Making a Money Transfer in Bolivia

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In Bolivia sending money is called a "transferencia de fondos" in Spanish, but most people just say "Quiero enviar dinero", meaning "I want to send money". There are plenty of locations where you can send money (or receive funds) using Western Union as some banks and DHL courier offices in Bolivia have one. At the BNB (Banco Nacional de Bolivia) and some other banks there are also Moneygram agents.

Some Bolivian banks and credit unions have small branches inside supermarkets. These are usually NOT equipped to do overseas money transfer operations. They mostly exist so you can pay your household bills (which in Bolivia must be paid in person and cannot be mailed in).

You can't send Bolivian money or receive any money from overseas without identification. You can find Bolivian banks and credit in most mid-sized and major cities of Bolivia. If you are in a smaller city or rural area be aware that banks in those towns are branch offices and may not offer all the same services as an urban bank.

You can also transfer money at most Bolivian money exchange houses, which are called 'casas de cambio'. Some of them have bank accounts in foreign countries and offer you a second alternative: check-writing. Except for large companies, Bolivians don't use checks as stores don't accept them. But some casas de cambio will write out a check to whomever you choose and you simply pay them the amount of the check plus a nominal fee. They then give you the check and you can mail or courier it overseas.

Your third money transfer option is a wire transfer. Depending on the amount of money you want to send and how much time you have, this may be a more viable option. Although a wire transfer may take longer (sometimes up to 10 days), it may be worth the savings, especially since most banks charge a single set fee for wire transfers no matter what the amount.

Return to our Banking in Bolivia home page to read more about Bolivian money, banks, exchange rates, credit unions, exchange houses, and more. Return to our Travel Planner here.

Money Transfer Locations in Bolivia

Locations for Western Union Offices in:

La Paz
Santa Cruz Provincial
Santa Cruz City

Need Help Making a Money Transfer?

If you are moving to Bolivia, BoliviaBella Expat Services offers an entire suite of services to help smooth your transition into expat living in Bolivia. In Santa Cruz, we can help you with initial money exchange transactions upon arrival as part of our welcome package. We can also help you choose a bank and open a bank account, apply for residency, do your house hunting for you, help you set up your utilities, and more. Click here to learn more about all of the Expat Services we offer.

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