For all of us expats, we probably at some point or another will have to transfer money from abroad during our stay in Bogota.
For a while, all was OK as I was living off my foreign credit card and pulling out of the ATM… until it expired.
That is when I started looking into ways of how to transfer my money into my Colombian bank accounts. I knew that my European bank account charged hefty fees for international transfers and I couldn’t be guaranteed a fixed exchange rate as it went from euros to dollars and dollars to Colombian pesos.
I first heard of TransferWise a few years back when it had just hit the market. But as it was brand new, I wanted to give it some time to see how it fared.
Last year, I started researching my options and after comparing services and chatting a bit with Trasnferwise’s online support, they told me they guaranteed me the best rate on the market. All I had to do was provide proof of how much another entity would charge and they would beat it.
Trying to compare, I contacted my bank who was unclear and shady about their fees and couldn’t give me a fixed price, fixed rate or fixed anything.
And so I decided to take the plunge. Read on about how to send money to Colombia using TransferWise!
Is TransferWise safe to use?
YES! I have gone on to do several transfers and I find it to be a piece of cake as safe.
FIRST TRANSFER WARNING: The first transfer was a challenge as they go through an incompetent Colombia third party, which in my case was called Pagos Internacionales calls you over the phone and asks you to confirm very personal information. Information such as your complete name, date of birth, city you were born in, bank account number and how much you are transferring, etc.. As no one had warned me about the call I told them to call back once I got a confirmation from TransferWise they were legit (the website of the third-party does not look very professional and none of their numbers seem to be working correctly) However, I did receive confirmation from transfer wise and from there had to wait about two more weeks for the third-party to call me back and process my documentation and finally transfer meet my money. Thank God I was not in a rush.
Why are TransferWise’s rates so low?
TransferWise of course, comes from one of the coolest CEOs out there: Richard Branson. The idea of TransferWise is that money never actually crosses borders and just gets moved around within the country from one person that is sending to another that is receiving within the same country. As a result, they are able to guarantee the best rates on the market.
How do I send money through TransferWise?
STEP 1: Say how much you’re going to send, in which currency and what currency you would like it transferred in.
STEP 2: Confirm the bank account details (address, IBAN, swift, country, etc. ) and the name of the person you are sending it to.
STEP 3: Choose how you would like to send the money whether it be through normal transfer or bank debit (for the U.S only) to avoid bank charges. Enter your bank details and you’re done!
How fast does TransferWise take?
Although my first time took about two weeks due to lack of competency from the third-party, the next times were a breeze and took about five business days.
What else can you do with TransferWise?
You can also send invoiced to receive money from abroad to avoid bank fees. But my all-time favorite is their currency rate alert that you can set so you know when to transfer at favorable rates.
Are you considering sending money to Colombia with TransferWise? I haven’t tried anything but classic bank transfers and Transferwise is a dream in comparison!
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