One of the primary reasons of going abroad is to earn more and be able to send money to family members for various purposes. Since this money sending activity is a routine task overseas Filipino workers do, it pays to find a safe and cost effective way to remit money. Here are a few remittance tips to help OFWs make the most of their hard-earned money when sending them to families back home.
1. Choose a reputable cable agency
Whether it’s a bank (BPI, PNB, BDO or Metrobank) or a specialty remittance outlet (Moneygram, Western Union or LBC Remit), ensure that you choose a reputable conduit for your money remittance transactions. They may cost a bit more than others, but they also offer convenience to recipients in the Philippines. More importantly you are more confident that your money reaches its destination since you transacted with a stable company.
2. Learn about currency exchange before making a remittance
Some Filipinos can hold on to their precious foreign currencies when dollar value depreciates against the Philippine peso and wait until their value against the Philippine peso increases. When the foreign currency appreciates, they immediately unload their cash that yields higher returns. Such skill requires guidance from newspaper’s business section or read the currency trends on television (Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal). Do this only if you have the luxury to buy time and there is no need to rush.
3. Try electronic transfer
Instead of taking the traditional route, learn to take advantage of electronic money transfer. Not only you will enjoy the convenience it offers — you can do it at home or anywhere you can access your Internet connection — it is cheaper and much faster than traditional money transfer channels.
4. Buy time with better exchange rates
Some agencies have better currency exchange rates. This is because the money you remit through these channels do not immediately reach your intended recipients. They need to coordinate with partner agencies who will then finish the transaction. You may choose this option if you wish to send higher amount through better rates and do not mind if it takes a few days to reach destination.
5. Never send money or check through regular postal service
Not only it takes much longer time to reach your loved ones, such method is prone to pilferage and your cash or check could be stolen or lost during shipment.
6. Remit through banks that offer ATM service
Many banks offer the convenience of ATMs to recipients back home. You can simply apply for an account in a bank with ATM presence in your family’s area. However, take notice of how much this bank charges on each withdrawal transaction. Besides, holding an ATM card means temptation to spend and less likely to save and use remittance money for investment so you have to weigh your options.
7. Remit using your mobile phone
Your mobile phone is one of the most convenient device on hand, so grab the chance to use it to send money back home if your network supports it. Philippine networks with international presence usually have this service. Smart’s mobile remittance and Globe Telecom’s GCASH service are two examples of money remittance made possible through mobile phones.