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How to Send Money to the Philippines

Last updated 29th Nov 2022
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There are many options available to send money to the Philippines, which can be a blessing or a curse for the uninitiated. The key to easy transfers lies in finding the platform that best suits your needs. This guide discusses the most common money transfer platforms, such as WorldRemit, XE Money Transfer, and Western Union. A comparison of these platforms will help you to uncover the options and choose the most suitable service for you. Keep reading to learn about the most efficient options to send money to the Philippines and how to do that in three simple steps!

How to Send Money to the Philippines Using a Money Transfer Provider?

The process of sending money to the Philippines by using an online money transfer service is simple. You only need to follow these three steps to execute a transaction!

Step 1 Step 1: Compare providers to find the one that best fits you

Money transfer providers differ in transaction speeds, costs, currencies, transaction types, volume, payment methods, and more. Choose what’s most important to you, and weed out the services that don’t provide it until you’re left with one that does, and under favorable conditions.

Step 2 Step 2: Sign up with the chosen provider

The sign-up process shouldn’t last more than a few minutes. Make sure to provide valid details since most platforms conduct identity verification checks. They could ask you for a photo ID or to upload a copy of your ID card or passport.

Step 3 Step 3: Transfer money

Begin by choosing the desired currency to deposit and pick Philippines as the destination. Select your payment method of choice, double-check all details, and finalize the transaction.

How to Send and Receive Money in the Philippines?

Filipinos sent a total of USD 31.4 billion in remittances in 2021. That was a record high for the country and marked a 5% year-on-year growth compared to the previous year. A large increase in the number of overseas workers was a key reason behind these impressive statistics. With a growing need for remittances in the country, there has been a similar uptrend in the number of ways to send money to the Philippines.

Ways to Send Money to the Philippines

Money transfer services provide the easiest method of making cross-border money transactions to the Philippines. Currently, the majority of personal remittances come from the United States (40.5%), with Singapore and Saudi Arabia following close behind. Most transactions occur via money transfer platforms, but the following overview also discusses possible alternatives!

Money Transfer Services

These are online-based platforms that are licensed to offer international money transfers to selected countries. Most of these platforms, which include the likes of WorldRemit, Azimo, and Western Union, support dozens of countries, including the Philippines.

Once you have registered on a chosen platform, it will only take minutes to adjust the parameters and request a new transaction. Money transfer services often complete the transaction process on the same day, although the speed will depend on the payment and delivery methods and other variables.

You can send money to the Philippines from dozens of countries using a host of different currencies. Each platform will provide updated exchange rates before you begin the transfer process. Money transfer services are trustworthy, fast, and suitable for both small and large transactions, making them the best option for sending money to the Philippines.

Wire Transfers

Wire transfers have become less popular with the increase in digital technology due to the time that they take to complete. Wire transfers often come with larger fees, especially for a fast service. This transfer option will traditionally take several business days to complete and is not convenient for those requiring a quick transfer. When timezones are also factored in, the wire transfer process is losing ground to more efficient and cheaper transfer options.

Bank Account Transfers

Bank account transfers are used to transfer funds from your own bank account to a receiving account in the Philippines. Many local banks in the country will support this option, including the Philippine National Bank (PNB), Metrobank, and One Network Bank (ONB).

The participating banks will usually require documents that prove the source of the funds being transferred in order to deal with anti-money laundering policies. Bank account transfers are not as fast as money transfer services, and the fees are often higher.

Challenger Banks

Challenger banks are entities that are established to challenge major market players by offering better services in a localized area. These facilities, such as CIMB, ING, and Tonik Bank, often focus on digital banking and offer tech-focused services and products.

The fees and transfer speed vary, but the common thing is that challenger banks are not commonly used for large transactions due to security issues. These firms usually lack investment and scale to dominate against the money transfer services.

Mobile Apps and Payment Services

Apple Pay and Google Pay are not available in the Philippines, but Alipay is an option for contactless payments. However, Alipay does not focus its business model on the international transfer business and therefore is not great for sending money to the Philippines.

