A Guide to the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia

This guide will show you how to avoid costly transfer charges and hidden exchange rate fees when sending money into the country.
A Guide to the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia

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Are you planning to send money to Indonesia? Did you know that sending money to the country using bank transfers will cost you more than other online options?

That’s right. You could lose a percentage of your money just by going through traditional banks.

But using some of the methods in this article to transfer money into Indonesia will save you money on transfer fees, exchange rates, and other hidden fees so that your recipient – or you – can collect more in the end.

In this guide, we’ll show you the fastest, cheapest, and most reliable way to send money to Indonesia while getting the best exchange rates and avoiding the costliest transfer fees.

What to Watch Out For

If you’re looking to send money to Indonesia, the first thing you’ll want to be aware of is transfer fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds, and security.

Let’s look at each one more closely.

Transfer Fees

Whenever you send money to Indonesia, you’ll have to pay either one of three types of transfer fees, including:

  • fixed fees
  • percentage fees
  • combination of fixed and percentage fees

Fixed Fees

In most cases, you’ll have to pay a fixed fee in addition to what the service provider charges you. Fees also depend on the currency you send.

For example, Wise has a fixed fee US$6.71 when sending US Dollars to Indonesia. If you send AUD instead, the fixed fee will be AU$1.31.

If you send GBP to Indonesia, a flat or fixed fee of GBP0.63 is charged. On the other hand, if you send MYR, a fixed fee MYR3.81 is charged.

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If you transfer through banks, a receiving bank in Indonesia may charge you Rp15,000.

Percentage Fees

Percentage fees are calculated based on a percentage of the total transfer amount. Hence, if you plan to send a large sum of money, the fee will also be on the higher side.

Receiving banks charge you a percentage fee of about 0.125 percent for money transfers while Wise charges you 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent of your total transaction.

Combination of Fixed and Percentage Fees

There are various private financial institutions and agencies that use a combination of both the fixed fee and a percentage fee.

In other words, you’ll be charged a small fixed fee along with a percentage fee for your transaction.

Remember, a lower transfer fee doesn’t guarantee less fees, because you need to check the exchange rates as well, which we’ll get into in the section.

Exchange Rates

Exchange rates are another important thing to consider before sending money to Indonesia.

Xe – Currency Converter & Global Money Transfers

Most of the time, money transfer agencies won’t disclose this rate. Similar to airline surcharge fees, exchange rates are an addition fee apart from your transfer fee.

Many services that claim to have no additional fees or surcharges have this added fee in the name of an exchange rate.

Before you send money to Indonesia, check the mid-market rates at XE.com and choose a service that provides the closest exchange rate.

Transfer Speeds

Another important factor that you need to take into account is the transfer speed.

Generally, transfer speeds are quicker if you send money within your country. But if you send money overseas, it maybe either slower or faster based on the transfer agency you choose.

Banks can take up to one to three working days to transfer your funds, whereas money transfer agencies line XendPay and Wise (TransferWise) can easily send money within one to two days.

Fund Security

It’s highly important to choose a service provider that offers ample security and complies with all standards and regulations.

Not only should they adhere to the local regulations, but they should also comply with international standards.

This way you can be sure that your money won’t be stopped or flagged during the transfer process.

Transfer Options

There are various options available to send money to Indonesia including:

  • online money transfers
  • bank transfers
  • PayPal
  • Western Union
  • foreign currency checks
  • forex companies
  • crypto transfers

Mostly cost, speed, and convenience vary between these transfer options.

Online Money Transfer Services

If you’re looking for a cheap and faster way to send money to Indonesia, online money transfers are the best option.

Below are some popular money transfer services available.

Monito

Before we get into the actual transfer providers, you can use monito.com to compare current exchange rates from different online money transfer services.

Monito - Money transfer comparison

XendPay

Xendpay is a popular money transfer service that offers transparent exchange rates and guarantees same day payments with select currencies.

Xendpay supports around 51 currencies including Indonesian Rupiah and 2,968 currency pairs.

