sri lanka sunset

By Blair Pedersen, OrbitRemit

7 things you need to know when you send money to Sri Lanka

When you send money to Sri Lanka the process should be fuss-free, transparent and easy. It’s important to know that every dollar you send back to Sri Lanka counts for more. This article is going to help you understand online money transfer companies before you to send money to Sri Lanka.

Sending money online via bank transfer vs online remittance

Banks have been around since the beginning of time. They’re a tried and true way of taking care of your money. Over millennia the range of services that banks provide has increased in both breadth and complexity. If you track back 30 years a bank may have provided a handful of services like warehousing money, personal lending and of course providing a mortgage for your house. A bank in the 21st century is a one stop shop for all things finance related. They include all the above-mentioned services, foreign exchange services that allow you to change your dollars into Sri Lankan rupees and many other financial services. On the surface, a bank might seem very attractive for your international money transfers but when you investigate further you might be surprised.

Quite often you are better off transferring to a Sri Lankan bank account using an online money transfer service like OrbitRemit. Why? An international money transfer company is in a space that has been opened to competition and frankly isn’t aggressively pursued by big banks. In short, you are going to get more rupees from your transfer to Sri Lanka with an online remitter.

Exchange rates

All online money transfers will offer you an exchange rate before you pay for your transfer. This exchange rate is based on the ‘interbank rate’, or the universal foreign exchange rate only available to licensed financial institutions. Online money transfer companies will all have a similar exchange rate that is within 1% point of each other and will be slightly different. In some instances, online remitters compete with a sharp exchange rate in order to attract customers. Beware when searching for the best rate as many of these companies could be cowboys or small companies prone to administrative errors. This is explained in detail below.

Spread

It’s important to understand how the exchange rate is broken down before you transfer to Sri Lanka. As explained above, different online money transfer companies will have rates that vary slightly from one another. The technical term that describes why exchange rates are different to the interbank rate is what is known as ‘spread’. Spread is the difference between the interbank exchange rate and the price at which you are quoted to send money to Sri Lanka. Let’s say you are sending to Sri Lanka from Australia:

AUD to LKR exchange rates:

Interbank:

*OrbitRemit

Western Union

Westpac

1 AUD to 122,600.50 LKR

1 AUD to 121,633.50 LKR

1 AUD to 121,620 LKR

1 AUD to 120,7849 LKR

*Rates are subject to day-to-day change. Please visit OrbitRemit.com to find the most up to date exchange rate.

As you can see, all exchange rates offered across the market are slightly more than the interbank rate and are different to one another.

Transfer fees

What you should expect to pay when you send money to Sri Lanka varies greatly. All transfer companies have different fee structures and advantages to signing up. An excellent money transfer service should have a fee structure that you can understand and is affordable. With an online money transfer company, a transfer to Sri Lanka should cost around $4. A bank may charge a percentage of the total amount of money spent meaning that you could pay up to $50 to send money to Sri Lanka! It pays to shop around, right?

OrbitRemit offers $4 flat fee money transfers to Sri Lanka, no matter how much you choose to send.

Trust

Anyone can build a website. That’s why more than ever earned trust should be taken very seriously. After all it’s your hard-earned money that the company is handling. You need to be 100% confident that from the moment you sign up and verify yourself, your data is safe, and your money is being handled by world class professionals. There are few key indicators that will help you identify if the company is going to be trustworthy enough to handle your money transfer to Sri Lanka.

Trustpilot

Trust is everything. A recent survey discovered that 92% of people rely on online reviews before they purchase a product. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it could be a little bit dodgy giving your bank details to a company that has only a few reviews, or worse is negatively reviewed. The best way to learn about a company is to view it’s Truspilot page. The customer reviews that are on Trustpilot will give you a great indication of what the key features are of the company and what to expect if there are any problems.

You can view OrbitRemit’s Trustpilot page here.

Social media

Check the company’s facebook page before you send money to Sri Lanka. A well-maintained social media page is also a great indicator of whether a company cares about its customers. Are there people commenting on the posts? Is the company giving detailed replies to customers questions? If they can answer yes to these questions, then you should begin to feel at ease about giving them your bank account details.

Customer support

When you send money to Sri Lanka you may have questions that need an immediate reply. Therefore you want to choose an online remitter that has 24/7 customer support via live chat or phone and a comprehensive help centre.

Verification process

We, unfortunately, live in an age of identity theft and credit card fraud. These crimes are the scourge of our generation and everyone is vulnerable to them. A company that uses a strong verification process which involves a photo of yourself and a scan of an official document is minimizing any risk of fraudulent activity, making it much safer for them to handle a customer’s bank details.

Sri Lanka landscape shot

Speed

Transfer speeds vary from remitter to another. Banks tend to be the slowest by default, with options to increase the speed dramatically by paying a price premium on top of their transfer fee. This is where online money transfer companies stand out. A reasonable expectation for an online remitter 1-2 days to reach a Sri Lankan bank account once the funds are paid with no price premium.

Usability

A website/app needs to be functional and easy to use. It needs to look nice and be intuitive too. There are no exceptions to this rule. You should expect to sign up and verify once and then the process from there will be seamless.

You’re now informed and ready to send money to Sri Lanka

Choosing an online remitter should be an easy task that is done once and done well. Once you have made your choice the process should be seamless and communication clear. The best remitters are a combination of fast, safe, trustworthy with good exchange rates. It’s up to you what service you go with. Always make your rupees count for more.


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