Safe, secure and cost-effective transfer options when you need to send money to the West Bank and Gaza.
Australia has demonstrated its support in the Middle East peace process by helping strengthen the social and economic foundations of a future Palestinian state.
Since 2009, Australia has promoted economic growth in the region by working with Palestinian and Australian NGOs to raise income for more than 53,000 people in deprived farming communities. Since 20011, it has improved water and sanitation facilities in over 120 schools. In 2014-15, it enabled around 15,000 Palestinian children to attend school in West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Syria.
As per the 2011 Australian Census, 2,696 West Bank and Gaza Strip born people live in Australia.
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The Oslo Accords determine three currencies to be legal tender in the Gaza Strip, which include the Israeli new shekel, the Jordanian dinar and the US dollar. The use of the Israeli new shekel and the Jordanian dinar is common in the West Bank as well.
If you wish to send money to West Bank or Gaza, going through this guide is in your best interest.
Banks vs money transfer companies
Elyas Hamati moved to Australia alone, while his parents and wife continue living in the West Bank. He found a job almost as soon as he arrived, because a relative had arranged one for him in advance. Since his family back home depended on him financially, he had to start sending money to them soon. To begin, he figured he could send them around $1,000 every two months.
While Elyas could use the bank he had an account with for the transfer, he felt he may get a better deal if he compared his options. He took to the Internet and this is what he found.
|Australian bank||Money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||$1 = ILS2.4822||$1 = ILS2.6934|
|Amount received for $1,000||ILS2,422.63||ILS2,693.40|
|Transfer time||3-5 days||1 day|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
Not only did his bank charge a fee for the transfer, it also provided him with an unfavourable exchange rate, which is why Elyas decided to go with the money transfer company. Besides, the money transfer company got the money to his wife sooner than the bank.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via West Bank and Gaza?
When you’re sending money to West Bank or Gaza from Australia, several aspects require your attention.
- Exchange rate and fees. Pay attention to both these aspects before initiating a transfer. This is because a company that provides fee-free transfers may not offer a competitive exchange rate. On the other hand, a highly favourable rate may come with inflated fees. Comparing how much money the recipient stands to receive should give you a clear picture of which deal is better.
- Ways to send money. If you’re sending money through a bank, you may be able to do so at a branch, over the phone or online. Some money transfer companies operate out of physical locations that you can visit to send money in person. Several companies operate in the online world. Some offer their services over the phone as well.
- Ways to receive money. The recipient can receive money directly into a bank account. To go through with the transfer you’ll need the recipient’s bank account details. Another option is to collect the transferred money by visiting a cash pickup centre.
- Transfer methods. If you plan to send money periodically, you can consider dealing with a business that lets you schedule regular payments, as this would save you time. If you're hoping to benefit through fluctuations in the foreign exchange market, you can work with businesses that offer market orders and forward contracts.
- Turnaround time. If the transfer involves the recipient collecting money from a cash pickup location, the transfer should go through almost instantly. When transferring money to a bank account, the time taken can vary significantly, depending on the service provide you choose. While some money transfer companies take as little as one day, some banks can take 10 days or more.
- Minimum amount. Some banks and money transfer companies have minimum limits in place, which can be $500 or $1,000.
- Customer service. You may wish to contact a company representative for different reasons. You should ideally be able to do so over the phone as well as via chat and email.
How do I send money to the West Bank and Gaza from Australia?
You can send money to the West Bank and Gaza from Australia in different ways.
- Banks. You can find banks in Australia that let you send money to the West Bank and Gaza. Depending on the bank you choose, you can initiate the process online, in person or over the phone. Bear in mind that the fees you have to pay and the turnaround time can vary from one bank to the next. You can also consider sending a cheque, money order or draft via mail.
- Non-banks. International money transfer companies such as Western Union and Xpress Money have a physical presence in Australia as well as the West Bank and Gaza. You can use their services to transfer funds to bank accounts or to send money to a cash pickup centre. Using the services of an online company such as PayPal is also an option.
