Data released by the Pew Research Center shows that around U.S. $585 million in remittances flowed into Ghana from the United States in 2016. Around U.S. $395 million from Nigeria and about U.S. $285 million from the UK was also sent to Ghana in remittances during the same period. Money, in the form of remittances, flows out of the country too. In 2016, U.S. $800 million made its way to Nigeria, U.S. $176 million to Burkina Faso, and over U.S. $100 million to Togo.
Reasons people send money to and from Ghana are varied, although the most common one is that of individuals sending money back home to their families. Whether you want to send money to or from Ghana, you should look for a simple and cost-effective way to make your transfer. Unfortunately, there is no single method that works equally well for everyone, so you need to carry out some basic research to determine which service provider suits you best.
Methods of Sending Money to Ghana
Depending on how the recipient wants to receive money you get to choose from different transfer methods.
- Transfer to bank account. While your bank may let you send money to Ghana, compare it with specialist money transfer services if you want to get favorable exchange rates and pay little to no fees. Xoom provides this service to residents of the United States, and if you live elsewhere you may turn to alternatives such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, or OFX.
- Transfer to cash pickup location. Overseas money transfer companies such as WorldRemit, Western Union, and MoneyGram let recipients in Ghana collect transferred funds from cash pickup centers. You may find cash pickup locations across popular cities such as Accra, Kumasi, and Sekondi-Takoradi.
- Transfer to email address. Sending money using no more than a recipient’s email address is possible. This service is provided by TransferWise and PayPal. In this case, the money gets to the recipient’s online account, which then needs to be withdrawn into a local bank account.
- Mobile money. Some money transfer specialists such as WorldRemit give you the ability to top up mobile wallets in Ghana. The ones you may top up include MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Money, and M-Pesa. M-Pesa users can also use their accounts to make transfers.
- Mobile airtime. WorldRemit gives you the ability to top up prepaid mobile phones in Ghana. Some of the popular mobile phone accounts you may top up include Airtel, Vodafone, MTN, Tigo, Expresso, and Glo.
How long you money transfer to Ghana takes to process depends on the method you choose and the service provider you select. Typically, turnaround times are as follows:
- Bank account transfer – 2 to 5 business days
- Transfer to cash pickup location – Instant
- Mobile money transfer – Instant
- Mobile airtime transfer – Instant
Other Factors to Consider
Before sending money to or from Ghana, make sure you pay attention to the following aspects:
- Cost-effectiveness. How much your transfer ends up costing depends on the exchange rate you get and the fees you need to pay. An easy way to determine which alternative is the most cost-effective is to look at how much money the recipient will receive at the end of the transfer.
- Payment methods. Paying through your bank account is the simplest and most commonly accepted method. Some companies let you pay using debit and credit cards, although this usually comes at an added cost. Companies that operate out of physical locations accept cash payments too.
- Regular transfers. If you plan to carry out transfers regularly, consider looking for a company that lets you schedule transfers according to your needs. This way, you don’t have to go through the entire process repeatedly.
- Hedging tools. Some companies such as WorldFirst, TorFX, OFX, and FC Exchange let their customers choose from hedging tools such as limit orders and forward contracts. This gives you the ability to make the most of exchange rate fluctuations.
Sending money to or from Ghana can be cost-effective, quick, and simple, provided you know what factors to consider. For instance, while transferring money to a bank account is typically the most cost-effective method, you may send money to a cash pick up location if you’re in a hurry or if the recipient does not have a bank account.
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