Ways You Can Send Money to Syrian Arab Republic Without Investing Too Much Time

Information verified correct on December 3rd, 2016

Syrian-Arab-Republic

Do banks and money transfer companies let you send money to Syria from Australia? Here’s the information you need.

As per the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a majority of Australian residents born in Arab nations have citizenship of Australia. The take-up rate for citizenship is highest among earlier settlers, with more than 85% Syrian born residents being Australian citizens. The AHRC suggests that around 45% of the Syrian population in Australia settled here before 1986. Statistics from the 2011 Australian census showed that over 13,500 Syrians by birth resided in Australia.

The Australian Government has an autonomous sanctions regime in place in relation to Syria, which includes restrictions on imports, exports, commercial activities and travel.

Sending money to Syria might not be as easy as it would if you were sending money to a country not troubled by internal strife. However, you still have options, which you’ll learn about by going through this guide.

Banks vs money transfer companies

Adnan Al-Hamsi moved to Australia without his wife and child, who continue living in Syria. They depend on him financially so he’ll have to keep sending them money periodically. He plans to send them around $1,000 every month.

While Adnan has an account with an Australian bank, it does not allow fund transfers to Syria. Upon checking with a few other banks, he realises that most Australian banks refuse to transfer funds to Syrian bank accounts.

He takes to the Internet to compare money transfer companies. This is what he finds.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rate$1 = SYP155.057$1 = SYP150.69
Transfer fee$20$0
Amount received for $1,000SYP147,304SYP150,690
Transfer time1 day1-2 days
Transfer optionsCash pickupBank account
Difference ofSYP3,386

The comparison shows him that while the first money transfer company offers him a better exchange rate, his wife ends up getting more money through the second service provider. This is because of the fees he’ll have to pay if he uses the first service provider. Besides, he prefers transferring the money directly into his wife’s bank account.

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How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Syria?

When comparing money transfer companies to send money to Syria, pay attention to these aspects.

  • Transfer rates and fees. As you can see from the case study, a better exchange rate does not necessarily translate into a better deal, which is because of the fees you may have to pay. To pick the best deal, simply compare how much money the recipient stands to receive.
  • Ways to send money. Finding an Australian bank that lets you transfer funds to a Syrian bank account, given the current situation, can be very difficult. However, if you have an account with a Middle Eastern bank you may be able to use its services to transfer funds to Syria online. Some international and Middle Eastern money transfer companies also let you send money to Syria online.
  • Ways to receive money. The recipient can receive transferred funds directly into a bank account or by visiting a cash pickup centre.
  • Transfer methods. If you plan to send money to Syria regularly you can save some time and effort by dealing with a service provider that lets you make regular scheduled payments. Some even offer market orders and forward contracts.
  • Using the same bank. In the event that you and the recipient have accounts with the same bank, using its services for the transfer can work in your favour. First, not many banks let you transfer funds to Syria. Second, you can benefit through reduced fees and a quicker turnaround time.
  • Processing time. When you’re sending money to Syria, the time the process takes can vary considerably owing to multiple factors. While the service provider you choose plays a role, the fact that various parts of Syria suffer from intermittent Internet connectivity problems can work in delaying the transfer.
  • Minimum transfer amounts. The service provider you choose may have a minimum transfer limit in place, which can vary from $200 to $1,000, or its near equivalent in other currencies.
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How do I send money to Syria from Australia?

If you wish to send money to Syria from Australia, you get to choose from these options.

  • Banks. While finding an Australian bank to send money to Syria can be a challenge, you can use the services of some Middle Eastern banks to do the needful. In this case, the bank might require you to be an account holder, and you’ll have to initiate the transfer online. You can also consider sending a money order or cheque via mail.
  • Non-banks. Some money transfer companies such as Western Union let you send money to Syria in person, by visiting a store or kiosk. Some limit their operations to the online world. If you and the recipient have PayPal accounts, you can use its services as well.

How do I receive money from Syria in Australia?

You have different options when receiving money from Syria in Australia.

  • Banks. Ask the sender if transferring the funds directly into your bank account is an option. If so, the sender can do this using the services of a bank or a money transfer company. You can also ask the sender to mail you a cheque or a money order.
  • Non-banks. Western Union has numerous cash pick up centres across Australia. If you use its services for the transfer you can visit any of its centres to collect cash. Using the services of PayPal is also an option, provided both you and the sender have PayPal accounts.
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Emergency cash transfers in Syria

If you’re in Syria and end up losing your wallet, report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen immediately to prevent their misuse. You can then think about getting some emergency money in different ways.

  • Cash pickup. Can you ask a family member or friend to send you some money? If so, locate a convenient cash pickup centre and pass the details to the sender.
  • Cash advance on credit card. If you have an existing Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card, you can think about getting a cash advance by visiting a local participating financial institution.
  • Travel insurance. Getting the right kind of travel insurance before you leave can give you access to emergency funds to deal with situations that include unexpected medical expenses, flight delays and cancellations as well as lost and misplaced baggage.
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Cash pickup locations in Syria

Western Union has cash pickup centres in several Syrian cities, as do some other money transfer companies. To collect cash from a physical location you’ll have to provide a reference number as well as an acceptable form of ID such as your passport or driver’s license. You may want to call ahead of time to establish availability of funds, especially if you plan to collect a large sum. Here are some cash pickup centres in Syria.

Western Union

Damascus

  • Al Adham
    29 Ayar Street
    Damascus
    +963-11-2325603
    Open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday
  • Al Fuad Exchange Co
    Abu Musa Al Ashary Street Al Baramka
    Damascus
    +963-11-2224360
    Open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday

Hama

  • Al Adham
    Opposite Post Center
    Hama
    +963-33-213478
    Open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday
  • Al Fuad MT
    Alkwuatli Rd Near To Cbos Br
    Hamah
    +963-33-236085
    Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday
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Tips for picking up cash in Syria

Most international banks now refuse to transfer funds to Syrian bank accounts. However, you may be able to send money to Syria through banks in places like Dubai and Jordan. While currency exchange bureaux no longer receive transactions on your behalf, exchange and money transfer offices can be of assistance, depending on the prevailing situation.

The Australian Government does not offer consular assistance in Syria anymore. It advises Australians against travelling to all parts of Syria owing to high levels of ongoing military conflict. The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs declared the province of al-Raqqa a listed terrorist organisation engaging in hostile activity. It is an offence for Australians to enter or remain in this province.

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What are the steps to send money to Syria?

This depends on the method you choose.

  1. Transfer to bank account. If you wish to transfer funds directly into the recipient’s account, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name, account number, name of the bank and the bank’s SWIFT code. If you’re using the services of a money transfer company, you’ll also have to provide details of your bank account, credit card or debit card.
  2. Cash pickup. In this case you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name as well as a desired cash pickup centre. The business might want to verify your identity before initiating the transfer. If you’re sending money online, you’ll also have to provide your bank account, credit card or debit card details.

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