Enjoy competitive exchange rates and minimal fees when you transfer funds to the Philippines.
There are plenty of international money transfer services to choose from when you want to send money to the Phillipines. Generally you open an account with the service provider, deposit your funds into the account and then initiate the transfer.
You'll typically need to provide proof of identity such as your driver's licence or passport and some personal details to open an account. Once your transfer has been placed, you’ll be provided with a receipt or tracking number so that you can monitor your transaction.
Although it’s simpler than ever before to send money to the Philippines, it’s vital that you shop around for the best deal so your recipient receives more money.
Your options to send money to the Phillipines below
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Banks vs international money transfer services
Most Australian banks will allow you to send money from Australia to the Philippine and indeed many people do choose to use their banks when conducting international money transfers. However, the fact is that transfers lodged with your bank can attract poor exchange rates and high fees, so you might be much better off looking to send fund another way.
Specialist money transfer companies offer fast and affordable overseas transfers, typically at much better exchange rates than those offered by banks. These companies also offer lower fees and faster turnaround times than banks, so it makes sense to compare your options before choosing a provider.
Paul wants to send a gift of $1,000 AUD to his cousins in the Philippines, but he knows that using his bank to do so will be unnecessarily expensive. With this in mind, he decides to compare the exchange rate and fees of his bank with those offered by a specialist money transfer company. The results of his comparison can be seen in the table below.
|Using a bank||Using a money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 30.92 PHP||1 AUD = 33.39|
|Transfer time||2-5 days||1-3 days|
|Transfer options||Online, in branch||Online|
|Amount received for $1,000 (PHP)||30,920||33,390|
As you can see, not only can Paul save AUD$11 in fees but he can also send an extra 2,470 Philippine Pesos to his relatives by using a money transfer company.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to the Philippines?
Take the following factors into account when comparing the services offered by different money transfer companies:
- Competitive exchange rates. You’ll obviously want to look for a company that offers attractive exchange rates. However, keep in mind that some companies with slightly lower rates than others may also offer lower fees.
- Little to no transfer fee. Most companies will charge a fee for every transfer you make, either at a flat rate or as a percentage of your transfer amount. However, some companies will let you avoid any fees when you transfer more than a certain amount.
- Flexible transfer methods and options. Can transfers be lodged online, over the phone and/or in a branch? Are there flexible options available to help make the transfer process easier and more affordable? For example, can you lodge regular scheduled transfers or place forward contracts?
- Quick turnaround time. Compare the average processing time offered by each company for transfers to the Philippines.
- Convenient pick up methods for your recipient. Some companies will allow cash pickups within minutes while others send funds directly to the recipient’s bank account.
- Low minimum transfer amounts. Some companies have minimum transfer limits in place, which can be highly impractical if you only want to send a small amount of money.
- Reliable customer service. Check to see if phone, email and live chat support are offered so that you can have assistance on hand if you ever need it.
TIP: Some banks, for example ANZ, have branches in both Australia and the Philippines. Transferring funds within a bank can save you time and money.
How to send money to the Philippines from Australia
The Philippine Peso is traded regularly on global currency markets, which means you have plenty of options to choose from when looking to send money to the Philippines. These include:
- Bank transfers. Many Australian banks will let you send funds to the Philippines, though you should keep an eye out for poor exchange rates and high fees.
- Money transfer for cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send cash to the Philippines within minutes. Funds can then be picked up from a number of agent locations across the Philippines.
- Money transfer companies. Specialist money transfer services like TorFX, OFX, World First, CurrencyFair, Currency Online, Travelex, WorldRemit and HiFX offer fast and affordable international money transfers.
- PayPal. Funds can be sent via PayPal if both you and your recipient have a PayPal account.
- International money order. You can also obtain an international guaranteed cheque from your bank which can then be posted overseas.
Emergency cash transfers in the Philippines
There are some situations where you may need to transfer funds to the Philippines as quickly as possible. For example, you may have a relative visiting the region who has their wallet stolen by thieves and is in desperate need of cash to be able to return home to Australia.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you exercise caution when lodging an emergency cash transfer. Make sure you know the exact exchange rate that will apply to your transaction, and read the fine print to familiarise yourself with any fees and how long the transaction will take to be processed. Taking the time to do this now will ensure that you get a good deal.
Cash pickup locations in the Philippines
WorldRemit, Western Union and MoneyGram offer multiple branch locations across the Philippines where your recipient can pick up the funds you send. When you go to pick up funds,remember to take proof of identity and some details of your transaction with you. In addition, it’s also wise to phone ahead and make any necessary arrangements if you are picking up a large sum of cash.
Tips for picking up cash in the Philippines
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends that travellers to the Philippines ‘exercise a high degree of caution’, so keep this in mind when picking up cash. If possible, take a friend with you for extra protection, but make sure not to advertise the fact that you have a large sum of cash to anyone. Avoid questionable areas where muggings occur frequently and head straight to your bank to deposit the funds. You can also find some more great travel safety tips by reading online blogs and forums.
About Philippines and Australia
On a global scale, Australia and the Philippines are located quite close to one another and enjoy friendly ties. In fact, Australia is home to more than 220,000 Filipino Australians, the fifth largest subgroup of overseas Filipinos in the world. The largest communities of Filipino Australians can be found in Sydney and Melbourne, though smaller pockets exist in other capital cities.
When you consider this fact, it’s quite unsurprising that many people find themselves needing to transfer money between Australia and the Philippines. While such transactions can be carried out via your bank, there are other more affordable ways to send money overseas.