Here’s what makes Xendpay a great choice for sending money to Indonesia.

  • 24/7 online payments
  • supports 51 currencies
  • pay what you want feature
  • transparent exchange rates
  • authorized by HMRC and FCA

Exchange Rates

With Xendpay, exchange rates may vary depending upon the country and the currencies involved.

If you plan to send USD to Indonesia, then Xendpay will charge only around 0.5 percent of the mid-market rates. Hence, Xendpay is far better than bank transfers or other money transfer services.

Transfer Fees

With Xendpay, you have a huge advantage over services when you use the “pay what you want” feature.

Using this option, you can decide whether you’ll pay the transfer fee for transfers of up to £2,000.

Using the online calculator, you can get a detailed breakdown for the amount you’re sending, including transfer fees and exchange rates.

Transfer Speeds

With Xendpay, it’s possible to get the money transferred on the same business day most of the time.

However, money transferred on weekends is only processed on the next business day. Also, all transfers initiated after 2:00 p.m. will be processed on the next business day.

For all other transfers to Indonesia, it will take around two to three business days to complete.

Ease of Use

Sending money to Indonesia is simple with Xendpay, as it comes with an easy-to-use interface.

All you have to do is open an account with Xendpay; choose recipient, amount to be sent, sending and receiving currency; set the transfer fee.

To find out how to open a Xendpay account, check out our guide on how to setup an account with Xendpay.

Xendpay supports five languages, including English, German, Spanish, French, and Polish.

Wise (TransferWise)

Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) is another popular online money transfer service based in London, UK.

Wise (Formally TransferWise) Logo

Supporting more than 56 currencies, Wise is regarded as one of the most popular online money transfer agencies.

It was launched in 2011 by Kristo Kaarman and Taavet Hinrikus as an alternative to banks and forex agencies.

When they saw that these agencies charge huge fees in commissions, exchange rates, and other hidden fees, they decided to start their own online transfer agency.

The main goal behind Transferwise is to reduce the overhead fees in commissions and other charges when sending money overseas.

Here’s what makes Wise a great choice for sending money to Indonesia:

  • real exchange rates
  • no hidden charges
  • easy to use
  • over 10 million customers
  • FCA regulated

Exchange Rates

The main highlight about Wise is its transparent and real exchange rates.

Before making your transfer, you can check the exchange rates and transfer fees to be charged for the transaction.

With Wise, only the mid-market rates are used as exchange rates. Hence, no additional fees are charged in the name of exchange rates.

Transfer Fees

When compared with other online money transfer agencies, the transfer fee charged by Wise is much lower, in the range of 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent.

The rates are standard rates as well, so no matter whether you send US$20 or US$2,000, the fee is the same.

But if choose to make the payment using a credit card or debit card, then you may have to pay an additional 3 percent. The rates may very based on the currency you choose.

To further reduce transfer fees, customers can open a borderless account and enjoy reduced fees when transferring certain currencies into Indonsia, including AUD, EUR, USD, and NSZ.

To find out more about borderless accounts, read our in-depth review of how to open a borderless account with Wise.

Transfer Speeds

When compared with other money transfer agencies, Wise is quite fast. For example, when you send US$1,000 to Indonesia, the transfer will take just four hours through bank transfers.

Debit and credit card transfers will be done in less than an hour, whereas wire transfers will be done on the same business day.

To find out more about the rates and speed, check for yourself with the Wise’s online calculator.

Ease of Use

Similar to XendPay, Wise also comes packed with a lot of features with an easy-to-use interface.

It also supports around 13 different languages including English, French, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, and more.

Also, the help center provides all answer to your inqueries about sending money, activating your Wise card, canceling transfers, and sending batch payments.

Others

Similar to Xendpay and Wise, there are various other online money transfer services like:

International Bank Transfers

When sending money overseas, most people still prefer international bank transfers. This is mainly because people have gotten used to the service.

Another reason people opt for bank transfers is because they consider it the safest option.

