All About Remittance Centers
Published: March 24, 2021. Last updated: June 22, 2022
- Remittances are very much in demand in the Philippines.
- Many people send money abroad and within the country.
- If you urgently need money to transfer money to family members, you can get a loan from Digido.
Financial transactions are an integral part of our daily life. Traditionally, people used cash for all their economic activities. Later, other forms of financial instruments such as cheques, bank drafts, money orders, or digital payment options evolved. But still, cash transactions enjoy an undisputed monopoly in many economies, including the Philippines.
The OFWs are a significant contributor to the Philippines economy. The primary purpose of anyone to take employment in another country is to support his or her family. The long clearance time makes financial instruments such as cheques or bank drafts non-viable when a financial emergency strikes. Fund transfer through online mode is a practical solution for immediate money requirements. But such transfer necessitates the receiver to have a bank account.
The Philippines is a country with a low banking penetration level. The majority of the population does not have a bank account. As per the World Bank reports in 2018, the Philippines received an inward remittance of $32.6 billion in 2017 and is the third-largest remittance-receiving country in the world.
It means a faster, affordable, and uncomplicated money transfer system is essential for the population and where “Money Remittance Center” scores over all other financial institutions.
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Money Transfer and Remittance in the Philippines
Even though people interchangeably use the words “money transfer” and “remittance,” there is a difference between the two.
Money transfer is the cashless mode for shifting funds from one place to another using cheques, money orders, or electronic fund transfers such as wire transfers.
Usually, this happens within the bank between accounts or across banks that operate the same currency. In other words, money transfer is for domestic fund transfer.
On the other hand, remittance is a type of fund transfer that involves an intermediary for currency conversion and delivery.
For instance, an OFW working in the US can’t send money in PHP from there. They need to send it in USD, and it needs conversion to PHP so that the recipient can use it. So remittance is a term for cash transactions involving different countries or currencies. The significant advantage of remittance is that you don’t require a bank account to send or receive money.
An overwhelming population of OFWs and Filipinos’ aversion to formal banking creates a perfect ecosystem for remittance centers to flourish. One can quickly locate remittance centers in each street, market, mall, or shop across the country. Several remittance companies are working in the Philippines, and their working model is as follows.
The sender remits the money, including the transfer fee, by visiting their branches or using the website or mobile app. He or she has to enter the recipient details as well. The sender can use the reference number to track the process.Once the money reaches the destination, typically within a few hours, the recipient can collect the funds by showing any valid ID.
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Meaning of Remittance Centers for Filipinos
Unfortunately, the majority of Filipinos are still unbanked, and the banking system has yet to make its presence known to many far-flung areas in the country. Banking facilities such as ATMs, branches and even card terminals remain unavailable to many Filipinos. Someone from the village has to travel to the bank in a remote city and wait in the long queue to collect the money.
Apart from the inconvenience, it creates additional losses in the form of traveling expenses and job loss. Conventionally, Filipinos depend heavily on nearby non-banking financial institutions for all their economic activities, from taking loans to bill payments. The majority of such institutions offer money remittance services as well.
These money remittance centers have a significant presence in every nook and corner of the country with excellent features such as instantaneous fund transfer, real-time tracking, and quality customer support. Money remittance centers also provide the cheapest money transfer within the Philippines.
The Philippines’ remittance growth is around 8% and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In such a situation, the money remittance center business has got excellent opportunities to grow further.
How to Choose a Company to Send Money
You, as someone who might receive money through remittance now or sometime in the future, might be thinking “Which remittance center near me would serve me best?”.
Choosing the right remittance service provider is crucial in ensuring the timely and secure delivery of your remittance. Some of the significant factors to be considered are the following:
1. Reliability and reputation
Always do proper research to ensure that the firm is licensed and has a good reputation. Illegal or spurious companies may offer you low rates. But they can land you in complicated situations later.
2. Exchange Rates
Even a tiny variation in the exchange rate can make a massive difference in the receiving end. So you must check and compare the exchange rate with different companies before using their services.
