Compare fees and exchange rates to get the best deal on your next money transfer to Botswana.
Botswana has come a long way since its independence in 1966, with Real GDP growth between 4% to 8% that has been consistently above worldwide averages despite a history of low Real GDP per capita.
This country has a small population, loosely packed around the 581,739 square kilometres that contain cities, Bushveld and Kalahari. Botswana has achieved impressive service exports and imports with Australia, totalling A$25 million.
Australia mainly imports infrastructure and commodity resources from Botswana and in return export civil engineering equipment, telecom equipment, measuring and analysing instruments, and electrical circuits equipment to Botswana.
Australia is Botswana’s 23rd highest import source according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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Should you use a bank or money transfer company for sending money to Botswana?
Before studying further, Bongi wants to take a gap and think about where he is headed in life. He has decided to visit his grandparents in Gaborone, Botswana and lodge there whilst doing some part-time work and figuring life out.
Bongi draws up the following comparison table to visualise the differences in using different money transfer companies when sending 1,000 AUD in preparation of his trip. He couldn’t find any data for sending money through his bank but plans on visiting his local bank to see what it would work out to.
|International Money Transfer||Australian Bank|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 7.90769 BWP||1 AUD = 7.666433 BWP|
|Transfer fee||10 AUD if amount is under 10,000 AUD.||25 AUD|
|Amount of BWP received in Botswana for 1,000 AUD||7,907.69 BWP||7,666.43 BWP|
|Transfer time||1-4 Working days||10 Minutes|
|Transfer options||Phone, online, mobile app||Phone, online, agent|
|Difference in X||+ 241.26 BWP||- 241.26 BWP|
Bongi uses the following variable when comparing services to send and receive money between Botswana and Australia
- Exchange Rates. Botswana has one of the more competitive exchange rates in Africa when compared to the USD and AUD. It is possible to receive USD as well and at a later stage exchange it for BWP at a local exchange bureau in Gaborone and Francistown.
- Pickup Methods. International transfers can be made to a bank account or to an agent location for cash pickup. See below in the article for tips on picking up cash.
- Fees. The fees for sending lower amounts tend to be higher than the fees for sending bigger amounts due to standard setup costs for money transfer companies. The fees will be lower in sending money for a cash pickup to Botswana than some other countries.
- Bank to Bank Benefits. Citibank is the only bank that operates both in Australia and in Botswana. A visit to a branch near you will reveal more details about bank to bank transfers and benefits.
- Turnaround Time. The turnaround time with the available services can range from a couple of minutes with a higher cost, to a couple of days with a lower cost. Fees range less than in sending to some other countries, so the quicker turnaround time can be worth the marginal extra cost.
- Transfer Methods. For the available services, transfer methods range from phone, online accounts, agent or branches, bank to bank account and internet banking.
- Transfer Options. Bongi’s parents will benefit from booking rates in advance and setting up recurring payments. They can also use once-off payments for emergency transfers.
- Minimum/Maximum Transfer Amounts. Each company has its own minimums and maximums, with some of them not having either or not one. Western Union in some cases can have maximums up to 100,000 AUD.
- Customer Service. With so many available services, customer service will help you choose the one you want. Three of the companies do cash pickups but only one does live chat support that can be vital in the case of an emergency.
How can you send money to Botswana from Australia?
- Money transfer services - you can use the following services when sending money to Botswana: Compass Global Markets, HiFX, Moneygram, TorFX, Western Union, WorldFirst Foreign Exchange and Xpress Money.
- Banks - Citibank stretches into the Botswana regions with its banking solutions and Commonwealth Bank will allow you to send an international money transfer to Botswana. Western Union and Moneygram can send money to a bank account as well once Bongi has set up a bank account in Botswana.
What options do you have to receive money from Botswana in Australia?
- Money transfer services - visit a local Moneygram or Western Union agent in Botswana to send money for cash pickup in Australia.
- Banks - receive money in your Commonwealth Bank or Citibank account by using a local agent or online money transfer services that will send money from Botswana to Australia.
How will Bongi receive an emergency cash transfers in Botswana?
Bongi will need to visit an agent location of either Moneygram, Western Union or Xpress Money. All three of these companies will allow Bongi’s parents to send him cash.
As mentioned above, the fees are also lower than in some other countries where sending money with a cash pickup can easily amount to 70 AUD.
This, along with the short amount of time it takes to transfer, means the cash pickups are an attractive option for Bongi to receive money in cases where there is an emergency.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in Botswana that Bongi can visit to receive money when using Moneygram and Western Union
- Amex Botswana Airport Junction
Plot 50351 Airport Junction Mall, Unit 12Gaborone, Gaborone+267-3133637Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturday, 9am to 1:30pm, Sundays are closed
- Botswana Poste
River Walk Mall, Zeerust RoadGaborone,+267-3700052Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturday, 9am to 1:15pm, Sundays are closed
- City Business Services
Unit 31 Nzwazi Complex, Francistown,+267-2440023Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:30pm, Saturday, 8am to 1pm, Sunday, 10am to 11am
- Maven Enterprises Limited - The Villager
4921 Unit 3, Maratadiba Road Plot, Gaberone3170855Monday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm
- CSS Bureau De Change - Game City
Shop 11U Game shopping centre, Gaborone3165340Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, Saturday, 9am to 4pm, Sunday 12am to 12am
- UAE Exchange - Francistown branch
42 Galo Centre unit, Francistown2495009Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Sunday 12am to 12am
- UAE Exchange Botswana - River Walk Shopping Centre Br
Unit 111, River Walk Shopping Centre, Gaborone+267-3185630-31Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm
- UAE Exchange Botswana - Francistown Br
Unit Number 42, Galo Centre, Francistown+267-2435009Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm, Saturday, 9:30am to 2:30pm,
Tips for picking up cash in the hubs of activity in Botswana
Sending money to Botswana is fairly simple as much of the economic buzz is situated around Gaborone and some of it around Francistown.
Botswana has a reputation for being one of the most peaceful countries in Africa, but it is still advised to double-check the area in which you will be picking up money.
The country might be fairly peaceful compared to the wildlife in the Kalahari districts in Botswana, but it is never smart to wave around your fresh wads of cash you just picked up. Take along a tracking number and photo ID when you pick up cash and don’t forget the copy or original transaction receipt for added safety.Back to top
What are the steps Bongi and his parents will follow to send and receive money between Botswana and Australia?
Sending money for a cash pickup:
- Have the correct details of the recipient in the form of a photo or government ID
- Address of the agent location where the cash will be picket up
- Capture the transaction details and send it along with the receipt and tracking or reference number.
Sending money to a bank account:
- It is important to specify the bank (if it is supported) along with the SWIFT BIC
- Full details of the recipient
- Bank account number and branch number
- Currency and amounts for the transfer