Find a fast, simple and cost-effective way to send money to Bolivia using a specialist money transfer company.
The South American nation of Bolivia takes in an amazingly varied selection of landscapes, including the Atacama Desert, the Andes Mountains and the Amazon jungle. Understandably, these are just a few of the features that make Bolivia a popular destination for Australian tourists.
But what happens if you’re travelling through Bolivia and you lose your wallet or it is stolen? It’s quick and easy for your loved ones in Australia to send you an international money transfer, but they’ll need to compare a range of options in order to find the most cost-effective transfer method.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
When you need to send money to Bolivia - or any other country - banks offer an easy and convenient option. What they don’t do, however, is offer a cheap option. The exchange rates banks offer on international transfers are notoriously low - compare their exchange rates with those of other transfer companies to see just how bad they can be.
For a more cost-effective transfer solution, check out the services offered by the new breed of specialist money transfer companies. These providers, such as World First and WorldRemit, offer better exchange rates than the banks because they trade such large volumes of foreign currency. They also charge lower fees than the banks most of the time, so you can save yourself a lot of money if you’re willing to shop around for a more affordable deal.
Josh’s best mate Daniel is backpacking around South America when he is mugged in Bolivia. He emails Josh and asks for a transfer of $1,000 to help him pay for accommodation and transport. Since his bank doesn’t support any exotic currencies, Josh contacts two specialist transfer providers to see if there might be a more affordable option available.
As the table below shows, while neither provider charges a fee for the transaction, the first provider’s superior exchange rate allows Josh to send an extra 30 Bolivianos to Daniel.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 4.80 BOB||1 AUD = 4.77 BOB|
|Transfer method||Online transfer||Online transfer|
|Processing time||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in BOB)||4,800 BOB||4,770 BOB|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Bolivia?
- Exchange rates. Compare exchange rates between providers to see which companies consistently come out on top and will allow you to send more funds to your beneficiary.
- Transfer options. Does the provider offer forward contracts and limit orders? Do they offer a convenient way to schedule future repayments?
- Minimum and maximum limits. Some providers impose minimum and maximum limits on each transaction. Will those limits affect your transfers?
- Processing times. How long will it take from the moment you pay for your transfer to the time your recipient can access the funds you send?
- Pickup options. Does the company offer bank transfers, cash pickup transfers or another option?
- Customer service. How will you be able to access help if you ever have a question about a transaction?
How do I send money to Bolivia from Australia?
- Specialist transfer providers. WorldRemit and World First both offer transfers to Bolivia.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. MoneyGram and Western Union both have a number of locations in Bolivia.
- Bank transfers. Compare your bank’s fees and exchange rates with those of other providers.
- International cheques. Posting an international cheque overseas is another option, but it takes a little longer and also attracts fees.
How do I receive money from Bolivia in Australia?
- Specialist transfer providers. Start researching to see which providers offer transfers between Bolivia and Australia.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. Look for the nearest Western Union, MoneyGram or other transfer company branch closest to you.
- Bank transfers. Your friend or loved one in Bolivia might want to send a transfer from their bank account to your Australian bank account.
- International cheques. International cheques are a slow transfer method and also incur bank fees.
Emergency cash transfers in Bolivia
While it’s possible to send an emergency cash transfer from Australia to Bolivia in a matter of minutes, it’s always important to check out the details of your transaction before you send any funds. Urgent transfers tend to attract higher fees and lower exchange rates, so if you don’t check the full cost of a transaction first, you could end up paying a whole lot more money than you might expect.
Cash pickup locations in Bolivia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Bolivia
Western Union and MoneyGram operate the two largest money transfer networks in the world, including multiple locations in Bolivia and Australia. A selection of cash pickup locations in Bolivia are listed below, but make sure to phone ahead to confirm addresses and opening hours before visiting. Photo ID will also be required when collecting cash.
- Agente Copybol
Arce Entre No 2355 Edif Cobija Pb La Paz,
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday
- Banco Union S A
Ag Plaza Isabel La Catolica
Plaza Isabel La Catolica La Paz, La Paz
Open 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Saturday
- Banco Union S A
Calle Bolivar 385 Sucre, Chuquisaca
Open 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday
Av German Mendoza 2353
Central Sucre, Sucre
Open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12pm Saturday
- Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz
Avenida. 31 De Octubre 1536
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday
- Credirapido 1
Avenida. Las Americas #24
Open 9am to 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Calle Espana N 90 Zona Central
Open 9am to 6:30pm Monday to Saturday
- Oasis Tours
Calle Aniceto #95 Of. 2
Open 8am to 8pm seven days
Tips for picking up cash in Bolivia
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns Australian travellers in Bolivia to exercise a high degree of caution, so keep the following tips in mind when picking up cash:
- Don’t go alone - there’s always safety in numbers
- Don’t visit a cash pickup branch in an area where you feel unsafe
- Don’t visit any high-crime areas
- Don’t display your cash in public
- Don’t carry large sums of money around with you
What are the steps to send money to Bolivia?
You will most likely need to do the following when you want to send money to Bolivia:
- Sign up for an account. Many providers offer free online account signup when you supply your name and your contact information.
- Enter your transaction details. You’ll need to specify where you’re sending the money, who will be receiving it, the amount you’re sending and in what currency.
- Submit your transfer. Once you’ve reviewed the details of your transaction you can submit your transfer request. Most companies also offer an online transaction tracking service.