Send money to Southeast Asia
Sending money to Southeast Asia is easy, affordable and convenient when you find the right money transfer company.
Picking the right choice for a money transfer may seem complex at first. But when you take the time to compare your options, you could save money on fees and send more to your recipient in Southeast Asia. Between banks and dedicated money transfer companies, you can find a great deal without spending too much time or money searching.
Compare international money transfers to Southeast Asia
Best ways to send money to Southeast Asia
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Southeast Asia. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others transfer to bank accounts.
1. Digital money transfer servicesCompanies like Wise and XE specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective ways to send money to Southeast Asia. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's bank account in Southeast Asia, often in as little as a day or two.
- Why? Digital money transfer services are cheaper because they exist online and don't have as many employees or physical locations.
2. Cash transfersServices like Remitly and WorldRemit allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Southeast Asia— often in 15 minutes. While it's a fast way to send money, you'll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
- Why? Picking up cash is more expensive because more people are involved.
3. BanksThe Indonesian rupiah may be offered by your bank, but beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate. Compare bank transfers to digital services and other options before sending a wire transfer to Southeast Asia.
- Why? Banks offer money transfers as a secondary service so don't strive to offer competitive prices.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Southeast AsiaLet's say you need to send $1,000 to family in Southeast Asia. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates using today's rate of 1 USD = 15.000 IDR.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||$0||$4||$25 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 14.955 IDR||1 USD = 14.925 IDR||1 USD = 14.250 IDR|
|Transfer speed||1-2 days||Minutes||2-5 days|
The bank option ends up being the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Southeast Asia. A digital transfer sends the most, which is IDR$1,061 more than the bank. For speed, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Southeast Asia in as little as 15 minutes. Make sure there's a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to send money to Southeast Asia online
Sign up and send money to Southeast Asia with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free account. Compare and pick a provider before signing up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you'll need their bank account details in Southeast Asia.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Southeast Asia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
Get the most out of your money transfer to Southeast Asia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to best compare money transfer providers that send to Southeast Asia. Consider:
- Exchange rates. The USD–IDR relationship fluctuates, so using a service that allows you to lock in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Indonesian rupiah rises against the US dollar.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger USD–IDR exchange rate.
- Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Indonesian rupiahs you're sending to Southeast Asia.
- Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Southeast Asia.
- Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you're sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a bank account in Southeast Asia or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transferWhen urgency trumps cost to get your money to Southeast Asia quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
Southeast Asia's exchange rates explained
Banks and money transfer companies use exchange rate to calculate how much Southeast Asia's currency is worth when converted to USD. The USD-IDR relationship can change daily based on global economic stability, interest rates, inflation and more.Today's exchange rate USD to IDR
What to watch out for
Sending money to relatives or family members in Southeast Asia may be subject to taxes on the money transfer and certain documents may be required.
Taxes on transfers to Southeast Asia
In general, any large transfers being sent from the US to Southeast Asia should be filed with the IRS to avoid any penalties.
Receiving money in Southeast Asia:
- Transfer confirmation details like a transfer number, an MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID like a passport or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer.
- Sender's information. Take along your sender's full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
Sending to Southeast Asia from the US:
- Proof of identification like a government-issued ID or your SSN number.
- Recipient information like their name, address and bank account information in Southeast Asia.
Sending your hard-earned money to Southeast Asia shouldn't cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country-specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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