The Maldives is a country known by many for its pristine holiday resorts and relaxing getaway opportunities. With such a powerful hospitality service based industry, it might come as a surprise to many that this island based country actually delivers a middle to upper-class income status.
This small nation shares membership with Australia in the Commonwealth. Maldives isn’t just a pretty ‘face’, but also produces an impressive fishing sector that accounts for about 15% of its annual GDP.
Australia and the Maldives have a positive track record and growing bilateral economic relations in trade, security, education and development opportunities. The trade between the countries has been consistent for a couple of years and latest reports show a total import and export trade value of over A$36 million.
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The two countries also have a total of A$33 million trade in imported and exported services. Australia assists the Maldives in development cooperation to improve human development.
Learn how Hassan compared different money transfer companies to send money to the Maldives
Hassan is one of the 330 students from the Maldives that received a long-term scholarship to study in Australia. Hassan’s parents were unable to pay his school fees by the time he reached secondary school and took out several study loans to further fund his education as a bright young student.
After he won the scholarship based on his academic reports, Hassan completed his studies in Australia and has since then become a successful actuarial scientist.
He is now in a position where he can pay back the study loans that put pressure on his parents. He studies different alternatives for sending money to his parents on a regular basis and concludes with the information below using a comparison amount of 1,000 AUD.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money between the Maldives and Australia?
Exchange rates. Exchange rates are fairly consistent among available companies. It can, however, change quite quickly as most of the data is real time data. It is therefore a good idea to compare exchange rates as close as possible to the time when you will be using this service.
Pickup methods. Available companies used for money transfer service are well known for cash pickups at agent locations, but also allow cash transfers to be made to a recipient's physical location or bank account.
Fees. Due to its limited accessibility in infrastructure and geography, the Maldives usually requires a higher fee for sending money.
Bank to bank benefits. Since Citibank is the only known available bank that supports the MVR currency, there are no clear indicators of bank to bank benefits.
Turnaround time. When using MoneyGram and Western Union, expected turnaround times are generally around 10 minutes, but availability of the correct amount in the available currency will also play a role on how quickly money can be received.
Transfer methods. Transfer methods include up to online transfers, in-branch transfers, cash pickup, to a bank account and to a mobile phone with some of the companies available and for others it is limited to online transfers, phone transfers, agent transfers and bank account to bank account transfers.
Transfer options. Transfer options include regular payments and once off payments.
Minimum and maximum transfer amounts. Transfer amounts for Citibank are as low as 0 AUD and as high as 10,000 AUD. Western Union international money transfers must be a minimum of at least 10 AUD, while you’ll need to visit a branch if you want to transfer an amount greater than 5,000 AUD.
Customer service. Customer service will be the true differentiator in a case like this, where the options in available services are limited. The available companies have proven track records of customer service through email, phone and branch.
How and what do I use to send and receive money between the Maldives and Australia?
Money transfer services
You can rely on services from MoneyGram and Western Union when sending money to the Maldives. Both companies have years of experience in international money transfers and allow for various methods of money transfer with quick transfer times. To send money to Australia, simply visit an agent location with the correct currency and cash and provide your recipient’s details.
Citibank supports the MVR currency but you will need to verify whether your personal account with them allows for money transfers to the Maldives. Visit a branch near you to get advice on how you can send money to a location or bank account in the Maldives.
Emergency transfers might not be the highest item on Hassan’s priority list when sending money to pay back his study loans.
But, one never knows when an unexpected amount might come up or when his parents hit a rough patch. Fortunately, the same MoneyGram and Western Union services he will use as standard ways to send money will be his go-to sources for sending cash emergency transfers.
Cash pickup locations in Malé, Maldives, using MoneyGram and Western Union
Sirius Financial Services Pvt Ltd M Dhiyaneru Fandiyaaru Magu Male, Henveiru +960-3328635 Monday to Sunday, 24 hours
Sirius Financial Services Pvt Ltd H Blueshafa Lonuziyaaraiy Magu Male, Henveiru +960-3336935 Saturday to Thursday 9am to 10pm,Saturday 2pm to 10pm
Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd - #1 - MA H.Sifa Building, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé, Maldives +9603305656 Monday to Thursday 8am to 5:30pm, Friday and Sunday 12am to 5:30pm Saturday 8:30am to 2:30pm
Maldives Post Limited - #1000003 Hulhumale’d Block, Male, 0 3321559 Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 5pm Friday 3am to 8pm, Saturday 12am to 12am Sunday 9am to 5pm
The Maldives are classified as a safe destination for tourists, but political unrest since 2016 has seen an increase in petty crimes and violent protests.
If you are in an area near such disturbances, consider picking up the cash on an alternative date or making sure you choose a pickup location that is removed from known disturbed areas. There are safety measures in place to protect foreign visitors that makes moving around in well-known areas in Malé pretty safe.
It is always a good idea to take along a companion when picking up cash in any country so do your best not be alone when picking up your cash at a MoneyGram or Western Union agent location.
What are the steps to send money to the Maldives?
If you want to send money to a recipient’s bank account in the Maldives, you will need to provide the following details of the recipient and their bank:
The bank name of the location in the Maldives or areas such Malé or Addu City
Basic beneficiary or recipient details
The recipient’s account number at the bank
SWIFT / BIC details
The correct amounts and currency
You will need the following details when sending money for a cash pickup:
The address of the recipient (most probably only in Malé) or the address of the agent for pickup
Basic details of the person picking up the cash
The correct amount and currency that you are sending to the Maldives
What will you need when you are at a MoneyGram or Western Union branch in Malé, Maldives to pick up the cash?
Your photo ID or other form of government issued ID
The tracking or reference number (called an MTCN by Western Union)
Copy of the transaction receipt as extra proof in cases of identity theft
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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