Sending money to a person who doesn’t have a bank account should be easy, safe, and efficient, even when they are living in a different country.

Thanks to technology, transferring money to your loved ones around the world is much easier than it used to be. Here are some ways that you can send money to your international friends and family members who don’t have a bank account:

  • Online money transfers
  • Cash in the mail
  • Money orders

In this article, we will look at different options for sending money to someone without a bank account. Which method is best for you?

Send Money to Someone Who Doesn’t Have a Bank Account

1. Online Money Transfers

Transferring money online can be as simple as clicking a few buttons to get started. If you choose a website or an app like Remitly, it’s quick and easy to send money abroad directly to the intended recipient.

When you choose a money transfer service, make sure to check whether the service supports the country you’re trying to send money to.

To use an app like Remitly, you will typically begin by signing up. Remitly only requires an email address and a password to get you started.

Next, you’ll need your recipient’s contact information, such as their full name, address, and phone number.

There are a variety of ways for your recipients to receive the money.

Cash pickup

For this method, your recipient can physically pick up the money that you send them at a location you select. No bank account is necessary.

You can pick the location from a list of options, and in some cases, all you’ll need is the recipient’s name. When the cash is ready, the recipient can pick it up in person with their ID.

Home delivery

For home delivery, the money you send is delivered to the address you enter. This option may take longer, but it can be very convenient for some recipients, especially those with limited mobility.

Mobile money

Transferring money to someone’s mobile wallet can be one of the quickest methods. In some cases, recipients don’t necessarily need a bank account to set up a mobile wallet.

2. Mailing Cash

It’s not necessarily fast or secure, but it is still possible to send cash through the mail if your recipient does not have a bank account.

There are several downsides to this method, however. For one, the money could easily be lost or stolen. If that were to happen, there would be no way to refund the money back to the sender.

You may also have to exchange your currency before you mail it. And if you want to track its location, you will probably have to pay extra.

3. Money Orders

A safer way to mail money is through a money order. These can be sent internationally and can only be cashed by the recipient. It is important to keep in mind that this can be a slower method of sending funds since the money order travels through the mail.

A money order is like a check. It is a document that has monetary value. You pay for how much you want it to be worth, plus postage and any fees. Once it arrives, the recipient can cash it and receive the amount you authorized.

Aspects to Consider

When you are deciding among money transfer services, mobile wallets, mailing cash, and sending money orders, you will need to consider these factors:

  • Cost
  • Efficiency
  • Security

Cost

Even though all of these methods allow you to send money internationally to a recipient without a bank account, you may want to calculate how much the process will cost.

Money transfer services usually have fees. Remitly keeps transfers affordable with not only low fees but great exchange rates in a transparent process. And for some countries, if you’re sending a certain amount of money, Remitly won’t charge you any fee at all. Check Remitly’s website for up-to-date fees by country.

Money orders generally also have fees, and you’ll need to pay for postage if mailing anything internationally, including cash.

Exchange rates are also vital to keep in mind because they are always fluctuating. Learning more about why currencies fluctuate will help you prepare.

Efficiency

Anything sent through the mail, like envelopes with cash or money orders, can be slower and take more time to receive, especially compared to mobile wallets and online money transfer services.

With money transfer services, you can also receive status update notifications so you will know where your money is at all times, and you’ll be aware of any delays that may occur.

Security

Today, online methods are typically more secure than sending cash, which is hard to trace.

It is important to choose a trustworthy service with strong security practices; do not fall for common money transfer scams.

To keep your money safe, services like Remitly verify your information and review your transfer. This process helps protect you from others who may try to access your account or funds. Fraudulent transactions can be identified and canceled.

Remitly uses bank-level security to protect your data. The app uses 256-bit encryption (the banking industry’s standard) to prevent others from accessing your account.

How about sending money domestically?

If you plan to send money within the same country, your options include:

  • Mobile wallet
  • Cash or check by mail
  • Money orders
  • P2P service

1. Mobile wallet

Sending money between mobile wallets can be a quick process. In some cases, you do not need a bank account to set up an e-wallet or mobile wallet. For certain mobile wallets, funds can be transferred and received through debit cards and accessed through an account balance.

2. Mailing cash or check

It’s possible to mail cash or a personal check, which your recipient can cash even without a bank account. Relying on the mail is typically riskier than other methods mentioned above. Your mail could get lost, and it will be harder to track where your money goes.

3. Money orders

For individuals who do not have a bank account, money orders can be converted to cash.

Money orders may also be used by those who do not want to send their personal information through the mail.

4. P2P service

P2P, or peer-to-peer services, such as PayPal and Venmo, allow direct transfers. Both the sender and recipient must have an account with the service they use.

About Remitly

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money with peace of mind.

Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.

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.