Send Money to Philippines Efficiently

Information verified correct on December 7th, 2016

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Sending money to Philippines and looking for the best option? Here’s all the information you need.

Until the late 20th century there were relatively low numbers of Filipinos in the UK, and their population in this country began to grow mainly after the 1970s. This was after citizens of the Commonwealth faced immigration restrictions, and employers in the UK had to look for employees from other nations.

More than 20,000 Filipinos received work permits in between the late 1960s and 1980. The 2011 UK census showed that the country was home to more than 40,000 people born in Philippines, and as per the Office for National Statistics this number grew to around 112,000 by 2009. As per the Manila Times, around 200,000 Filipinos lived in the UK in 2007.

Given the noticeable Filipino population in the UK, it comes as no surprise that instances of people sending money to Philippines remains on the rise, and what helps is that you can do so in different ways.

Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies

Mariel Santos moved to the UK on account of work, and her parents and younger brother continue to live in Philippines. Finances of the Santos household depend on Mariel, so she’ll have to send some money back home on a regular basis for as long as she remains in the UK. She intends sending GBP1,000 every two months, which she wishes to transfer directly into her mother’s bank account.

She opened an account with a leading UK bank soon as she arrived here, and while she could use the services of the said bank to transfer money to Philippines, she wished to compare her options to see if she could save some money in the process. Upon comparing her bank with a leading money transfer company, this is what she found.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rateGBP1 = PHP66.4239GBP1 = PHP70.2567
Transfer fee£9£0 (for transfers of £1,000 or more)
Amount received for £1,000PHP65,826.04PHP70,256.68
Transfer timeThree to five daysOne day
Transfer optionsBank accountBank account
Difference ofPHP4,430.64

A simple comparison gave Mariel clear insight into which one was the better option. Through the second option her family stood to receive around PHP4,000 extra every couple of months, and the process was quicker as well.

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How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Philippines

If you’re considering sending money to Philippines, take into that that a number of banks and money transfer companies vie for your attention, but not all are as good. This requires that you pay attention to multiple factors when trying to pick the best one.

  • Exchange rate and fee. It is ideal that you look at both together. This is because a high fee might offset any benefit you receive through a competitive exchange rate, and a low fee may not look as good when it comes with a poor exchange rate. Taking a look at just how much money the recipient will receive should give you a clear indication of which service is more cost effective.
  • Methods to send money. If a bank permits transfer of funds to Philippines it should let you complete the formalities by visiting a branch, although it can also let you do so online. Some money transfer companies let you do so at their stores or kiosks, and with ones that don’t, you initiate such transfers online.
  • Methods to receive money. Most banks and money transfer companies require that you transfer money to the recipient’s bank account. If the recipient does not have a bank account, you’ll have to turn to a service provide that offers cash pickups.
  • Time taken. Banks typically take longer to transfer funds internationally when compared to money transfer companies. Some banks can take up to six business days to complete such transfers, and money transfer companies normally take one to two days. If you go the cash pickup way, the transfer takes place almost immediately.
  • Minimum transfer amount. With some international money transfer companies, you’ll have to transfer a minimum of £1,000 or £2,000. However, some others allow you to transfer any amount over £1.
  • Support. If you plan to send money overseas from time to time, looking for a business that offers good customer service and support is a good idea. Some companies offer support via phone, chat and email, and some even provide expert advice and free market analysis.
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How to send money to Philippines from the UK

The significant number of Filipinos sending money to Philippines ensures they have different ways to do so, and given below are details of your alternatives.

  • Banks. If the recipient has a bank account, you can simply turn to your bank and initiate transfer of money to Philippines. Expect the bank to charge to a fee for its services. The entire process can take in between two to six days, and in some cases, even longer.
  • Non banks. The global presence of non banking businesses like Western Union and PayPal give you more ways to send money from the UK to Philippines. Western Union has a presence in Philippines, and if you use its services you can get the recipient to visit a Western Union outlet to collect cash. With PayPal, you and the recipient have to start by registering, and the recipient needs a bank account to withdraw the transferred money.
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Emergency cash transfers in Philippines

Losing your wallet or belongings in foreign land can be a very unpleasant experience, but you can have something to fall back on by getting an emergency cash advance. If you find yourself in such a situation when visiting Philippines, you can consider the following:

