Send Money To Sri Lanka

Compare your money transfer options to Sri Lanka with Savvy right here.

Last updated on August 2nd, 2022 at 05:19 pm by Cate Cook

Compare international money transfer providers to Sri Lanka with Savvy

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are sent to Sri Lanka from Australia each year.  If you’re thinking of sending money to Colombo or any other city in Sri Lanka from Australia, Savvy can help you compare international money transfer companies to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees available. Start comparing exchange rates then begin your transfer with Savvy here today.

site-logos Xe
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From $0 100
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Xe is a 2021 Canstar Award Winner and offers the best exchange rates, low to no fees so customers save the most money

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site-logos OFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $250 1-3 days $0 50+
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OFX offers speed, security and simplicity with no hidden fees, total transparency and real people support 24/7

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site-logos Wise Money Transfer
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From 0.41% 53
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Send money cheaper and easier with Wise with no hidden fees.

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site-logos TorFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $200 0-2 days $0 35
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Excellent exchange rates with no transfer fees. Trusted by over 55,000 customers. Awarded Canstar’s 5 star rating 2018-2021.

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site-logos SingX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 30
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SingX offers live exchange rates with no mark ups and only charge a nominal fee shown to you upfront

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site-logos Remitly
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 21
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Remitly offers fast, safe and secure money transfers with excellent rates to over 100 countries

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More information on sending money to Sri Lanka

What are my options for sending money to Sri Lanka?

There are numerous ways to send money to Sri Lanka from Australia. Out of all these options, though, using an online international money transfer specialist will be your quickest and cheapest, as such companies charge lower fees and will give you a better exchange rate than most banks will. In some cases, you can have your funds arrive at your destination in seconds without having to pay significant fees to do so.

Savvy is partnered with a range of reputable international money transfer specialists who cater for a wide range of money transfer needs – from sending money home to family and friends to making regular payments to buy goods or services.  Which one of these companies will be the right one for your individual needs will depend on how much you need to send to Sri Lanka and how often you intend to make such transfers. Start comparing your international money transfer options right now with Savvy and get your transfer underway in minutes.

Some of the other different types of transfers include:

Banks

If you send an international transfer through a bank, it’ll take between three and five days to arrive on average, which is significantly slower than a specialist provider.  In addition, banks can charge fees up to $30 or more to complete a transfer, making them a much more expensive alternative to opting for a specialist provider.

Cash transfers

If your transfer is urgent and you’re prepared to pay a higher fee and get a less advantageous exchange rate, you can send cash to Sri Lanka almost instantly with a cash transfer.  Select providers can get a cash transfer to many (but not all) places in Sri Lanka immediately for someone to collect in person on the other end. While this isn’t likely to be the most affordable option compared to specialist provider transfers, you may look to a cash transfer if your recipient in Sri Lanka doesn’t have a bank account.

PayPal (Xoom)

Unfortunately, PayPal’s international payment system Xoom isn’t available to Australians and can’t transfer in Australian dollars.  However, it’s possible to open an international account through a specialist provider and use it to send money through Xoom using US dollars or another accepted currency such as the British pound or Euro. This service will also often provide a less competitive exchange rate compared to money transfer specialists, as well as face delays to have the money transferred from their Xoom account to their bank account.

Phone top-ups

Another option for recipients without a bank account is to send money to them using a phone top-up (also known as a phone recharge or reload).  However, the exchange rate you will receive to send your transfer will often be poor compared to an international transfer company and the fees charged can be more expensive. Additionally, this money can’t be used freely as cash in the same way as a standard money transfer can.

How do I compare international money transfer companies before sending money to Sri Lanka?

Exchange rates

There are always two values that make up the exchange rate on the international money market: the buy price and the sell price.  The halfway point between these two figures is known as the ‘mid-market rate’, which forms the basic exchange rate offered to retail customers. Make sure you get as close as possible to the mid-market exchange rate to ensure you get the cheapest exchange deal possible. Even a small increase in the exchange rate can result in more money being sent to your recipient, particularly for larger transfers.

Fees charged for the transfer

There are two basic ways that companies charge to make an international transfer: either a set fee or one based on a percentage of the transfer.  Set fees range from around $6 up to $15. A percentage fee is based on how much you want to transfer and can range from 0.4% up to 0.65%.  By comparison, credit cards can charge from 3% to 5% as a fee for international transfers. Some companies charge a smaller percentage fee and add a markup onto the exchange rate. Overall, though, they still work out to be far cheaper than using a conventional bank.

For example, look at the following table to see how fees and exchange rates affect how much money is received in Sri Lanka if you send $100.

Transfer provider Fee charged AUD $ Exchange rate offered Recipient receives LKR Difference from best to worst LKR
Bank 1
Set fee $6
205.446
19,311.94
-5,543.64
Bank 2
Set fee $10
240.550
21,766.26
-3,206.11
Transfer provider 1
% fee $2.99
247.225
23,983.30
-872.28
Transfer provider 2
% fee $1.89
253.344
24,855.58
N/A - best result

* Note: the mid-market rate for the day was 253.344.  These rates are representative only and are not intended to be a guide.

