Rwanda is a country that has suffered huge losses, especially during the political and economic turmoil of the 1990s. Since those turbulent years, Rwanda has won itself a position on the top 10 list of fastest growing economies in the world.
According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Rwanda offers prudent fiscal and monetary policies and average annual economic growth in excess of 8% over the last decade.
Despite these growth spurts, poverty is still a huge problem in Rwanda, and economic aid from Australia can help turn this around.
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Each year, Australia imports $1.2 million worth of coffee from Rwanda, and the two countries trade a total of about $5 million in services.
Money transfer company comparisons for sending money to Rwanda
Celia and her family immigrated to Australia from Rwanda in the early 1990s. She was a young girl at the time and finished her education in Australia, but has now been working for a couple of years. After yearning to return to Rwanda for a couple of years now, Celia has gotten into touch with an uncle who will be able to help her with the transition back to Rwanda. She wants to set up basic cash flow for when she is there. She has drawn up the table below to compare her options.
Exchange rates. The Rwandan franc is weaker than the Australian dollar. When doing comparisons, don’t only go off marginal exchange rate differences, also look at what the actual buying power is.
Pickup methods. Money can be received in a supported bank account or be picked up at a MoneyGram, Western Union or Xpress Money agent location in the towns listed below. Stick to main cities when picking up cash and research pickup options in the areas you will specifically move around in.
Fees. There aren’t huge fee differences when you send money to Rwanda. Cash transfer is a great option for emergencies and won’t result in high fees.
Bank to bank benefits. Bank to bank relationships between Rwanda and other international locations isn’t listed on most Australian bank websites. Citibank supports the RWF currency but requires a branch visit.
Turnaround time. The turnaround time ranges from minutes to days and usually has marginal cost differences.
Transfer methods. The transfer methods that can be used include online transfers through a registered online account, phone, mobile apps and agent or branch locations.
Transfer options. Depending on the service used, your transfer options may include recurring payments, spot contracts, market orders, once-off payments and booked rates.
Minimum/maximum transfer amounts. Minimum and maximum transfer amounts are important not only on the sending end but also on the receiving end. If you plan to send a large amount, phone the agent ahead of time to confirm availability of funds. Minimum amounts can be as low as $10 or over $10,000.
Customer service. Customer service is extremely important when visiting countries with a history of political or economical instability. Use email support as much as possible so that you have a record of your queries.
How will you send and receive money between Rwanda and Australia?
Money transfer services. The following companies can be used for an international money transfer: MoneyGram, Western Union, WorldFirst Foreign Exchange and Xpress Money. Visit a Moneygram and Western Union agent location to see if they have agent locations that send as well as receive funds.
Banks. Citibank supports the RWF currency but does not have any listed branches in Rwanda itself. Visit a Citibank branch to find out how you can send or receive money to and from a bank account in the RWF currency.
Paypal. Visit local banks in Rwanda to confirm which ones support uploading or withdrawing of funds to and from PayPal.
When picking up cash in a foreign country, always have government-issued photo ID. Have the tracking or reference number handy as well as the receipt for the original transaction.
Travel in groups and avoid travelling at night. Like its neighbouring country Burundi, Rwanda is prone to severe civil unrest. Crime and violence are currently at high rates, and public demonstrations should be avoided at all costs.
How will you go about the process to send money to Rwanda?
If you want to send money to Rwanda using Moneygram, Western Union or Xpress Money with one of their agent locations as a pickup option, make sure you have the following:
Details of the recipient
Details of the specific agent location so that you can phone ahead to confirm whether they have the correct amounts of the currency available
The amount and currency you would like to send
A registered account with the service you will be using
When you are sending money to a supported bank account in Rwanda, make sure you have the following:
Details of the bank and bank account number, including SWIFT BIC details
Correct amounts in the supported currency
Details of the recipient
Make sure to send a tracking or reference number and a copy of the receipt to the recipient. This information, along with government-issued photo ID will be required to pick up the transferred 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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