Want to send money to Pakistan? Navigating money transfers can be tough, especially when you’re sending money to a smaller countries. But it doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. When you’re looking to convert your pounds to Pakistani rupees, it pays to spend your time comparing options and finding the best money transfer service for your needs.
Compare services that send money to Pakistan from the UK
Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Sign up and send money to Pakistan with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for an account. Pick a provider and sign 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 Pakistani bank account details.
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 Pakistan. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What’s the best way to send money to Pakistan?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Pakistan. Some pair services with local mobile wallet companies like JazzCash. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and long turnaround.
Pakistani rupees aren’t a popular currency, which means banks may not offer them. If your bank supports rupees, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Services like Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Pakistan – often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly.
Digital money transfer specialists
Companies like OFX and TransferWise specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer a variety of options for your recipient to receive your money, like to a JazzCash account or for cash pickup at an agent location.
Crunching the numbers: Sending £1,000 to Pakistan
Let’s say you need to send £1,000 to family in Pakistan. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 1 May 2020.
Online money transfer
£20 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 GBP = 191.33 PKR
1 GBP = 198.04 PKR
1 GBP = 199.79 PKR
2 to 3 days
Slowest and most expensive
The bank transfer is slow and results in the smallest amount transferred to your recipient, given a weak exchange rate. With the online money transfer service, your recipient ends up with 8,465 more rupees. If you need to send the money urgently, a cash transfer will get it there within minutes – but the online money transfer won’t take that much longer.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Pakistan
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send money to Pakistan to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The GBP–PKR relationship is relatively stable, so providers should offer exchange rates close to the mid-market rate. If they don’t, consider taking your business elsewhere.
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 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 number of Pakistani rupees you’re sending.
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.
Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between the UK and Pakistan, which means companies with high minimums transfers may not be your best choice.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Pakistani bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
If you need to send money to Pakistan 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.
How to send money to Pakistan without a bank account
If you don’t have a bank account, you can still use cash transfer services to get the money to its destination. Similarly, a recipient can get the money with a cash transfer if they don’t have a bank account.
These cash transfer services are widely available around the world and although they’ll typically not be the cheapest available service they can be fast, convenient and can be used without bank accounts.
Pakistani exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Pakistan’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the pound sterling, which means it shifts during large global events but typically doesn’t change much day-to-day. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
To send money to Pakistan from the UK, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Pakistan may be different by company.
Documents to send money from the UK
To send money to Pakistan from the UK, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver’s licence, passport or other government-issued ID.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Pakistani bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Pakistan
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details – called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. A Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or passport is typically accepted.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
In general, Pakistan doesn’t impose any restrictions on remittances to the country through banks and money transfer companies. But most UK money transfer services will require you to submit valid ID, log high-amount transfers and submit precise recipient information.
It shouldn’t cost a fortune to send money to Pakistan. Compare money transfer companies that specialise 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.
Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder. He’s ghostwritten hundreds of articles on fintech, finding his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Traveling internationally for nearly half his life — and getting burned once by an OTC money exchange — Zak's vowed not to settle for anything short of the mid-market rate again.
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