Your local bank won't be the fastest or cheapest way to convert your hard-earned US dollars into Pakistani rupees. For that, turn to digital money specialists the flexibility to fit your budget, turnaround and other needs.
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Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply. An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for an account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you'll need their Pakistani bank account details.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Pakistan. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What's the best way to send money to Pakistan?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Pakistan. Some pair services with local mobile wallet companies like JazzCash. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and long turnaround.
Pakistani rupees aren’t a popular currency, which means banks may not offer them. If your bank supports rupees, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Services like Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Pakistan — often in 15 minutes. While it's a fast way to send money, you'll pay for the convenience in weak rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly.
Digital money transfer specialists
Companies like OFX and TransferWise specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer a variety of options for your recipient to receive your money, like to a JazzCash account or for cash pickup at an agent location.
Crunching the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Pakistan
Let's say you need to send $1,000 to family in Pakistan. Here's what you might face in fees and exchange rates.
Money transfer service 1
Money transfer service 2
1 AUD = 87.93 PKR
1 AUD = 88.21 PKR
Both transfers are fast, but by choosing to pay a higher fee for better exchange rates, you could save money. With the better value specialist money transfer service, your recipient ends up with 279 more rupees.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Pakistan
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Pakistan to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The AUD–PKR relationship can change regularly, so consider checking current exchange rates before making a transfer.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of Pakistani rupees you're sending.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers.
Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between Australia and Pakistan, which means companies with high minimum transfers may not be your best choice.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Pakistani bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow your choice down to companies that match your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
When it's more important to get your money to Pakistan quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Pakistan without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you're unbanked or marginally banked. If you don't have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Pakistani exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country's currency is worth in another country's currency. When a country's currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Pakistan's exchange rate is flexible compared to the US dollar, which means it shifts during large global events but typically doesn't change much day-to-day. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Pakistan
To send money to Pakistan from the US, you'll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Pakistan may be different by company.
Documents to send money from Australia
To send money from Australia to Pakistan, you'll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver's license, passport or other government-issued ID.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient's name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Pakistani bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Pakistan
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer's confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. A Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or passport is typically accepted.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender's information. Take along your sender's full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
Typically, Pakistan imposes no restrictions on remittances to the country through banks and money transfer companies. But in Australia, banks and companies are required to comply with banking and recording standards that help them avoid the appearance of money laundering. These standards require customers to submit valid ID, log high-amount transfers and submit precise recipient information.
Sending your hard-earned money to Pakistan shouldn't cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialise in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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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