Trying to transfer money from Thailand to another country can be a very annoying and expensive challenge. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult a task, does it? You have an account with a Thai bank and one in your country of origin – all you want to do is to move a bit of your hard-earned money from one to the other. How hard can it be?
Sadly, very hard. Many of the available options are either slow, cost you a considerable percentage of your money, or both. And that’s assuming that you can get your head around the mountains of paperwork involved.
Can you transfer money from Thailand?
Yes, it is possible to send money from Thailand to an overseas bank account. You’d be forgiven for believing that’s not the case since it can be quite a complex process, but it is achievable. In fact, there are several options available, but each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is the best way to transfer money from Thailand?
While getting money into Thailand isn’t especially difficult, transferring money out is a lot harder. The options available are broadly the same for either direction, but there are more obstacles when it comes to outbound transfers. Those options are:
Use a direct bank transfer
Use a remittance service
Use informal channels
Using a direct bank transfer
The most obvious option is to ask your Thai bank to send your money to your account at home. This service is available from:
Siam Commercial Bank
Banks use a system called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) for international transfers. It’s kind of an ironic name because it can take up to a week for your money to arrive in your home bank account. The reason being that banks are deeply distrustful of each other, and the process of checking and confirming the transaction takes time.
The benefit of a bank transfer is that it is direct – your money leaves one account and arrives in the other without having to pass through any go-betweens. On the downside, it’s nothing like as simple as it sounds for you. For starters, you need to have a Thai bank account, which means you need to be living and working in Thailand, with a work permit. Getting hold of one of those can be challenging enough on its own.
Assuming that you have a Thai bank account, the process of transferring money out of it often involves a considerable amount of paperwork for just a single transfer, which you’ll need to collect and submit in person at a branch. And good luck figuring out what information the forms are asking you for if you don’t have a degree in economics and can’t speak Thai.
To be fair to them, a couple of Thai banks are starting to figure out that it’s now the 21st century and that customer convenience is a thing – one that people increasingly demand. Kasikornbank and SCB have developed user-friendly banking apps that let you set up international transfers, but there are some fairly arbitrary restrictions on these, such as only being able to submit transfer requests during business hours.
On top of that, the fees involved are often greater than 1,000 baht per transaction – a sizeable chunk of your money, particularly if you’re only sending a relatively small amount. Put simply, it’s a system built to accommodate the needs of big businesses, making it extremely impractical for the average individual who wants to send a small amount of money on a regular basis.
Using a remittance service
Everyone’s heard of Western Union, right? Their name is practically synonymous with sending money from one country to another. It’s much easier and cheaper than using a bank transfer: you fill in one form, show your passport, give them the cash and it’s done.
The transfer is instant because you’re not actually sending any money overseas. Instead, you pay money to Western Union in one country and they give you money back from their funds in another country. You’ll lose some of the value of your money in the process, though, because the exchange rate used is never as good as the one you’ll find on Google. That, and a small fee, is how they make their money.
The basic process that Western Union is most famous for is to send money from a bricks-and-mortar WU office in one country for another person to collect from an office in their country. It’s very convenient for sending money to a friend or family member in need, but not so much for sending your own money to yourself.
It’s the 21st century now, though. You don’t have to physically go to the office and the option is available to send the money directly to a bank account. At least, it is in some countries, but not in Thailand. You can still send money online and even through their new app, but it still has to go to a Western Union office. Maybe you can ask a friend to collect your cash and walk it down the street to deposit it at your bank, but it requires a friend who is both trustworthy and has plenty of free time on their hands.
But forget Western Union – Transferwise is the new hotness in the world of remittance services, right? The company was born from exactly the same frustration that you’re feeling while trying to figure out how to send money out of Thailand, and the founders came up with an impressive, innovative solution. Unfortunately, it’s a solution that doesn’t work in Thailand. You can’t add Thai baht to one of their borderless accounts and cards from Thai banks will be rejected. Even the stellar success of Transferwise isn’t enough to punch through the mountains of red tape and regulations wrapped around Thai banking.
A further option for sending money into and out of Thailand is to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. You’re spared the paperwork and long delays of bank transfers, you don’t lose the value of your money like you do with a remittance provider and you can do the whole process online.
The immediate problem with this approach is that the number of people who actually understand what a cryptocurrency is, let alone how to trade and transfer it, is relatively small. For the average person wanting to repatriate their income to pay some bills back home, it’s a significant investment in time and learning to get to the point where this option becomes quick and easy.
For more information visit https://www.deemoney.com/how-to-transfer-money-from-thailand-to-another-country/
DeeMoney is among the first pioneering companies in Thailand to receive the International Money Remittance Service Non-Bank License by the Bank of Thailand, along with the exclusive Money Exchange and E-Payment Licenses. We are the first and only non-bank company in Thailand to obtain the special Licenses needed to operate both money transfer and money exchange for one premise. Our one-stop services include worldwide money transfers to 180+ countries and money exchange in 34 currencies.
So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our flat transfer fee and the best exchange rates possible and begin your application process today! https://www.deemoney.com/
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