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Send money to Korea securely

Send money to South Korea from the Philippines with the right transfer service.

South Korea remains as one of top 25 destination countries for overseas Filipino workers, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Bureau of Immigration likewise identified South Koreans as the country’s top tourists, with almost 1.5 million inbound South Koreans every year. There has also been a growing number of Koreans calling the Philippines their home, with the emergence of “Korea towns” in many parts of the country.

Suffice to say, relations between Korea and the Philippines has remained strong. Filipinos or Koreans looking to send Philippine pesos (PHP) or Korean Won (KRW) between home and Korea can get a lot more value for money when using a dedicated money transfer service. This is because these services process a larger volume of transfers than a regular bank, and therefore can secure you a more competitive margin and lower fees.

Compare money transfer services to South Korea from the Philippines

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Banks vs money transfer companies or services

How you choose to send money between the Philippines and Korea depends on what you need from the transfer service. Whether you’re looking to save on transfer fees or your top priority is speed, choosing the right service means carefully considering the pros and cons before making a choice.

Most people consult their banks first to see which transfer services they offer. In most cases, banks do international money transfers, but they’re strict about how much they allow you to send, and may have inferior rates and high fees. Most banking services offer customers both online and telegraphic transfers to a recipient’s bank account or for collection at an agency.

If you’re looking for a combination of low to zero transfer fees and no limit on the amount sent, you may be better off with a money transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. Transfers are instantaneous and they have branches all over South Korea. That said, it’s still a good idea to weigh your options.

How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Korea?

Taking the time to compare transfer-service options can help you save on fees, cut down on delivery time and ensure that your recipient benefits from the best possible exchange rate. Before settling on a service, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Exchange rates. Choosing the best possible exchange rate means that your recipient gets more money in their own currency. Make sure that a high exchange rate is not cancelled out by high transfer fees.
  • Transfer fee. Ideally the service you choose charges little or no transfer fees. Sometimes transfer services will waive the fee if you send a big enough amount.
  • Transferring within the same bank. Some Philippine banks have international branches which may offer free or quick transfers.
  • Transfer methods. Check whether the service offers online transfers, cash transfers, international cheques – choose the service with the best transfer methods to suit your needs.
  • Turnaround time. A transfer can be instantaneous or take up to five days to reach its destination. Consider your needs and how urgently your recipient needs the money before making a decision.
  • Pick-up methods. Consult with your recipient about how they’d like to receive the money: direct deposit into their account or via cash collect at an agency or designated pick-up point.
  • Minimum transfer amounts. Most transfer services are clear about the maximum amount you can send, but they don’t always stipulate whether there’s a required minimum. This isn’t always convenient for people sending small amounts at a time.
  • Customer service. It’s important that the transfer service’s customer relations staff can assist with any problem you might have with the transfer. They should be easily contactable, whether by email, online chat or direct telephone line.
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What are my options for sending money to South Korea from the Philippines?

There are several transfer methods from which to choose, including:

  • Bank to bank transfers. If you’re happy with the exchange rate and transfer fees offered by your bank, you can send money from your account to your recipient’s account.
  • Cash pick-up. Money transfer companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have agencies all over Korea, so your recipient can easily collect the cash in person.
  • Money transfer companies. Many companies offer international transfers to Korea at various exchange rates and fees.
  • PayPal. PayPal is operational in Korea, so if you and your recipient have PayPal accounts, you can send money online.
  • International money order. Most banks accept deposits in exchange for an internationally bank-guaranteed cheque that your recipient can deposit into his or her bank account.

How to send money to Korea

  1. Choose a provider that fits your needs for sending money to South Korea.
  2. Provide your name, address, contact information and any required documentation. If you intend to send money through MoneyGram or Western Union, you need to go to an agent location and make the transfer in person.
  3. Provide your recipient’s name, address and information, along with their bank account info if you’re sending a bank transfer.
  4. Select the amount to transfer and complete your transaction.
  5. Make a note of a tracking number you may receive so you can monitor the progress of your money transfer.
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Emergency cash transfers in Korea

Whether you’re holidaying in Korea and need cash in a hurry, or a family member needs an emergency transfer, money transfer companies offering delivery within minutes could be your best bet.

Despite the urgency, take the time to compare exchange rates and transfer costs – sometimes a quick delivery comes at the price of higher fees. If your bank has a branch close to where you are, simply pop in and explain your situation.

In the case of theft or an accident during a holiday, you can claim from your travel insurance, but this may take too much time. If you have emergency cash replacement linked to your credit card insurance or debit card, you can also utilise this by calling the emergency hotline provided by your bank.

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Cash pick-up locations in Korea

WorldRemit, Western Union, MoneyGram have locations all over Korea, so whether your recipient is located in the city or in the countryside, they should be able to find an agency close by.

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Tips for picking up cash in Korea

Korea is relatively safe for travellers, but as in any foreign country, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Foreigners should be particularly aware of the traffic: motorists, taxis and buses drive aggressively.

Korean authorities stage civil emergency drills on the 15th of every month, which involves sirens, interrupted traffic and people taking shelter. The rates of violent crime are low in general, but incidents of burglary and purse-snatching still occur in the cities. If you’re collecting cash at an agency, take someone along and be sure to get there during opening hours.

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