Understand what your options are when transferring funds to Belarus.
With many successful startups originating from its local entrepreneurs, Australia has a vested interest in cultivating future business and tech relations with this small country between Poland and Russia.
Although imported services aren’t at a high in the current two-way trade relationship which is at AUD$5.1 million, the growth of young companies in the online environment shows potential increases in growing service imports to Australia. This growth is valued at a current year-on-year growth of 33.3%.
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Compare money transfer companies when sending USD or EUR to Belarus
Victor is part of an upstart, online journalism platform, that faces severe oppression like many of the free press movements in Belarus.
Whilst in Australia, he plans on doing some freelancing journalism to increase the capital available for their small startup.
He uses a benchmark amount of 1,000 AUD and compares the following services that will send the money in either USD or EUR. Most of the transfer companies only send in these currencies and the few that do send in BYR means that the amount received will be a couple of million due to the exchange rate of the BYR compared to the AUD.
This means that comparing in USD as below (still received in Belarus) makes for easier data comparisons in the case where Victor is considering different service options.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 0.6976 USD||1 AUD = 0.683589 USD|
|Transfer fee||70 AUD||60 AUD|
|Amount of USD received in Belarus for 1,000 AUD||697.58 USD||683.59 USD|
|Transfer options||Online, Phone, Agent||Online, Phone Agent|
|Difference in USD||13.99||13.99|
What features or components do you use to compare money transfer companies that will send money to Belarus?
- Exchange Rates. When comparing rates for sending money Belarus, view the rates between the AUD, USD, EUR and BYR. With many of transfer services you will most likely use three of the four. USD and EUR can be used in Belarus but will need to be exchanged for BYR eventually.
- Pickup Methods. Some money transfer services will allow you to send BYR to a bank account and others will have to be a cash pickup at an agent in the form of USD or EUR.
- Fees. Fees will be lower for transfers to a bank account that takes a couple of days and higher for emergency cash transfers.
- Turnaround Time. Receiving money to a bank account in Belarus will take a couple of days but with cash pickups the money can transferred and ready to use for further conversion in minutes.
- Transfer Methods. Money can be sent using an online account, phone, agents or even through a mobile app.
- Transfer Options. Depending on which service you use, some of the transfer options include recurring payments, spot contracts, booked rates, and once off payments.
- Minimum/Maximum Transfer Amounts. These can range between 250 AUD, 1,000 AUD or 5,000 AUD. Be sure that a low minimum doesn’t have a low maximum attached.
- Customer Service. With most of the available companies you can expect phone and email support that is world class. Some of the companies also boast online chat support.
How will Victor send money to Belarus when he is stationed in Australia?
Most of the money transfer services will allow a recipient to get money in USD or EUR for cash pickup and not in BYR. These currencies can be converted in Belarus for the BYR but needs to be brand new currency. See tips lower down in the article for further advice on this.
- Money transfer service - Compass Global Markets, Moneygram, Western Union, WorldFirst Foreign Exchange are companies that offer international money transfer services ranging from bank accounts to cash pickups.
- Banks - Check if your bank offers international money transfer services to Belarus. Each bank charges their own fees. You will need a SWIFT or BIC code and IBAN number.
- Paypal - you can use Paypal for international payments and transfers when you have two supporting markets. Belarus and Australia in this instance are both supported markets. This means the money can be converted to the available currencies on Paypal and which is used for transfers.
How will Victor receive money from Belarus when he is in Australia?
- Money transfer services - companies like Moneygram and Western Union will allow Victor’s associates to send him money in Australia, but they will need to first get USD or EUR and send it cash through an agent or have it on a currency card with which they do it online. He can also receive money in a bank account if he creates one that is compatible with receiving money from Belarus.
Emergency cash transfers in Belarus
There are a couple of services to use for instantaneous money transfer with a cash pickup in Belarus as noted above.
These are perfect for emergency situations like Victor’s associates that might need emergency cash flow for their small startup.
It is important to know that in these situations the emergency cash will be in the form of either USD or EUR and will still need to be exchanged for BYR at a local exchange bureau.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in Belarus using Moneygram and Western Union
- VTB Bank Belarus
Nezavisimosti Prospekt 29
Minskaya Oblast, Minsk, 220030
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Sunday, 12am to 12pm
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday, 12am to 12pm
- VTB Bank (Belarus)
Sovetskaya Ulitsa 2V,
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Sunday, 12am to 12pm
- Belarus Bank
Deerzhinskogo Prkt 119,
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Sundays closed
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, Saturdays and Sundays closed
Pushkina Ul 2,
Open Monday to Friday, 9:15am to 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays closed
Important tips for picking up cash in Belarus
When picking up cash in Belarus, you will receive the money in USD or EUR. When you take the money to a local exchange bureau as noted above, you will need to present new and unmarked currency for exchange.
Some places will accept USD and EUR, but not all of the places you might visit. If you are new to Belarus cities, it is advised to check out how safe the areas are where you want to pick up your cash.Back to top
What are the steps to follow when sending money to Belarus for cash pickup or to bank accounts?
If Victor or his associates want to receive money that will require a cash pickup, they need to provide and have the following with them:
- Photo/Government ID and address of agent location
- Tracking or reference number
- For safety, the receipt of the original transaction
To send money to someone’s bank account, they will need to provide:
- Details of the recipient
- Bank and bank account number
- BIC / IBAN / SWIFT - this will depend on what the local banks use. For Australians it will be the BIC or SWIFT code.
- Currency and amounts where applicable
Paypal will require you to set up an online account as well as providing account details for where money is uploaded from or paid out to. This requires basic details and banking details.