Sending and Receiving Money From Koh Phangan

7 Jul 2022
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International Money transfer services empower you to receive needed funds and support family and friends no matter the distance.

Other reasons you may need to move money into Thailand include:

  • transferring pension payments, 
  • moving money from a foreign bank account into a Thai bank account for visa purposes or dipping into your savings to cover expenses while living abroad. 
  • receiving payment for services from companies overseas, enabling the digital nomad lifestyle.

But there are so many choices nowadays. So, which are available in Koh Phangan, and what's the difference between them all?

There are three ways to move money - online e-wallet systems, wire transfers, and bank transfers - with various companies serving each method. 

 

Online Accounts

It’s easy to link your bank account(s) to an e-wallet account using the given systems “Add An Account” features. Once established, you can collect money online, transfer funds between accounts via the e-wallet, and transfer money into the e-wallet using a credit/debit card or bank transfer. 

 

Wise (formerly known as Transferwise)

Wise is perhaps the most popular online money transfer service because it lets you send money to Thailand at the real exchange rate, with no hidden fees or charges only 1% to 1.5% of the amount to transfer into a Thai bank account, which is substantially cheaper than a bank transfer.

Plus you can hold money in multiple currencies for free - and it uses the real exchange rate when you go to convert.

Registration is fast and easy. Sign up online or in the Wise app with an email address, or a Facebook, Google, or Apple account, then link your bank account to your new profile so people can transfer money directly to your bank account.

Here’s how to receive money:

  1. Open a balance in the currency you want to receive money in from the comfort of your home via the website or app. 
  2. Click "Get account details".
  3. Share these account details with the sender so they can send you money.
  4. You’ll receive their payment directly into your account.

Send money online in 2 easy steps:

  1. Start your transfer: Just tap in how much, and where to. Make a local payment with your debit/credit card, bank transfer (SWIFT), or send the money from your online banking.
  2. Money is locally delivered: The recipient gets money in their currency directly from Wise's local bank account.

Wise is on average 13x cheaper than leading Spanish banks, 8x cheaper than leading UK banks, and 5x cheaper than leading Swiss, French, and German banks!

 

PayPal

PayPal charges a 3-8% fee, the amount depending on how much you receive into your account.  Withdrawals to a Thai bank account are free for amounts greater than 5000 THB.

 

Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers)

You can receive funds or load your account for free and only pay a small fee of 25 THB to transfer the money to your Thai bank account (on transfers of 999.99 Euros or less - their transaction limit).

 

Wire Transfers

Wire transfer services are extremely quick, handling transfers in minutes. These services are a good option if you need to receive money from abroad but don't have a Thai bank account.  However, their fees can be steep - as much as 20% sometimes on small amounts.

 

Western Union

To send or receive money with Western Union (WU), you must be 18 years old or older with a valid, government-issued ID. Sometimes, a secondary ID (for example, a residence status document or country of birth info) is also required. 

The information you will need to present about yourself and your receiver depends on which send or receive method you choose. If you have a WU profile, most of the required information will already be stored there. If you do not, have the following information handy when you visit a WU location or send money online

The methods and the information they require include:

  • WU.com or the mobile app: Your WU login info, credit or debit card info, receiver's first and last name (as it appears on their ID), receiver's country of origin, and full address
  • Start online, finish in-store: Your ID to show the agent at the store, the cash or a debit/credit card to pay for the transfer, receiver's first and last name, country, and address 
  • Transfer to a mobile wallet: Your mobile telephone number, receiver's full name, country, address, and mobile phone number
  • Transfer to a bank account: The receiver's full name, country, address, phone number, International Bank Account Number, and the receiving bank’s Bank Identifier Code (or the receiving country equivalent)
  • Make a telephone money transfer: Your ID, credit/debit card info, and receiver's full name, country, and address
  • Send money to an inmate: Your ID, receiver's correctional facility name (or code city and state), the inmate's register number and full name, and (if provided) the reference number
  • Pay a bill: The company name (or code city and state), billing account number, amount to send, and (if provided) the reverence number

There are four locations across the island:

Address: 214 3 Moo 1Ko Pha Ngan Ko Pha Ngan
Phone: +66-77-377035
Agent: Baac Ko Pha Ngan

Address: 44 59 Moo 1Koh Pa Ngan
Phone: +66-77-377044
Agent: BAY THA RUE THONGSALA FX BOOTH

Address: 50 8 9 Moo 1Koh Pa Ngan
Phone: +66-77-377651
Agent: BAY KOH PHA NGAN BRANCH FX BOOTH

Address: 50 8 9 Moo 1Koh Pa Ngan
Phone: +66-77-377276
Agent: BAY KOH PHA NGAN

 

Money Gram

To send money to a Money Gram location abroad via a local Money Gram outlet, bring the following things to your nearest agent:

  • ​your ID, recipient's full name (matching their ID and location), and the amount you wish to send (plus fees)

To send money to a bank account via a local Money Gram outlet, bring the following things to your nearest agent:

  • your ID, recipient's full name (matching their ID and location), the amount you wish to send (plus fees), and the recipient's bank name and account number

If sending money to a mobile wallet:

  •  your ID, recipient's full name (matching their ID and location), the amount you wish to send (plus fees), and your recipient's mobile number with an international dial code

To receive money in person at a Money Gram location in Thailand you will need:

  • your ID and address, the sender's name and location, and the transfer reference number.

If the money was sent o your bank account you don't need to do anything because the money will be directly deposited into your bank account. 

  • your ID and address, the sender's name and location, and the transfer reference number.

There are two Money Gram locations on Koh Phangan:

Address: 97/1 Moo.6, Tambon Ko Pha-ngan, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Surat Thani, 84000
Phone: 077 375 483

Address: 97/1 Moo.6, Tambon Ban Tai, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Surat Thani, 84000
Phone: 077 375 538

 

Bank Transfers 

Transferring money from a foreign bank account to a Thai one is the best answer only if you need bank records of your transfers (like for buying a property which calls for a TT3) or if you need to transfer large amounts of money, exceeding that which Wire transfers or e-wallet systems allow.  Fee's and exchange rates vary from bank to bank.

There are three methods: wire transfer, cheque, or bank draft (cashier's cheque).

 

Wire Transfer

You will need the receiving bank's SWIFT number to prepare a wire transfer through your foreign bank to a Thai bank account. The transaction can be done in person or online. You can find any Thai bank SWIFT number here.

Such transfers are only more cost-effective than an ATM withdrawal if the amounts are greater than 130,000THB because both the sending and receiving banks take fees. The fees total can end up being between 1800-2400 THB, regardless of the transfer amount.

SWIFT transfers can take up to five business days to process.

 

Cheques and Bank Drafts 

Not all banks accept foreign cheques or bank drafts (cashier's cheques), so you have to check with your Thai bank if they will take the cheque. These options take days to weeks, respectively, to process and can accrue charges up to 2,000 THB.