3. Transaction Fees
Fund transfer across borders involves different networks or facilitators. Always ensure that the transaction fees include all these expenses, and there are no other hidden charges.
4. Speed of Transaction
How fast the money reaches the recipient is a vital parameter in choosing a remittance company. If the company offers real-time tracking features or updates timely, that will be a great advantage.
5. Customer Support
Naturally, people get stressed when they send money, especially for emergency purposes. So always ensure that the company offers good customer support that gives you proper assistance whenever needed.
5 Best Companies for Overseas Money Transfers in the Philippines
The convenience of easy access, affordability, and the speed of electronic payments make private remittance centers a popular choice for OFWs for the overseas money transfer process to their relatives back in the Philippines.
Philippine money transfer companies have been a godsend particularly to families of OFWs due to the ease and speed in which they can transfer money, notwithstanding the amount and distance of transfer.
The leading overseas remittance companies in the Philippines are:
1. Western Union Philippines
Western Union is a global leader in remittance service with a history of over 160 years and over 500,000 agent locations in over 200 countries. Western Union international rates are competitive and suit many customers.
Western Union also converts dollars into the local currency at the current exchange rate, making it very convenient for recipients as they don’t have to
Company offers an impressive Western Union transfer fee and has an online tracking system.
The loyalty scheme “My WU membership program” provides reward points for each transaction, and you can use these points to get discounts for your following transfer fee.
You can remit money through Western Union simply by going to one of their branches or log in to your Western Union account on their website. Fill out a form with your name, address, the amount of money that you’re going to send, and the contact information of the recipient.
Once the transaction is successful, you will receive a tracking number (money transfer control number or MTCN) which the recipient will use in order to claim the cash. In order to claim the money, the recipient must provide the MTCN and a valid ID.
WorldRemit is an online remittance facility that operates 24/7 and has a presence in over 140 countries.
The WorldRemit tool on the website enables one to estimate the transfer and exchange rate easily. It offers different options for sourcing the money and pickup options such as cash pickup, bank deposit, mobile money, and airtime top-up.
To remit money through WorldRemit, you have to sign up for a WorldRemit account. Enter your recipient’s contact details and bank details, and the amount that you’d like to send, then pay for the transaction.
Are you going to remit money using WorldRemit for the first time? No need to worry about transaction fees then – WorldRemit will waive any fees for your very first transfer!
MoneyGram has both conventional brick and mortar offices and a very innovative online platform for their operations.
One can estimate their transaction fees by using either the online tool or the MoneyGram Facebook page.
It offers real-time tracking of your remittance and multiple pickup options such as direct bank account transfer, home delivery, and cash pickup options.
To send money transfers using MoneyGram, go to the MoneyGram app or website. Register for an account, enter the recipient’s details, the amount that you’d like to send and how you want the recipient to receive the money. Afterwards, you can choose to pay for your money transfer through your debit or credit card or directly from your bank account.
In addition, you can transfer money through MoneyGram to a debit card, bank account, or a mobile wallet! Definitely a convenient way to send money in times of need!
Payoneer is one of the most widely used digital cross-border platforms among freelancers and professionals for international payments. It supports 150 currencies and is available in 35 languages with 24/7 customer support.
The most significant advantage of Payoneer is that there is no limit for the transfer amount. Bank transfers through Payoneer can take two to five days depending on the location of the recipient.
The Payoneer app is available on both iOs and Android, so no need to worry about not getting your money wherever you are and whenever you need it!
Aside from money remittance, you can use Payoneer to make business payments directly from your account and even convert money from one currency to another!
PayPal has a customer base of nearly 300 million and has a strong presence across 200 countries. It accepts payments in 100 currencies and allows withdrawal in 56 currencies.
Getting a PayPal account is very simple, and the mobile app provides an excellent mobile transaction experience. It makes PayPal the most popular digital fund transfer platform across the globe.
Using PayPal for money remittance is very easy! First, you must log in to your PayPal account (you can use your personal or business account!), click “Send & Request” then enter the email address of the money’s recipient.