  • Cash pickup. If you can get someone in the UK to send some money, this is a good idea. The person sending the money can turn to a business like Western Union or MoneyGram, and you can collect cash by visiting your closest outlet.
  • Cash advance. If you have an existing MasterCard, Visa or American Express card, you can think about getting a cash advance. In this situation, once you report your card as lost or stolen you can collect money from a participating institution in Philippines.
  • Travel insurance. Some high end credit cards offer complimentary travel insurance and you can get it otherwise as well. If you’re going through an emergency situation, you can turn to your insurance provider to get emergency cash, but bear in mind that this feature is not part of all travel insurance covers.
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Cash pickup locations in Philippines/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Philippines

If you wish to transfer money to Philippines In a hurry, your best bet is to contact a money transfer service provider like MoneyGram or Western Union. Both have a number of cash pickup locations in Philippines. To collect transferred funds the recipient would have to present a valid form of photo identification along with a reference number you receive when you initiate the transfer. Some of the locations in Philippines include the following.

Western Union

Manila

  • Aguirre Pawnshop
    Prime Block Podium Level
    Tutuban Center
    Manila, Metro Manila 1013
    +63-2-6202360
    Open 09:00am to 06:00pm Monday to Sunday
  • Chinabank Elcano
    Ground Floor
    Elcano Tower San Nicolas
    Manila, Metro Manila 1000
    +63-2-6202360
    Open 09:00am to 04:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday

Davao

  • Asian Hills Bank Claveria
    Cm Recto Avenue Ec Building Door 29-31
    Claveria
    Davao, Davao Del Sur 8000
    +63-916-9796390
    Open 08:00am to 05:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
  • C & L Bayad Center – Matina
    NCCC Centerpoint Mall
    Barangay Matina Crossing
    Davao, Davao Del Sur 8000
    +63-82-2978042
    Open 08:00am to 06:00pm Monday to Sunday

MoneyGram

Manila

  • Villarica Pawnshop
    436 Quezon Blvd
    Manila
    Quiapo, 1001
    +63-2-5556011
    Open 07:00am to 07:00pm Monday to Sunday
  • Bank of Commerce
    609 Sales St.
    Quiapo
    MANILA, 1001
    +63-2-27338705
    Open 09:00am to 04:00pm Monday to Friday, 10:00am to 03:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday

Davao

  • LBC – Calinan
    NCCC Calinan National Highway Calinan District
    Davao City, 8000
    +63-916-28517503
    Open 08:00am to 07:00pm Monday to Sunday
  • Cebuana Lhuillier
    Mc Arthur Highway Calinan Davao City
    Davao Del Sur, 8000
    +63-916-28996208
    Open 09:00am to 06:00pm Monday to Saturday, 09:00am to 03:00pm on Sunday
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Tips for picking up cash in Philippines

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) states that instances of robbery and street crime in Philippines are high. When travelling to and from a money transfer company make sure you use the services of a reliable taxi operator. This is because there have been reports of taxi drivers robbing and harming passengers in connivance with their accomplices’. It is best that you avoid displaying cash. If you’re using public transport, exercise particular caution because there have been instances of armed hold-ups on buses and jeepneys.

You can exchange Great Britain pounds for Philippine pesos at airports, banks and hotels, but you won’t be as lucky when it comes to using Scottish and Northern Ireland banknotes.

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How to send money to Philippines

Since you have multiple options when it comes to sending money from the UK to Philippines, the information you have to provide depends on the method you choose.

  • Bank transfer. To complete a funds transfer to a bank account in Philippines you have to providethe name of the recipient, the bank’s name, the recipient’s bank account number and the bank code.
  • Cash pickup. In getting the recipient to pick up cash from a physical location, you’ll have to create an account with the service provider first, for which you have to provide details like your name, address and phone number. For the transfer to take place you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name along with a pickup location. The recipient will have to provide a valid form of ID to collect the cash.
  • Other methods. You can turn to online money transfer companies that let you transfer money from your bank account or credit card account to a bank account in Philippines. You can send money via PayPal and you can also consider sending international money orders.

Sending money from the UK to Philippines has become considerably simpler owing to the widespread use of the Internet.

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