Most money transfer providers have dedicated apps for Android and iOS, alongside mobile-friendly sites. This ensures that you can send funds from almost any device with a secure internet connection.

PayPal

PayPal was one of the first e-wallets on the market, and it has maintained its dominance due to the fact that it is a publicly listed company. The platform is widely used in the Philippines and offers fast and easy transactions.

The problem with PayPal is that the receiver also needs to have an account, and the service requires high fees. Flat fees exist for debit and credit card deposits, and the transaction charges can jump 5%. The platform is much more expensive than other services outlined in this guide.

Money Transfers to a Pick-Up Location

Pick-up locations offer a means of sending physical cash to the Philippines. Users can bring money to the local branch of services like Western Union and Wise and send it on from there. The receiver usually needs to pick it up at a location licensed by the chosen provider.

If the nearest branch isn't nearby, it makes this method inconvenient. Also, sending cash in-store might incur higher fees than online money transfers.

International Money Orders

International money orders are available from post offices in many countries. USPS doesn't list the Philippines among its destinations supported for sending international money orders from the United States.

Other platforms, such as Western Union, have a broader network for this with support for more countries. The limit per transaction can vary, but the maximum rarely goes over USD 10,000. There is often an issuing fee levied, and even the receiver may even incur a fee for the service. This makes money transfer services a better option than using international orders.

What Do You Need to Send Money to the Philippines?

International money transfers will require similar documents for most countries, so this is a list of what you need to provide when sending money to the Philippines:

  • The amount required. Check the rates and any included fees if you need to convert to PHP via the money transfer service. Websites offer calculations that will show you everything transparently. Use them to confirm the receiver gets the promised sum.

  • Government-issued ID. A government ID should be valid, so it is important to check the expiration date. An ID card is the best option, although some services accept a passport or driver's license.

  • Recipient's details. You will need the name of the recipient as confirmed by their IDs. Depending on the method, you'll need a physical address, mobile number, SWIFT code, bank account details, etc.

  • Documents to prove the money source. These could come from smart investing, selling a house, or a regular salary check. The important part is that everything is clearly detailed, and you can prove the source of the funds.

What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in the Philippines?

Collecting physical cash is the preferred choice for Filipinos. They use pick-up points and sometimes home delivery to collect the money, but they can also utilize bank and mobile deposits. Digital money services are still not widespread in emerging markets.

Location Pick Up

The receiver must go to the chosen provider's licensed agent to collect the money. Popular money transfer services, such as Western Union, have thousands of branches throughout the Philippines. The receiver will collect cash, so they need to be careful when picking up large sums.

Direct Bank Deposits

You need to ask for the receiver's bank info. They'll receive the money in the provided bank account, eliminating the need to go to the pick-up point. The problem is most Filipinos do not have a valid bank account, making this method uncommon in the country.

Cash Delivery

An agent will bring physical cash to the receiver's address stated on the form. The service is faster in big cities like Manila and could take longer in rural environments. It is a convenient method if the receiver cannot get to the bank or pick-up location, but cash delivery does carry the risk of robbery for the agent and the receiver.

Mobile Deposit

GCash is the partner of most services that offer this method, so the receiver needs to have a mobile account with this provider. After they verify the account, international remittances become available. The monthly transaction restriction is PHP 100,000, and it is possible to withdraw the funds from over 73,000 GCash merchants in the Philippines.

What Do You Need to Receive Money in the Philippines?

Some platforms will send an alert via e-mail or SMS that the money is available. The receiver might need the following documents to collect it:

  • A valid document. The name in the government-issued ID should match the receiver's name on the form.

  • Transaction code or number. This is not always necessary, but some platforms have a reference number that the receiver gets from the sender.

  • A receiver's form. These forms require detailed info about the receiver and might be necessary to collect the money.

