Step-by-step: How to send money to the Central African Republic
Compare money transfer services and choose the one that's best for you.
Create an account on the chosen transfer service's website.
Create a new money transfer. Enter the amount you want to send and the recipient's details in the space provided.
Confirm the details of the transfer, provide any additional information the transfer service requires and make your payment.
What's the best way to send money to the Central African Republic?
There are several different ways of sending money transfers to the CAR. The following are the main options:
Money transfer services
Money transfer services will offer different options to suit the recipient, including bank account deposit, cash pick-up or having funds delivered to the recipient's mobile money account.
Cash transfer services will let the recipient pick up cash at agent locations around the country.
Some banks will offer money transfers to the Central African Republic, but these can be slower and more expensive than other options.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to the Central African Republic
Here's how much it would cost to send $1,000 to the Central African Republic with different services. This shows how much of a difference comparing options can make to the overall price.
One of the examples is a money transfer service delivering the funds to a recipient's bank account, while the other is for cash pick-up.
Money transfer service
1 AUD = 397.1659 XAF
1 AUD = 403.2505 XAF
Total CFA francs received
One transfer is slower than the other, but it also offers lower fees and more favourable exchange rates, which come together to bring your recipient almost XAF10,000 (roughly $25) more than the other.
How long will it take to send money to the Central African Republic?
How long it takes depends on the transfer method you choose. If you pay with cash or have the funds delivered directly to the beneficiary's bank account, it will often be quite slow. Paying by card or having the funds delivered to a mobile wallet or cash pick-up location will be a lot faster, often within the same day.
Emergency cash transfer
Services like MoneyGram and Western Union can let you pay with cash at a wide range of agent locations and let the recipient almost immediately pick up cash in the Central African Republic.
But the transfer speed will still be subject to the receiving agent's business hours and how fast the recipient can get to an agent.
How to send money to the Central African Republic without a bank account
If you don't have a bank account, you can still send money by paying with cash. The recipient can similarly get the money without a bank account.
If you have a mobile account with services such as Orange Money, you may be able to send mobile money directly to the recipient without either of you needing a bank account.
Express transfers typically cost more. As such, it will often be preferable to look for slower options if you're not in any hurry.
You can find services that typically complete the transfer within one to two business days, but they are considerably cheaper than the express cash delivery options.
What to watch out for
There are restrictions on currency imports, which vary depending on which country they're coming from.
Meanwhile, due to risk factors in the Central African Republic, incoming money transfers may be subject to additional scrutiny and controls.
Documentation you'll need to send money to the Central African Republic
When sending money to the Central African Republic, you'll need to provide the following:
Your personal details, including your name, address and other information
The transfer details, including the amount, the currencies and the recipient's details.
The reason for sending the money. You may be required to provide evidence of this. For example, an invoice if you're sending a business payment or some kind of proof of relation if you're sending money to your family.
You'll generally need to provide documentation including personal identification, such as a driver's licence or passport, and you may also be required to provide additional documents to verify your reason for sending the money.
What to compare to get the best deal
When comparing money transfer options for the Central African Republic, look at the following:
Fees. How much will you be charged for the transfer?
Exchange rates. How many Central African CFA francs will you be getting for your money?
Transfer speed. How long will it take the funds to arrive?
Payment options. What are your payment options?
Delivery methods. How can the recipient collect their funds?
Customer service. Will you be able to contact the transfer service promptly in the event of a delay or other issues?
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rates show how much of one currency you'll get for another. The chart below shows the current mid-market rates, but transfer services will often have their own exchange rates.
To work out how much you're paying in exchange rate margins, compare a quoted exchange rate from a transfer service to the mid-market rates.
Andrew Munro is the global cryptocurrency editor at Finder. After previously writing about insurance and other areas, he now covers the latest developments in digital assets and blockchain and works on Finder's comprehensive range of guides to help people understand cryptocurrency.
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