How do I receive money from the West Bank and Gaza in Australia?
When receiving money from the West Bank and Gaza in Australia, you get to choose from different options.
- Banks. You can get the sender to use the service of a bank or a money transfer company to transfer funds directly in your Australian bank account. For this to happen, you’ll have to provide the sender with your bank account details first. Receiving a bank-issued cheque, draft or money order via mail is also an option.
- Non-banks. Western Union and Xpress Money have a number of cash pickup centres across Australia. You can visit any of these centres to collect the transferred money in person. You also use the services of PayPal. In this case, both you and the recipient should have PayPal accounts.
Emergency cash transfers in the West Bank and Gaza
If you’re in West Bank or Gaza and find your wallet missing, the first thing you should do is report your credit and debit cards as lost or stolen. Then, you can think about getting some emergency money using different methods.
- Cash pickup. The easiest way is to get a friend or family member to send you some money through a money transfer company. Start by identifying an easily accessible cash pickup centre and pass the details to the sender.
- Credit card cash advance. If you have a Visa or Mastercard credit card, you can get an emergency cash advance. To get money this way you’ll have to visit a local participating bank.
- Travel insurance. The right kind of travel insurance can be beneficial when you travel overseas. It can give you access to emergency money to deal with unexpected medical expenses, flight delays and cancellations as well as lost and misplaced baggage.
Cash pickup locations in the West Bank and Gaza
Western Union and Xpress Money have cash pickup centres in the West Bank and Gaza. To collect cash from any of these centres, you’ll have to provide a transfer specific reference number along with an acceptable form of ID such as your passport or driver’s license. If you have to collect a large sum, call ahead of time to check for availability of funds. Here are some cash pickup locations in the West Bank and Gaza.
- Quds Bank Ltd
Omar Al Mukhtar St
Al Rimal, Gaza Strip
Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday
- Cairo Amman Bank
Aljundi Al Majhoul Street
P.O. Box 158
Khan Younis, Gaza Strip
Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday
- Cairo Amman Bank
Wadi Altofah Street Branch
Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday
- Quds Bank Ltd
Ibn Rushd Circle
Open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday
- Abo Mohammed Exchange
Omar Al Mokhtar, Rema area
Gaza, Gaza Strip
Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday
- Abu Sharia El Hasayna Exchange Company
Omar Al Mokhtar Street
Al Sousi Mall
Gaza Remal, Gaza
Open 9am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday
- Mohamed Al Barasy Exchange Co
Near Wezarh Aldakhlyah, Rafah
Open 9:30am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday
- Selmey Exchange
In front of Elawda Mosque
Open 8:30am to 9pm, Monday to Thursday, closed on Friday, open 8:30am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday
Tips for picking up cash in the West Bank and Gaza
The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians to think seriously about travelling to the West Bank and Gaza because of the high levels of risk in these regions. If you go, make sure you do you research in advance, take due safety precautions and have contingency plans in place.
There can be frequent power disruptions in the West Bank and Gaza, so don’t expect fund transfers to come through immediately. Remain particularly vigilant during Muslim and Jewish religious holidays such as Ramadan, Rosh Hashana and Pesach.
A risk of violent confrontation at checkpoints exists. Avoid traffic congestion at areas where options to leave are limited.Back to top
What are the steps to send money to the West Bank and Gaza?
When sending money to West Bank or Gaza, the steps you have to follow and the information you have to provide depend on the method you choose.
- Transfer to bank account. If you’re transferring funds using your own bank, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and account number along with the name of the bank and the bank’s SWIFT code. If you’re sending money through a different business, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card as well. Remember that not all money transfer companies accept payments via credit cards. You can track the progress of your transfer using the reference number you get.
- Cash pickup. If you’re sending cash from a physical location, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and a desired cash pickup location. In all other cases, you’ll have to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details as well. Once you initiate the transfer you should get a reference number, which the recipient needs to collect the money.