Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Latvia boasts a diverse culture, world-renowned architecture and a beautiful Old Town that dates to medieval times. If you ever need to send money from Australia to Latvia or vice versa, there’s no shortage of banks and other money transfer providers who can manage the transaction for you. But with low exchange rates and high transaction fees a common risk with such transfers, it pays to shop around to find value for money.
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TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply. Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.
Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.
Banks versus money transfer companies
Many people just go to their bank when they need to send money overseas and don’t bother doing a little bit of research to see if there might be a better deal around. The problem with this approach is that banks are a long way down the list of the most affordable money transfer providers. The dismal exchange rates and typically high fees offered by banks mean that your transaction can end up being a whole lot more costly than you might expect. That’s why it’s an excellent idea to shop around for better value for money, and there’s a fair chance you’ll find it from a specialist money transfer company. These providers are experts when it comes to sending money around the world, offering safe and convenient transfers that are also affordable. Their exchange rates are higher and their fees lower than those you will get from the banks, so even a quick comparison between transfer providers can save you a heap of cash.
Lukas Sends Money to Latvia
Lukas wants to send a $1,000 gift from Australia to his parents in his home country of Latvia. He wants them to spoil themselves for their anniversary, but he doesn’t want the transaction to cost him any more than it has to. Instead of using his bank, which charges a $25 transfer fee, he contacts two specialist transfer companies to check out whether they offer value for money. As the table below shows, Lukas can save AUD $10 in transfer fees by using the second company and he can also send an extra 9 LVL to his parents.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Latvia?
Exchange rates. Even a seemingly minor difference in the exchange rate can equate to a much larger amount of money arriving to your beneficiary. Shop around for the transfer provider that regularly has the best exchange rates.
Transfer fees. Compare how much each company will charge you when you need to send a transfer. Also, check to see whether there are any hidden fees you should be aware of.
Transfer methods. Do your research to find out whether the company offers convenient transfer methods for you. Can you place transfers online or in branch, and does it offer phone and smartphone app transfers?
Flexible options. Does the company offer flexible transfer options such as forward contracts, market orders, and the ability to set up a recurring payment plan?
Turnaround time. Transaction processing times range from a few minutes to multiple business days, so make sure the turnaround time available suits your needs.
Transfer limits. Some companies impose minimum and maximum limits on the amount you can send, which can be restricting if you need to send small or large amounts.
Pickup options. Some providers offer bank account transfers while others offer cash pickup transfers.
Customer service. If you ever have a problem or a question, how will you be able to access customer service? Is it available during convenient hours?
If you need to send cash to Latvia in an emergency, there are some companies who can get the money to your recipient in as little as 10 minutes. Be warned, however, that urgent transactions generally hurt your hip pocket more. They attract higher transfer fees and lower exchange rates than normal, so it’s essential that you double check all the details of the transaction before you hand over your cash.
Cash pickup locations in Latvia / Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Latvia
If you want to send cash that your recipient can access from a nearby transfer branch in Latvia, Western Union and MoneyGram can help. Both companies run large international transfer networks and offer prompt and secure transfers. The details of some popular cash pickup locations in Latvia are below - your beneficiary will need to present photo ID and a transaction ID number when collecting funds.
Banknote Merkela Street 9 Riga, Centrs +371-20259778 Open 8am to 8pm seven days
Banknote Marijas Str 1 Riga, Centrs +371-2546356 Open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday
Banknote Viestura Str 70a Daugavpils, Latgale +371-20258388Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday
Latvijas Pasts Viestura 2 Daugavpils, LV 5405 +371-67608347Open 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday
AS Privatbank Muitas Iela 1Riga, LV-101067852350Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
Valutas Maina Marika (1st floor)Brivibas Iela 30Riga, LV-101067286760 Open 24/7
AS Privatbank Rigas Iela 40Daugavpils, LV-540365410600Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
Money Express Latgales Iela 15/2Rezekne, LV-460127700442Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm Sunday
Tips for picking up cash in Latvia
Although Latvia is classified as a safe country for Australian travellers to visit, you should still take a few basic steps to ensure your safety when picking up cash:
Take one or more friends along with you to deter thieves
Keep your money hidden and avoid displaying it in public
Don’t pick up cash anywhere you feel unsafe
Avoid high-crime areas
Don’t carry the money around with you for any longer than is completely necessary
Register for an account. Most companies offer free online accounts that you can sign up for within minutes. You’ll need to provide your name, contact details and bank account information.
Provide full transaction details. The next step is to provide information such as how much money you’re sending, in what currency and where to. You’ll also need to provide your recipient’s name and contact details.
Pay for your transfer. Once you’ve reviewed the cost of your transaction you can pay for your transfer. You’ll usually be given a reference number that you can use to monitor the progress of your funds.
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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