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Avoid high fees and compare your options for sending money to Colombia

Going through this guide about sending money from the UK to Colombia can help you save money.

The United Kingdom played in a role in Colombia gaining independence from Spain. Formal relations between these two regions began in 1825. While Colombia has an embassy in London, the United Kingdom has an embassy in Bogota as well as consulates in Cartagena and Cali. Colombia is the UK’s fifth largest export market in South America.

The 2011 UK Census reported there being 25,182 Colombian-born individuals who lived in England and Wales. However, unofficial estimates suggest there may be as many as 90,000 to 200,000 Colombian-born individuals who live in the UK.

Given the relations between these two regions, instances of people wanting to send money from the UK to Colombia are common. This guide will help you narrow down on a method that works best for you.

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,500 2 days N/A N/A Online, Phone N/A Get a great deal for your international money exchange with no commission, no hidden costs and a guaranteed exchange rate. Go to site Show details

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Banks versus money transfer companies

Maria Jimenez relocated to the UK because her work got her here. Her aging parents stayed back in Colombia. After getting to the UK Maria figured she could afford sending around GBP500 to her parents every month. She opened an account with a prominent bank when she got to the UK. However, she wasn’t sure if using its services to transfer money to Colombia was a good idea.

She carried out an online comparison to see if she could find a better deal. This is what the results showed.

UK bankMoney transfer service 2
Exchange rateGBP1 = COP4,619.4984GBP1 = COP4,733.6850
Transfer fee£25£0
Amount received for £500COP2,194,261.74COP2,366,842.50
Transfer timeThree to five daysOne day
Transfer optionsBank accountBank account
Difference ofCOP1,72,580.76

When she made this comparison she realised that the money transfer company offered her a better deal in terms of the amount her parents would receive. Besides, it got the money to Colombia faster. Which of the two options she chose is anybody’s guess.

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How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Colombia?

When you’re comparing money transfer companies several aspects require your attention. These include:

  • Exchange rate and fees. Getting a competitive exchange rate does not necessarily mean that you’re getting a good deal. This is because you may have to pay fees that offset any benefit you think you might receive. Instead, look at how much money the recipient will get, as this gives you a better picture about the monetary aspect.
  • Methods to send money. Sending money in person is possible because some money transfer companies have stores and kiosks across the UK. Turning to the Internet presents you with more options. Online money transfer companies let you transfer money directly from your bank account. Some money transfer companies let you transfer funds over the phone as well.
  • Methods to receive money. If the recipient has a bank account you can transfer funds directly into the account. If not, you can get the recipient to collect cash by visiting a physical location.
  • Processing time. The time it takes for funds to transfer from the UK to Colombia depends on the service provider you choose. If the recipient is to collect cash from a physical location the transfer should take place on the same day. For transfers to bank accounts, the process may take one to seven business days.
  • Transferring through the same bank. Using a single bank to transfer money to Colombia can lead to savings in the form of fees. It can also save time. You can do this if you and the recipient bank with the same financial institution.
  • Transfer options. Are you making a one-time transfer or will you need to transfer money from time to time? If the latter is the case you can find service providers that provide scheduled payments as well as forwards contracts and market orders.
  • Customer service. A good service provider is one that lets you get in touch with a company representative over the phone, via chat and via email.
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How do I send money to Colombia from the UK?

When sending money from the UK to Colombia you get to choose between banks and non banking institutions:

  • Banks. There’s a good chance that the bank you deal with will let you send money to Colombia. You may have to pay fees to use its services. Finding out how long it takes to complete the transfer is a good idea. Banks let you purchase money orders, which you can send via regular mail. You can also consider sending a cheque via mail.
  • Non banks. Money transfer companies such as MoneyGram and Western Union let you send money to Colombia. You can transfer the money to a Colombian bank account or get the recipient to collect cash. Using PayPal is another option. In this case you and the recipient should have PayPal accounts. After the transfer is complete the recipient can withdraw the money into a bank account.
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How do I receive money from Colombia in the UK?

