Azerbaijan has been one of the fastest growing economies in the last decade according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade but has experienced declines in the most recent Real GDP statistics.
This is due to lower oil outputs and overall lower prices worldwide. Despite this, Azerbaijan has still exported high amounts of crude petroleum to Australia, reaching AUD$85 million.
It is also, albeit a little quirky, a big exporter of butter to Australia, with amounts reaching AUD$11 million.
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Jason, an Australian traveller uses two money transfer companies to see what is the cheapest
Jason is a local from Melbourne, Australia and has for long planned to take a trip starting in Ukraine, going through Turkey, and ending in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan.
He made notes of local banks as well as Australian banks that might have a reach in Azerbaijan for the extended time he'll be in Azerbaijan, but couldn't find comparative data. Instead, Jason used two well-known money transfer companies with one offering him a cash pickup in the case of an emergency. Below is a summary of his findings using 1,000 AUD and after that, you can have a look at the variables he’ll be comparing before his trip.
Money transfer company A
Money transfer company B
1 AUD = 1.13236 AZN
1 AUD = 1.0725 AZN
Amount of 1,132.36 AZN received in Azerbaijan for 1,000 AUD
Online, Phone, Smartphone App
Difference in X
How did Jason compare transfer companies when transferring money between Azerbaijan and Australia?
Exchange Rates. Exchange rates can vary between two different services. Keep in mind that a service that uses the bank for its exchange rates will get better rates but usually at the cost of more time.
Pickup Methods. You can choose between bank account transfers and cash pickups.
Fees. Lower fees in conjunction with, or separate from, a better exchange rate usually result in longer transfer times. This means that high fees are present when the turnaround time is short.
Bank to Bank Benefits. Citibank has existing branches in Azerbaijan but does not disclose details on benefits when sending money. Visit a Citibank branch to find out whether there are specific benefits attached to sending money to a Citibank account in Azerbaijan. Jason has also added a couple of the local banks to his last to see if it is an option to have a current account in the time that he is in Azerbaijan.
Turnaround Time. Expect turnaround times ranging from minutes to 5 days. If you need emergency cash in minutes, cash pickups will be the way to go.
Transfer Methods. Compass Global Markets, WorldFirst Foreign Exchange, Citibank and Western Union range between sending money through the following applications: phone, online, agent, branch and bank to bank.
Transfer Options. Some options included are regular payments, once-off payments, market orders, and forward contracts.
Minimum/Maximum Transfer Amounts. The minimum amounts of the available services can range from as low as 250 AUD to as high as 5,000 AUD, whilst the max amounts to 15,000 AUD.
Customer Service. Most of the customer service options available to you will be phone and email. Companies like WorldFirst Foreign Exchange offer live chat and Citibank as well in certain cases.
Money transfer services. Compass Global Markets, WorldFirst Foreign Exchange, and Western Union can send international money transfers from anywhere between 10 minutes to 5 days. Cash pickups are limited to Western Union but Compass Global Markets and WorldFirst Foreign Exchange offer features like regular payments, spot contracts, hedging options and booking rates in advance.
Banks. CommonwealthBank will allow you send an international money transfer at a cost of 22 to 30 Australian dollar. Citibank mentions on its corporate website that it has branches in Azerbaijan but doesn’t disclose information on sending an international money transfer.
How do I receive money from Azerbaijan in Australia?
Money transfer services. You can use a service like Western Union that has agent locations in Azerbaijan where money can be sent to Australia for a cash pick up.
Banks. If you have international bank accounts with Citibank, it is possible to transfer money from one account to another. You will first need to make sure this is possible between Azerbaijan and Australia Citibank bank accounts.
Emergency cash transfers in Azerbaijan when you need it most
Western Union will allow you to receive emergency cash when you’re visiting an agent location. You will be able to pick up cash within minutes of someone sending it to an agent location near you.
Someone will send you money and you will need to take your photo ID with you along with the tracking or reference number. Even though cash pickups through a service like Western Union are much more expensive than usual money transfers, it adds peace of mind when you are in a country totally alien to you.
Cash pickup locations in well known Azerbaijan cities when using Western Union
AccessBank Nizami Ul 100v, Baku, AZ1095+994-20-2130723Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6:30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed
AFB Bank Division N 2 International Airport, Baku,+994-12-4048128Monday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm
Azerpost Nidzh 1 Ul, Gabala, AZ3623+994-2420-76530Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday closed
When expecting money at an agent location, make sure the agent location has the necessary funds and currencies available. You don’t want to find yourself in a pickle when you’re awaiting emergency cash and the agent doesn’t have the grub.
Remember your photo ID to prove you are the recipient along with the tracking or reference number, it will save you big time if there’s a dispute on whose money is whose. As with many countries where you will stick out as a foreigner, double check your locations before going to pick up cash.
What are the steps to send money to Azerbaijan from Australia?
What will you need to send money using Western Union?
Send money through an agent using a recipient’s details and agent location close by.
Send money online by creating an account and following the online steps.
Pay using a Visa or Mastercard credit and debit card issued by an Australian bank.
What will you need to do a cash pickup when in Azerbaijan?
What will you need to send money with WorldFirst Foreign Exchange?
You will first need to set up an account for the current and all future transactions. Your account setup will require basic details, ID, and payment details.
The next step is to book a rate at which you want to transfer and to transfer your money at that rate.
WorldFirst Foreign Exchange will then send the money to the recipient after you have supplied all the necessary details.
Information about Azerbaijan imports and exports
Total imports from Azerbaijan amounted to AUD$284 million with Australia exporting AUD$5 million in return. According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2006 saw Australia contributing to a “NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund project for the clearance of unexploded ordnance in the Saloglu region of Azerbaijan. In December 2010, Australia again supported the removal of explosive remnants of war in Azerbaijan by providing AUD$50,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross / Red Crescent.” There have been positive changes in the economic and social contexts of Azerbaijan.
The monetary, credit policy and positive developments within the banking system have meant more stable opportunities for Australians wishing to do business or invest in the Azerbaijan economic context. According to the Australian Trade Commission, “considerable growth of the commercial banks' involvement in the domestic economy and substantial advances in banking reforms has improved liquidity and profitability and has repeatedly raised total banking assets in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Shahedul is the publishing assistant for finder.com.au. He's Internet savvy and loves to learn new things about finance and technology. He spends most of his time learning about the wonderful world of the internet.
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
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