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How to send money to Malawi

Need to make a transfer to the Republic of Malawi? Compare your options before sending to save money.

If you’re sending money to the warm heart of Africa, it’s worth comparing your options to find the all-around best option for your needs before you do.

You could save a lot of money by comparing before sending. Read on for our guide on what options you have and some tips to get the best deal possible.

How much does it cost to send money to Malawi? Compare your options

The table below shows how much it costs to send money to Malawi with different providers. Enter your transfer details into the table below and it will crunch the numbers and bring back different costs.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 50.00 56.037 MWK
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.
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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Step by step: How to send money to Malawi

To send money to Malawi, complete the following steps:

  1. Compare transfer services and pick the one that’s best for you.
  2. Go to its website, create an account and wait to be verified.
  3. Fill out the transfer form with details such as the recipient and the amount.
  4. Confirm the information and make your payment.

What’s the best way to send money to Malawi?

Mobile phone transfers

Money transfer services

Specialist money transfer services will often offer a range of payment and delivery options as well as be among the cheapest options available.

Blue icon with note and coins

Cash transfers

Cash transfer services are a popular option, and although they’re convenient and fast, they can also be expensive.

Bank icon


Many banks will let you send money to Malawi, but this will often be slower and more expensive than other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending R5,000 to Malawi

The table below shows how much it costs to send R5,000 to Malawi with a cash transfer service and a money transfer service.

Cash transferMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1 ZAR = 39.84 MWK1 ZAR = 42.19 MWK
Transfer speedWithin minutes1-2 days
Amount receivedMWK189,240MWK208,418.60
OverallMWK19,178.60 lessMWK19,178.60 more

In this case, the money transfer service has both lower fees and better rates, translating to an extra MWK19,178.60 (around R400) for the recipient. The downside is that it’s a bit slower.

How long will it take to send money to Malawi?

How long it takes to send money to Malawi will depend primarily on your payment method and the recipient’s collection method.

Making your payment with card or cash instead of a bank transfer can speed things up. Similarly, if your recipient elects to get the money as a cash pick-up or mobile money payment rather than a bank transfer, it can also be faster.

Emergency cash transfer

If you need to send money to Malawi asap, a cash transfer may be the most suitable option.

You can pay with card or cash at a cash transfer agent in your location, and the money can be available for pick-up at various spots in Malawi within minutes.

How to send money to Malawi without a bank account

Cash transfer services can also be helpful if you don’t have a bank account but need to send money. Similarly, your recipient may also find them to be a convenient choice if they don’t have a bank account.

What to watch out for

Only 19% of the population in Malawi is banked and cash is still king around the country, so in some cases, you may need to pay extra for the cash transfer services.

But more residents have mobile money accounts than bank accounts, so if your recipient is among them, you might be able to save money by sending funds to their phone number directly.

Documentation you’ll need to send money to Malawi

Transfers will typically involve providing the following information and documentation:

  • Identification. You will need to provide personal identification such as a driver’s licence, as well as some details about yourself.
  • Transfer amount. You need to say how much you want to send before paying that amount plus the fees.
  • Recipient’s details. You also need to say who you’re sending the money to and provide some details so the recipient can pick up their money.
  • Reason for sending the money. You may be asked to provide a reason for sending the money.

What to compare to get the best deal

  • Fees. How much are you paying in upfront costs?
  • Exchange rates. How much money will your recipient get?
  • Transfer speed. How long will the transfer take?
  • Payment options. How do you want to pay for your transfer?
  • Delivery methods. How does the recipient want to collect their money?
  • Customer service. Who do you contact in case something goes wrong?

Foreign exchange rates explained

Exchange rates are how much of one currency you get for another. The mid-market rate (shown below) is the official exchange rate at any given time, but the actual exchange rates offered by transfer services will vary.

Generally, the best exchange rates will be the ones as close to the mid-market rate as possible.

Updated: 21 Oct 2021 09:52:04 UTC

Cash pick-up locations in Malawi

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