5 tips for people wiring money to the Philippines
From lockdowns to currency fluctuations, there are lots of factors to consider when transfering money to friends or family overseas.
If you're sending money to the Philippines in 2021, it's probably more appreciated than ever. After a year of tough lockdowns and millions of job losses, many Filipinos are still relying on financial support from their loved ones overseas to make ends meet.
But if you're the one sharing your earnings, there are a few things you should take into consideration when choosing a way to send money. After all, you want to make sure your hard-earned dollars arrive on time and without any hiccups.
There are different ways to send and receive money
There are two different ways to send money to the Philippines: The first is to visit a bank or high street money transfer shop, the second is to go online and use a digital provider. As with most things these days, it's usually faster and cheaper to go online.
Using a specialist money transfer company can also open up different types of collection. For example, Azimo allows for bank deposits, cash pick ups, mobile wallets and even home delivery in some cases.
With restrictions still in place across many parts of the Philippines, it's important to think carefully about how your loved ones will be able to access the money you send.
Fees can vary wildly
Sending money overseas is rarely free, but it is possible to find affordable services. Don't assume they all cost the same though. Fees can vary wildly between providers.
According to the World Bank's Remittance Prices, the average fee to send $500 to the Philippines is $13.99. However, Wise is listed as charging just $4.80 and CBA is listed as charging more than $35.
There are options beyond the World Bank's list though, and they can be cheaper. For example, Azimo lists its fee at $2.99 for sending $500, but if you're a new customer, you can claim 2 free transfers. Hooray!
Exchange rates change too
The exchange rate lets you know how much your friends or family will get for your Australian dollar – but it can change at a moment's notice.
According to chartered accountant Davie Mach, exchange rates are one of the most important factors to pay attention to when transferring money overseas.
"Currency fluctuations are easily one of the biggest impacts on transferring money overseas," he told Finder. "That, along with fees, are the most volatile."
Thankfully, there are ways to take advantage of this. Some money transfer companies, including Azimo, let users set up alerts for when exchange rates are particularly high.
That means you'll get an email letting you know when it's a good time to send money overseas, so you and your loved ones get as much value out of your money as possible.
Don't overlook security
The last thing you want to do is accidentally choose a transfer platform that is unsafe. Make sure whichever brand you go with is well-established and has advanced technology in place to protect your money.
Look for companies that are regulated by financial institutions in Australia and use encryption technology. It can also give peace of mind to choose a brand that gives an estimated delivery date as well as active updates on where your money is.
User reviews can help you decide
When choosing a platform to transfer money, check user reviews online to see what other people in your position have to say about their experience.
Trustpilot is a great place to start. Take the number of reviews into account as well as the overall rating. Thousands of reviews are far more trustworthy than a few hundred.
Worth the effort
While it might all seem like a lot to consider, it's worth taking the time to compare money transfer methods to find one that is right for you. Not only could it save you money, but it could mean your loved ones get more pesos when it reaches them. Win win!