But the truth is, bank transfers aren’t recommended when sending money to Indonesia. The rates are so high that you might lose up to 5 percent of your amount on exchange rates and transfer fees.

The worst part with bank transfers is that, unlike online money transfer agencies, they don’t disclose their total charges to be deducted.

If you have to send a large amount of money, you can opt for a bank transfer.

Otherwise, it’s not recommended, as the charges are too high and transfer speeds are much slower when compared to online money transfer agencies.

Sending Banks

When choosing a bank to send money to Indonesia, remember the fee structure varies from bank to bank.

Usually, banks disclose transfer fees while sending money, but they may not tell you about the exchange rates.

While the total fees deducted will be in the range of 4 to 5 percent from the total amount, the exchange rates will amount to 2 to 3 percent of that.

While transfer fees are quite easy to find, exchange rates aren’t. In most cases, banks will say that exchange rates vary.

However, this is usually only an excuse to avoid disclosing hidden charges in a transaction, which could cost as much as 1 to 2 percent of the total amount transferred.

Remember, if you send a large amount of money to Indonesia, it’s better to compare the mid-market rates with exchange rates provided by various banks. Choose the bank that offers the rate closest to the mid-market rate.

Sometimes banks charge extra fees when you send money in foreign currency, so ask the bank to convert it to IDR.

It’s better have the receiving bank convert the currency, as their rates will be much lower than the sending bank.

Receiving Banks

When it comes to receiving foreign money transfers, not all Indonesian banks are the same; each has their own fee structure.

Like sending banks, it’s tough to get advance quotes for exchange rates from receiving banks too. They only convert using the prevalent rates.

Based on our analysis of Indonesian banks, Bank of Indonesia offers the lowest fees along with decent exchange rates when receiving international transfers of foreign currency.

Foreign Currency Checks

Even though bank transfers are considered safe, the exchange rates are on the higher side.

The forex agency rates are lower than bank rates, but still high. Hence, people looking for lower rates go for foreign currency checks.

If you send money to Indonesia in the form of a foreign currency che-k, the sending bank will send the check as-is to the receiver bank. The conversion of the foreign currency to IDR is done only on the receiver’s end.

When compared to sending cash, foreign currency checks are quite cheaper.

Remember that some local checks will not be valid in certain countries, so make sure you inquire with your bank regarding foreign currency checks and related fees.

Another thing to consider is that when compared with bank transfers and forex agencies, checks take a longer to clear.

Forex Companies

Another alternative to transfer money across borders is through forex companies.

Some forex companies claim to charge lower exchange rates than banks, but in reality, their transfer fees are much higher to compensate that.

Therefore, check both the exchange rates and transfer fees before sending money.

What is a Forex Company?

A forex company is a non-banking firm that provides foreign exchange services and international money transfers.

People can easily buy and sell foreign currencies using forex companies.

People mainly opt for forex companies when they need to transfer large sums of money.

Why Should You Use Forex Companies to Send Money Overseas?

When compared to other money transfer agencies, forex companies can easily send money to any part of the world at lower costs than banks.

The transfers are also much quicker, and they do support various payment modes as well.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Forex Companies?

One of the main drawbacks with forex companies is that their process is not as transparent as some other providers.

Examples of Forex Companies

You have quite a few choices when it comes to forex companies. Here are a few.

Western Union

When you need to send money immediately to someone across borders, you can opt for Western Union, a popular money transfer service that can get your money to someone in another part of the world in just two minutes.

When compared to other money transfer services, Western Union fees are much higher. They are based on the country you send money to and the amount of money you send.

One can also opt for regular transfers, where the exchange rates may be around 3 to 4 percent of the total amount transferred. But when you go for instant transfers, the charges may go up to 7 to 7.5 percent.

Western Union has more than 13,000 agent locations in Indonesia, and you can send money by:

  • using their mobile app
  • visiting your nearest Western Union branch
  • browsing their website and making an online transfer
PayPal

People looking for a convenient and easy way to send money across borders can make use of PayPal. It’s a good option when you are sending small amounts of money.

paypal-logo

You can send money for as low as 0.5 to 1 percent for personal transactions. Remember that this doesn’t include the exchange rates, which are much higher than other providers.

