This article was created in partnership with Western Union.
Remittances sent to the Philippines from the U.S. are massive; in 2017, people in the U.S. sent upward of $11 billion, according to the Pew Research Center. But sending money to the Philippines isn’t always as easy or cost-effective as it could be for those involved in the transaction. Fortunately, technology is helping to change that.
The biggest factors to think about when sending money to the Philippines are how much it will cost, how long it will take and how convenient it will be for your loved ones to receive the money.
How much will the money transfer cost?
Every service and money transfer method carry different fees. App-based transfers usually have small fees, while banks can charge as much
as $65 for outgoing international transfers, explains Finder.
It also pays to investigate the exchange rate on your chosen platforms. Different money transfer services provide different exchange rates, so factor that into your budget and platform choice.
How long will the transfer take?
You also want to consider when to send the money. Talk with your family members about when they need the money, especially if you’re helping out with bills. This will help you decide how often to send money and how early you need to start your transfer to ensure they have the funds they need.
Even when you initiate a transfer immediately, it can take a few days to hit your family member’s account. Or, if you’re using a cash pickup service, consider when they need the money and when they can pick it up.
How will the recipient receive the funds?
If your family members live in a rural area, a bank transfer might be difficult to collect. Even if they have a bank account, they may have to travel to an ATM or bank branch to subsequently get cash. In that case, you (and they) may be better served by using an app-based service where you can send money to a local shop for the recipient to pick up in cash. Or, you can use a platform that delivers cash to their homes.
What’s the best method for sending money to the Philippines?
Mobile apps are increasingly popular for sending money to family overseas. These popular apps let you initiate low-cost transfers at any time, and some include options to transfer funds to a loved one’s mobile wallet or bank account. Depending on the service, you may also have the cash delivered to the relative’s home or a convenient pickup location. Some services also allow you to add airtime to a mobile phone, which is useful if you’re helping a family member or friend with their monthly expenses.
International bank transfers, alternatively, are long-standing methods for sending money overseas. To set up the transfer, you’ll need the recipient’s address and bank account information. Many banks charge transfer fees, so find out how much you’ll pay to send money and how much your loved one might be charged to receive it.
The Western Union solution
Western Union makes sending money to the Philippines quick and reliable. You can use the Western Union app to send and receive money at any time, as well as set up recipient profiles if you plan to transfer funds to your family on a regular basis. While the Western Union app is the most convenient way to send money, you can also initiate transfers from the Western Union website or one of 55,000 agency locations throughout the U.S.
How your loved ones receive the money is up to you: They can pick it up from 13,000 Western Union agents in the Philippines, or accept it digitally via a mobile wallet or online bank account. You can also use the Western Union app to check the exchange rate between the dollar and the peso, so you know exactly how much your loved ones will receive.
The key to efficiently sending money to the Philippines is finding a method that works for your family. Select a process that gives you a good exchange rate, low fees and allows you to send money simply and consistently.