The tiny island nation of Kiribati sits in the Central Pacific Ocean. Made up of 33 coral atolls, Kiribati is famous for its unspoiled beaches, offering a pristine travel destination not yet crowded with tourists.
If you need to send money from Australia to Kiribati, don’t simply settle for the first money transfer provider you come across. If you’re willing to take the time to shop around, you could find a much better deal. Whether you need to send money to Kiribati or anywhere else around the world, think twice before using your bank to handle the transaction.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Banks offer some of the worst exchange rates available on the market, although this doesn’t matter when sending funds to Kiribati because the Australian Dollar is accepted as legal tender there. But banks also charge high transfer fees, so you can find much cheaper transfers if you look elsewhere.
Recent years have seen the rapid growth of a new section of the banking and finance industry: online money transfer companies. They offer better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks, allowing you to enjoy big savings when you send money overseas.
Case Study: Keith Sends Money to Kiribati
Keith wants to send $1,000 to his daughter Leah, who is spending a month holidaying and volunteering in Kiribati. Leah has spent all her holiday budget just two weeks into her trip, so Keith promises to send her some cash as quickly as possible. In an effort to find the best possible deal, he compares the transfer fees and processing times of two specialist transfer companies.
As the table below shows, using the second company allows Keith to save $7 in transfer fees.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Transfer method||Online bank account transfer||Online bank account transfer|
|Processing time||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in AUD)||$1,000||$1,000|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Kiribati?
- Exchange rates. While you don’t need to worry about exchange rates when sending Australian Dollars to Kiribati, you’ll need to consider them when sending funds in another currency. Look around for the company that regularly offers better rates than its competitors.
- Transfer methods. Can you lodge transfers online or over the phone? Does the provider have branches where you can place transfer requests?
- Transfer options. Keep an eye out for companies that offer the convenience and flexibility of options such as forward contracts, limit orders and the ability to set up recurring payment plans.
- Minimum and maximum limits. If the provider imposes minimum or maximum limits on transfers, check to see whether they will be too restricting for your transfer requirements.
- Processing times. Some companies offer transfers within a few minutes while others can take multiple business days to process a transaction.
- Pickup options. Will the funds be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available for collection from a cash pickup point?
- Customer service. Will you be able to access customer assistance if you ever need help with a transfer?
How do I send money to Kiribati from Australia?
- Specialist transfer providers. Research several providers to see which ones offer transfers between Australia and Kiribati.
- Cash-pickup transfer companies. Western Union runs the largest cash-pickup transfer network in the world.
- Bank transfers. Check the transaction fee your bank charges each time you send a transfer.
- International cheques. Sending an international guaranteed cheque is a slow and potentially expensive option.
How do I receive money from Kiribati in Australia?
- Specialist transfer providers. Compare your options to see if there are any specialist transfer providers that send money from Kiribati to Australia.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. Search online to find the Western Union location closest to you.
- Bank transfers. Your loved one in Kiribati could send a transfer from their bank account to your Australian account.
- International cheques. Check what fees your bank charges when you cash international cheques.
Emergency cash transfers in Kiribati
When you need to get money from Australia to Kiribati as quickly as possible, companies such as Western Union can offer cash transfers within minutes. However, you should be aware that urgent transfers tend to attract higher fees and sometimes lower exchange rates as well, so it’s important to check the full cost of your transfer before you hand over any money.
Cash pickup locations in Kiribati / Western Union branches in Kiribati
With hundreds of thousands of agent locations around the world, Western Union offers a huge range of transfer options. Some of the company’s popular cash pickup locations in Kiribati are detailed below. Make sure that you have photo ID and a transaction reference number with you when you go to collect any cash.
- Coral Ace
Bairiki Tarawa, +686-29517
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm Saturday
- Coral Ace Supplies
Main Road. Abarao, Tarawa Tarawa,
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday
- Coral Ace
Betio Kiribati, +686-29517
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm Saturday
Tips for picking up cash in Kiribati
Picking up cash from a transfer provider can make you a target for thieves, so keep a few simple safety tips in mind when collecting funds:
- Don’t go alone – ask a friend to join you.
- Don’t pick up cash in any area where you do not feel safe.
- Don’t display your cash in public.
- Don’t carry funds around with you for any longer than you need to – deposit them in a safe place.
What are the steps to send money to Kiribati?
You will generally need to do the following in order to send an international money transfer:
- Sign up for an account. It’s usually free to register for an online account when you provide your full name, contact details and valid photo ID.
- Provide your transaction information. Enter details about the amount of money you’re sending, where it’s going and what currency you will be transferring.
- Finalise your transfer. The final step is to review the details and cost of your transaction before submitting your transfer. Many providers also offer email or SMS notifications to let you know when your transfer has been completed.
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