Wire Transfer vs Western Union in Zimbabwe

This blog generates a little bit of money every month and I have been on the hunt for the cheapest way through which I can receive it. Recently, I got into a situation where I needed to receive money that I had generated through Google’s AdSense. It wasn’t much, to be frank. My site does not generate that much traffic and traffic is what you need if you are to have any success with AdSense. Anyway, it turned out that AdSense will only sent money to Zimbabwe via Wire Transfer.

So, I was forced to open a MasterCard account with FBC bank, which turned out to be great, since I don’t get charged monthly fees. However, I do get charged 10% or so when making withdrawals. I also do freelancing work, and get a bit more from there than from my passive sources of income. Now, whenever I have made enough from freelancing to make it worthwhile, I have my clients sent money to me via Western Union or World Remit. So, which is the cheaper option for receiving money from the Diaspora in Zimbabwe? Should you choose a money transfer agent or is it better to go the Wire Transfer route.

Western Union is Cheaper than Wire Transfer

Based on what I have seen, getting money via Western Union or some other money transfer agency in Zimbabwe is cheaper than using Wire Transfer. Note that I am talking purely from a receiver’s point of view in this article. When someone sends you money via Wire Transfer, you will be charged various amounts, depending on the bank. I have already noted that for my bank, FBC, I get charged 10% per withdrawal. If you choose to open a nostro account with FBC, you will be charged USD5 per month maintenance fee.

However, getting money via Western Union does not cost you anything. That’s because the fees for the transaction are borne by the sender and not by the receiver. Let’s say, as an example, that I am going to get $300 from a client in the United States. If the money is send using Western Union or World Remit, I will get the entire $300. However, if the wire transfer route is used, I will get USD270, with $30 being taken by the bank as transaction fees.

Client Bears the Cost

Of course, whether or not this scenario plays out is going to depend on your negotiating skills. I sometimes get clients who insist on deducting the amounts that they get charged when sending me money from my total. I also have had clients who silently bear the cost of transferring money to me using Western Union. If you can get this type of client, then you will be set. Otherwise, you are going to have to factor in bank charges into whatever the amount that you charge your clients before doing their work.

Anyway, if you have anything to say, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I love to hear from you!

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