Understand what your options are when transferring funds to the Philippines.
If you need to get money to the Philippines, you want the process to be cheap and simple. Helping family members expand their business in Manila or supporting ecological preservation in Puerto Princesa shouldn’t be exhausting and expensive.
Whether you use bank transfers and online transactions or cash pick-ups, you’ll want to compare the transfer fees and exchange rates for all your options to make the choice that is best for your needs.
Compare international money transfer services to the Philippines
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to friends, family and businesses overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, the Philippines.
Depending on the provider, you can initiate a money transfer in person, online or by phone. Your cash or bank account transfer is then either deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available as cash for pick-up at a location in their country.Back to top
Steps to send money to the Philippines
- Choose the money transfer provider from our comparison table that best serves your needs considering rates, fees and delivery speed.
- Create an account with the transfer provider. Expect to provide your name, contact information and proof of identity.
- Select the payment option. If you aren’t using cash, provide your banking info so the funds can be withdrawn from your account.
- Complete your transaction and you should receive an email receipt or reference number to track your transfer and find out when the funds arrive.
Foreign exchange rates explainedAn exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. The Philippine peso has historically been one of the weaker currencies in Asia. Economic stability, inflation and regional politics all impact the Philippine peso’s value.
Currency exchange rate for the Philippines
Tips for sending money to the Philippines
Banks vs money transfer companies
Many New Zealand banks offer the option to send funds to the Philippines, but they typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.
A reputable money transfer specialist can often offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more Philippine pesos into your recipient’s pocket.Back to top
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to the Philippines
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pick-ups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- “Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract
- Delivery options. Can the cash be collected from a transfer agent, or will it be deposited into your recipient’s Philippines bank account?
- Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
Case study: Manny sends money to the Philippines
While Manny has forged a successful life for himself in Christchurch, he maintains regular contact with his grandparents in his home city of Manila. Manny wants to send $1,000 to his grandparents to help pay for a well-deserved vacation, but he doesn’t want to lose a big chunk of his money on the weak exchange rate offered at his bank. He compares two popular money transfer companies to see if he can find a more affordable option.
|Money transfer service A||Money transfer service B|
|Exchange rate||1 NZD = 35.538 PHP||1 USD = 36.107 PHP|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Transfer speed||3–5 business days||1 business day|
|Total pesos received||35,533 PHP||36,103 PHP|
It will take longer for his grandparents to receive the money with service A, and they’d receive 570 pesos less than with service B. Manny’s grandparents will receive extra money and get it sooner because Manny shopped around for the best money transfer services.
What are the ways that I can send money to the Philippines?
- Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers may cost more than other options, but they are a secure way to send money to the Philippines.
- Money transfer providers. Companies like World First, OFX and WorldRemit offer affordable international transfers online.
- Providers with cash pick-up. MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria offer fast transfers to the Philippines.
- PayPal. PayPal offers secure international transfers from New Zealand to the Philippines.
- Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international draft overseas, obtained from your bank.
Making an emergency transfer to someone in the Philippines
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to the Philippines — for example, if a friend travelling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
Tips for picking up cash in the Philippines
- Check an agent’s location and hours of operation before visiting.
- Avoid visiting any unsafe areas.
- Don’t wave your cash around in public and make yourself a target for thieves.
- Don’t carry large sums of money around for any longer than is necessary.
- Deposit the money into your bank account as soon as possible.
Cash pick-up locations in the Philippines
Which 10 countries are sending the most money to the Philippines?
The Philippines saw an estimated $32.8 billion in remittances in 2017, according to World Bank data. Let’s see which countries are sending the most money to the Philippines.
|Rank||Country||Remittances in 2017|
|2||United Arab Emirates||$4,108,508,842|