If you have been an expat living in Vietnam for several years, working, investing, or even retiring, you would probably have encountered problems sending money abroad.
Today, new generation banks or online services dedicated to wealth management make it possible to send money abroad with very low fees. Nevertheless, most of those services are not yet available in Vietnam.
International Transfer: How Much Does it Cost?
These online money transfer services often use trading algorithms, real time Forex transactions, and talented engineers to reduce all the prices of international wire. From a user perspective they are considered very intuitive interfaces and simplified processes that save time and money. Therefore, it is possible to handle an international transfer from USA, Australia, UK, Europe, etc. to Vietnam, Thailand or South America in a few clicks, at a cost of less than 1% for the entire operation. Those services use technologies that guarantee a very competitive exchange rate and ensure an international transfer within a few days.
Here is an international transfer from France to Vietnam. The money has been received and the exchange rate has been guaranteed by the online service Transferwise, which allows the user to send money internationally at very competitive rates. We can see that for 30,000 € sent to Vietnam, the total cost was only 126 €. That’s less than 0.5% in fees. Knowing that some banks are getting higher fees to handle such operation, it is convenient that new solutions like these finally exist for expats. If you are an expatriate living in Vietnam, using services like this will save you time and money.
Expatriation, Investment and Business Creation
As an expatriate it’s wise to make investments in the country where you live for several years. Using foreign capital to invest, launching a business or buying an apartment are very popular methods of investing among the expat community.
Some problems may occur when it comes to selling your business, apartment, and sending the money to a foreign bank account. In most cases, people will have to provide paperwork citing the origin of the money, and show that taxes have been paid. Even if this money has been declared and taxes have been honored, some banks may still ask more questions or provide you with a bad conversion rate. It can be an endless issue that can cause a lot of struggles for expatriates who wish to leave the country.
Getting Money out of Vietnam: What to Do ?
Expat forums in Vietnam are flooded with messages like “how to send money to Europe, USA, Australia from Vietnam“. Digging into this topic highlights the usual alternatives expats are choosing to send money abroad from a Vietnamese bank account. Some of the banks or money services expats use are :
- Paypal : An online portfolio to manage money, buy goods online and send money abroad.
- Western Union: An international company with offices in most countries that allows anyone to send cash money orders anywhere in the world.
- Independent broker : Individuals or companies providing international wire and currency exchange.
The study conducted on Movetoasia.com showed that all these options charge fees ranging from 6% to 10% of the respective transactions. Losing 6 to 10 percent of your assets in exchange rates, processing fees, miscellaneous international transfer fees is not favorable to the majority of expatriates who wish to send several thousand USD or EUR abroad.
Millennials Sending Money from Vietnam
Millennials are always willing to try new alternatives or develop their own methods of handling their money based on what they learn. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is used under its full potential. It is legal in Vietnam for trading and holding Bitcoin. Nevertheless this cryptocurrency is right now illegal as a payment tool. However, it does offer an alternative to international money transfers. The process requires a user to open an account on the regulated exchange in Vietnam, convert their currency, buy Bitcoin and transfer it to another exchange such as Coinbase, which is regulated in Europe, USA, UK, Australia etc.
Thus, sending $10,000 from Vietnam to USA will require about 3,5% of total costs. Comparing this method to the 10% of costs that some independent brokers are offering, the savings are huge.
If you want to go further and find out the exact costs of sending money abroad from Vietnam, Movetoasia.com has a research study which includes the interactive tools to simulate your international transfer updated in real-time. You can configure the amount of the transfer and the destination (Europe or United States) and work from there.