Afterwards, indicate the amount you wish to send and the currency in which you wish to send the money in. You can fund your transfer through your bank account or your existing PayPal balance. Send the money after verifying the details.
The turnaround time of the money transfer will depend on the recipient. If the recipient account is a bank account, the transfer will be processed instantly or within one to four business days. If the recipient is a GCash or a Coins.ph account, processing will be within 24 hours.
11 Best Money Transfer Services within the Philippines
Some remittance centers do provide local remittance as well. These Philippine money transfer companies have branches and services all over the country which makes them convenient for Filipinos to send and receive money anytime.
No need to ask the question “Saan ba ang padalahan ng pera sa Pilipinas?”. Some of the famous players in this domain are:
1. Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala
Cebuana Lhuillier is more than just a pawn shop now. With a network of 2,500 branches and 4,000 Pera Padala agents, Cebuana Lhullier Pera Pandala is one of the most established remittance service providers in the Philippines.
The Cebuana Lhuillier rates are highly competitive. Some of Cebuana Lhuillier 24 hour branches are available 7 days a week, ensuring uninterrupted cash availability for the recipients around the clock.
It offers direct bank account transfer, USD exchange, and USD money payout as well. The online appointment system allows the customer to schedule the service and avoid long queues.
Cebuana Lhuillier’s worldwide remittance partners include Western Union, MoneyGram, and i-Remit, and Philippine banks such as BDO, BPI, Metrobank, and RCBC among others.
To remit money to anywhere in the Philippines, you can visit any Cebuana Lhuillier branch near you. Fill out a form and present this along with your valid ID and the amount that you’d like to send. Keep the Pera Padala form that the cashier will give to you, and give the 10-digit control number to the recipient of your money.
Cebuana Lhuillier open 24 hours is not available in any branch.
|Sending||Amount, PHP||Charge Amount, PHP||Charge Amount, PHP||Charge Amount, PHP||Charge Amount, PHP||Charge Amount, PHP|
|From||To||Metro Manila||Northern Luzon||Southern Luzon||Visayas||Mindanao|
2. GCash Remittance
GСash offers various channels such as the mobile app, Facebook messenger, or partner outlets to send money. The transfer between GCash users is free, and there is no minimum balance requirement either.
This is very helpful especially for Filipinos who remain unbanked: instead of going to a bank and opening an account, they can just download GCash on their phones and sign up for a GCash account within minutes!
The ability to use GCash cards as an ATM or debit card helps recipients withdraw money in a hassle-free way.
GCash has also partnered with Western Union, MoneyGram, Alipay, Payit and Skrill to name a few to help users remit and receive money worldwide. There is no physical GCash Remittance center, but you can go to any convenience store, department store, or bayad center that accept GCash cash-ins so you can send money to other GCash users.
3. Palawan Express Pera Padala
With over 2,900 Palawan express branches and many agents, Palawan Express is the most easily accessible remittance center in the Philippines. It has evolved into a one-stop shop with branches all over the Philippines where you can pawn off jewelry, send money to loved ones, and even remit cash and loan money online!
Palawan Express rates are as low as PHP 2.
However, with intelligent utilization of the loyalty scheme Suki Card, customers can further reduce Palawan Pera Padala rates.
Quality customer support and regular updates through text messages are some of the most attractive features of Palawan Express Pera Padala.
Is Palawan Express Open on Holidays?
We get that you might have to send some money over the holidays, but do note that Palawan Express branches do close down during the Holidays to give their employees time to rest and be with their families.
After the holidays, Palawan Express branches immediately resume operations depending on the branch.
Can I claim Western Union in Palawan Express?
Yes you can claim Western Union in Palawan Express. Just present your receive money form and your valid ID to the Palawan Express cashier when claiming the money.
Coins.ph uses a mobile blockchain-powered platform that enables people to perform financial transactions in a secure and faster way, even without a bank account. One can use their Coins.ph (PHP) wallet or BTC (bitcoin) wallet for sending money.
Coins.ph does not have any mandatory minimum cash-in amount or monthly fees.
You can send remittances to any Coins.ph account in the Philippines through Western Union! Simply go to any Western Union agent near you, show your government ID and the amount you’d like to send, then give the MTCN number to the recipient.
