Expats Guide: Sending Money Overseas from the Philippines

Working in the Philippines soon? Say hello to new obligations, and goodbye to old responsibilities. No, no, no. Just kidding! We don’t want you to run away from your duties, that’s why we’re here to help you settle your finances even when you’re away from home with our guide to sending money overseas from the Philippines.

Sure we know that working and living in a new country entail new tasks. But that doesn’t mean you’re running away from your financial obligations at home. If you have a mortgage or insurance pending back home, or you need to send money to your loved ones either regularly or occasionally, you can still do so while you’re in the Philippines. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered in more ways than one.

Read on and see the best option waiting for you in our guide to sending money overseas from the Philippines.


Through Philippine Banks

When you’ve successfully opened your Philippine bank account (see our guide Expats’ Guide: Opening a Bank Account in the Philippines), you may also avail of their international bank transfer services.

Bank of the Philippines (BPI), for instance, requires the information on the remitter, beneficiary bank, and beneficiary of funds to be available to them. More importantly, banks also ask for the international bank code identifying particular banks worldwide, or most commonly known as SWIFT Code. Regarding the corresponding fees, the beneficiary customer can shoulder it by deducting them from the total amount you sent or BPI may collect these payments from you during processing.

Generally, banks require several fees (i.e. sending, changing currency, processing, etc.) per transaction. With these numerous fees, it’s best to send a large amount in one go. Otherwise, the fees you pay may turn out to be higher than the actual money you’re sending.


Through Email Accounts

Email accounts? No way! Yes, in the 21st century, this is possible!

Companies like Paypal and TransferWise enable this kind of money transfer. With Paypal, for example, all you have to do is go to their website, sign up with your email address, create a strong password, and fill out some personal information. Don’t forget to confirm your email address and phone number. Next, link your credit/debit cards and your bank account to your Paypal. This is where the money or credit will be taken out from. Make sure to input the correct bank details such as account name and number. When you’re all set, you may transfer the money to the recipient’s Paypal account and he may withdraw it from his linked local bank account.

It’s good to remember that with Paypal, there’s a fee when you send payment internationally or if you receive money from someone in another country. For full details of Paypal’s fees, you may visit their website.


Through Cash Pickup Locations

If you need to send money as quickly as possible, transferring money in another country through pickup locations is one way to go about it.

Western Union offers this kind of service almost anywhere in the world. By following these few easy steps, your errand is done in no time.

First, make sure that there’s a Western Union branch near the person you’re sending the money to so he can access your remittance conveniently. When you’ve secured this, go to the nearest Western Union branch in your area. There are several branches in and out of Metro Manila so this won’t be a problem. Fill out the information sheet with details such as recipient’s full name (as stated in his ID; never write nicknames as Western Union will not accept transactions without the recipient’s proper identification card), address, country of origin, etc. You will be then asked to pay a fee, depending on the amount and country you’re sending the money to. Lastly, you’ll be given a unique transaction number (MTCN). This is what the recipient would need to present when dealing with Western Union.

When the beneficiary gets the money, Western Union requires a minimal transfaction fee from the total amount you sent.


What is the best option?

 To help you on your quest to finding the right mode to send money overseas, consider the following factors:

  • Competitive exchange rates– It’s important that you get good value for your money. Know the current exchange rate in the market then compare it with the three options above.
  • Transaction fees- Are you getting robbed every step of the process you take when trying to send money? It’s best to choose a money transfer service that would not empty your pockets.
  • Convenience and reliability- Safety should be your priority. It’s vital to take extra precaution in making sure your money goes to the right hands. Check all the information you give to your bank. Ensure that you have the right email address of your beneficiary. Be careful how you relay the transaction number to your recipient (i.e. never post the photo of your Western Union transaction number on social media).


Did we solve your money transfer dilemma? Again, given these options, decide on what best works for you. If at the end of the day the money transfer service you pick helps you save money and makes you pay your dues safely and on time, then you’d know you’ve made the right decision.






Expats in the Philipppines

Expats in the Philipppines

Expat.com.ph is a platform that aims to help Expats living and working in the Philippines and expats-to-be. It provides free information and also encourages them to share their experiences. Let's help making life in Philippines that much more fun!

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