Send Money to Egypt Securely

Information verified correct on December 7th, 2016

Sending money from the UK to Egypt does not involve rocket Egyptscience, but it pays to identify and understand your options.

The 2001 UK Census reported around 24,700 Egyptian-born people living in the UK. In 2009, the Office for National Statistics put this number at around 27,000, and by the time the 2011 UK Census saw light of day, this number increased to around 30,000.

Until the late 1960s only a handful of Egyptians moved to the UK, mainly because Egyptians have traditionally been averse to emigrating. The Egyptian Revolution witnessed the nationalisation of many private businesses, which led to some middle and upper class Egyptians leaving the country. In 1967, when the country suffered defeat in the Six Day War, a larger number of people began leaving the country. In the 1970s and 1980s, a number of Egyptians took advantage of relaxed emigration norms, and many moved to the UK.

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Commerce wise, trade volume between UK and Egypt increased noticeably in 2014. While exports from Egypt to UK grew by more than 30%, exports from UK to Egypt increased by around 15%.

Given the relations between these two regions, it is only natural that people want to send money from UK to Egypt, and multiple options make matters simple.

Case study: Banks vs money transfer services

Omar Abo-Samra moved to the UK because of work, and his wife and daughter remained in Egypt. While his wife works in Egypt, she does not make enough to sustain the lifestyle they lead, so Omar will have to send money to her periodically. He plans to send around GBP1,000 every two months.

When Omar moved to the UK, he opened a bank account with a leading UK bank. He has the option of turning to his bank to send money to his wife, but he’s not sure is it will offer him the best deal. He decides to carry out a comparison between banks and money transfer companies, and this is what he finds.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rateGBP1 = EGP11.8795GBP1 = EGP12.1907174
Transfer fee£25£0 (bank account)
Amount received for £1,000EGP11,582.54EGP12,190.72
Transfer timeThree to five daysOne to two days
Transfer optionsBank accountBank account, cash pickup
Difference ofEGP608.18

The second option, Omar notices, ends up giving the recipient almost EGP600 more every time he transfers GBP1,000, and the process is quicker as well. If he chooses to go the cash pickup way with the second service provider, he’ll have to pay a fee of GBP15, but it’ll still be better than the first option.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Egypt

Since there are various options when it comes to sending money from UK to Egypt, it is important that you pay attention to the following factors.

  • Fees and exchange rate. It is normal for you to find different exchange rates and fees when you compare your options, and it’s important that you pay attention to both. While high fees can offset a seemingly great exchange rate, a provider that charges little to no fees might offer a poor exchange rate. A simple way to arrive at most economically viable option is to find out how much money the recipient stands to receive.
  • Transfer methods. Most banks that allow international money transfers as well as some money transfer companies let you initiate such transfers in person, by visiting a branch, a store or a kiosk. You can turn online to send money to Egypt, and some service providers let you do this over the phone as well.
  • Pick up methods. Transferring money into the recipient’s bank account is fairly simple. Your other option is to get the recipient to collect cash by visiting a cash pickup location.
  • Turnaround time. If the recipient is to collect cash at a cash pick location, he or she can do this almost as soon as you send the money. In case of transfers to bank accounts, the time taken depends on the service provider you choose, and typically varies in between one and six days.
  • Minimum transfer amount. Some service providers let you send as little as £1, and some others have minimum limits of £500 or £1,000.
  • Customer service. This aspect plays a role if you plan to send money to Egypt from time to time, because you never know when you might need to get in touch with your service provider. A good service provider, in this regards, in one that offers support via phone, chat and email.
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How to send money to Egypt from UK

Sending money from UK to Egypt presents you with two basic options; you can get in touch with a bank or a non bank money transfer service provider.

