It wasn’t always easy to send and receive money across the Equator, but people all over Australia can rest assured it can be done in current times with a quick visit to a bank or money transfer service.
Although there are limited relations between Australia and Yemen, there are several reasons why it’s important to be able send and receive money between the two.
Both are founding members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and, since 2009, “Australia has provided more than $21 million to Yemen in humanitarian assistance through UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross” according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The importance of comparing different money transfer companies
Gill has always had a deep desire to visit the northern parts of Africa and the middle east due to its rich history. She did some research and compared two money transfer companies that offer her a cash pickup in Yemen.
She hasn’t been able to find any Australian banks that do international money transfers to Yemen and will use this as her final resources when she goes over. Below is a summary of her findings when using 1,000 AUD as the transfer amount.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 145.358662 YER||1 AUD = 148.6667 YER|
|Transfer fee||60 AUD||70 AUD|
|Amount of Yemeni Rial received in Yemen for 1,000 AUD||145,358.66 YER||148,666.68 YER|
|Transfer options||Online or branch transfer with a cash pickup at an agent.||Online or branch transfer with a cash pickup at an agent.|
|Difference in YER|
How do I compare money transfer companies?
- Exchange Rates. It is advisable to view the different exchange rates offered by money transfer companies like Moneygram, Western Union and Xpress Money as it varies according to each one’s exchange rate calculator.
- Pickup Methods. Cash pickup locations are plentiful in Yemen. When transferring money to a bank account in Yemen, first make sure the bank and service you are considering support a money transfer to that bank account.
- Fees. The fees when sending money to Yemen are higher than usual fees, but don’t vary too much between the available services. Make sure there are no additional fees at the recipient of the company you choose.
- Bank to Bank Benefits. None were found, although Citibank lists its reach in Yemen.
- Turnaround Time. You can expect a turnaround time of 10 minutes depending on the agent location’s available currency.
- Transfer Methods. All companies should offer payments made from an agent or branch, whilst only some will allow you send money from an online profile using a debit or credit card.
- Transfer Options. Cash pickup will require you to either set up an online profile or visit a branch to send the money. Most transactions will need to be authorized per transaction.
- Customer Service. What kind of customer service does the company offer? 24/7 can be helpful in the case of an emergency. Some providers also offer live chats, which will get you a response faster than through email.
How do I send and receive money between Yemen and Australia?
Because of the political uncertainty in Yemen, only one money transfer company can help you out if you want to send money to Yemen.
MoneyGram has been around for ages and will allow you to send and receive money in minutes but it will require a higher fee than standard money transfer services.
There are many agent locations that can be found on their international sites. A couple of the options in popular cities are listed later in the article.
Receiving money from Yemen
When receiving cash, you will need to visit an agent in Australia with your government-issued ID. You'll also need to ask the sender for the tracking number (MTCN).
If you want the money deposited in your bank account, you will need to supply the sender with your BSB and account number. Be sure to notify the sender that they need to request this option specifically when starting the money transfer process.
Cash pickup locations in Yemen
Al Hadha Exchange Company - Sana’a - Taiz
Taiz street near Alawadhi Hospital, Sana’a
Open 24 hours Mondays to Sundays
Alkuraimi Islamic Microfinance Bank
Aser street, front of Saba Fon Co, Sana’a
Open Saturday to Thursday 8am to 9:30pm and 24 hours on a Friday
Alkuraimi Islamic Microfinance Bank
Al Mansoura, Aden, 0
Open 24 hours Mondays to Sundays
Tips for picking up cash in Yemen
Although there are more than enough pickup locations in Yemen, it is important to make sure the area of pickup is in a busy area with a lot of people.
Foreigners usually stick out like a sore thumb, and going into a cash pickup agent means it’s pretty obvious you will be carrying cash with you.
It’s also advisable to have more than one copy of identification with you along with any tracking numbers on incoming transfers so that no one can scam you out of your money.
Step-by-step: How to send a money transfer to Yemen
- Visit the agent you have identified with a form of photo ID (can be passport, driver’s license, national ID, government-issued ID).
- You will need to fill in an application form along with the specified amount you want to send and all necessary fees.
- It is then your responsibility to contact the receiver of the money and provide them with the tracking or reference number.
- Some branches may require a proof of address.
To pick up the cash in Yemen, you'll need:
- A Government issued ID.
- The tracking or reference number (MTCN).
The relationship between Yemen and Australia
This role is an important one for Australia as about 80% of Yemen’s population requires humanitarian assistance. The World Bank has remarked that from 2017, Yemen’s sources of oil and natural gas will start a steady decline.
This means that support and investment from countries where Yemen has existing economical established relations, like Australia, will play a vital role in improving infrastructure.
To support this, Yemen already has 20% of its budget allocated to this focus point. Furthermore, in 2014, the total Australian exports to Yemen came in at $400 million. These comprised mainly wheat products, as well as dairy and vegetable items.
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