Compare services that send money to Ghana from the UK
Case study: Your banks vs. money transfer companies
Samuel Addo arrived in the UK as a student. He got a job almost as soon as he completed his University education, which allowed him to remain in the country. While his father has a stable job back home in Ghana, he wants to start sending £500 to his parents on a monthly basis so they can lead a more comfortable lifestyle.
When he visits his local bank, he learns that they do not transfer funds to Ghana because they consider Ghanaian cedi an exotic currency. He could turn to other banks, but he instead compares money transfer companies to see what they offer.
|Money Transfer Service A||Money Transfer Service B|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 6.42 GHS||1 GBP = 6.59 GHS|
|Transfer speed||Instantly||2–5 business days|
|Transfer options||Cash pickup||Bank account|
|Total GHS received for £500||3,210 GHS||3,295 GHS|
While Money Transfer B takes a few more days to deliver his money, Samuel opts for its stronger exchange rate and direct deposit into his father’s Ghanaian bank account. His father stands to receive an extra 85 Ghanaian cedi as well.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Ghana?
When you’re sending money to Ghana from the UK, keep an eye on:
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Ways to send money. While a few transfer companies will allow you to pay by phone or at an agent location, others are fully online and accept credit or debit cards and bank account transfers only.
- Ways to receive money. The recipient can receive the transferred money directly into a Ghanaian bank account. Another option is to collect the money by visiting a cash pickup location.
- “Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Ghana has a flexible exchange rate, which means it can change from moment to moment based on factors such as interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for Ghana
How to send money to Ghana from the UK
You have multiple options to send money to Ghana from the UK.
- Bank transfers. Your major US banks may allow you to wire money to banks in Ghana.
- Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer several cash pickup centres in Ghana.
- Money transfer specialists. WorldRemit and other companies let you transfer money to Ghanaian bank accounts.
- PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money all over the world.
Steps to send money to Ghana
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Supply your recipient’s name, contact information and bank account details as required.
- Enter the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction.
- Keep track of any receipt you receive so you can monitor the progress of your transfer.
Tips for picking up cash in Ghana
Be vigilant when you collect money from a cash pickup location and when you withdraw money from ATMs. Avoid carrying large sums of money with you by depositing your money quickly.