in New Zealand every year through scholarships, including the prestigious “New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship”.