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How to send money to Colombia
Get the most pesos for your rand by comparing your options for your transfer to Colombia.
Whether planning for a visit or supporting family members back home, knowing how to send money to Colombia can save you time, money and stress. Learn how to compare rates and find the best deal for your transfer to Colombia from South Africa.
Compare money transfer services that send to Colombia
What’s the best way to send money to Colombia?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Colombia. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like Curencies Direct and Wise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Colombian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like WorldRemit allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Colombia— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
Colombian pesos are not a popular currency, so your local bank probably won’t be able to exchange them. If your bank supports Colombian pesos, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Colombia.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending R5,000 to Colombia
Let’s say you need to send R5,000 to family in Colombia. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of Oct 17, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||R0||R60||R250 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 ZAR = 229,734 COP||1 ZAR = 230.431 COP||1 ZAR = 228,328 COP|
|Transfer speed||1-2 day||Minutes||2-5 days|
|Amount received||COP 1,148,670||COP 1,138,329.14||COP 1,084,558|
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Colombia. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with COP 64,112 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Colombia in as little as 15 minutes, just make sure there is a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to send money to Colombia online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free 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 Colombian 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 Colombia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Colombia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Colombia to best meet your needs:
- Exchange rates. The ZAR-COP relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Colombian peso rises against the South African rand.
- 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 ZAR-COP 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 amount of pesos you’re sending to Colombia.
- 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 to Colombia.
- Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to an Colombian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to Colombia
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Colombia 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 Colombia without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Colombia’s 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. Colombia’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the South African rand. Because of this, the ZAR-COP relationship may make sharp movements. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Colombia
To send money to Colombia from SA, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Colombia may be different by company.
Documents to send money from South Africa
To send money from SA to Colombia, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash or bank accounts.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number and Colombian bank account information.
Documents to receive money in Colombia
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 Colombian Passport, Colombian ID or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer..
- 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
When you send money to Colombian relatives or family members in Colombia, the money may be subject to taxes but it depends on a lot of variables. Keep in mind that exchange control regulations state that individuals are only allowed to send up to R1 million per year out of South Africa, and up to R10 million a year in investments.
Sending your hard-earned money to Colombia shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize 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.
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