Deciding to transfer money to South Korea will bring about an interesting debate when it comes to the best method in which to do it. There are few different methods, each with their own positives and negatives. Just as with any financial decision, weighing options is always necessary.
One US dollar is approximately 1,115 South Korean won. This rate has been somewhat stable over the last year or so, but knowing the rate and its respective spending power is very important when you send money.
The South Korean economy grew at sufficient levels in the 2000’s as the tech scene boomed, leaving the recession of the 1980’s a distant memory. Despite this growth they remain reliant on imports for their nation to survive. They are ranked 8th worldwide, with over $525 billion worth of goods imported yearly.
Many US banks can facilitate transfers to South Korean banks, as it is a more developed country than some of its other Asian counterparts. Large American banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America also make homes in South Korea. A couple US banks have close relationships with South Korean banks, that allow people to transfer money easily and cheaply. However, the reality is that most banks charge the same steep rate, close to $40 for a wire transfer.
These bank to bank transfers are definitely reliable and efficient but they rely on a couple conditions that may not be true of your family members in South Korea that you wish to transfer money to. First of all, your family members or friends must live near a bank. There are many rural areas of South Korea that are not highly populated with banks, which would make a money transfer to a bank a definite inconvenience. Secondly, your family or friends must actually have a bank account. The population that remains without a bank account in South Korea, is still prevalent, thus you would not be able to transfer money in this fashion should this be the case.
A substitute option is to send money online with a reloadable debit card. Essentially you can sign up online to transfer money. After you sign up a reloadable debit card is sent directly to your friends or family for usage at their convenience. Whereas less developed countries are not an optimal location to rely on a debit card and ATMs for remittance purposes, South Korea has thousands of ATMs to choose from.
This method will allow you to transfer money online anytime for much cheaper rates than that of a bank to bank transfer. There will also be no worries as to your family possessing a bank account.
No matter which method you employ to transfer money to South Korea, take your time with your decision, and figure out which works best for you.