Wise and WorldRemit are two of the most popular and cheapest ways to send money from the US to Pakistan. MoneyGram and Xe come close behind. The transfer cost varies by the total amount and the type of exchange rate involved.
Besides remote workers, the country also receives billions of dollars in remittances from non-resident Pakistanis worldwide. Between July to December of the 2023 fiscal year, Pakistan received over $14 billion in remittances.
This guide will help you identify the various methods of sending money from the US to Pakistan and highlight the best ones according to the costs and transaction times.
Best Ways to Send Money From the US to Pakistan
Sending money to Pakistan from the US is easy and cheap, thanks to the various online financial payment services. Wire transfers via conventional bank-to-bank transfers are expensive and provide extremely low exchange rates.
With the various exchange services available, users can now select the best payment method suited to their needs. An international money transfer usually relies on these factors:
- Speed of transfer
- Exchange rate fee
- Extra and hidden charges
Service providers with the lowest associated fees and fast transfer rates are preferred over others. Here are some of the cheapest and fastest ways to send money to Pakistan from the US.
- Best Rates (Mid-Market Rate)
- Multiple Currency Accounts
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a financial technology company based in London, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann to provide a different method of money transfer than the conventional banking system.
Wise works on the model of the mid-market exchange rate, which allows the recipients to get the best rates for their transfers. Instead of transferring money from one country to another, Wise uses a Peer-to-Peer money transfer system that removes the exchange rate costs.
Consider this, A sent $100 to his Pakistani counterpart B via Wise. The Mid-market exchange rate was $1 = Rs. 265, so B receives Rs. 26,500 minus a small transaction fee of Wise.
Wise’s money transfer method has been compared to the Hawala system, an informal exchange system outside the banking and legal framework.
I have used Wise to receive and transfer payments from clients across the globe. The USD to PKR exchange rate offered by Wise is the cheapest I have found for any international mobile bank.
Senders can easily register their accounts with Wise and send money to anyone with a Pakistani bank account. Recipients can also request USD payments from people in the US, and the sender does not have to register an account to make the transfer.
The payments usually take a few seconds but can take up to two days to be credited to the recipient’s account.
- Best Exchange Rates
- Zero to Minimum Transaction Fee
WorldRemit is a financial services company founded in 2010 and headquartered in London. It was started by Catherine Wines, Ismail Ahmed, and Richard Igoe to provide the most cost-effective remittance transfer to their customers.
WorldRemit allows users to send money from more than 50 countries to recipients in over 130 countries. Much of Africa is covered by WorldRemit, a popular money transfer method on the continent.
Recipients can receive the money in their bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pickups, or even cash deliveries. People in the US can send money to Pakistan via this service.
I have found WorldRemit to offer arguably the best exchange rates of all. The service also allows three free money transfers after registration and some of the lowest transaction fees in the world.
The only downside is that WorldRemit is a payment system and cannot hold money in its bank accounts, unlike Wise and Payoneer.
- Physical Location Based
- Instant Money transfer
MoneyGram is one of the world’s most popular P2P money transfer services. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The company operates based on agents and P2P lending.
MoneyGram has agents located all over the globe which facilitate senders and recipients in international money transfers. To send money from the US to Pakistan, follow these steps:
- Find an agent in your vicinity.
- Gather all the necessary information (Your ID, recipient’s full name, ID, and location). In the case of a bank or mobile wallet transfer, additional information may be needed, such as:
- Recipient’s bank account number, bank name, and account title
- Take the amount and the information to a MoneyGram agent, and they will complete the transaction for you.
The money can usually be received by the recipient within a few minutes or up to a day, depending on the regulatory requirements.
- Multiple Currency Accounts
- Lower than Mid-Market Exchange Rates
Payoneer is one of the most popular international payment systems globally. The company was founded in 2005 by Yuval Tal to provide online money transfer services to users, much like PayPal.
Payoneer allows users to open bank accounts in multiple currencies that can be used to receive payments from across the globe. Like Wise, senders can easily create a Payoneer account and send money to Pakistan via bank transfers.