We can glean various facts from this table:

  • transfer provider 2 is the cheapest overall because they offer the best exchange rate.
  • the recipient in Sri Lanka will receive LKR 5,543.64 more from the best transfer provider than from the worst, which is only based on a $100 transfer. The effect will be multiplied many times over if your transfer is much larger.

Serviceability

Not all exchange companies deal in all currencies or offer a service to all countries, so make sure the one you choose does deal in LKR and can conduct a transfer to Sri Lanka.

Payment limits

Check whether the company you choose has minimum or maximum limits for transfers to Sri Lanka and whether these fit in with your transfer requirements. For example, some have a minimum transfer limit of $250, but others set it at just $1.  Some providers set daily limits, such as $5,000, whereas you can also find options where the maximum is closer to $500,000 or more.

Payment for your transfer

Decide whether you want to pay by direct debit from your bank account, using a credit card, a debit card with EFTPOS, through a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or in cash.  Which method you choose will also determine which transfer company is best for you, as not all companies will accept credit cards or Apple Pay.

How will my transfer be received?

Think about how you want the money to be received in Sri Lanka: transferred to a bank account, collected in cash, or paid into an app or digital wallet? A transfer from one bank account to another is the most common, and often the cheapest, option.  When comparing, check the service you choose offers the transfer method you require.

What is the process for sending money overseas to Sri Lanka?

Setting up an account with an international transfer company is similar to opening a bank account. 

  1. First, provide your name and email address, and then when you receive a link to open your account, follow the prompts.
  2. You’ll need to be aged over 18 years for most transfer companies, and will need to provide ID details from a government-issued source of identification (such as a driver’s licence or passport).
  3. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll need the details of the person you wish to send the transfer to. You’ll need their bank details, email address and possibly phone number, depending on which transfer method you use. If you choose to send an instant cash transfer, make sure you get the recipient’s exact name as it appears on their official ID, otherwise there may be delays and difficulties when they try to pick up their cash.
  4. From there, you can select your transfer amount and send it off. When you’ve sent your transfer, you’ll be given a receipt or reference number and may be sent an email with a tracking number.  Keep this information safe in case there are any queries or your transfer is delayed. However, most specialist money transfer services are highly reliable and will get your funds to their destination fast.

Top tips on how to get the best exchange rate when sending money to Sri Lanka

Monitor the exchange rate before your transfer

It’s a good idea to start studying the exchange rate between the Australian dollar and the Sri Lanka rupee days before you need to make the transfer.  This way, you’ll be familiar with what a good exchange rate looks like and you’ll be able to recognise the patterns of the rupee exchange rate more effectively.

Compare often with Savvy

It’s only by comparing international money transfer providers often with Savvy that you’ll get to know which company is the best one to use for your transfer.  Compare the exchange rate and fees being charged for both personal and business transfers so you can find the cheapest one for your transfer.

Use an international account to store currency

Some international money transfer companies offer an international account in which you can store different currencies. You can use this to your advantage by exchanging a larger sum of money when the exchange rate is strong and storing it in your account as rupees until needed to send to Sri Lanka later on.

Use currency tools to get the best exchange rate

If you’re going to be transferring money to Sri Lanka often, it’s worth looking at the various currency tools on offer from different transfer providers. These range from alerts, which can tell you when a particular exchange rate has been reached, to limit orders, which only put through your order when a pre-defined exchange rate is achieved.  Using such tools can give you the edge and make sure you get the best exchange rate for your transfer.

Frequently asked questions about sending money to Sri Lanka

Can I track the progress of my funds when I send money to Sri Lanka?

Yes – many international money transfer companies provide useful tools on their online platforms or mobile apps, including tools which allow you to track the progress of your international transfer and see exactly when it arrives.

Am I able to complete a free money transfer to Sri Lanka?

Yes – some companies (such as OFX) offer free transfers if you’re sending more than $10,000 overseas.  Others offer the first transfer you make free of charge.  If you’re offered a free transfer, always compare the exchange rate to make sure you’re being offered a good deal, as they can often be marked up substantially.

What is a spot quote given when transferring money?

This is a quote for an exchange rate between two currencies. If you ask for a spot quote, the rate you’re given can then be locked in with a quote guarantee before you carry out your international transfer.  Getting a guaranteed spot quote will help you avoid any spikes in exchange rates affecting your transfer, as the rate given is fixed for a set number of hours (ranging from one up to 48 hours or more).

Do I have to pay any tax on international money transfers to Sri Lanka?

No – international transfers going overseas to Sri Lanka aren’t subject to any taxes in Australia. However, if you’re receiving money from abroad, it’s advisable to seek guidance from the ATO or a registered tax agent as to whether the money you receive is considered income.