Receiving money from Colombia presents you with these two options:

  • Banks. If you have a bank account you can get the sender to transfer money into your bank account electronically. The sender can do this using the services of a bank or a money transfer company. You can also get a money order or a cheque via mail, which you can deposit in your bank account.
  • Non banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you collect cash by visiting physical locations. You can receive money through your PayPal account, provided the sender has one too. Transferring money from your PayPal account to your bank account is easy.
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Emergency cash transfers in Colombia

If you find yourself without your wallet, bank cards and money when in Colombia, know that all’s not lost. The first thing you have to do is cancel your cards. Next, you can consider getting some emergency money using these ways:

  • Cash pickup. Can you get a family member or friend to send you some money through a money transfer company? If so, establish where you want to collect the cash from and pass this information on to the sender. To collect the transferred money you’ll need to provide some kind of valid ID.
  • Cash through credit card provider. Existing American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit card holders can get access to emergency money by visiting local participating financial institutions. In such a scenario, the money you get simply adds to your account.
  • Travel insurance. You can find travel insurance covers that provide emergency cash to deal with situations such as medical emergencies, lost and misplaced baggage as well as flight delays and cancellations.
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Cash pickup locations in Colombia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Colombia

Western Union and MoneyGram have numerous cash pickup centres across Colombia, which you can use to collect cash. You’ll need some form of acceptable ID such as your passport or driver’s license to verify your identity before you can get the money. If you plan to collect a large sum, calling ahead of time to check availability of funds is a good idea. Here are some cash pickup locations in Colombia.

Western Union


  • Acciones Y Valores Sa
    Diagonal 45 Sur # 51-90
    Oficina Alkosto Venecia
    Bogota, Cundinamarca
    Open 9:00am to 6:30pm Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday
  • Acciones Y Valores Sa
    Carrera 59a N 79 30 Local 117
    Exito Calle 80
    Open 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm Sunday


  • Bello CC Puerta Del Norte
    Diagonal 51 No. 35-120 Local 1
    Centro Comercial Puerta Del No
    Medellin, Antioquia
    Open 8:30am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 8:00pm Sunday
  • Efecty
    Cale 51 No 48 03
    Medellin, Antioquia
    Open 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday



  • Titan Intercontinental Sa – Agencia Sur
    Transversal 71D No 26 94 Sur Ccial Plaza de las Americas Lca
    Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday
  • Titan Intercontinental Sa – Agencia Metr
    Av 68 No 75a 50 Centro Comercial Metropolis Local 2 62
    Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday


  • Davivienda – #377 – Calaxanz
    Kr 80 No. 48-105
    Open 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
  • Davivienda – Unimedellin
    Kr 66b No. 34a-76
    Open 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
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Tips for picking up cash in Colombia

If you’re collecting money from a cash pickup location in Colombia, be particularly vigilant once you get the cash, especially after dark. Street crime is a cause for concern across major cities such as Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Santa Marta. Instances of British nationals targeted in gunpoint robberies are not uncommon. Violence can accompany pick pocketing and mugging.

Try not to visit deprived areas of cities on your own, especially at night. Refrain from carrying large amounts of cash or wearing expensive watches and jewellery.

Pay due attention to warnings that Colombian authorities may issue from time to time because the security situation is prone to changing very quickly. Exercise extra caution in crowded places and during major events.

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What are the steps to send money to Colombia?

The method you choose has a bearing on the information you have to provide:

  1. Bank account transfer. If the money is to go to a Colombian bank account you’ll have to provide the recipient’s complete name, the bank’s name, the bank’s SWIFT code and the account number. If you’re sending money using an online money transfer company you’ll have to provide your bank account details as well.
  2. Cash pickup. In this case you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name as well as a desired cash pickup location. If you wish to send cash in person you’ll have to provide a valid ID along with your contact details. Transferring money online will also require your bank account details.
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