In the news recently, it was reported that remittances being sent to Rwanda from the people living overseas hit a new record high $700 million in July 2017. It is up from $488 million in the same period last year. The 2016/17 financial year ended in March, reporting 35.8% rise over the previous year with $8.92 billion remittances being reported.
With the booming economy in the Central East Africa and the improving skill of the Rwandan workers, there is an increasing demand for Rwandan workers. It is a country of very few natural resources and the economy is primarily based on agriculture. The industry sector is small, contributing just 14% of GDP in 2017.
There are a number of ways to transfer money to Rwanda. Banks appears to be the most expensive and offer less value than online money transfer operatives. Banks in Rwanda such as Rwanda Development Bank, Bank of Kigali, I&M Bank Rwanda Limited and KCB Bank Rwanda Limited generally offer their money transfer service at high value for customers who have accounts with them. Money transfer through bank usually takes about 2 to 3 days but this depends upon the method used to process the money from the receiving bank.
MTOs (Money Transfer Operators) tend to have lower rates than banks. There is also a convenience of 24/7 operating hours and more locations. They take less than a day to process a money transfer. In most cases, they take as little as 15 minutes.
Prepaid debit cards are also becoming a popular way to send money to Rwanda. Because of its low cost and the ability to reload the debit card, it is convenient for receiver and sender.
Although Money Transfer Operators and Banks are the most popular choices to transfer funds to Rwanda, their competition from cash and prepaid cards and increasing in popularity and will soon take the first spot.
Banks have hidden fees in Rwanda?
You might not be aware of this but many banks will have hidden fees when it comes to arranging a transfer of funds between countries. Often a person will not even know about these fees until they have already arranged to send money to Rwanda. By this time it is often too late to reclaim any of the money that you have unintentionally spent in fees. An online currency transfer on the other hand will have minimal fees and these are set out clearly for anyone to see before they set up a transfer.
Rwandan Banks can give a lower rate of exchange?
Another issue with a bank to bank transfer is that banks can give a lower rate of exchange on Rwandan currency. Often they will not use the currency rate Rwanda currency is being exchanged for on an online exchange brokers website. This means that you will lose out on a great exchange rate if you use a bank. The currency that is used in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc and this is known by the symbol RWF, so look out for this when you are organising your online transfer.
Bank transfers take too long in Rwanda?
Unlike a bank an online transfer is very fast and this is where the reasons why so many people transfer money to Rwanda using an online system. Banks will typically take five working days to complete a transfer of funds. Online transfers on the other hand will take a matter of moments which is a much better time scale.