You can also cash out your remittance through your preferred option! Options include e-wallets such as GCash and PayMaya, padala centers like M Lhuiller, Cebuana Lhuillier, Palawan Express, and local banks.
5. Smart Padala
Easy accessibility through the widespread network of over 29,000 outlets is the most striking feature of Smart Padala. They offer effortless transactions with minimal formalities, and the recipients can collect the money by taking a short walk.
The sender can remit the money either through the traditional mode of visiting the Smart Panda agent or using a Smart Money Account. Smart Padala rates are the best in the industry with an instantaneous transfer facility.
You can remit money through Smart Padala simply by finding a Smart Padala agent near you! There are more than 60,000 Smart Padala agents all over the country so finding one would not be a problem. Give your name, contact details and amount that you’d like to send to the Smart Padala agent, then secure the claim reference number that will be given to you through a text message.
To claim money through Smart Padala, give the claim reference number to the Smart Padala agent or Smart Padala remittance partner along with your name and contact details. You must also present your valid IDs when claiming your remittance.
Smart Padala service fee ranges from Php 40 to Php 1,500 depending on the amount that you’d like to remit.
6. RD Pawnshop Padala
Just like Cebuana Lhuillier, M Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop, RD Pawnshop has evolved into more than just a simple pawnshop. It has become a one-stop shop where you can pawn off jewelry and send money to your loved ones across the Philippines. It also offers personal insurance plans for accidental death and even fire assistance! What’s more, with RD Pawnshop you can also pay your bills, buy air and sea tickets, change your money into a different currency, and remit money abroad!
Thanks to RD Pawnshop’s more than 1,600 branches nationwide plus accredited business partners where you can also send and/or receive remittance, RD Pawnshop’s Cash Padala is very accessible, fast and reliable. RD Pawnshop Cash Padala fees are also very low: the maximum cash padala fee is only Php 317!
|Amount, PHP||Fees, PHP|
|0 – 100||0|
|101 – 200||2|
|201 – 300||2|
|301 – 500||7|
|501 – 700||10|
|701 – 900||12|
|901 – 1000||13|
|1001 – 1500||18|
|1501 – 2000||26|
|2001 – 2500||34|
|2501 – 3000||41|
|3001 – 3500||51|
|3501 – 4000||61|
|4001 – 5000||76|
|5001 – 6500||96|
|6501 – 7000||101|
|7001 – 9500||109|
|9501 – 10000||119|
|10001 – 14000||180|
|14001 – 15000||190|
|15001 – 20000||220|
|20001 – 30000||258|
|30001 – 40000||286|
|40001 – 50000||311|
To send and claim money with RD Pawnshop Cash Padala, go to an RD Pawnshop branch near you. Fill out the send-out form and present this to the cashier along with your valid ID. After processing your transaction, get the receipt that the cashier will give to you as proof.
To receive the money, present a valid ID afterwards the money and transaction receipt will be given to you by the cashier.
RD Pawnshop operating hours may vary depending on the branch.
7. ML Kwarta Padala
ML Kwarta Padala is also an efficient and affordable way to send and receive money within the Philippines! With more than 3,000 branches nationwide, M Lhuillier has expanded this branch network with its partnership with networks such as Expresspay, LBC Express, RuralNet, and Starpay.
ML Kwarta Padala also offers international remittance services so OFWs won’t have a hard time sending their hard-earned money to relatives and loved ones in the Philippines. Likewise, people in the Philippines can also send money abroad and have their relatives claim the money through ML Kwarta Padala partners.
You can also send money to bank accounts in the Philippines through ML Kwarta Padala’s Kwarta Padala to Account Service! No hassle if the recipient will only claim the money through their bank account!
8. M Lhuiller
M Lhuillier offers money padala services through ML Kwarta Padala. M Lhuillier is more than just a pawn shop now – just like its peers, it has become a one-stop shop for pawn services and financial transactions!
You can pawn off jewelry and send money at the same time within a M Lhuillier branch near you. No need to leave the branch just for these two transactions!
