How to send money to UK

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There are instances when you are either travelling or have a friend or relative in the diaspora and need to send money to them. Yes, the flow of funds is not just one way, but undoubtedly more funds come into Zimbabwe than go out (I’m not referring to payments for goods here, but rather peer to peer transfers).

We did speak about a method to do so earlier this week, but here I seek to look a bit deeper as to how to go about it. Yes, ‘twould be great if we could use the like of Western Union, MoneyGram or other money transfer services but currently the RBZ does not permit such outflows of cash. Strangely, Telegraphic Transfers are still permitted. And at an exorbitant fee.

Top 3 ways to send money to UK

1. Bank card

This can work with the EcoCash Debit Card MasterCard that was recently announced. Basically, you get the person whom you would like to send the money to to open an account (that comes with a Visa or MasterCard) whilst they are still in Zimbabwe (or the home country where you will be sending money from).

They then take this bank card with them when they travel to the UK and whenever you would like to send money to them, you simply deposit funds into their account.

If you decide on the EcoCash MasterCard however, the person whom you want to send the money to needs to make sure that the Econet line that will be linked to EcoCash is kept active so as to avoid it being deactivated for none usage of the line. Maybe they leave the line here with a relative that will just be using it for calls?

N.B. It is illegal for you to let another individual use either your Visa or MasterCard, so be sure to let them open their own account whilst still here. Currently, NO BANK (or even EcoCash) are permitted to open an account for an individual in their absence.

2. PayPal

Zimbabwean Visa and MasterCard holders can now access the much hyped about PayPal and under this particular method all you have to do is get the person to whom you are sending money to open a PayPal account (that gets linked to their bank account) and do a peer to peer transaction.

When you send money through PayPal, all they have to do is “cash out” from their PayPal and the money will go into their bank account and voila’, happy days. This will all happen in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

N.B.: The exact same method can be used with Skrill (former MoneyBookers).

3. eBay / Amazon

This is the most interesting method of the all. Have the person that you would like to send the money to in the UK open up an account on either eBay or Amazon (if they don’t have one already) and then have them create a sale.

This sale must be to the value that they want you to send them and of a weird description that no-one else would buy (you don’t want someone paying for a service that you don’t intend to deliver). Something like, I’m selling “a 30sec phone call with William” for £500.

You then go and “buy” the product/service and you have effectively managed to send money to UK, albeit that the platform will take a commission.

So there you have it folks, the top 3 ways that I’d use to send money to UK. I have looked at other options; Mukuru (don’t allow non-UK residents to open accounts, TransferWise (currently don’t allow US$ transfers) and WorldRemit (don’t have UK as an option to send money to), but have found the above to be the most effective methods to use.

How would you send money to UK most effectively? Anything different to what I have mentioned above? Please comment below…

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, nor do I seek to make myself out as one. When making financial decisions (anything to do with money), please consult an expert, who is qualified to advise on such matters.

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  1. movers

    The ebay one is good. I was using it in 2010 to get money from China. China has same rules as zimbabwe, you cant export money out of Guangzhou.

    With paypal now doing one second money transfer from balance to bank account. The charges are a killer though.

    To avoid paying ebay massive seller fees you can sell your item for $1 and postage of $499.00. Ebay doesnt charge fees on postage fees. So this way you receive your money practically free

    1. William Chui

      Appreciate the tip

  2. Peter

    Remember to Activate International Roaming with Econet and send a txt every so often, to keep your line active.