Though the service provider charges 2% of transaction fees apart from the lower than market exchange rate as commission, the recipient will receive less money than via Wise or WorldRemit.
The “Request a Payment” service of Payoneer allows users in Pakistan to receive payments from individuals in the US directly into their Payoneer account without the sender having to register with Payoneer.
- Send up to $10,000
- A fixed transaction fee of $1.99
Remitly is another online remittance company based in the United States. It was founded as BeamIt Mobile in 2011 by Josh Hug, Mathew Oppenheimer, and Shivaas Gulati. The company was initially a search engine for international remittance services but shifted to money transfer soon after its inception.
Remitly allows the sender from 28 countries to send money to more than 100 recipient countries. Users can send money from the US to Pakistan via Remitly by registering an account with Remitly by providing the following:
- Email address
- Date of birth
After that, they can choose the method by which the recipient will receive the money, such as bank transfer, cash pickup, mobile money, and cash delivery.
The recipient’s name and phone number will be required to send the money. Users can pay via debit/credit cards or bank transfers.
The economic and express transfer charges are the same in the case of US-to-Pakistan money transfers, i.e., $1.99 per transaction. Remitly charges a lower than the market exchange rate, but the limited transaction cost makes it a great candidate for large money transfers.
- Minimum $150 Transfer
- Lower than Market Exchange Rate
OFX is an online foreign exchange company based in Australia. It was founded in 1998 by Matthew Gilmour to service small and medium-sized businesses and ecommerce retailers.
OFX provides a lower-than-market exchange rate which keeps the recipient at a disadvantage compared to some of the other money transfer options listed here. The service also charges a small transaction fee depending on the amount and regulations.
Users can easily transfer money from the US to Pakistan via OFX by following these instructions:
- Register an account with OFX and get verified.
- Enter the recipient’s details and account information.
- Choose the method of payment and enter the amount.
The funds will be sent via wire or bank transfer to the recipient’s Pakistani bank account within one to two business days.
OFX allows its customers to make money transfers in more than 50 currencies. However, the minimum transfer limit for the platform is $150.
7. Ria Money Transfer
- Quick Payments
- Low Exchange Rates
Ria Money Transfer is an online remittance and electronic payment service headquartered in California.
The company was founded in 1987 and is one of the largest money transfer companies in the world. It is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Inc., and users can transfer money from 43 countries to recipients in 165 countries globally.
To send money from the US to Pakistan, users need to follow these steps:
- Create an account with Ria Money Transfer via their application or website.
- Choose the “Send” or “Send Money” option.
- Enter the recipient’s details (country, amount, bank information, and delivery method)
- Choose your preferred payment method and transfer the amount.
- Click continue.
- You may choose to save the payment method.
- Review the transfer details and click on Confirm or Send.
Ria also has over 490,000 locations worldwide which the users can visit, and an agent will guide them on how to move forward with the money transfer. Ensure to take all the necessary information and the amount with you.
Ria Money Transfer charges a lower-than-market exchange rate but a minimum transaction fee, making it a good option for money transfers. The payment can take anywhere from a few seconds to up to five business days, depending on external factors.
- Great Exchange Rates
- Low Fees
Xe or Xe.com is a foreign exchange company founded in 1993 to provide users with seamless online money transfer services. Since 2015, the company has been a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide.
Xe supports money transfers in 100 currencies to over 130 countries. The service provides some of the best exchange rates among all money exchanges.
There is little to no fee for money transfers from the US to Pakistan.
Follow these steps:
- Register or sign in to your Xe account via the application or website.
- Choose the Send money option to get started.
- Enter the destination country, i.e., Pakistan.
- Users can edit the “You send” or “Recipient gets” fields based on their preference.
- In the next step, choose your payment method (bank transfer, debit, or credit card).
- Select the delivery option for the recipient (cash pickup, mobile wallet, or bank transfer).
- Enter the details of your recipient carefully.
- Pay for your transfer and send your money.
The transfer can take from a few minutes to up to four business days.
