These services are chosen from among the partners we work with based on special features or offers and the commission we receive. Keep in mind that our promoted picks may not always be the best fit for you. Consider your needs and compare other ways to transfer money to Laos in the table below.
Looking for a way to send money to family, friends or a business in Laos (or even to your own bank account overseas)? According to MoneySmart, you should avoid Australian banks and go with a money transfer specialist to get better LAK exchange rates and lower fees on international transfers.
Based on the providers we've compared, Remitly is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? MoneyGram can get money to your recipient in Laos within minutes.
Best ways to send money to Laos from Australia
The best way to send money to Laos depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
Online money transfer provider. When buying Australian dollars
or Lao kips
money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to Laos but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. AU banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in Laos.
Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.
Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Laos
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Cheapest way to send money to Laos
As reported by the ACCC, bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to Laos. Remitly and Send Payments have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.
Remember, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer to Laos and this has a couple of elements:
Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your Australian bank, money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market AUD/LAK exchange rate.
Certain providers may give the mid-market rate but add fees on top and others will have low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many Lao kips your recipient will end up with.
Fastest way to send money to Laos
Actual transfer times from Australia to Laos can depend on several factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.
Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to Laos:
Remitly — within minutes
MoneyGram — within minutes
WorldRemit — within minutes
Safest way to send money to Laos
The safest way to get your money to Laos is using a provider registered with Australia's industry regulator, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Australia and Laos.
A great way to dive deeper is by reading our reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.
Large money transfers to Laos
If you need to make a sizable money transfer to Laos, consider using a provider such as Send Payments to secure a better LAK exchange rate and benefit from its expertise handling larger transactions.
Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
Tax guidance. Large transfers to Laos may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on the Australian Taxation Office's latest advice.
Foreign exchange tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the LAK exchange rate you want.
Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can offer advice and help facilitate transfers.
Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as Send Payments and Remitly can provide support over the phone.
How to send money to Laos from Australia
To send money to Laos, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
Compare your options.
Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to Laos. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
Create an account.
You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
Provide your recipient's details.
Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Laotian bank account, you'll need the account number,
SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
Enter your transfer amount.
Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total Lao kips your recipient gets.
Complete your transfer.
Send your money transfer to Laos. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
How to choose a money transfer company for Laos
When selecting a provider to transfer money to Laos, here are the main factors to consider:
Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. However, not every money transfer provider offers the mid-market rate so compare the LAK you're offered to the mid-market rate to calculate the margin.
Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of the transfer amount? A provider offering to transfer your money to Laos for a flat or low fee might work out better if you're sending a large amount.
Transfer type. Does your recipient have a Laotian bank account or is cash pickup a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example,
instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than
Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as WorldRemit offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value.
Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Remitly has a transfer limit of $2,999 while WorldRemit allows transfers up to $50,000.
Discounts. Providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may give a discount for transferring more than a specific amount of Lao kips.
Frequently asked questions
The most common payment methods for money transfers to Laos include bank transfer, credit card and debit card. How you pay can influence how quickly your Lao kips arrive and the total cost of your transfer, so consider both when deciding.
Photo identification: Most providers require a driver's license, passport or other Australian government-issued ID.
A way to pay: Your options depend on the provider's services. Popular methods include cash, debit or credit card and bank account transfers.
Recipient information: You'll need their name (matching their ID) plus contact details. If sending to a Laotian bank account, you'll need their account number, SWIFT and branch details.
Transfer number: The reference number – sometimes called a PIN, MTCN or tracking number.
Government-issued ID: An official ID, such as a Laotian passport or driver's license.
The transfer amount: To know how much has been sent, usually to within 10% of the total.
Sender information: The sender's name and address and the transfer's country of origin.
Each provider has its own sending limit. For example, Remitly and MoneyGram allow you to transfer as little as $1 while others will have a much higher minimum threshold.
Remember that some providers will have different maximum transfer amounts as a result of Australian tax policies or because their service is more limited.
The turnaround time for a money transfer to Laos depends on the provider and how you pay for the transfer. Expect your transfer to arrive within minutes if you pay using cash or with a debit or credit card. Paying by bank transfer can take longer – usually 2–5 business days.
Yes, you can still send a money transfer if neither you nor your recipient in Laos has a bank account. Look at cash transfer providers such as Remitly where you can pay with cash and your recipient can collect it as cash or as mobile phone reload on the other end.
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