According to the World Bank, Colombia received a record $6.8 billion in remittances in 2019. These figures show the considerable impact that Colombian migrants worldwide make to the economy of their country of origin. Continue reading to discover how you too can transfer money to friends and family in Colombia.
Remittances in Colombia
The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian peso, represented by the “COP” abbreviation or the “$” symbol. To distinguish the Colombian peso from the US dollar, “COL$” is often used by some banks and other financial services companies.
In Colombia, it’s also common for recipients to request remittances in US dollars (USD).
Thanks to modern technology, there are now many options for sending money in several currencies to someone in Colombia. You can now send remittances directly to locations in Bogota, Cartagena, and beyond in just a few minutes.
Did you know? The Colombian peso is accepted as payment for goods and services in some regions of neighbouring Venezuela.
Transfer money to Colombia with your bank
Banks perform several types of financial transactions, including international money transfers. However, sending money to Colombia with your bank is one transaction you should avoid if you can.
At first glance, most banks do offer low transaction fees for international money transfers. However, poor exchange rates often tilt the transfer, i.e. the profits, in their favour.
Then there are receiving bank and SWIFT transfer fees to pay – which aren’t always advertised upfront.
Finally, a combination of bureaucratic red tape and outdated practices mean that you should avoid using your bank to transfer money to Colombia if better options are available.
Send money to Colombia with Xoom
Although Xoom is a PayPal company, there are some differences between the two services.
While PayPal serves both individual and business accounts, Xoom was created for non-commercial transfers.
Both companies, however, stack up as costly ways to send money to Colombia. That’s because, on top of their exchange rate mark-up and transfer fees, Xoom and PayPal also charge a 3-4% currency conversion fee.
Often mistaken for a foreign transaction fee, a currency conversion fee is an extra cost charged for what is really just a calculation. Imagine looking at your supermarket receipt and realising you’ve been charged a ’till calculation fee’ as well, and you’ve got the idea.
One advantage of sending money to Colombia with Xoom is that they are among the few digital providers that offer a cash pick-up option.
Send money to Colombia with Western Union or MoneyGram
If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account or prefers to pick up COP in cash, Western Union and MoneyGram also offer this option. Cash pick-up may be the most convenient option for your recipient, but it can also be expensive.
That’s because their service fees and exchange rate margins push up the total cost of the transfer.
Despite this, Western Union and MoneyGram have the best coverage of all the regions in Colombia. That’s great news if you’re sending money to remote areas of the country.
Use an online money transfer service to send money to Colombia
Thanks to innovative technology, digital providers usually offer a faster, cheaper way to send money abroad than banks and high street providers.
Services like TransferWise, WorldRemit, and Remitly all offer excellent features, payment and pick-up options to meet the growing demand for remittances in Colombia.
Whether you’re sending large or small amounts of money, a specialist money transfer provider will generally be your most efficient option.
Send money to Colombia with Azimo
Azimo is the best way to send money to Colombia. In fact, you can save up to 90% versus other providers and banks.
But don’t just take our word for it. According to World Bank data*, Azimo is the cheapest way to transfer money to many locations.
That’s because our exchange rate compares favourably to the mid-market rate, i.e. the fair exchange rate, and our fees start as low as £0.99p.
*Taken from Q3 data 2020
From Bancolombia to Davivienda, Azimo only works with the most trusted banks and financial institutions in Colombia. Coupled with the best encryption and anti-fraud technology, your money is safe with Azimo every step of the way.
How to send large amounts of money to Colombia
If you’re sending a lump sum of money to Colombia, send it with Azimo. When you register with Azimo, your first two transfers (five for Azimo Business) are fee-free.
The first of your fee-free transfers also comes with a special, introductory exchange rate. All this makes your very first transfer the perfect time to send a large amount of money to Colombia.
After that, use the award-winning Azimo app to set up currency alerts for the Colombian peso, so you always know the best times to send money.
How to send money to Colombian bank accounts with Azimo
Whether you’re sending money to family in Colombia or making payments to a business supplier in Colombia, take care when filling out their information. A misspelling or wrongly entered digit could delay your transfer – so it’s always best to double-check. For Colombian bank accounts, please make sure you’ve checked:
- The recipient’s full name.
- Your recipient’s bank name, account and document type from the dropdown menu.
- Your recipient’s document number.
Accepted documents for Azimo transfers are your recipient’s:
- National identity card (Cédula de ciudadanía).
- Residence permit (Cédula de extranjería).
- Tax identification number (Número de Identificación Tributaria).
Top tip: Colombian bank account numbers are between nine and 16 digits in length. For example, Banco de Occidente has 9-digit account numbers while BBVA Colombia has 16.
How to send money to Colombia as a mobile top-up with Azimo
Mobile top-up is a feature available exclusively on the Azimo app. You can top up the recipient’s mobile phone from wherever you are, giving them minutes for phone calls and text messages.
Top-ups are especially helpful for those extended long-distance chats with family and friends back home. To cater for all budgets, we offer instant top-ups ranging from 7,500 COP to 100,000 COP on the Avantel Colombia mobile network.
When using the mobile top-up feature:
- The Colombia dialling code is +57, which is pre-selected in the app.
- Most Colombian mobile numbers are 10-digits long in the AAA-BBB-CCCC format.
- The first three digits, i.e. AAA, represent the mobile network access code. For Avantel Colombia, the code is either 350 or 351.
Discover a faster, cheaper way to send money to family and friends in Colombia. Download the Azimo app on iOS or Android and start transferring funds today. Get your first two transfers fee-free (five for Azimo Business customers) and at great exchange rates.