How to send money to Laos

Our guide will help you find the best way to send money to Laos.


Fact checked
Money transfers may seem complex on the outside, but once you learn the tricks, you can start sending Lao kip to people without having to pay the high fees charged by the bank. All you need is to do your research and shop around for a good deal, and we can help. Our guide will teach you how to navigate the world of money transfers.

Compare money transfer services to Laos

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
NZD 1 Within an hour N/A N/A N/A Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
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Compare up to 4 providers

The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

How should I compare transfer companies when sending money to Laos from New Zealand?

  • Exchange rates. Bear in mind that currency exchange is only legal at official bank branches. Some of the companies will offer a more competitive exchange rate but might require an actual phone call with a call center to book a rate.
  • Delivery methods. Some companies, like Moneygram, can only send a New Zealand amount which will be picked up at an agent location and will still need to be exchanged legally. Western Union sends the cash pickup in LAK. Receiving the money in a bank account is also an option.
  • Fees. The fees can vary quite a bit, depending on the type of transfer service used and whether it is above or below certain minimum and maximum amounts. Generally speaking, the marginal increase in fees is justified by the short amount of transfer time.
  • Bank to bank benefits. Money transfer services are available through local banks in Laos and in New Zealand, but both will require a call or visit to a branch to determine rates and fees.
  • Turnaround time. The turnaround time for available companies ranges between a couple of minutes and five days. Anything longer than that is not worth paying for compared to what competition offers.
  • Transfer methods. you can choose either a local agent she is comfortable with or set up an online account with regular payments. If she’s hasty and needs someone else to the admin, she can easily phone support and do a payment.
  • Transfer options. These include recurring payments, spot contracts, and once-off payments.
  • Minimum/maximum transfer amounts. The available options offer freedom in having a wide variety of minimum and maximum amounts.
  • Customer service. The services used to send money all offer phone and email support. A physical bank branch might yield the fastest results if you hit a snag somewhere in your payments.

Foreign exchange rates explained

Exchange rates fluctuate daily based on international inflation and worldwide economic stability. This means that when you’re looking to exchange your New Zealand dollars for Laotian kip, you’ll need to do your research to make sure the exchange rate a transfer company or bank gives you reflects the average rate for that day.

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What are the steps to send money to Lao PDR?

After you determine which type of service you’d like to use, follow these steps to make sure your transfer goes smoothly.

Send money through an online service provider to a bank account in Laos
  1. Find an international money transfer service that offers good rates and low fees.
  2. Create an account with the service provider.
  3. Enter your recipient’s full name, address and bank account number.
  4. Enter the name of their bank, the branch number and the address.
  5. Pay for your transfer and wait for your recipient to confirm it has been completed.
Send money to a person for cash pickup
  1. Find an international money transfer company that allows for cash pickup.
  2. Enter your recipient’s full name and the address of the pickup location.
  3. Pay for the transfer.
  4. Give your recipient the transfer confirmation code.
  5. Make sure they are successfully able to pick up their cash.

Make an emergency cash transfer to Laos

There is nothing more frightening than someone you love having any emergency while halfway across the world. Fortunately, many money transfer companies allow for emergency transfers. You will have to pay extra fees and the exchange rate you’re offered will be worse than what is given during a normal transfer, but it may be worth it for your and your recipient’s peace of mind.

Tips for picking up cash in Laos

In Laos, currency exchanges can only occur at an official bank. You should plan ahead of time when picking up cash. You’ll need to know the location of the transfer, when you’re planning on picking up your money and if you’ll be able to take along a friend to help. Many transfer companies won’t offer their services after 5 p.m., so planning ahead is important. When you pick up cash, carry it in a hidden space on your body–not in a briefcase or purse that can be stolen or left somewhere.

Take care to avoid dangerous areas, and always stay safe when carrying large amounts of money.

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