Top Money Transfer Providers to Send Money to the Philippines

Money Transfer ProviderFeesDeposit MethodsThe Philippines RegulatorWestern Union0% on the first transferCredit and debit card, bank transfer, pay cash in storesBangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)Remitly0% on Economy transfers in PHPCredit and debit card, bank transfer, Sofort, PassbookBangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)AzimoFrom GBP 1.49Credit and debit card, bank transfer, Sofort, Trustly, E-transferBangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Western Union – Best for Sending Money to the Philippines Overall

Western Union is a trusted option for sending money abroad with millions of users worldwide. The platforms support moving funds to the Philippines from different continents, and you can send Money in USD and PHP. Transfer speed is very impressive, and it is possible to have the money available in minutes.

Pros and cons of using Western Union

Pros

  • The rates are transparent and favorable

  • No fees on the first transfer

  • Over 21,000 agent locations around the Philippines

Cons

  • Bank transfers take a business day

  • Big fees for paying in stores

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

Step 1: Visit the official Western Union website.

Step 2: Adjust the parameters and confirm the exchange rates suits you.

Step 3: Finalize the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • Wise, XE Money Transfer, PayPal

Remitly – Best for Affordable Transfers to the Philippines

Remitly provides nationwide coverage in the Philippines and works with Villarica, Palawan Pawnshop, BDO Unibank, and other reputable institutions. All transfers in PHP using the Economy fee are free, but fees for USD transfers are from USD 3.99 to USD 10.99. You can speed up the transaction using Express transfer, but they carry higher charges. Take a look at our guide on how to send money from the USA to the Philippines.

Pros and cons of using Remitly

Pros

  • Over 25,000 locations in the Philippines

  • Home and mobile wallet delivery available

  • Fast loading times and an intuitive site

Cons

  • No access to exchange rates without registration

  • Credit card transfers have an additional fee

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

Step 1: Visit the Remitly website and register an account.

Step 2: Specify the parameters and check the rates.

Step 3: Finalize the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • WorldRemit, TransferGo, PayPal

Azimo – Best for Sending from Europe and the UK

Azimo supports sending money to the Philippines from around 30 locations. That includes countries of the European Union, but also Great Britain and Australia. The fees are transparent and visible even without registration. You can use bank transfers, cash pick-up, mobile wallet transactions, and home delivery. The majority would occur within 24 hours or on the next business day.

Pros and cons of using Azimo

Pros

  • Favorable exchange rates

  • Send in different currencies (USD, PHP)

  • Business transactions available

Cons

  • Deposit methods vary on the location

  • Not possible to send money from the United States

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

Step 1: Use the Azimo Philippines page to compare rates and options to send money.

Step 2: Register an account.

Step 3: Finalize the transaction and track it via the site.

Best Alternatives

  • TorFX, WorldRemit, Remitly

What Are the Fastest Ways to Send Money to the Philippines?

Money transfer services are reliable but they are also very fast. Using these platforms will ensure that the money is available in the Philippines almost immediately. These platforms ensure that sending money is simple and user-friendly, so the entire process doesn't last more than minutes.

Money Transfer ProviderTransfer SpeedFeesWiseFrom minutesFrom GBP 0.63 + up to 0.54%WorldRemitThree minutesFrom USD 2.99Ria Money TransferFrom minutesFrom GBP 4

The fees depend on the platform and the payment method. Some operators charge extra fees for fast transfers, and credit and debit cards often have additional fees. The platforms mentioned above offer the best rate between price and quality while maintaining an impressive transaction speed.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to the Philippines?

Some money transfer services do not impose any transaction fees. Others offer welcome bonuses and ensure your first or several transactions are free of charge. Money transaction platforms might be ready to lower their fees if you are moving a large amount per transfer.

Money Transfer ProviderFeesTransfer SpeedRia Money Transfer0% on the first transferVariesTransferGoFrom EUR 0.99Up to 2 business daysTorFX0%1-4 business days

These platforms always provide an estimated delivery time for your transaction. Users should exert a little patience when using cheaper transfers, although it depends on the service since some providers are incredibly fast. Many platforms surrender their fees but offer unfavorable exchange rates. Always choose wisely – you can't go wrong with the services recommended above since they offer tempting rates when converting between currencies.

What Is the Safest Way to Send Money to the Philippines?

