Even when far from the homeland, Ukrainians make a point of staying united in Australia through their many organisations and committees as well as keeping in touch with families back home. Thanks to a tumultuous socio-political landscape, Australia welcomed its biggest waves of displaced Ukrainians after the Second World War and in 1991 after Ukrainian independence.
Today the Ukrainian Australian community counts around 40,000 members, and the strong social structures welcome new arrivals and help them transition to living in Australia. The Ukraine isn’t one of Australia’s biggest trading partners, but the two countries collaborate on projects run in the Ukraine and funded by Australian investment in tobacco, oil, gas and electronics.
With the continued political unease in the region there is still a growing number of Ukrainians who choose to rehome in Australia but still have family in the Ukraine that they may want to send part of their Australian salary too in order to help make their lives easier.
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Oleksander Sends Money to Ukraine
Oleksander was 10 years old when his parents sent him to Australia in 1992. He was welcomed by his uncle who’d arrived three years before. Today, Oleksander is a successful sports personality with a comfortable salary. Even though he doesn’t get to the Ukraine as often as he’d like, he sends money to his parents two to three times a month to help with expenses and also for plane tickets to Australia. Oleksander keeps an eye on fluctuating interest rates and transfer fees to make sure his parents get the most out of the exchange.
Money transfer service 1
Money transfer service 2
$1 = UAH 12.674
$1 = UAH 12.398
Amount received for $1,000
Two working days (maximum)
Bank to bank transfer, cash collection
After comparing two transfer services, Oleksander sees that he can either pay a transfer fee that guarantees an instant deposit into his parents’ account or opt for a free service with a longer delivery delay.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Ukraine?
When looking at transferring money to the Ukraine there are things that you should consider. You could be able to get fee-free discount fee transfers if you are transferring higher amounts. Some other factors you might wish to consider are:
Exchange rates. The aim is to find a service that combines low fees and competitive exchange rates. This may impact on the delivery time, but your choice depends on how urgently the money needs to get to your recipient.
Pick-up methods. Depending on what best suits the recipient, you can choose to have the money deposited directly into their account or have them collect it at the agency select the option that works best for the recipient.
Transfer methods. You can send money to Ukraine via bank-to-bank transfer, online transfer to a bank account, cash deposit to be collected at an agency or to a recognised pick-up point. Choose the service that best suits your requirements and fee expectations.
Turnaround time. Some services can get the money to its destination within minutes while others can take up to five business days. Often you incur a higher fee for faster delivery.
Minimum transfer amounts. Most transfer services specify a higher minimum amount when sending to certain countries. Services like MoneyGram accept a minimum of $250 while others will allow transfers from as little as $10.
Customer service. Reputable money transfer services keep close track of transfers and send confirmations when the transfers land. You can contact your money transfer service on their direct lines provided on their websites, by email or visiting the agency in person.
Options when you want to send money to Ukraine from Australia
When comparing money transfer services online, the money is sent in Australian dollars and received in US dollars. The recipient’s bank will convert the dollars into Ukrainian Hryvnia. Make sure that the service you choose actually does deliver to the Ukraine. The following transfer services will get your money to its destination:
Western Union. Send money via bank transfer to be collected at a Western Union office in cash. Your recipient can collect just minutes after the transfer is made. You can send up to $5,000. The money is delivered in US dollars and then converted to Ukrainian Hrynvia at a fee.
MoneyGram. Money is sent in Australian dollars and delivered in Euro or US dollars. Recipients can collect money at a pick-up agency 15 to 20 minutes after the transfer has been effected.
Ria Financial Services. This service allows you to send money to the Ukraine from your bank account. Money is delivered in Euro or US dollars, and can be deposited into a bank account or collected from a pick-up point.
Sending money to the Ukraine in times of emergency
Not all money transfer services cover the Ukraine, but those that do can deposit money in the recipient’s account within half an hour or on the same day. In case of an urgent transfer, you may have to pay an additional fee for faster delivery, but if it’s an emergency, a few extra dollars won’t make that much of a difference.
Bank-to-bank transfer. This is the quickest way to make a transfer. It takes only minutes before it’s available in your account or be ready for collection at a pick-up point.
Cash pick-up service. It’s the business of money-transfer companies like MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria to provide quick, convenient delivery at designated pick-up points. Check their locations online.
Insurance. Your travel insurance will cover certain cases of theft, but you may have to wait a while before the payout is ready.
At this current point in time the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends that you reconsider your travel and to not travel to certain areas such as Crimea and regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Most money transfer companies covering the Ukraine offer cash pick-ups at certain points. The socio-political situation in the country is unstable thanks to clashes between separatists and Ukrainian forces so bank-to-bank transfers are recommended. If you have to collect money at a collection point while in the Ukraine, be vigilant and try to go in a group, or at least with one other person.
The money transfer companies that cover the Ukraine usually only allow for online transfers via your bank account. Money is delivered in Euro or US dollars, and is then converted to local currency by the recipient’s bank. You’ll need to supply the following information:
your name, email address and mobile number
the recipient’s name and contact details
your bank account details
You’ll receive a tracking number and a notification once the money has reached its destination.
Ukrainian Australians may not have many alternatives at their disposal for sending money to their homeland, but a few reliable transfer companies offer quick, hassle-free deposits for a small fee.
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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