Panama plays a key role in Central America with its positioning that allows trade to be connected between South and Northern America, as well as the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Much of Panama’s consistently high annual GDP (above 6%) is made from tolls allocated to these connecting ports, but commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. It is one of the countries that has benefitedd from development assistance from Australia, which saw Australia provide A$100 million in funds, and a further trade investment of A$242 million. Panama is one of the Central and South American countries that falls within the operations of the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR).
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This council focuses on increased economic opportunities between Australia and countries like Panama and includes education, corporate growth, and social relations. Total imported and exported services trades between the countries came in at A$55 million in 2015.
Money transfer companies as by case study investor, Shanade
Shanade is an investor from Melbourne, Australia, that has recently been contacted by a group of investors in Panama. Part of her feasibility analysis of the opportunity is to make sure she will not lose massive amounts of money in the process of sending capital through Panama. She has gone ahead and made some comparisons with available companies that will send money to Panama. She could only do comparisons in USD that is supported in Panama and used an amount of 1,000 AUD to evaluate the differences in transfer cost.
Money transfer company A
Money transfer company B
1 AUD = 0.682506 USD
1 AUD = 0.68410 USD
Amount of USD received in Panama for 1,000 AUD
Online, phone, agent
Online, bank to bank
Difference in X
- 1,59 USD
+ 1.59 USD
How did Shanade compare money transfer companies when transferring money between Panama and Australia?
Exchange rates. Because Panama supports both its own currency, the PAB, and the USD, it can be tricky to compare exchange rates. You can either compare directly to the PAB or with USD and then an exchange bureau to see which will give you the best value for your money.
Pickup methods. Pickup methods range from cash pickups in main cities, at agent locations or other accessible physical addresses. Where supported, a transfer to bank accounts is also possible.
Fees. The fees range from free to 70 AUD and can be influenced by variations like turnaround time, delivery method and recipient locations.
Bank to bank benefits. The bank to bank benefits to explore will require a visit to HSBC and Citibank.
Turnaround time. For cash transfers, the turnaround time can be minutes, and for normal transfers, it can take up five working days.
Transfer methods. Transfer methods include online, account, phone and agent locations.
Transfer options. With a company like Compass Global Markets, you can do once-off payments, regular payments, forwarded contracts and market orders.
Minimum and maximum transfer amounts. It will be important for someone like Shanade to not be limited in maximums when it comes to sending or receiving capital.
Customer service. If the transfers are to be done on regular schedule, customer service needs to be given special attention as a source of great comfort when you have surety in it. Look for robust phone and email support lines.
You can use the following services to send the PAB currency to Panama: Compass Global Markets, MoneyGram, Western Union and Xpress Money. It should be noted though, that Panama also works with the USD and, therefore, many services can be used to send the USD.
Citibank and HSBC both have a reach that extends to branches into Panama. Visit your nearest branch to see whether you can do a bank to bank transfer to a branch in Panama. Most banks in the world also support the USD that can be used in Panama. You will need to visit your local bank to verify whether you can send USD to a bank account in Panama to be used there.
Can Shanade receive money in the form of capital gains from Panama in Australia?
Money transfer services - The same company can be used to send money to Australia from Panama by visiting an agent location. This will exclude Xpress Money.
Banks - You can find out from local banks that can send money overseas or go to a HSBC or Citibank to see whether they can send money out and not only receive it.
Emergency cash transfers options to Panama
Emergency cash transfers can be done using the services described above, except for Compass Global Markets. MoneyGram, Western Union and Xpress Money are all companies that can send a cash transfer within minutes and make for great emergency cash options. Please take note that these companies send the money in USD and if PAB currency is required, choose a location below that is close to a local exchange bureau with the correct currency availability.
Cash pickup locations in Panama using MoneyGram, Western Union and Xpress Money
Centro Agropecuario De Chepo Epago - Xtra VacamonteEdificio Plaza XtraVia Iteramericana, Panama3171239Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm, Sunday, 12am to 12am
Casa De Cambios Del Caribe Calle 11 Santa Isabel Edif. 8060 Local 1, Panama4333680Monday to Saturday, 8am to 2:30pm, Sunday, 12am to 12am
Italtransfer - Colon Local 17, Amador, Colon9520010000Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 6pm
Centro Agropecuario De Chepo Centro Comercial La Primavera, ChepoPanama, Panama 507+507-296-8795Monday to Saturday, 7:30am to 4pm, Sunday, 10am to 2pm
Credicorp Albrook Mall Centro Comercial Albrook MallPanama, Panama+507-3147408Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, Saturday, 10am to 1:30pm, Sunday, closed
MMD Calidonia Calle 21 De Enero Antiguea HieleriaCalidonia, Panama, Panama+507-2273411Monday to Sunday, 8am to 10pm
Read these tips before you pick up cash transfers in Panama
Anyone visiting Panama is cautioned to move with high degrees of safety measures and attention to personal safety. When going to pick up a cash transfer, go with a fellow associate, friend or family member if possible. Keep your personal belongings safe and especially take care with bags that carry your tracking or reference numbers, receipts and ID.
Shahedul is the publishing assistant for finder.com.au. He's Internet savvy and loves to learn new things about finance and technology. He spends most of his time learning about the wonderful world of the internet.
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