Convenient Ways to Get International Money Transfers in Ukraine
Ukrainians are receiving more and more international money transfers. Developing business with an orientation toward Western Europe and the USA, the growing popularity of the freelance market and active cooperation with foreign companies and startups create a need for fast, convenient, and cheap international money transfers.
In 2019, the country received about $12 billion. Still, most of the payments were received not directly but through intermediaries, post offices, or informal channels. Such terms as SWIFT and SEPA still inspire uncertainty and cause mixed feelings. They are mostly associated with difficulties and hidden fees. Why? Mostly because of the lack of information.
In this article, we will sort out the most popular ways to receive international money transfers in Ukraine and pinpoint the most reasonable ones. Let’s go!
SWIFT vs. SEPA: Differences, Peculiarities, Pros & Cons
We have already written about SEPA, but let’s summarize a few moments.
SWIFT is an international payment system that covers 200 countries and around 11,000 financial institutions. Together with its global character, the range of currencies available for transfers is its indisputable advantage. You can make international transfers in most of the currencies from Polish zloty to Japanese yen.
To make a SWIFT payment, you need:
- IBAN (account number) and a name of the payee;
- beneficiary bank and intermediary bank identifiers: SWIFT and BIC codes;
- to specify the purpose of the payment.
In general, the payee receives the money within 1 to 3 business days. The commission depends on a sending bank. Usually, it’s around 0,5-1% of the amount + $10-20, which makes SWIFT transfers quite costly.
Moreover, sometimes money comes to the beneficiary bank through intermediary institutions, which means additional fees and commissions.
Nevertheless, SWIFT transfers are still popular among people, who work abroad, make regular business trips, pay for Airbnb, or work remotely for foreign companies. As it’s a sender, who chooses a commission payment method (he can cover a commission himself or leave it for a payee), it will be more profitable to say larger amounts via SWIFT (let’s say $1000 and more).
If you receive a payment from Europe, SEPA is definitely the payment system to consider. In a simple word, it’s a European analog of SWIFT that is connected to most of the European banks and financial institutions. You can receive payments from 30 countries, also through Transferwise and Transfergo. The only way to receive SEPA payments in Ukraine is through an online bank – Monobank.
In comparison to SWIFT payments, SEPA is much cheaper and faster. The payments are usually received within 1 business day. These facts are especially important to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians working in the EU and Schengen countries.
A sending bank defines the fees of the payment, as well. Usually, it’s about 5 euros per transfer. The intermediary bank will take 0.33% of the amount, but not less than 0.65 euros and not more than 150 euros. The fact that you know the commission costs beforehand is an indisputable advantage of SEPA transfers. Monobank users get a reimbursement of the commission in the form of a cashback, which creates a win-win situation for Ukrainians.
Of course, you are limited in terms of currencies because with SEPA you can only transfer euros.
Payoneer Cards: How Do They Work?
Payoneer is an international financial company. Only registered users can send and receive payments within it. It’s especially popular among freelancers and IT specialists because it allows getting payments on Upwork, Admitad, and other similar platforms. Marketers, programmers, and designers, who work with foreign clients also prefer this payment method.
You can apply for a card to receive and manage funds both inside the system and in the bank account.
There are several ways to withdraw money at Payoneer:
- make a SWIFT payment on the website. In this case, the minimum amount is $300 and a fee is 2% of the amount. Money usually comes with a delay;
- apply for an instant online P2P transfer with a 3,6%-commission of the amount;
- withdraw money from Payoneer directly in the application of Monobank with a 2%- commission. Money is credited to a card almost instantly. Users don’t have to leave application to withdraw money or check out their balance at Payoneer. This direct integration with a financial company is super convenient and user-friendly.
Monobank is a progressive and convenient Ukrainian bank, in general. It doesn’t have branches – everything is done and solved online but its customer support is one of its strong sides. Around 100 of real people are ready to solve any issue 24/7 via phone, chats, and messengers.
A mobile bank is also one step ahead when it comes to P2P transfers.
Sometimes, you need to make transfers between two cards. If we talk about international transfers, it’s possible only if you have a card from a foreign bank. If so, you can make P2P transfer directly from the Monobank app. Just add a foreign bank card in the app, fill in its CVC2 and 3DSecure verification codes.
All payments take place online but you can’t transfer more than $25,000 per month. The commission is 1,8% of the amount. You can face additional fees from the foreign bank, who issued the card. So, clarify it with the representative of the bank.
Also, you can receive payments from abroad by a card number if a sending bank or a payment service supports P2P international payments from Visa or Mastercard.
Western Union & MoneyGram: Are they Lucrative?
These two systems indeed divided the market of the official cross-border transfers to Ukraine. Both Western Union and MoneyGram have hundreds of thousands of branches globally. You can make these payments from many bank branches as well.
The working principles of these two systems are almost identical.
You need to pick up a passport and come to a branch. As a sender, you pay the amount of the transaction along with a commission and receive a 10-digit code, which you will have to say to a payee. It’s a clue for getting the funds with documents identifying the payee’s personality.
Both systems mostly offer cash transfers.
Pay attention to some restrictions. You won’t be able to get more than 150,000 hryvnias if you don’t have documents identifying your personality and don’t have an opened bank account in Ukraine.
Western Union and MoneyGram offer relatively high money transfer fees. We can observe an interesting situation in Poland: Western Union will charge 20 zlotys for a 450-zlotys transfer, about 120 zlotys for a 3000-zlotys transfer, and a 4%-commission for every transfer more than 3000 zlotys. The situation in MoneyGram is pretty the same: the service will charge about 19 zlotys for a 450-zlotys transfer and 105-zlotys for transferring 3000 zlotys.
Another money transfer system – RIA – is gaining momentum nowadays. It has 250,000+ branches in 147 countries and its tariffs are slightly lower in comparison to its competitors. For instance, a 450-zlotys transfer will cost you 9 zlotys and a 3000-zlotys transfer – 45 zlotys.
Still, it doesn’t really operate online – it’s linked to ATMs of the Euronet network: you need to create a payment in its application, scan the bar code at the ATM, and pay the commission with a card or in cash.
What to Consider when Receiving International Money Transfers?
When receiving international money transfers (especially such transfers as a salary or a retainer), it’s better to pick up some accompanying documents such as a contract or an invoice to a customer. This way, you will avoid questions from a bank representative because according to the rules of financial monitoring, a bank can check the origin of money and the purpose of a transfer.
Finally, we are gradually entering an era of safe and easy money transfers without intermediaries and unreliable third parties. Sending and receiving money from abroad is way more profitable and easier nowadays.
Summarizing this flow of information and options, as well as staying unbiased, it’s important to say that Monobank is one of the most convenient ways for Ukrainians to receive money so far (regardless of the country). It offers one of the best conditions: from the quick processing of payments to the absence of fees. A favorable conversion rate, cashback, reimbursements, and high deposit rates are cherries on top of this delicious and appetizing cake.