For many of us having a bank account is an everyday thing. And yet, 1.7 billion adults around the world don’t have a bank account or access to banking, according to data released by the World Bank in 2018.
So for people living and working who want to send money to their families back home sending by bank transfer may not be an option. And even if it was, bank-to-bank transfers often mean unreasonable charges and unfair exchange rates..
So, what are the alternative ways to receive money without a bank account?
Option 1: send money with high street agents
People have been using offline agents for over a hundred years. A number of these older, more traditional services started offering some online support, too. However, the majority of their money transfers remain offline - within their network of branches.
So, how does it work? Transactions are created and then collected in physical high street branches all around the world.
- Density of agent locations: There are many walk-in branches where you can both send and pick up money transfers.
- You can pay for your transfer by cash. This way, no bank account is needed for sending or receiving the money.
- It’s an internet-free service.
- High fees and exchange rates: compared to online competitors, sending money abroad via high street agents is usually the most expensive option.
- Time-consuming: in most cases, you need to travel to the money transfer agent, wait in a queue and go through time-consuming paperwork.
- Safety issues: due to the nature of the business, the service is often exposed to scams and other illegal activities.
Option 2: send money with a money transfer app
With the boom of financial technologies, people have grown to love using money transfer apps, as they are simply the most convenient way.
An online service like WorldRemit’s allows you to send money abroad from a smartphone, tablet or computer; making it as fast and easy as sending a text message.
Your family and friends don’t necessarily need to have a bank account, either.
Depending on the country they’re in, you can choose a service that best fits you and your recipient.
- It’s cheaper: you can see all the fees upfront and choose the best possible exchange rate with our push notifications. Plus, the first three transactions are free of charge!
- It’s faster: most of our transactions are delivered instantly.
- It’s more convenient: say ‘goodbye’ to long queues. Half of our transactions are done outside regular shop opening hours, from the comfort of your home. And with our app, you’ll always know where your money is as you can track your transfer.
- It’s safe: we have processes and procedures installed behind the scenes working hard to keep you (and your hard-earned money) safe.
- For security reasons, we don’t accept cash. To pay for the money transfer, you will need a debit or credit card.
Here are some of the bank account-free services that you can choose from:
1. Send money for cash pickup
Cash pickup transfer is a payment that your recipient can collect as physical cash from a collection point in their country.
How does it work?
Choose the receiving country and cash pickup collection network. Click pay and it’s done!
Once the transfer is ready for collection, your recipient will be notified via a text message or email with all necessary information. This includes:
- Collection number
- Amount to be collected
- Where to collect the cash
- ID documents needed for pick up
If in doubt, use our handy cash pickup troubleshooting guide!
2. Send a mobile money transfer
Mobile money allows people to receive, store and spend money using a mobile phone.
Sometimes called ‘mobile wallet’, it’s an account linked to a mobile phone number. Many countries rely heavily on mobile money payments, sometimes due to a lack of access to banking.
Some of the most popular service providers include MTN, MPesa, EcoCash, GCash or Tigo Pesa.
How does it work?
To receive money, your recipient needs to have an active mobile wallet. Find out the service provider, mobile money number and the name your beneficiary used to register their account. Then follow the steps on our website or app – and voila!
Plus, over 85% of mobile money payments are completed within 10 minutes. Find out all about mobile money here.
3. Other ways to send money to someone without a bank account
WorldRemit offers more pay-out options than any of our competitors. We also have some specific services that don't require the recipient to have a bank account – however, these services are available only in certain countries. Here are a few of them:
With the WorldRemit Wallet, your recipients can receive and store money securely without the need of having a bank account.
As a new service, the number of countries where it's available is limited. Currently, the Wallet is available in Somaliland, Philippines and a few other countries.
You can check if the Wallet is available in the country you’re sending to by heading to our homepage. If the Wallet is one of the services available, your recipient can receive money this way. Find out more here.
In Vietnam, we offer door-to-door delivery. It’s a payment made by WorldRemit that delivers physical cash to your recipient’s home address. You can find out how it works here.
WorldRemit payment to a prepaid card
If sending money to China, you can send money directly to a prepaid card. China UnionPay cardholders must be Chinese nationals and they can receive international payments sent directly to their prepaid cards.
Find out more about China UnionPay here.
If you want to get started sending money abroad, we’re here to make your WorldRemit registration as simple as possible. We’ve put together a quick how-to guide to the WorldRemit sign up process, so that you can send money abroad to loved ones quickly, easily and safely.