Apart from the approval of relevant local authorities, reputable money transfer services hold valid licenses from trustworthy international bodies. While you cannot go wrong with any platform mentioned on this page, some operators put additional effort into safety!

Money Transfer ProviderExtra security optionFeesTorFXAuthorized by EMI and FCA0%Western UnionFraud hotline0% on the first transferAzimo3D Secure authentication and fraud detectionFrom GBP 1.49

Website security features, such as 3D Secure authentication, will ensure safe transactions and protect your sensitive information. Reliable customer support is available which you can use you can use to report potential scams and other issues is of great importance when you need help quickly. Customer services are usually available at no additional charge.

What Are the Best Apps to Send Money to the Philippines?

Mobile apps eliminate the need to use a web browser or PC to send money to the Philippines. They offer an intuitive interface that is fast and easy to navigate. You can use mobile apps on iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, Android tablets, smartphones, etc.

Money Transfer AppTransfer TimeFeesMoneyGramSame Day0% with a bank transfer; USD3.99 for cash pick-upXoomSame DayUSD 3.99 for cash pick-up depending on the deposit methodPayPalSame DayUp to 5%

The fees vary significantly and depend on the payment method, the amount sent, and other details. Most platforms charge additionally for debit and credit cards, and you can expect to pay extra for a cash pick-up. Although most transfers get completed the same day, combining a card deposit with a cash pick-up is usually faster than the classic bank transfer.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to the Philippines

From local regulations to the sum being sent, everything can affect your money transfer to the Philippines. Here are the most important considerations when sending money to the Philippines:

Local Authorities

Local authorities will monitor transactions in order to track the sums being moved and fight money laundering efforts. The main financial bodies in the Philippines include:

  • Bankgo Sentral ng Pilipinas. BSP is the supervisory authority in the financial industry. It oversees banks and other financial institutions.

  • Department of Finance. DOF formulates revenue policies with the goal of ensuring economic stability and growth.

  • Anti-money Laundering Council. It's necessary to report all transactions above PHP 400,000 (USD 7,600) to this body.

How Much You Are Sending Abroad

BSP Foreign Exchange Regulations from 2019 have stated that you can send up to USD 10,000 without reporting it to the central bank. If you are sending higher sums, it is necessary to fill in the Foreign Currency and Other FX-Denominated Bearer Monetary Instruments Declaration Form.

The amount being sent also affects the service offered by the money transfer platforms. Some will sacrifice their fees on larger sums since their estimation is they earn enough from the exchange rates.

The Cost of Money Transfer

Money transfer services have two ways of charging users: exchange rates and transaction fees. The exchange rates are usually mid-market and the primary revenue method of these platforms.

As for transaction fees, many services do not charge them, especially for the first transfer. A money transfer platform may charge extra to speed up the transaction. Third-party fees may exist for some payment methods, such as debit and credit cards.

Payment Type and Reason for the Transfer

Personal remittance inflow statistics show that this is the most common transaction option when sending money to the Philippines. However, international business transactions are another popular alternative. Due to complex laws, money transfer services have a more demanding transaction process, but they compensate with benefits like multi-currency accounts.

Safety and Security of the Provider

The money transfer market in the Philippines is well-regulated but always focuses on the providers with valid licenses, such as the ones recommended on this page.

Many cybercriminals will look for opportunities in the virtual world, but money transfer services protect funds and personal data. They apply encrypted transactions, extra security layers, and other features which protect sensitive data stored on the operator's servers.

Tax Regulations in the Philippines

The local government considers migrants working abroad as OFWs – overseas Filipino workers. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration will recognize you as an OFW if you register on their database. That will ensure you do not pay income taxes when sending money to the Philippines. As for the receiver, they do not need to pay any taxes on the money sent from abroad.

FAQs

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Aneeca Younas

Aneeca Younas

Combining her Master’s degree in Business Economics and her childhood dream was to become a journalist, Aneeca is now a writer for finance-related websites. Having years of experience with companies doing business in multiple markets, she got to know international money transfers inside and out, gladly sharing that knowledge to help readers make better-informed decisions.