If you wish to send USD and exchange it into IDR in your local bank account in Indonesia, an exchange rate of 2 to 2.5 percent is charged.

The rate varies for different currencies and the total amount transferred.

Also, when sending money using PayPal, you can only send to people who have a PayPal account.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency is legal in Indonesia and all crypto transactions are regulated under the Future Exchange Supervisory Board. People can even buy goods and services using cryptocurrency.

Luno

One can easily register with Bitcoin exchanges like Luno, deposit funds, buy bitcoins, and use that for other transactions.

People can send bitcoins to others, who in turn can convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency and withdraw the amount easily.

Country-Specific Recommendations

If you’re looking for information on rates and fees for sending money from a particular country, we’ve got you covered.

Please note that money service providers may change their exchange rate and transfer fees over time.

To compare current rates, you can use a service such as Monito.com.

Sending Money from the United States to Indonesia

Looking for the best method to transfer money from the U.S. to Indonesia?

Check the comparison table below to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds for transfers of US$1,000 to Indonesia using Wise, OFX, Remitly, and WorldRemit.

ProviderTransfer FeeExchange RateAmount ReceivedSpeed
WiseUS$10.47 14,406.30Rp14,255,466.041-2 days
OFX14,120.05Rp14,120,053.701-3 days
Remitly14,157.60Rp14,157,260.000-2 days
WorldRemitUS$13.99 13,936.29Rp13,741,327.541-2 days
Xendpay14,298.09Rp142,980,941-2 days

Sending Money from the United Kingdom to Indonesia

Looking for the best method to transfer money from the U.K. to Indonesia?

Check the comparison table below to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds for transfers of GBP1,000 to Indonesia using Wise, OFX, Remitly, and WorldRemit.

ProviderTransfer FeeExchange RateAmount ReceivedSpeed
Wise£3.6220,083.10Rp20,010,399.181-2 days
OFX19,681.94Rp19,681,942.901-3 days
Remitly20,183.22Rp20,183,220.000-2 days
WorldRemit£6.9919,501.47Rp19,365,161.761-2 days
XendPay19664.89Rp19,665,9801-2 days

Sending Money from Singapore to Indonesia

Looking for the best method to transfer money from the Singapore to Indonesia?

Check the comparison table below to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds for transfers of SG$1,000 to Indonesia using Wise, OFX, Remitly, and WorldRemit.

ProviderTransfer FeeExchange RateAmount ReceivedSpeed
WiseSG$5.00 10,735.60Rp10,681,922.001-2 days
WorldRemitSG$3.0010,597.64Rp10,565,854.001-2 days
OFX10,520.08Rp10,520,081.701-3 days
RemitlySG$8.7610,642.24Rp10,642,240.001-2 days
XendPay10637.15Rp106,371,551-2 days

Sending Money from Australia to Indonesia

Looking for the best method to transfer money from the Australia to Indonesia?

Check the comparison table below to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds for transfers of AU$1,000 to Indonesia using Wise, OFX, Remitly, and WorldRemit.

ProviderTransfer FeeExchange RateAmount ReceivedSpeed
Remitly11,269.82Rp11,269,820.000-2 days
WiseAU$5.2911,194.10Rp11,134,883.211-2 days
OFX10,967.89Rp10,967,092.901-3 days
WorldRemitAU$14.99 10,912.49Rp10,748,915.981-2 days
Xendpay10930.79Rp109,307,72.001-2 days

Now, on to You

When it comes to sending money to Indonesia, bank transfers are still considered the safest option by many. But apart from bank transfers, there are various other options.

If you have to transfer immediately, then you can opt for PayPal services or forex companies. Online transfer services promise a lot of cheaper options, but remember to compare them carefully.

You can use Monito.com, one of the best money transfer comparison websites to get up-to-date info on various money transfer services, exchange rates, transfer fees, and transfer speeds.

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