M Lhuillier Kwarta Padala rates range from Php 3 to Php 350 depending on the amount in the transaction. You can also send money through ML Kwarta Padala through their official app! Just download the app on your smartphone!
|Amount, PHP||Instant Peso Padala, PHP|
|101 – 200||6|
|201 – 300||9|
|301 – 400||12|
|401 – 500||15|
|501 – 600||18|
|601 – 700||21|
|701 – 800||24|
|801 – 900||27|
|901 – 1000||30|
|1001 – 1500||45|
|1500 – 2000||60|
|2001 – 2500||75|
|2501 – 3000||90|
|3000 – 3500||95|
|3501 – 4000||115|
|4001 – 4500||125|
|4501 – 5000||130|
|5001 – 6000||148|
|6001 – 7000||158|
|7001 – 8000||168|
|8000 – 9500||188|
|9501 – 10000||198|
|10001 – 14000||210|
|14001 – 15000||220|
|15001 – 20000||260|
|20001 – 30000||290|
|30001 – 40000||320|
|40001 – 50000||350|
With LBC, you and your loved ones can enjoy instant peso padala within the same day! No more waiting for x number of transaction days just to receive that money for whatever purpose!
To avail of this super fast and convenient service, go to a LBC branch near you, fill out the form and pay for the transaction. Send the tracking number to your recipient and you’re all set!
To claim the money through LBC Instant Peso Padala, go to an LBC branch near you, present the tracking number to the cashier along with your valid ID, contact details of the sender and the amount of money that you’re expecting to receive. Fill out these details in an encashment form and present it to the cashier.
LBC Instant Peso Padala fees vary according to the amount that you’re going to remit. These fees range from Php 3 to Php 125. Very affordable and convenient indeed!
|Amount, PHP||Instant Peso Padala, PHP|
|For same-day delivery||Next day delivery (door-to-door)|
|101 – 200||6||37|
|201 – 300||9||52|
|301 – 400||12||54|
|401 – 500||15||59|
|501 – 600||18||71|
|601 – 700||21||76|
|701 – 800||24||80|
|801 – 900||27||80|
|901 – 1000||30||80|
|1001 – 1500||45||119|
|1500 – 2000||60||140|
|2001 – 2500||75||179|
|2501 – 3000||90||200|
|3001 – 4000||120||260|
|4001 – 5000||150||320|
10. Wise (formerly TransferWise)
If you’re in the United Kingdom, you can send money in British pounds (GBP) to the Philippines through Wise! Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a guaranteed fast, reliable, easy and secure way to send money to loved ones wherever they may be, including the Philippines.
To avail of the service, go to the Wise website, pay in GBP with your credit or debit card or send the money from your online bank account. The recipient will receive the money in their currency from Wise’s local bank account.
11. TrueMoney Money Padala
Last but definitely not the least, TrueMoney offers money remittance, bills payment, insurance, and mobile load top-up services! TrueMoney Money Padala is available for domestic and international remittance services.
TrueMoney Money Padala fees range from Php 3 to Php 330 so you don’t have to worry about affordability! The are also more than 20,000 TrueMoney Money Padala centers where you can send and receive money.
→ Also learn Dragonpay Loan App Guide
Urgent Cash Assistance in the Philippines
The primary requirement for anyone to use these features is the availability of cash. Financial emergencies have scant consideration for your financial health or your circumstances.
If your requirement is urgent, traditional banks or lenders won’t be helpful. In such cases, online lenders like Digido can be a great help. Apart from our branches across the country, we have a fully automated website and mobile app for loan processing. It means we are open 24/7. So you can submit your loan applications from anywhere and anytime.
Digido offers personal loans up to PHP 25,000 for a low interest rate. You only need to be a Filipino within 21-70 years with a working mobile connection and a valid ID for getting a loan. Our loan approval rate is 95%, and the entire process takes place without any human intervention or bias. The loan approval and transfer of funds take place within hours.
As a state-licensed and legit lender, Digido assures you the most transparent and ethical financial assistance during your stressful moments.
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