Send Money to Bangladesh with No Fees

Information verified correct on December 7th, 2016

uk_Bangladesh

Are you among the many people looking for ways to send money to Bangladesh? Here’s all the information you need to get going.

Bangladeshis in the UK form one of the largest immigrant communities in the region. A number of Sylheti and Bengali people arrived in the UK as early as the 17th century. After the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, a significant number of Bangladeshis immigrated to the UK. Now, the Bangladeshi population is one of the youngest and fastest-growing ethnic communities in the UK. The 2001 UK census recorded more than 154,000 Bangladeshi-born people, and this number exceeded 212,000 in the 2011 UK census.

Trade between Bangladesh and the UK has grown noticeably in recent times, with an increase of more than 110% in bilateral trade from 2007 to 2012. The UK is Bangladesh’s third-largest export destination, and its exports to the UK in 2010-2011 crossed USD$2 billion.

More and more people are sending money from the UK to Bangladesh, so continue reading if you want to know more.

Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies

Fardin Alam got a job in the UK, which meant having to relocate from Bangladesh. His wife and child accompanied him, but his ageing parents chose to stay back. Now that he’s in the UK, he wants to send some money to his parents from time to time. Fardin feels that sending £500 every month is enough.

Fardin knows he can turn to his bank to send the money to Bangladesh, but he wants to compare his options to see if he can get a better deal. He knows he can use the services of money transfer companies as well, so he includes them in his comparison. This is what he finds:

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rateGBP1 = BDT117.1834GBP1 = BDT117.6163267
Transfer fee£6.99£0
Amount received for £5000BDT57,773.00BDT58,808.16
Transfer time3-4 business days1-2 business days
Transfer optionsBank accountBank accountCash (£8.90 fee applies)
Difference ofBDT1,035.16

The first service provider will allow Fardin to send money to a bank account in Bangladesh. The second service provider will allow Fardin to send money to a bank account or have his father collect cash at a physical location. The second provider offers a better deal in terms of turnaround time as well as the money his father will receive. Even if his father needs money in a hurry and chooses to collect cash from an outlet, he’ll still end up getting BDT57,761.38 at the given exchange rates.

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How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Bangladesh?

Pay attention to the following factors when comparing money transfer companies to send money to Bangladesh

  • Exchange rate and fees. These are mentioned together because you have to consider both at the same time. High fees can offset any probable benefit you may expect to receive from a good exchange rate, and you don’t want to pay little to no fees but get a poor exchange rate. If comparing these seems confusing, simply look at how much money the recipient stands to receive.
  • Ways to send money. Some money transfer companies let you send money over the phone and online. Others have physical outlets that you can visit to initiate such transfers in person. Banks that let you send money to Bangladesh let you do so in person, online and over the phone.
  • Ways to receive money. The easiest way for the recipient to receive money is to have it deposited directly in their bank account. Another option is to collect cash by visiting a physical location.
  • Processing time. If you want to send money in a hurry, your best bet is to turn to a money transfer service that provides cash pick-up facility in Bangladesh, because such transfers take place almost immediately. Transferring money to a Bangladeshi bank account can take one and six business days or longer, depending on the money transfer service you deal with.
  • Scheduling payments. Some money transfer companies let you schedule regular payments so you don’t have to go through the entire process each time.
  • Customer support. You should limit your dealings with businesses that are reliable and offer good customer support. The company you work with should ideally offer support via phone, chat and email.
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How to send money to Bangladesh from the UK

When it comes to sending money from the UK to Bangladesh, you can contact banks and some non-banking institutions.

