Compare international money transfer services to find lower fees and better exchange rates than those offered by the banks.
The Filipino population in New Zealand has shown tremendous growth over the past few decades. Thirty-five years ago, there were 405 Filipinos living in the country. Today, there are more than 40,000. This is mainly thanks to New Zealand’s demand for skilled medical and engineering professionals from the Philippines.
Today, there is an extensive network of Filipino cultural and traditional organisations, clubs and societies across New Zealand. Thanks to the increasing numbers of Filipinos settling in New Zealand, there has been a significant boost in trade between the two countries. In addition, our large Filipino community is adding to an increase in people coming here on holiday or for education. In 2016, 20,000 Filipinos visited and 4,116 came here to study.
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Soleil sends money to the Philippines
New Zealand-based Soleil has just set up a graphic design business and has a branch in her hometown of Cebu. She employs three young women in the Cebu office, so she is looking for a cheaper way to deposit their salaries into their Philippines bank accounts. Wary of banks and their high transfer fees, she starts investigating alternative transfer methods. This is what she found.
|Money transfer service||Bank|
|Exchange rate||NZD$1 = PHP31||NZD$1 = PHP32|
|Amount received for $500||15,500PHP||PHP15,424|
|Transfer delay||1 to 3 business days||2 business days|
|Transfer options||Bank transfer, cash deposit||Online, phone banking, international draft|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via the Philippines?
Here are a few factors to consider when comparing ways to send money to the Philippines.
- Exchange rates. A competitive exchange rate means more money for your recipient. Money transfer companies deal in large amounts of currency, which means they can pass on savings to their customers with better exchange rates.
- Pick-up methods. Check with your recipient to see which pick-up method would suit them best. Usually you can choose between a direct deposit and instant delivery, to be collected in person.
- Fees. Make sure you aren’t being charged exorbitant amounts in service or conversion fees.
- Bank-to-bank transfers. If your recipient has a bank account with the same bank, you can effect a same-bank transfer, usually for no fee.
- Turnaround time. Depending on how urgently your recipient needs the money, choose between services that offer instantaneous delivery (Western Union, for example) or those that make money available within one to three working days.
- Transfer methods. The quickest way to send money is usually via online transfer, but you can also choose international drafts or cheques.
- Transfer options. Besides one-off transfers, you can also choose to set up regular scheduled payments, forwards contracts and market orders.
- Minimum transfer amounts. While most companies have a ceiling amount you can send, be aware of minimum sending amounts, which are usually between NZD$10-NZD$50.
- Customer service. Make sure the money transfer service you choose has a reliable and efficient customer service. Insist on a tracking number to use as a reference when making enquiries about your transaction.
How do I send money to the Philippines from New Zealand?
If you need to send a transfer to a recipient in the Philippines, here are a few options to consider.
- Worldremit. This transfer service offers receipt of a transfer to the Philippines within 10 minutes of the transaction being effected. Cash pick-ups can be collected at certain banks and pawn shops.
- Western Union. Your recipient can collect the deposit at a Western Union agent or withdraw it from their bank account. Instant delivery implies a higher fee than that of a direct bank deposit.
- Banks. Sending money between banks usually means higher fees, but in some cases, the transfer will be effected without a fee if your recipient has an account within the same bank.
- Exchange4Free. This services facilitates bank-to-bank transfers for zero fees charged, irrespective of the amount. You can effect a transfer online or by phone.
How do I receive money from the Philippines in New Zealand?
If you need to send money to New Zealand while you are in the Philippines, these money-sending services will facilitate the transfer.
- PayPal. One of the most recognisable and reliable money transfer services, PayPal facilitates instantaneous transfers between your PayPal account and a bank account. Exchange rates aren’t the most competitive on the market, but the service is safe and reliable.
- Western Union. You can effect a transfer online or in person at one of Western Union’s agencies. Money can be deposited into an account or collected at a pick-up point.
- Banks. International banks like HSBC and ANZ have branches in both the Philippines and New Zealand, which means you can make same-bank (even same-currency) transfers. Check fees and turnaround time to see whether it is a better option than going through a specialist transfer service.
Emergency cash transfers in the Philippines
If you find yourself in an emergency while in the Philippines, there are a few ways you can have money sent to you.
- Pick-up options. Transfer companies like Western Union and MoneyGram have pick-up points, where you can collect your deposit. Money is usually available within minutes of the transaction.
- Online transfers. Money transfer companies facilitate quick transfers between bank accounts, usually within one to three business days.
Travel insurance. Your travel insurance policy may cover you for loss and theft while on holiday. Get in touch with your insurer, but make sure you are eligible for cover before submitting a claim.
LBC Express Inc. Navotasm
Brgy Sipac Almacen Navotas
Metro Manila 1000
Open Monday to Saturday, 7am–7pm
Megatrend Pawnshop Inc Quiapo
C.palanca & Villalobos Sts. #203-205030
Barangay 306 Sta Cruz
National Capital Region 1104
Open seven days, 8am–6pm
USSC Service Store – Cebu Guad
V Rama St
Gf/f Zosa Bldg
Open seven days, 8am–9pm
Palawan Pawnshop Fuente Osmena
102 Cor Fuente Osmena Blvd
Open Monday to Friday 7:30am–7:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 7:30am–6:30pm
483 Quezon Boulevard
BRGY 307 Zone,
Open Monday to Saturday, 8:30am–5:30pm
Banco de Oro
No.116-120 C Palanca St Quiapo
Open Monday to Saturday, 9:30am-6:30pm
Metrobank Cebu Business Park
Corner Mindanao and Cardinal Rosales Aven
Open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm
M.R. Conception BLDG
100 Escario Street
Open Monday to Friday, 7am–7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am–5pm
Tips for picking up cash in the Philippines
SafeTravel advises there is an extreme risk to security throughout central and western Mindanao and its provinces. There is a high threat of terrorist activity, kidnapping and violent clashes between the military/police and terrorist or rebel groups. These areas are extremely dangerous and you are advised not to travel there.
In other areas of the Philippines, including Manila, there is still a risk to your safety due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping and violent crime, so please exercise caution.
Whether collecting money from a bank or cash pick-up location, it is always wise to take a few precautions:
- Make sure you know the exact location of your cash pick-up location (ask your hotel to recommend a safe bank/collection point) and only go in daylight hours.
- Take a friend when you go to collect your money, or if you are travelling alone ask at your hotel for a person of trust to escort you.
- Make sure you deposit the cash somewhere safe as soon as possible.
- If you are collecting a large amount of money, ring ahead to make sure the agent carries enough cash.
What are the steps to send money to the Philippines?
Most online services require that you open an account before effecting a transfer. The process is quick and simple, and will only require a few personal and banking details, including:
- Your contact details, including an email address
- Bank account information
- Your recipient’s personal and bank account information
Once the transfer has been completed, you will receive a tracking number to use as a reference when making inquiries about your transaction.
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