Your Best Options to Send Money to Ukraine

Time Doctor - Send Money to Ukraine

If you plan to start a business in Ukraine or have freelance employees working in the country, you will have to transfer money on a regular basis.

Some of the most popular money transfer services operate in the European country but their conditions aren’t necessarily the best ones. The following tables reveal the most accessible services that will cost you less in comparison to your bank’s money transfer fees.

Update: Can You Use Skrill as an Alternative for Receiving Money in Ukraine?

Skrill has been reported as an alternative payment method for Ukraine. Although it is tested, some people report problems with money withdrawals.

Here is a short guide on how to use Skrill for money transfers:

  • You need an international internet virtual card – for that purpose, create an account via PrivatBank.
  • Connect the card with your account in Skrill.
  • Now you can withdraw US dollars to the virtual account first. It will cost you approximately four dollars per every withdrawal, in addition to a 0.5 percent fee for placing dollars in your account.
  • The sender of the money via Skrill will have to pay a one percent fee. • Once you have the money in the virtual account, you can transfer it to the credit card. The transaction will cost you 0.5 percent of the sum.
  • To withdraw the money in cash, visit you bank and withdraw the dollars. Keep in mind that there are restrictions about the total amount of money you can withdraw per day. It is 15,000 UAH which is less than 700 dollars.
Table 1 – Sending $1000 from the US to Ukraine
Transfer MethodStated fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
Ria Money Transfer (slow)$5$0$53-5 days
Western Union (slow)$12$0$123-5 days
Moneygram (slow)$12$0$123-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast)$15$0$15Minutes
TransferWise$20$0$201-2 days
Payoneer$3$28$313-5 days
Moneygram (fast)$48$0$48Minutes
Western Union (fast)$48$0$48Minutes
Wire transfer$25-55$10-30$35-853-5 days

Notes:

  • All of these methods above are for the recipient to receive the money in USD. If needed, they may have to convert the money from USD to Hryvnia.
  • This conversion fees are around 1% depending on who they use to convert USD to Hryvnia.
Table 2: The TOTAL Cost including HIDDEN currency exchange fees for sending money from different countries to the Ukraine
Transfer MethodReceiving Currency OptionFrom the USFrom the UKFrom CanadaFrom Western EuropeFrom Australia
Ria Money TransferUSD0.5%Not availableNot availableNot availableNot available
Small World FSEURNot available7%Not available0%Not available
XendpayEURNot available0%2.6%Not available2.6%
TransferWiseUSD & EUR2%2%2%2%2%
Exchange4freeUSD & EURNot available3%3%0%3%
PayoneerUSD3.1%Not availableNot availableNot availableNot available
Western UnionUSD & EUR1.2%3%6.7%1.9%9.9%
AzimoUSDNot available3.2%Not available3.2%Not available
Send Money 24USDNot available7.7%Not availableNot availableNot available
MoneygramUSD & EUR1.2%9.3%7.8%3%9.6%
Wire transferUSD Only2.5-5.5%2-4.5%2.5-5.5%2-4.5%3-6.5%

Note:

  • If you’re not sure what I mean by “hidden currency exchange fees” check out our explanation in this article.
  • Western Union Method and Moneygram are offering only a ‘Fast Method’ for United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Australia, in which they transfer the ‘Money in Minutes’.
  • If a transfer methods is marked “Not Available”, that means that country is not serviced by that company.
  • Most methods will only transfer in USD or EURO to Ukraine. In this chart, we are assuming that if you’re sending money from Europe the recipient will receive EUROs, but if you’re sending from the USA, UK, Australia or Canada the recipient will receive the money in USDs.
  • There will be an additional fee of up to 1% charged to the recipient for the purpose of conversion into Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH), but it also depends on the currency exchange dealer being used.
  • The companies which are charging 0% fees (e.g. Small World FS from Germany charging 0% fees), they may be charging only for first transaction, which means charges may differ from second transaction and so on.

Important:

Ukraine’s government has instituted Foreign Exchange Controls.

From Wikipedia:

Foreign exchange controls are various forms of controls imposed by a government on the purchase/sale of foreign currencies by residents or on the purchase/sale of local currency by nonresidents. Often, foreign exchange controls can result in the creation of black markets to exchange the weaker currency for stronger currencies.

This leads to a situation where the exchange rate for the foreign currency is much higher than the rate set by the government, and therefore creates a shadow currency exchange market.

The official rate was UAH 15.77/USD as of Dec 16, 2014. The interbank rate was at UAH 16.0–16.25/USD, and the black market rate exceeded UAH 20/USD.

This means that if you exchange money via a bank the currency exchange rates will be significantly worse than receiving money in USD for example and then exchanging via the black market.

Other articles that might interest you:

Transferring Money with TransferWise
How to Send Money to Romania at a Much Better Exchange Rate than your Bank
How to Send Money to Serbia with Less Fees
3 Ways to Send Money to Bulgaria that are Cheaper than using a Bank

Leave a reply

  1. Used TransferWise. UK – Ukraine. The fastest and the cheapest. Around 7000 hrivnja cost me only 4,5 GBP. Next day receipt.

  2. You forgot about Liqpay.com . There is a privat bank system. just check it, I used it lots of times, if you sent all corectly, all will work

  3. Come on guys! Why such hassle and those fees ?! It’s simple. You give them a prepaid debitcard, so they can redraw the money from the wall. The employer can transfer money directly on the card from the bank, some cards are connected to a bitcoin wallet ! Of course, the best choice 🙂

  4. Hi everyone! A few updates about ‘Skrill as an alternative for receiving money to Ukraine’:

    First of all: don’t expect that you will get a viable account at Skrill fast. They will make your life difficult by asking to verify your identity, address and other stuff. And the problem is: they made the procedure very difficult.

    But let’s say you made it, and your account is working. If you use bank account withdrawal through let’s say, PrivatBank – you will lose $20 on a simple SWIFT transfer fee. It’s charged by Skrill’s bank. How to solve it? You need Visa card. And since PrivatBank provides only MasterCard – it’s better to use some other bank. I use BNP Baribas.

    So, I added visa card to Skrill and withdraw cash to it. The good news: it works and there are no unexpected/hidden charges. The bad news: it takes up to 7 days to get your hard earned dollars land on your credit card.

    Of course, another bank will snatch 1% of the landed amount, but eventually you can withdraw it in dollars, unlike Payoneer, for example.

    1. Guy, thanks you a lot!!
      Before all was good with Skrill -> Privatbank using SWIFT, but now it gets $20 fee on 100-200$ and it takes 70$ from 1000$ ((( It so sad. And I have Internet card VISA, not Mastercard…. Will go to Paribas today.
      thanks!!

  5. Hello,

    A very good article, thank you Rob!

    Just would like to insert 5 cents from my experience.
    Shortly about me: from 2003 php developer in Ukraine, last 2 years work as freelancer with my team in Magento development. And I’ve already had problems with money transfer – we still did not find the person in Ukraine, who can consult us fast and prevent our mistakes. That is why I share my experience here:

    When we transferred money from Belgium to Ukraine bank via “Wire transfer”, money hung > 1 month, cuz “purpose of payment” field was not filed as it required by Ukraine bank law for transferred money between companies. That is why, before use “Wire transfer” in Ukraine, please, ask the bank about exact text of “purpose of payment”. In other case, deblocking process could take a months.

    Thank you.

  6. Hey, Rob, thanks! This is as informative as it is brief, shows it has taken quite a bit of research and experience to put this article together, thanks. I come from Ukraine and do appreciate this insight you have into the issue.

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