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How to send money to Sri Lanka

Sending money to Sri Lanka doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s how to send a secure and affordable transfer from South Africa to Sri Lanka.

When you need to send money to Sri Lanka, don’t let high fees or bad exchange rates get in your way. Compare your options to find a good deal, and ensure your money transfer goes smoothly by understanding the process. Between banks and money transfer companies, you have plenty of options to choose from to get funds to your recipient in Sri Lanka.

Compare international money transfers to Sri Lanka

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 13.508 LKR
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 250.00 13.492 LKR
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How do international money transfers work?

International money transfers allow you to send money to a recipient in Sri Lanka by converting your South African rands to Sri Lankan rupees. All you need to do is provide the funds to a bank or independent money transfer provider. Then your money will be converted to rupees, sent to your recipient in Sri Lanka and made available for cash pickup or directly deposited into their bank account.

Banks versus money transfer companies

The Sri Lankan rupee is an exotic currency, which means it isn’t widely traded. If you’re looking to your bank to make a transfer, you may be out of luck — many banks don’t conduct transfers for exotic currencies. Those that do often charge high fees and offer a low exchange rate.

Money transfer companies are a popular alternative to banks. They often offer transfers for exotic currencies like the Sri Lankan rupee, and you may not be charged as high of a fee as with a bank. On top of these two excellent features, money transfer companies also tend to have faster processing times, meaning you can get money to your recipient quickly.

Inesh Sends Money to Sri Lanka

Inesh is working in South Africa and wants to send some money back home to his mom and dad. His bank doesn’t offer international transfers to Sri Lanka, so Inesh decides to shop around for the money transfer company that offers the best deal on a R1,000 transfer.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate1 ZAR = 9.56 LKR1 ZAR = 8.95 LKR
Transfer feeR150R100
Transfer methodBank account depositCash pickup
Processing time2 business days10 minutes
Amount received (in LKR)8,126 LKR8,055 LKR

While Inesh’ parents would have to wait a little longer for the first transfer company, he thinks the extra 71 LKR is worth the longer processing time and higher fee on his end.

How to send money to Sri Lanka

  1. Compare your options in the table above.
  2. Click Go to site to be redirected to the provider’s website.
  3. Create an account with the provider.
  4. Start a transfer, then supply your recipient’s information.
  5. Select how much you want to send.
  6. Pay for your transfer.
  7. Keep your tracking number handy to check on the progress of your transfer.

Foreign exchange rates explained

Banks and other international companies use exchange rate to calculate how much one currency is worth when traded for another currency. A country with a strong currency, like the United States for example, has an advantage — it will yield more money when exchanged for a weak currency. As of February 2020, 1 ZAR was worth about 12.10 LKR. This number is flexible and can change with fluctuations in the market. If you’re planning on making multiple money transfers to Sri Lanka, keep an eye out for dips in the exchange rate that could get your recipient even more money.

Below, you can see a real-time update of what the mid-market rate for ZAR/LKR is, as well as what it has been historically.

ZAR to LKR: Historical rate chart

Updated: 24 Oct 2021 15:44:56 UTC

Emergency cash transfers in Sri Lanka

When you need to send an emergency transfer to Sri Lanka, watch out for high fees and poor exchange rates. A fast processing time often translates to a worse deal, but when you’re in a rush, it could be worth it. If you decide an emergency transfer is your best decision, you should still check and make sure that you know exactly how much your transaction will cost.

Tips for picking up cash in Sri Lanka

If your recipient decides to pick up a cash transfer, remind them to stay safe and be on the lookout for thieves. Avoid high crime areas and never take out large sums of money in public. The best course of action is to deposit all cash in a safe or at the bank as quickly as possible to lower the chances of losing any money or having it stolen.

Bottom line

Money transfers to Sri Lanka may not be readily available through your bank, but you still have choices when it comes to getting a decent deal. Compare your money transfer company options and review our guide to money transfers to ensure that you know how to spot a good exchange rate and take advantage of low fees.

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