Have you ever needed to send cash to someone? It can be complicated or frustrating, particularly when it’s for an urgent need. It’s even more difficult, often, if the person who needs the cash lives overseas.

When you send money across borders, you have many options. These include sending to a bank account via a wire transfer or transferring funds to a mobile money account. But in some cases, it’s easiest for your recipient to pick up cash. Perhaps they don’t have a bank account, or they live in a region where cash is king. Either way, it’s possible to send cash to someone in another country.

Let’s dive into this process.

Considerations Before You Send Money

There are a few things to determine before you send money, to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Requirements for Receiving

Something to consider is what your recipient needs to bring to pick up the money in cash.

Requirements may include:

  • Photo ID
  • Other account (with the company sending the money)
  • Proof of address

This can vary regionally. For example, in Latin America, many banks require that the person set up a receiving account with all their information even if they don’t have a bank account there.

Transfer Time

How long will it take the money to arrive? Some transfers can be done within a few hours or a couple of days, but others—particularly checks, wire transfers, or money orders—may end up taking longer.

Fees and Rates

What are the costs of sending cash to someone in another country? There is usually some sort of fee. Check this so you know what to expect.

Exchange Rates

Check to see what the current exchange rate is for your send and receive currencies. This can vary by service.

Transfer Limits

Every money transfer service has limits. In fact, they usually have a few. One will be the amount you can send without any special information.

Options for Sending Cash Overseas

Mobile app

Once you have determined which money transfer service to use, it’s time to send that money. If you are using a mobile app, it should be simple to set up an account and link your checking account or add a credit card as your payment method.

Just follow the steps on the screen to add the information for the person you’re sending to and your own personal information.

You will likely need a phone number for both parties. You may be able to select whether they will pick the money up and where.

The app will inform you of any transfer fees. You can then accept this and send money.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean your recipient can pick up the money immediately. They will need to wait until you have been notified that the money is ready for a cash pickup.

Offline options

Alternatively, you can go to a financial institution such as a U.S. bank or credit union that offers this service to send money via wire transfer, check, etc. Then your family member or friend can easily collect the cash you sent.

On the other hand, you could set up a savings account just for this person, in a local bank, such as a U.S. bank, and then use a prepaid debit card to send money. Your recipient would keep the card and pull out money as needed.

Cash from the sender

If you don’t have a bank account or have the money on hand, in cash, there are options to send this money as well. Here, you need to physically hand over the cash and have it transferred via a credit union or money wiring service.

Keep in mind this method requires waiting in line and having the cash in hand.

Disclaimer: Watch Out for Scams

Of course, whenever there is money to be had, it attracts scammers. Be careful to only send money to people you actually know, like your loved ones.

Other people may attempt to contact you and convince you to send cash to them. They may also pretend to be someone you know, by hacking their Facebook messenger account, email, or other types of accounts. Verify via phone whether the person actually requested the money before you send it.

About Remitly

Looking for a safer, better way to send money to your family and friends back home? Try Remitly.

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Our reliable and easy-to-use mobile app is trusted by over 5 million people around the world.

Visit the homepage or download our app from the app store to learn more.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topics discussed herein. This publication is not a substitute for seeking advice from an applicable specialist or professional. The content in this publication does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Remitly or any of its affiliates and should not be relied upon as such. While we strive to keep our posts up to date and accurate, we cannot represent, warrant or otherwise guarantee that the content is accurate, complete or up to date.