- Best for PayPal users
- Lower Rate than Mid-Market
Xoom is a remittance and electronic funds transfer service founded in 2001 and headquartered in California. PayPal acquired the company in 2015 as a subsidiary.
Though PayPal is not available in Pakistan, users can send money to Pakistani bank accounts via the Xoom service.
PayPal users in the United States can use the platform’s “Send Money” option to make a bank transfer to an individual in Pakistan.
Xoom charges a lower exchange rate than the mid-market rate. The company earns revenue with the transaction costs and the exchange rate spread.
The money transfer can take a few minutes to a couple of days.
10. Western Union
- Excellent Exchange Rates
- Vast Network of Agents
Western Union is one of the world’s oldest and largest money transfer businesses.
The company was founded in 1851 and is headquartered in Colorado, US. Users in more than 200 countries can receive money from almost anywhere in the world.
Users living in the US can easily send money to Pakistan by Western Union in three ways:
- From the app
- From the website
- From more than 500,000 agents worldwide
The recipient in Pakistan can receive payment directly in their bank account or via cash pickup from the closest Western Union agent.
The transfer usually takes a few minutes but can take up to four business days if the sender uses the bank payment method.
Western Union provides some of the highest exchange rates in the world and minimal fees, making it an ideal choice for money transfers from the US to Pakistan.
- Lower Exchange Rates
- Transparent Fees
Michael Bermingham and Prajit Nanu founded Instarem in 2014 to provide cross-border money transfers to businesses and individuals.
The company is headquartered in Singapore and allows users in Euro Zone, the US, Canada, Australia, and a few other countries to send money to recipients in more than 50 countries.
Individuals who want to send money from the US to Pakistan can use Instarem for their transfers. Instarem provides lower rates than mid-market due to the company’s small commission charged on the exchange rate.
Users can register an account with Instarem on their website or mobile application and transact online. The platform allows payments via ACH/Direct Debit, debit or credit cards, and wire transfers.
The transfer can take a few minutes from debit or credit card payments to up to three days in the case of direct bank transfers.
- Lower Exchange Rates
- Multiple Currency Feature
Skrill is one of the most popular mobile wallets in the world. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
It is a subsidiary of the Paysafe Group and Neteller and operates in 131 countries offering digital accounts in over 40 currencies.
In June 2020, Skrill started offering international money transfer facilities to its US users, which allows them to send money to other Skrill account holders and bank account holders outside the US.
US individuals who want to send money to Pakistan can now use Skrill to make their payments.
The process requires the sender to open an account with Skrill and verify it. Recipients can also request a payment from senders in the US to receive money directly in their Skrill account.
Skrill provides lower-than-market exchange rates but little to no fees making it a good choice for money transfers to Pakistan.
- Very Low Exchange Rates
- Minimal Fees
Paysend is a financial services company founded in 2017 to provide card-to-card international transfers across the globe. The company is one of the latest entrants to the global money transfer environment and charges low fees on international transfers.
Individuals in 49 countries can send money to over 170 countries via Paysend. You can easily send money to Pakistan from the US by registering an account with the platform and following these steps:
- Open the Paysend website or application.
- On the Transfers screen, click on the Send button.
- Choose the recipient’s country and currency.
- Select the receiving method (bank transfer or debit/credit card).
- Enter the recipient’s details carefully.
- You can choose to enter the sending amount or the receiving amount based on your preference.
- Review the details and click on Confirm Transfer.
Transfers usually take a few minutes but can take up to three days. Paysend provides lower exchange rates than other major exchanges listed here.
The Bottom Line
Sending money from the US to Pakistan is easy and relatively cheap, thanks to the inclusion of various financial companies and remittance services. WorldRemit, Wise, and Remitly offer some of the best exchange rates and transaction fees, making them great options.
Wire transfer is the traditional method of international money transfer; however, it costs a lot and offers lower than market exchange rates keeping the recipient at a disadvantage.
Learning about the rates and charges of any money transfer service before sending your money is essential. Always look for the most reliable and cheapest methods so you can spend less, and the recipient can get more.
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