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How to send money to Venezuela

MoneyGram and Western Union has restored send services, but other providers haven't followed suit.

How to send money to Venezuela

Government regulations in Venezuela have historically made it difficult to send money there, and in the past, no providers were able to do so. However, in June of 2018, MoneyGram began operating agent locations in Venezuela, and it’s possible to send money in person or online using other providers.

As of May 8th, 2020, MoneyGram and Western Union are the only services currently offering transfers to Venezuela from South Africa. To send a transfer through MoneyGram or Western Union, you’ll need to:

  1. Register for an account or log in if you already have one.
  2. Select a receiving MoneyGram agent location.
  3. Choose how you want to pay.

You can also set up the money transfer online but pay with cash in-store. Bring a valid ID and enough money to cover the transfer if you choose this option.

You will not be able to send money to a Venezuelan bank account through either MoneyGram or Western Union — only to respective agent locations for cash pickup. Our money transfer guides for MoneyGram and Western Union will help you learn more about MoneyGram and how to use each service.

Compare money transfer services in Venezuela

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Same day ZAR 0.00 0.069 USD
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 65.00 0.067 USD
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Can I send USD to Venezuela?

No. The only supported currencies for transfers are Venezuelan Bolivar Soberano, which replaced the Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte in 2018. Because of shifting exchange rates, double-check the exchange rate offered at your time of transfer and the type of currency you’ll be transferring to.

Must read: Inflation in Venezuela

The value of the Venezuelan bolivar has been decreasing at an extreme rate, and inflation reached over 1 million percent in 2018. This means that how many bolivars you get for your South Afican rand can be dramatically different from one day to the next.

The extreme inflation has also led the Venezuelan government to put strict regulations in place for remittances, which means that the rate you get is likely to be considerably lower than the rate on the black market. This has led to a surge in people using illegal methods to transfer money into the country, which can come with a hefty jail sentence.

Can I send money to Venezuela through my bank?

Maybe. Many financial institutions have opted not to allow transfers to Venezuela due to strained political relations between Venezuela and other nations, especially the United States and those in the European Union. However, South Africa and Venezuela have good trade relations and the South African government has voiced support for Venezuela throughout the sanctions.

Check with your bank to see if there are any transfer options available to you.

Can I send money to Venezuela using PayPal, Bitcoin or as cash through the mail?

We do not recommend any of these methods because you’d have to navigate through many different, possibly unsafe channels. Keeping your money transfers through officially regulated channels is the safest option.

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Tips for picking up cash in Venezuela

The SA government warns against travel to parts of Venezuela — especially the Venezuelan and Colombian border — because Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world. If you end up transferring money within its borders, exercise a high degree of caution when collecting cash from an agent.

If possible, don’t travel alone. Police or your hotel concierge may be able to help arrange an escort if you’re collecting a large amount of cash and you’re concerned about your personal safety.

Bottom line

Navigating a heavily-sanctioned country with political instability can be frustrating and far from easy. Sticking with an official money transfer service and sending money in the officially recognized currencies can help you avoid fees and penalties down the line. Although MoneyGram and Western Union are the only options at this time, more companies may start allowing transfers to Venezuela in the future.

In the meantime, learn about the diverse world of money transfer options to be ready if more companies start servicing Venezuela.

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