Australia recognised Estonia as a nation in 1921. Australia was among the first to re-establish ties with Estonia after its independence in 1991. While Australia has an embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, it also has an honorary consulate in Tallinn, Estonia. Estonia has an embassy in Canberra along with honorary consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth.
As per the 2011 Australian Census, around 8,500 people of Estonian descent and over 1,900 Estonia-born people lived in Australia. Two-way trade between these two nations stood at around $60 million in 2013/2014.
The need to send money from Australia to Estonia does not come as a surprise. Luckily, you get various options from which to choose.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Work got Laura Saar to Australia. She plans to live here indefinitely. While she’s here she has to keep sending some money back home to make sure her aging parents have enough to get by comfortably. She opened a bank account with a leading bank soon upon arriving in Australia. Using its services to send money back home was an option. However, she wasn’t sure if it was her best bet.
After comparing her alternatives online, this is what she found.
Money transfer service 2
AUD1 = EUR0.6065
AUD1 = EUR0.6352
Amount received for $1,000
Two to five days
It was natural for Laura to choose the money transfer company over her bank. Not only did the company offer a noticeably better deal, it also assured that the money would get to her father’s bank account within one day.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Estonia?
When you’re comparing money transfer companies to send money from Australia to Estonia, or the other way around, these aspects require your attention:
Financial viability. Deciding which company to go with based solely on the exchange rate it offers can be a mistake. This is because you may end up paying an exceptionally high fee, forfeiting any benefit you may have otherwise received. The best way to know which company offers a better deal in terms of money is to look at the total amount the recipient stands to receive.
Methods of sending money. One way to send money to Estonia is to do so in person. Banks let you do this as do some money transfer companies. Some businesses limit their operations to the online world. Some let you initiate the process over the phone.
Methods of receiving money. The recipient can collect money by visiting a cash pickup location in Estonia. He or she can also receive funds directly into an Estonian bank account.
Time taken to process the transfer. If the recipient is to collect cash from a physical outlet, the transfer can take place almost immediately. When it comes to transferring money into an Estonian bank account, money transfer companies tend to offer quicker turnaround times when compared to banks.
Using the same bank. You can consider using the services of a bank if you and the recipient have accounts with the same institution. In this case you can save on time as well as money.
Transfer options. Do you want to hold on to making the transfer until you get a desired exchange rate? Do you wish to transfer funds every now and again? While some service providers offer no more than one-time transfer facilities, some others provide scheduled payments, market orders and forwards contracts.
Minimum amount. This is not a concern if you plan to send a substantial amount. However, know that some money transfer companies have minimum transfer limits in place, which can be $500 or $1,000.
If you wish to send money to Estonia you get to choose from these options:
Banks. If your bank offers overseas money transfer services you can use it to transfer funds to Estonia. The fees you have to pay can vary from one bank to the next, as can processing time. You can write a physical cheque in the name of the recipient and send it over my mail. Buying a money order from your bank and sending it by mail is another option.
Non banks. Businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you transfer money to Estonian bank accounts as well as to cash pickup centres. PayPal lets you transfer money online. In this case you and the recipient should have PayPal accounts. Opening a new account is easy and takes little time.
How do I receive money from Estonia in Australia?
If you’re expecting some money from Estonia, you can receive it in these ways:
Banks. A simple way to go about it is to get the money transferred directly into your bank account. The sender can do this using a bank or a money transfer company. If you receive a cheque or a money order you can deposit it in your bank account.
Non banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you collect transferred funds in person by visiting a cash pickup location. You can receive funds from Estonia using the services of PayPal. You and the sender should have PayPal accounts for the transfer to happen. After the money gets to your PayPal account, you can withdraw it in your bank account.
If you find yourself without your money or wallet when you’re in Estonia, remember that you can still get some emergency money. First, make sure you cancel all your credit and debit cards. Then, thinking about getting money using these methods:
Cash pickup. Find a cash pickup location around you. Pass this information onto a friend or family member who can send you some emergency money. Wait for the transfer to happen. Then, simply go and collect cash from the chosen location.
Credit card emergency cash advance. If you have an existing Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card you can get an emergency cash advance. For this, you’ll have to visit a local participating financial institution.
Travel insurance. Getting the right kind of insurance before you travel overseas is a good idea. If you do, you can get access to money to deal with scenarios such as flight delays, flight cancellations, lost and misplaced luggage as well as medical contingencies.
Cash pickup locations in Estonia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Estonia
Picking money at cash pickup locations in Estonia is easy because money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a widespread presence in this country. When collecting large sums of money, you should call ahead of time to ensure that there’s availability of funds. To collect money you’ll have to provide some kind of suitable ID such as your passport or driver’s license. Here are some cash pickup locations in Estonia:
Postkontor Narva Mnt 1Tallinn, 10111+372-6257304Open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday
Vanalinna Viru 20Tallinn, 10140+372-6616616Open 10:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm Sunday
Tartu Postkontor Riia 4Tartu, 51004+372-6616616Open 9:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 3:00pm Saturday, closed on Sunday
Eedeni Postkontor Kalda Tee 1cTartu, 50703+372-6616616Open 10:00am to 9:00pm Monday to Sunday
Eurex - Viru Keskus Viru Valjak 4Tallinn, 10111+372-6164980Open 9:00am to 9:00pm Monday to Sunday
Monex Ou Viru Valjak 4/6Tallinn, 10111+372-6101588Open 8:45 am to 9:15pm Monday to Sunday
Monex Ou Riia 1Tartu, 51013+372-7314802Open 8:45 am to 9:15pm Monday to Sunday
Eesti Krediidipank Ulikooli 4Tartu, 51003+372-7351548Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Most visits to Estonia remain free of trouble. However, you should take precautions against petty crimes, especially when you collect money from a cash pickup location.
There has been an increase in crimes that target tourists, especially instances of petty theft. Know that you face a risk of pick-pocketing and mugging in hotels, nightclubs, bars and pubs in the Old Town section of Tallinn.
There have been instances of groups of thieves targeting travellers at train stations, airports and parks. Instances of theft from cars are car thefts are also common. Try to steer clear of parks and side streets after dark. When possible, keep your valuables in your hotel safe.
The steps involved in sending money to Estonia depend on how to plan to transfer the funds:
Transferring to a bank account. You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name, his or her bank account number, the name of the bank as well as the bank’s SWIFT code. If you’re sending money using the services of an online money transfer company you’ll have to provide details from your bank account, debit card or debit card.
Cash pickup. If you’re visiting a physical location to go through with the transfer you’ll have to provide an acceptable form of ID to verify your identity. You’ll have to submit the recipient’s name along with a desired cash pickup location. If you’re initiating the process online, you’ll have to provide details of an account from where the money should debit. This can be a bank account or a credit card account, depending on the service provider you choose.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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