Money transfer types: everything to know about cash pickup

Don't have a bank account? Want to have cash on you? In those cases, cash pickup could be the money transfer method for you.

Xe Consumer

12 juli 20217 min read

Sending money for cash pickup

Let’s say you may to send money abroad to a loved one, friend, spouse, children, or other people. The problem is, they don’t have a bank account. That means that traditional bank-to-bank and wire transfers are out of the question. So, how will they receive the money? What account will you send it to since they don’t have a bank account?

Cash pickup is the answer.

What is cash pickup?

There are various money transfer options to choose from when sending money abroad. When you choose the cash pickup option, your recipient can collect the cash from certain locations, usually one that is close to them. That means a digital deposit into a bank account is not required.

Cash pickups are fast, convenient, and available in many countries worldwide. With cash pickups, your recipient can have instant access to the money you have sent once they collect it from the physical location, without needing to withdraw or exchange for cash.

How do cash pickups work?

The entire process of cash pickup works in four simple steps.

1. Initiating the transfer

Depending on the provider you send your transfer with, you might begin the process at a physical branch or online. As the sender, you’ll be required to provide some details about your recipient. This includes their contact information.

Make sure you enter the precise details of your recipient as shown on their I.D.  This will make it easier for your recipient to claim the cash once they present their I.D. Also, you’ll be required to indicate the specific amount of money you intend to send.

In addition, you may be required to choose a specific location where your recipient can pick up the cash. For example, you may have to provide the name of the town where your recipient lives. In some cases, you may be required to provide the precise physical location where the recipient can collect the cash.

2. Processing the transfer

The processing time often depends on the money transfer company you choose. With some money transfer companies, the transfer is almost instant and the recipient can pick up the cash in a few minutes. When you confirm your transfer, you should receive an estimation of when the cash will be ready for pickup.

When you’re done placing the order, you’ll get a reference number that your recipient can use to pick up the cash. You can also use the reference number to track the movement of the transfer.

3. The recipient picks up the cash

You’ll have to send the transfer reference number to your recipient. It’s one of the recipient’s requirements—along with a valid photo I.D.—to collect the cash. Since the physical location you’ve specified is most likely close to the recipient, they should have no hard time picking up the cash.

4. Get notified about the cash pick up

Once your recipient picks up the cash at the specified location, you’ll most likely get an instant text or email. The notification will be a confirmation of the time and location of the pickup. Another option is to track the progress of the transfer via the reference number you got when you placed the order.

Will my recipient pay a fee when picking up the cash?

Normally, recipients aren’t required to pay any charges while picking up cash at a physical location. Recipients are only required to present an I.D. and the reference number as mentioned earlier. This makes cash pickup one of the most convenient options for receiving money from abroad.

What to consider before choosing a cash pick up service provider

You’ll most likely find cash pickup services whenever you need one. How can you tell which one is right for you? We shared relevant tips here to help you choose the right cash pickup service provider. Here are key things to consider:

Exchange rates

Exchange rates aren’t always the same among all cash pickup service providers. You’ll have to shop around to find the most suitable option. One of the easiest methods to figure the best rates is to compare each cash pickup service provider rate to the mid-market rate, which is the rate banks and other transfer services use when trading among themselves.

You’ll most likely find margins on service providers’ rates, meaning a higher exchange rate. Regardless of how small that margin may be, it can make a huge difference if you’re transferring a lot of money. Because each provider can set their own rate and add their own margins, comparing providers to one another as well as the mid-market rate will give you a clearer picture of how much you’re paying—and whether your transfer will be more expensive.


How much do you have to pay as charges to make the cash pickup transfer? Is the service provider offering some discounts? Is the fee higher or lower compared to other money transfer options? These are some of the key questions you’ll have to consider before making up your mind.

Pickup locations

Are the available cash pickup locations closer to your recipient’s location? What about the number of pickup agents within the area? Will your recipients have several options to choose from? Are the cash pickup agents available 24/7 or only within certain hours?

Considering all these can help you figure if the cash pickup service provider is right for you or not.

Transfer speed

How soon do you want the money to be delivered to your recipient? Can the cash pickup service provider match such speed? Sometimes, you may need to transfer some cash for an emergency reason; can the cash pickup service provider deliver the money right on time?

While some cash pickups are available within a few minutes, others may require some more time. Delivery speed is one of the key things you’ll have to consider before choosing any service provider.

Payment methods

While placing the order, are you allowed to pay with a bank account transfer, credit card, debit card, or cash? Choose a cash pickup service provider that gives you flexible options. This will make the order placement process easier and faster.

Transfer methods

Some cash pickup service providers allow customers to start a transfer via various methods. These include by phone, the internet, or with an agent. Some service providers have mobile apps that customers can download and install. If you want to be covered in all types of situations, choose a cash pickup service provider that provides various money transfer options.

Customer support

How fast can you reach out to the service provider if you need their assistance for any reason? Some companies provide various customer support channels. These include social media, phone calls, chat, or email. Find out if the various customer support channels of the company you’re considering are suitable for you or not. 

Cash pickup tips for recipients

Regardless of how safe the cash pickup location is, you still have to be careful when you’re picking up your cash.

Stay away from unsafe areas

Choose a cash pickup location that is safe and open to the public. Reach out to the agent ahead of time, and call the agent to confirm if they are around or not. You should also learn about their work hours to make sure you’ll visit at the right time

Avoid going alone

Depending on the amount of money you intend to pick up, you may have to go along with someone you trust. Moving around with a huge amount of money all alone isn’t such a good idea.

Use the money as soon as you can

If you intend to use the money to pay off some bills or to do anything else, do so immediately. The more you keep the money with you, the higher you’re exposing yourself to risk.

Hide your cash

You shouldn’t make the mistake of flaunting or showing off your cash in public. Keep the cash as hidden as possible. Showing off your cash in public can easily make you a target for criminals.

Cash pickup wrap-up

Cash pickup is a great money transfer method for people who don’t have a bank account, are in a hurry, will need to use the cash immediately, or just prefer to have cash on them. As long as you do your research, choose the right provider, and make safety a priority, you can have a quick, easy, and reliable international money transfer experience.