These services are chosen from among the partners we work with based on special features or offers and the commission we receive. Keep in mind that our promoted picks may not always be the best fit for you. Consider your needs and compare other ways to transfer money to Ethiopia in the table below.
Looking for the best way to send money from the United Kingdom to family, friends or businesses in Ethiopia (or even to your own overseas bank account)?
Don't head straight to your British bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better ETB exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of pounds you send, your recipient will receive more Ethiopian birrs.
Of the companies we've compared, Remitly is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from £0. Need a really fast transfer? Remitly can get money to your recipient in Ethiopia within minutes.
Best ways to send money to Ethiopia from the UK
The best way to send money to Ethiopia depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
Online money transfer provider. When buying pounds
or Ethiopian birrs
money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to Ethiopia but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. UK banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in Ethiopia.
Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.
Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Ethiopia
Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Ethiopia. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to Ethiopia.
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Please note: You should always refer to quotes you receive from transfer services themselves directly for exact amounts as they may vary from our estimates.
Cheapest way to send money to Ethiopia
Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to Ethiopia. Remitly and OFX have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.
When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to Ethiopia, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:
Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your British bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market GBP/ETB exchange rate.
Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many Ethiopian birrs your recipient will end up with.
Fastest way to send money to Ethiopia
Many online providers can offer transfers to Ethiopia within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.
Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to Ethiopia:
Remitly — within minutes
WorldRemit — within minutes
OFX — within hours
Actual transfer times from the United Kingdom to Ethiopia can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.
Safest way to send money to Ethiopia
The safest way to get your money to Ethiopia is to use a provider registered with the United Kingdom's industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both the United Kingdom and Ethiopia.
A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended
reviews of each transfer service
and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.
Large money transfers to Ethiopia
If you need to make a sizable money transfer to Ethiopia, consider using a provider such as Wise (TransferWise) or CurrencyTransfer to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.
Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
Tax guidance. Large transfers to Ethiopia may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on HMRC's latest advice.
Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the ETB exchange rate you want.
Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as Wise (TransferWise) and Remitly can give you support over the phone.
How to send money to Ethiopia from the UK
To send money to Ethiopia, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
Compare your options.
Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to Ethiopia. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
Create an account.
You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
Provide your recipient's details.
Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Ethiopian bank account, you'll need the account number,
SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
Enter your transfer amount.
Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total Ethiopian birrs your recipient gets.
Complete your transfer.
Send your money transfer to Ethiopia. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to Ethiopia
When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United Kingdom to Ethiopia, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:
Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the ETB you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to Ethiopia for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
Transfer type. Does your recipient have an Ethiopian bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example,
instant cash pickups
tend to be more expensive than
Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as WorldRemit offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to Ethiopia faster and cheaper than banks.
Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Remitly has a transfer limit of £5,000 while OFX allows unlimited transfers.
Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of Ethiopian birrs.
Frequently asked questions
There are multiple ways to pay for your money transfer to Ethiopia. The most common payment methods include bank transfer, credit card and debit card.
How you pay can influence how quickly your Ethiopian birrs arrive and the total cost of your transfer, so consider both when deciding.
Photo identification: Most providers require a driver's license, passport or other British government-issued ID.
A way to pay: Your options depend on the provider's services. Popular methods include cash, debit or credit card and bank account transfers.
Recipient information: You'll need their name (matching their ID) plus contact details. If sending to a Ethiopian bank account, you'll need their account number, SWIFT and branch details.
Transfer number: The reference number – sometimes called a PIN, MTCN or tracking number.
Government-issued ID: An official ID, such as a Ethiopian passport or driver's license.
The transfer amount: To know how much has been sent, usually to within 10% of the total.
Sender information: The sender's name and address and the transfer's country of origin.
This depends on the provider you choose as each will have its own sending limit. For example, services such as Remitly and WorldRemit allow you to transfer as little as £1 while others will have a significantly higher minimum threshold.
Remember that some providers will have maximum transfer amounts as well, either as a result of British tax policies or because their service is more limited. If you need to send a large transfer, look for a provider that has higher or no sending limits to Ethiopia.
The turnaround time for a money transfer to Ethiopia depends on the provider and how you pay for the transfer. Expect your transfer to arrive within minutes if you pay using cash or with a debit or credit card. Paying by bank transfer can take longer – usually 2–5 days.
Yes, you can still send a money transfer if neither you nor your recipient in Ethiopia has a bank account. Look at cash transfer providers such as Remitly where you can pay with cash and your recipient can collect it as cash or as mobile phone reload on the other end.
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