There are a few times in life when you’ll have to be aware of the currency exchange rate. One is when you’re going on a trip abroad and want to purchase local banknotes. Another is when you’re sending money to Colombia, either as financial gifts, business investments or to provide crucial support to loved ones.
You’ll naturally want to get the most value for money whenever you make remittances back home, which is why understanding the exchange rate for COP is so important. Read on for our quick guide to converting foreign currencies like the euro, the British pound or the US dollar into Colombian pesos.
Currency exchange explained
The exchange rate shows you how one particular currency measures up against another in terms of their market value. By looking at a “currency pair”, you can immediately know how much of one currency you can purchase with another. Say you’re looking to turn US dollars into Colombian pesos, and the current exchange rate is as follows:
From looking at this currency pair, you’ll know that every US dollar you send will turn into 3598.95 pesos. It’s important to keep in mind that this exchange rate does go up and down. Around a year ago, for example, a dollar would have been the equivalent of 4059.56 pesos.
There can be various different influences that cause fluctuating rates. These include:
- Government debt
- Economic/political stability
- The ratio of imports vs exports
- Currency demand by traders
So, if for example there’s an upswing in international crude oil demand, or Colombia is rocked by a political scandal or a major firm going bust, there can be a huge knock-on effect on how much the Colombian peso is valued on the currency market. The upshot of all of this is that sending money to Colombia will result in your recipient receiving different amounts depending on the state of the market.
Why is Colombian peso conversion so high?
The Colombian peso has seen ups and downs in value over the past year, which isn’t surprising given the financial uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, in February 2021, the peso experienced a spike in value thanks to oil prices rising in response to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. This, as the news service Reuters explained, “spurred hopes of strong demand in a post-coronavirus world.”
We can contrast this with a weakening the Colombian peso experienced back in September 2020, when the Bank of the Republic – the country’s central bank – cut interest rates in response to a strong US dollar.
If you don’t really like the idea of entering the rabbit hole of market forces and the economic intricacies of President Iván Márquez’s government, that’s fine. You already have the ability to bag the best possible COP conversion, by researching money transfer services and choosing one that offers low fees and fair, clear exchange rates.
Sending money to Colombia: converting to pesos
If you’re looking to convert USD, EUR, GBP or any other currency to COP, you can choose to do it through your bank, or through a specialist remittance company.
For many people, the bank is still the obvious “go-to” when it comes to turning dollars, euros and other currencies into Colombian pesos. Its main plus point is that your money is right there in your bank account, so you don’t have to go through a third-party to make the transaction.
If sending money to Colombia in the most affordable way is important to you, a dedicated, digital remittance company might be your best choice. As companies like Remitly don’t have brickand mortar outlets, we have lower overhead and can pass savings on to our customers through low fees and a beneficial exchange rate.
Using Remitly to send pesos to Colombia
Thanks to our network of providers like Bancolombia, Banco de Occidente and many other banks and financial institutions in Colombia, you’ll be able to use Remitly to safely send money directly to your recipient’s bank or mobile money account. Or, if it’s more convenient, you can arrange to have the cash collected by your recipient in person at a designated pickup point.
It takes just minutes to create a Remitly account through our app or website. Just enter some basic personal information, select Colombia as the country you’d like to send to, and then tell us some details on your recipient to make the transfer happen.*
*We may ask for additional documentation depending on the amount sent or if we are unable to verify your identity.
Sending money from Colombia: converting COP to another currency
When it comes to making money transfers from Colombia to another country – whether that’s COP to USD, COP to GBP, or COP to any other currency – it may be helpful to take the same considerations into account. For example, you can consider services, including fees and exchange rates, available through a Colombian bank compared to those offered by online-only money transfer companies.
Aside from the potential savings offered by the latter, you may also find it’s quicker and more convenient to use a digital app rather than potentially having to go to a bank in person to complete an international transaction.
What about exchanging COP outside of Colombia?
There are several ways you can exchange Colombian pesos into the local currency when abroad, whether you’re after US dollars, euros, British pounds, Saudi riyals and so on. Popular options include:
- Using a currency exchange desk
- Purchasing foreign currency at a bank
- Drawing cash from ATM machines
- Wire transfers between bank accounts
- International money transfer apps
Many people travelling abroad like to use currency exchange desks and banks, due to the sheer convenience of being able to walk up and purchase banknotes. However, you’re unlikely to get the most beneficial exchange rates this way. Meanwhile, sending a wire transfer can be an option if you have an account in both Colombia and the country you’re currently in, but do check what the processing fees are.
It could also be possible to convert currency simply by using your debit or credit card to withdraw banknotes at an ATM. While this is an easy fix for tourists and other short-stay visitors, the transaction costs will rack up for workers and students who’ve relocated to the country. Opening a local bank account could be beneficial if you’ve settled for the foreseeable future.
Finding the best Colombian peso exchange rate
Whichever way you want to exchange currencies, the calculations will be done for you by the remittance service. That said, it can be useful to work it out manually yourself, so you can see what the rate equates to, and how much is taken up by fees and commissions. After all, the conversion rate posted by a search engine won’t factor those costs in.
Here’s the formula for working it out:
Send currency x Exchange Rate = Receive Amount
This is easy to understand when we use examples with real numbers. Below, are hypothetical scenarios, which you can adjust and adapt using whatever quantities you’re intending to exchange.
How to find US dollar to Colombian peso rates
Let’s say you’re sending 100 USD and using this hypothetical exchange rate:
100 USD x 3598.95 COP
The result would be 359,895 COP from 100 USD. But there’s a bit more to work out, as you’ll have to take away transaction costs. Say, for example, you’re using a bank or money transfer service that charges 53,984.25 pesos – or 15 US dollars – per transfer. In this case, you should deduct that from the total amount in pesos to see what your recipient would actually collect:
359,895 – 53,984.25 = 305,910.75
With Remitly, the current maximum fee for a US dollar to Colombian peso transfer would be $3.99, or 14,360 COP (using the above exchange rate). As you can see, that can amount to a huge savings with every transaction, regardless of the current exchange rate.
How to find British pound to Colombian peso rates
Planning to transfer 100 GBP? The calculation using this hypothetical exchange rate is:
100 GBP x 5,086.04 COP
This means you’d get 508,604 COP from 100 GBP. You’d then have to deduct the fees to see what would actually be received back home.
How to find euro to Colombian peso rates
For our third example, let’s say you’re sending 100 euros.
100 EUR x 4380 COP
In this case, you’d get 438,000 COP. As with the previous examples, you’d then simply subtract the fees to see how much money would be received by your loved one in Colombia.
Getting the best deal
As our guide has shown, you’ll have a number of ways to make currency exchanges involving Colombian pesos. While they’ll all get the job done, some do provide more value for money and convenience than others. As every little bit matters when you’re sending money to people who depend on you, it pays to pick a money transfer service that offers the best possible deal for you.
Remitly is an online remittance service trusted by millions of users worldwide. Using our mobile app or website, you can make secure, straightforward money transfers which are tracked for your peace of mind, and which won’t come with high fees or unfair exchange rates. Check out our website to find out more.