Over 5 percent of Senegalese live abroad. In 2017, the Pew Research Center recorded that a total of $2,238 million was sent to Senegal from abroad. The top 5 sending countries are France, Italy, Spain, The Gambia, and Mauritania. France was the busiest corridor accounting for 30%, followed closely by Italy at 19% or the remittances.

There are several ways you can use to send money home to your family and loved ones in Senegal. This guide highlights the common ways of sending money, the information you need when sending, and the advantage of using online money transfer services.

Popular Ways of Sending Money to Senegal

The main ways that are being used to send money on the different remittance corridors to Senegal include:

International Bank Transfer

Senegal has over 20 commercial banks consisting of local, regional, and international institutions. If the recipient has a bank account, you can wire the transfer directly into their account. This method is preferred when sending large amounts because of the safety of the banking system.

However, when it comes to convenience, the banking system suffers major drawbacks such as low financial inclusion among Senegalese, high transfer fees, and delays in sending and receiving money due to intermediary banks. Most Senegalese use Société Générale S.A for bank transfers. It is a multinational bank with about 40 branches and 67 ATMs in the country.

Online Money Transfer

According to a 2016 World Bank report, money transfer services were listed as the most-used services at 53%, followed by banks at 29%. The popularity of money transfer services can be explained by the innovation and convenience underlying their services.

The number of inbound transfers a month transacted through remittances service providers exceed 0.5 million transactions. Ria Money Transfer is one of the most prominent money transfer providers. You can open a transfer account in less than two minutes, pay for your transfer through the bank, credit card, debit card, or deposit at an agent.

Sending money is very simple and convenient. You can either send from the money transfer provider’s website or from your mobile through the provider’s mobile application such as the Ria Money Transfer app.

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The Post Office

La Poste has the most extensive remittance distribution network extending beyond Dakar, the capital. The post office has a significant presence in cities on the northern border, giving access to financial services to Senegalese living there through La Poste Finance, its sister company.

Microfinance Institutions

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) like such as Credit Mutuelle du Senegal (CMS) have such a wide footprint, mostly in rural areas. Apart from receiving direct transfers from abroad, the MFIs have also partnered with online transfer services to help reach a wider audience.

What Is Needed to Send Money to Senegal

When sending money to Senegal through money transfer operators (MTOs), you have the option of sending directly to the recipient bank account or to a cash pick up agent. However, to do this, you’ll need the following:

  • The recipient’s name as it appears on their government-issued ID
  • The recipient’s address and phone number
  • If sending through a bank account, you’ll need their bank details including the bank, branch, account number and swift code.

Innovation has made it much easier to send money to Senegal. For instance, Ria has improved their app to allow you to share the transfer details with the recipient through email, text or WhatsApp.

You can also use the app to find Ria locations with much ease, track your transfer and get informed when it is completed, log in safely through face recognition or Touch ID and upload your credit or debit card photo image instead of typing the long numbers.

Factors to Bear in Mind when Transferring Money to Senegal

Before you transfer money to your loved ones in Senegal, there are certain things that you’ll have to bear in mind. Look at the exchange rates, transfer fees, safety of the platform, the time it takes to send the money, and the most convenient way for the recipient to receive the money.

Money transfer service providers like Ria tick all the boxes and guarantee you that in about 15 minutes, the recipient will have received the money. To get this speed, fund your transfer through debit or credit card and let the recipient opt for cash pick up.