What are the best options to send money to Pakistan?

by Rob Rawson
Send Money to Pakistan

Do you have to send money to Pakistan? Wondering about the available services and how much they’re going to cost you?

Even if you’re not aware, there are numerous great possibilities to choose among. PayPal is a convenient way for many countries but using the online payment system to receive money in Pakistan is not the best approach.

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What transfer methods do we use at Time Doctor?

We have a remote team with people in 19 different countries around the world. The two transfer methods we use the most are:

  • Wise, formerly TransferWise – is a new kind of financial company that you can use to transfer money internationally at a very low cost. Their system is based on local bank account transfers, which makes transfers abroad cheaper than what banks or other providers charge. They charge a small upfront fee between 0.5% and 2% for transactions, depending on the route. But, they are 8x cheaper than banks and their fees are transparent.
  • Payoneer – very convenient for sending and receiving. They are also one of the few methods that works to receive money in almost every country and the receiver can get their money on a debit card and withdraw from an ATM. They also have an option for direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. They also have a $50 bonus if you receive more than $100 through this method.

The following tables present alternative methods to send money to Pakistan, including how much every single service is going to cost you. The tables list upfront and hidden fees, making it a lot easier for you to choose.

Table 1 – Sending $1000 from the US to Pakistan
Transfer Method Stated fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion cost Total cost Time for the transfer to arrive
OFX (previously USForex)* $0 $7.5 $7.5 1-2 days
Wise, formerly TransferWise (recommended partner) $10 $0 $10 1-2 days
Ria Money Transfer (slow) $7 $4 $11 3-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast) $15 $4 $19 minutes
Xoom $5 $16 $21 minutes
Pakremit $0 $23 $23 3-5 days
Western Union (slow) $0 $24 $24 3-5 days
Moneygram $13 $15 $28 minutes
Payoneer $3 $28 $31 3-5 days
XE Trade $0 $32 $32 3-5 days
Wire transfer $25 – 45 $10 – 40 $35 – 85 3-5 days
Western Union (fast) $20 $24 $44 minutes
Skrill $14 $50 $64 3-5 days
Travelex $0 $100 $100 minutes

Notes regarding this table:

  • The stated fees vary for each transfer method
  • The hidden currency conversion fee is based on our calculation against inter-bank rates. Since that fee is not usually declared and may vary, it’s hard to calculate them with 100% accuracy. If you’re not sure what we mean by the “hidden currency conversion cost”, please refer to our explanation in this article.
  • The Western Union fees above are for their public website/service. Western Union also has a corporate transfer service with different rates for companies that have a large volume of transactions.
  • The fees for Western Union and other transfer methods are based on the lowest cost method for transferring your funds to Western Union, which means bank transfer (not paying via credit card).
  • Any fees that are zero may simply be introductory fees which will increase the second or third time you use the service.
  • The fees for wire transfers are estimates and vary greatly from bank to bank.
  • If you send more than $1000 through Xoom then there will be zero fees, so it means Xoom will charge only hidden fees.
  • Minimum transfer of $500 for OFX (previously USForex).
Table 2 – Sending money to Pakistan from various countries.
Comparing percentage fees to send $1000 in local currency equivalent
Transfer Method From the US From the UK From Canada From Western Europe From Australia
Wise, formerly TransferWise (recommended partner) 1% 1% 1.2% 1% 1%
OFX (previously USForex) 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75%
Western Union 2.4% 0.9% 0.8% 0.9% 1.2%
Moneygram 2.8% 4.3% 2.5% 5.3% 3.9%
Wire Transfer 2 – 4% 2 – 5% 2 – 5% 2 – 5% 3 – 6%
Skrill 6.4% 6.4% 6.4% 6.4% 6.4%
Xend Pay Not available 0.5% Not available Not available Not available
Ria Money Transfer 0.9% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Pakremit 2.3% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Xoom 2.1% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Payoneer 3.1% Not available Not available Not available Not available
XE Trade 3.2% 3.2% 2.5% 3.1% 3.3%
Travelex 10% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Azimo Not available 0.3% Not available 0.4% Not available

Notes regarding this table:

  • The percentages above include both the company’s stated fees and our calculated hidden conversion cost.
  • Rates for Azimo are based on checking prices on their website. They state that the fee for a transfer is 1 pound and their currency rates are very good, close to inter-bank rates. I’m not sure how they can deliver the transfer at such a cheap rate, or if there are other fees not declared on the website.
  • OFX (previously OzForex) is a good option for sending larger amounts of money and their exchange rate fee goes down for larger amounts.
  • Minimum transfer of $500/£500 for OFX/CanadianForex/UKForex.

Other options for sending money:

  • WorldRemit – Has an option to send small amounts of money to load the recipient’s mobile phone account in Pakistan.
  • Xpress Money – Offers a service that transfers money from several countries to Pakistan but their fee calculator was not working, so I did not include them in the tables above.

Other articles that might interest you:

Transferring Money with Wise (formerly TransferWise)
What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to India?
What is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia?
Compare Hidden Exchange Fees When Sending Money to Bangladesh

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