  • Banks. Many banks in the UK let their customers transfer money to Egyptian bank accounts, and you can expect to pay some kind of fees to use their services. The time such a transfer takes depends on the bank you choose, and can take one to six days, or even more. If your bank account comes with a chequebook, you can consider sending a cheque to Egypt via mail, and you can also contact a bank to get a money order.
  • Non banks. Some money transfer companies only let you transfer money to bank accounts. Some online companies require that you and the recipient have accounts with them, and you can then transfer money from your account to the recipient’s account. The recipient then withdraws money into a bank account. Some money transfer service providers have physical outlets that recipients can turn to in order to collect cash.
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Emergency cash transfers in Egypt

If you end up losing your money or wallet in Egypt, there are ways you can get access to some emergency money. If you lose your credit and debit cards, start by reporting them as lost or stolen. To get emergency money, your options are as follows:

  • International money transfer. An easy way to get some emergency money is to ask a friend or relative in the UK to send some. Look for a money transfer company that has an outlet near where you are, and pass the information on to the sender.
  • Cash advance. People who have American Express, MasterCard or Visa credit cards can consider getting emergency cash advances. In this case, you would get money from a local participating financial institution, and the money you get would credit to your account automatically.
  • Travel insurance. Getting travel insurance when you travel overseas is always a good idea. Some travel insurance covers give you the ability to get emergency money in a host of situations.
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Cash pickup locations in Egypt/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Egypt

If you’re looking for cash pickup locations in Egypt, know that Western Union and MoneyGram have extensive networks in this country. To collect money from these locations, recipients should carry valid reference numbers and suitable forms of ID. Given below are some of the cash pickup locations in Egypt.

Western Union

Cairo

  • FAO
    11 El Eslah El Zeraae Dokki
    Dokki, Cairo
    +20-2-33387257
    Open 08:30am to 02:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday
  • D TOWN
    4 Hussein Elmaamar St
    Off Mahmoud Basyouni St Besid
    Cairo, Cairo
    +20-2-25745416
    Open 24 hours Monday to Thursday, 01:00am to 11:30pm Friday, and 07:00am to 11:00pm Saturday and Sunday

Alexandria

  • AAIB
    A30 San Stefano Mall
    Alexandria, Alexandria
    +20-3-16430
    Open 08:30am to 06:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday
  • Talaat Harb
    23 Talaat Harb
    Alexandria, Alexandria
    +20-3-4878571
    Open 07:30am to 07:30pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday

MoneyGram

Cairo

  • Banque Du Caire – Cairo – Roxy
    11 Aly El Rouby Street Roxy Sqr.
    Cairo
    +20-2-22586891
    Open 08:30am to 03:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday
  • The United Bank
    4 El Baroufia Street-Alghouria-Al Azhar
    Cairo
    +20-2-25111921
    Open 08:00am to 05:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday

Alexandria

  • Banque Du Caire – Alexandria – Sesostris
    16 Sezostreis
    Alexandria
    +20-3-24865852
    Open 08:30am to 03:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday
  • The United Bank
    12 Champlion Street El Azarita
    El Azarita
    Alexandria
    +20-3-4866177
    Open 08:00am to 05:00pm Sunday to Thursday, closed on Friday and Saturday
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Tips for picking up cash in Egypt

As per the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Egypt has a fairly low crime rate, but expatriates have been victims of muggings, break-ins, armed robberies and carjacking. There have been instances of mugging in taxis, and carjackers tend to target four-wheel drive vehicles. In case you travel on a microbus, avoid being the only passenger. Solitary women travellers should take extra care. Keep your cash, valuables and passport safely, and keep an eye out for bag snatchers and pickpockets. Using hotel safes is a good idea.

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How to send money to Egypt

No matter which method you choose, you’ll have to provide the service provider with some information.

  • Transfer to bank account. To send money to an Egyptian bank account you’ll need the bank’s name, the bank’s SWIFT code, the bank’s address, the payee’s name and the payee’s account number.
  • Cash pickup. If you’re using the services of a money transfer company that allows cash pickup in Egypt, you’ll have to start by registering with the business in question. To move forward with the transfer, you’ll have to provide a desired pickup location along with the recipient’s name.
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