Whenever you need to send mobile money to Ghana from the USA, UK or anywhere else in the Western world, you do not want to have to deal with an expensive and highly complicated process. To many expats living e.g. in the United States, sending money to family, colleagues, and friends in Ghana has always proven difficult.
The Ghanaian Times article "Ghana bags $3billion…from remittances in 2018" describes the actual settings.
Usual money transfer reasons are:
- Send money to your family
- Send money to your friends
- Support education
- Pay bills in Ghana
Money Transfers to Ghana in the past
In the past, you could send money only from bank accounts. That meant you first had to find a bank supporting money transfers to Ghana. Secondly, the banked charged high fees for this kind of exotic currency transfers.
The other only possibility for a long time were money transfer operators such as Western Union and Moneygram. Sending money to Ghana was already easier, but combined with high fees charged for every transfer.
Today: send mobile money to Ghana
With the advent of mobile money Ghana, many had hoped that the process would become much simpler. First mobile money has to convince most of the market players and customers. Whether you want to start or fund a business or even help out a relative, transmitting money now from the US should never have to be complicated again.
With today’s technology, it should be possible to send mobile money to Ghana within a few clicks. Whether you prefer using online transactions or sending via bank transfer, you should be in a position to compare exchange rates and even the transfer fees.
How else will you learn of the best option to use if this is not possible? Comparing the rates on offer from different vendors is the surest way to make sure that you are getting the best possible deal.
But how do you know which companies or services to use when you do not understand the challenges or problems you are likely to encounter?
A Comparison of Money Transfer Services to Ghana
Different service providers will charge different rates for their services. Each company has to take into account the facilitation fee, service fee, dollar exchange rate, and the expenses it will incur in providing this service to you.
For this reason, it becomes harder to determine the exact rate that a service provider will charge you for this service. The only sure way to get to know what you are getting yourself into is to locate a service provider offering an interactive table.
With an interactive table, you get to compare all the details pertaining to the transaction you want to execute. The table will furnish you with details pertaining to the applicable exchange rates as well as the fees you will have to pay for your transaction to occur.
Money transfer comparison table for a 1,000 USD to GHS transfer
Money Transfer Service A
Money Transfer Service B
1 USD = 2.70 GHS
1 USD = 2.71 GHS
Money Transfer Fee
Money Transfer Speed
3 - 5 working days
Money Transfer Options
Total GHS received
A Case Study Pitting Money Transfer Companies with Your US-based Bank Account
Samuel emigrated from Ghana to the United States with the hope of pursuing further education at one of the prestigious universities in the country. Within a few months of having completed his education, he landed on his feet and got a job with a local company.
Apart from helping him remain in the country, the job offer also meant that he could provide financial assistance to his family back home. Even though his dad is working, Samuel wants to start helping his siblings by sending mobile money to Ghana on a frequent basis.
His aim is to start by sending $1,000 to his folks back home on a monthly basis. He believes that the money will help them lead a more comfortable life free of any form of the financial burden. For him to send the mobile money to Ghana, he has to visit his US-based bank.
During the visit, the managers inform him that the institution does not facilitate funds transfer to his native country. Why he asks? He is informed that the reason for this is because the Ghanaian currency, the Cedi, is categorized as an exotic country.
While he has an option to try out other banks, he chooses to look at the other options available. His research enables him to learn that there are a number of options available.
But for him to get the best rates, he has to begin by comparing the rates provided by different companies (see table above).
Having compared the two money transfer options provided by different companies, Samuel chooses to use the second option. The fact that it has a better exchange rate and that the funds will get deposited into his father’s bank account are the two main motivators.
Additionally, his dad will also receive more money as compared to the option from the first service provider. This is a decision that expats living in the USA have to make each time they want to send money back to Ghana. It is not a clear and cut decision as many of us would like it to be.
Sending Money to Ghana — How Do I Compare the Services on Offer from Different Companies?
Any person who has successfully sent money back to Ghana in the past will tell you that there are factors you need to consider. You cannot afford to overlook any of these factors as they will determine how much money your loved one receives and also when they receive the money.
Essential factors to consider when choosing a platform to use to send mobile money to Ghana will include:
1. Prevailing Exchange Rates
If you have interacted with banking institutions in the past, then you already know that their exchange rates are skewered to their favor. Each institution in the financial industry wants to make a profit. It is the sole reason why they skew exchange rates.
For this reason, you should not accept the first-rate that you find. Take your time to compare that rate to the prevailing mid-market rate. It refers to the rate that transfer services and banks use when trading against or with each other.
Find the institution providing the lowest margin. It is the service you will want to work with to get value for your funds.
2. Transfer Fees
How much money will you incur when sending the money to Ghana? Establish whether you will need to pay a percentage of the funds you are sending or whether a flat rate will apply. In case the amount you are sending is large, inquire about the fee-free transfer.
3. Methods You Will Use to Send the Funds
Transfer companies have different operating methods. Some will allow you to pay at an agent location or by phone.
Some are fully digitalized allowing you to send via a direct bank transfer. Others will require you to use a credit or debit card.
4. How Do Recipients Receive the Funds?
This is one of the most important questions you need to find an answer to. It will not make sense to send money if the recipient cannot access it easily.
Traditionally, you can have the recipient visit a cash pickup location or the money can go into their bank accounts in Ghana.
Thanks to tech advancements in the mobile sector, there is now an option for sending and receiving mobile money. The question you need to ask yourself here is whether the recipient has access to MTN Ghana mobile money.
If not, which other international money transfer Ghana option can you use? Is it readily available to the person to receive the funds?
5. Hedging Options
When engaging with any transfer service, you can also inquire whether it would be possible for you to schedule advance payments.
Hedging as it is called would allow you to protect the investment you are about to make from any fluctuations that are likely to occur. Remember that the financial sector is not immune to market fluctuations.
Hedging enables you to use a forward contract or limit order. It will protect the funds that you are about to send to Ghana.
6. Transfer Speed
How much time is available? It is a question that you need to consider when looking at the best way to send money to Ghana. If you are dealing with a medical emergency back home, you may want to consider methods that are instantaneous.
In some cases, it is not about finding the cheapest money transfer to Ghana, but about locating one that is reliable and efficient.
Therefore, consider your situation and the time you have at your disposal and then make an informed choice.
7. Transfer Limits
When looking into how to send money from the USA to Ghana, you will need to consider the amounts you are sending. Large transfers need you to exercise extra care. For this, look at the transfer service that is offering the best possible exchange rate.
It is not uncommon to find transfer service encouraging their clients to work with them in exchange for reduced rates. When working with a smaller amount, look at the fees you will have to pay in addition to the rate imposed by the service.
Fast Facts on How to Send Mobile Money to Ghana
As noted above, Ghanaians experience numerous challenges and problems when looking to send mobile money to Ghana. While we may not be able to address these issues, the best we can do is provide solutions that have been tried, tested, and proven to work.
For this reason, I will be looking into possible solutions we can use to send money from our mobile phones to Ghana.
I will explore all these solutions and much more on my detailed article on how to send money from the USA to Ghana: Clever Money on Mobile Solutions for Africa