If you are Haitian and working overseas, you likely send money to family and friends back home. In 2018, Haitians overseas sent an all-time-high of $3.2 billion in remittances back to Haïti. This number is expected to continue growing exponentially in the coming years, as more and more Haitians pursue economic opportunities abroad.
However, while sending remittances home is commonplace, that does not mean that it is a universally safe and straightforward process. If you want to make sure that every penny of your hard-earned money makes it back home, there are certain steps and precautions you should be taking. With this in mind, here is your complete guide to sending money home in 2020.
1. Time Your Transactions
One of the age-old tips for sending remittances home is that timing is everything. This applies in a number of ways. For one, the difference between a few hours could substantially alter the amount your family receives due to exchange rates. The value of the US Dollar relative to the Haitian Gourde fluctuates regularly, so you should time your transfers at a time where you know your family back home will receive maximum bang for their buck. In addition, you should always plan your transfers well ahead of time, so that you can avoid hefty transfer fees that often come attached to last-minute transfers.
2. Research Secure Payment Gateways
Of course, most remittances these days are still sent via international wire services like Western Union. However, more and more people are using secure tech solutions to avoid fees altogether and keep their money safe. You can research which payment gateways are the best for you and your needs via a number of routes. A quick way to do this could be to use a site that regularly assesses which payment methods are secure. One good example are the online casinos, since players regularly transfer large amounts of money, being able to identify secure payment platforms is crucial. Security should always be a top priority when sending money anywhere.
3. Cut Down on Transfer Fees
Oftentimes, people make the crucial mistake of thinking that transfer fees are just something that must be endured. However, those fees add up. Even though you might only be charged 1-2% on each transfer, that could add up to thousands of dollars’ worth of your paycheck being gobbled up by banks and transfer agencies. Always conduct your research to find services and money transfer apps that do not charge any transfer fees whatsoever, as these are becoming increasingly common.
4. Never Send Cash
This might seem obvious to some, but it bears repeating. Even if you are paid in cash, never send that cash home by stuffing it in an envelope and mailing it off. Not only do you run the greatly increased risk of loss or theft, but you are also forcing the recipients to wait for days, weeks, or even months to receive their money. In 2020, there is no excuse for sending physical cash overseas, in any context.
5. Don’t Forget Your Taxes
Unfortunately, we are seeing a shift around the world in the way that remittances are viewed. The US, India, and the UAE, to name just a few, are all looking into or have already implemented a ‘remittance tax’ at the source. This means that, even though you have already paid income tax, you might have to pay an additional on-the-spot tax for any remittances you send home. Although these are typically very low, the cost of non-compliance can be high. Always check the local tax situation in the country you are working in to see if you owe tax on your remittances.
By following these simple steps, you can send money safely and securely, no matter where you are.