  • Banks. Most banks in the UK let their customers transfer money to bank accounts in Bangladesh for a fee. The time taken for a transfer to go through can vary from one bank to the next. If you have a chequebook you can think about sending a cheque by mail, which the recipient can then deposit in his or her bank. Another option is to buy a money order from a bank and send it by mail.
  • Non banks. Money transfer companies operate in different ways. If you use PayPal, you and the recipient should create PayPal accounts first, and then you can send money from your account to the recipient’s account. The recipient needs a bank account to withdraw funds from the PayPal account. If you use service providers such as Western Union and MoneyGram, you can send money directly to the recipient’s bank account, and the recipient can also collect cash from a physical outlet. Some online money transfer companies let you transfer money only to bank accounts.
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Emergency cash transfers in Bangladesh

If you’re visiting Bangladesh and end up losing your money and cards, that you can still get some emergency money. Don’t forget to report your cards as lost or stolen. Here’s how you can get some emergency funds:

  • Money transfer. Call a relative or a friend in UK or elsewhere  and request funds through a money transfer company. Identify a suitable cash pick-up location before you request such a transfer.
  • Cash advance. If you use an American Express credit card, or if your credit card comes with an affiliation to Visa or MasterCard, you can access emergency funds. To do this, visit a local participating bank or financial institution.
  • Travel insurance. Getting travel insurance before you travel overseas can be a good idea, but make sure that the cover you get comes with the provision of emergency cash.
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Cash pick-up locations in Bangladesh/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Bangladesh

Getting cash from overseas is easy in Bangladesh, and businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a widespread presence in the country. To collect cash from these locations, the recipient should provide a transaction number as well as a valid form of ID. Some of the cash pick-up locations in Bangladesh include the following:

Western Union

Dhaka

  • Agrani Bank Limited
    Jalirpar Bazar Gopalgonj
    Gopalgonj
    Dhaka
    +880-1718155111
    Open 9am to 5pm,Saturday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays.
  • Agrani Bank Limited
    Kalma Bazar Road Munshigonj
    Munshigonj
    Dhaka
    +880-1719459018
    Open 9am to 5pm, Saturday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays.

Chittagong

  • Al Arafah Islami Bank Limited
    Shiberhat Branch
    Chittagong
    +880-1796399377
    Open 10am to 5pm, Sunday to Thursday. 10am to 3pm on Saturdays. Closed on Fridays.
  • Al Arafah Islami Bank Limited
    Kader Plaza 221 Jubilee Road
    Chittagong
    +880-31637680
    Open 9am to 5pm, Saturday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays.

MoneyGram

Dhaka

  • PBL
    South Kafrul Rim Complex
    Kafrul 31
    Dhaka
    +880-1711404360
    Open 9am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • PBL
    Mohakhali Comm. Area 73
    Dhaka
    +880-1711401317
    Open 9am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Chittagong

  • Mercantile Bank Limited
    #153 – Chittag Rahman Menson
    1 Club Road 1284-Gobindokhal
    Chittagong
    +880-1713161483
    Open 10am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • EBL – Bhatiary Branch
    Sajeda Bhaban GF-1st and 2nd Floor
    Beside Akbar Ali Road
    Chittagong
    +880-312869451
    Open 10am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
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Tips for picking up cash in Bangladesh

You can find money transfer services in Dhaka as well as in other cities and towns around the country. You can find Standard Chartered Bank ATMs across Bangladesh, and you’ll come by HSBC ATMs in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office states that purse-snatching, pickpocketing and armed robbery can take place in Bangladesh, so be cautious. Avoid carrying large sums of money with you. You are particularly vulnerable if you’re travelling alone at night. It’s best to steer clear of public transport when you’re alone. Arrange taxi transfers in advance, and don’t give in to touts offering to carry your luggage.

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How to send money to Bangladesh

The information you have to provide when you send money to Bangladesh varies according to your method of payment.

  • Transfer to a bank account. When sending money to a Bangladeshi bank account, you’ll have to provide details such as the recipient’s name, account number, and the bank’s name and SWIFT code.  If you’re using a service provider other than your bank, you’ll also have to provide your bank account or credit card details to initiate the transfer.
  • Transferring to a pick-up location. Ifyou want the recipient to collect cash, you’ll have to give the service provider the recipient’s name and the chosen pick-up location. You also have to provide your bank account or credit card details to move forward with the transfer, and you may also have to register as a new user.
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