Home Finance Money Management Guide to international money transfers in Qatar
Last update on December 02, 2019
Written by Gayatri Bhaumik

Expat life often means juggling your money between different countries. This guide tells you everything you need to know about international money transfers in Qatar.

Whether you want to send money to family back home or transfer part of your salary into an overseas savings account, you will find that international money transfers in Qatar are easy to make. This helpful guide provides the following information on how to do it:

International money transfers in Qatar

As in most other countries, international money transfers in Qatar can be made through traditional banks, either in person, online, or through mobile apps. You will also be able to use independent online transfer services and third-party wire transfer services.

Digital banking

The process of making and receiving international payments in Qatar is also much the same as it is around the world. If you have been through the process before, you will already know how this works.

Online international money transfer services in Qatar

Third-party online transfer services are often the quickest and most secure ways of making international payments in Qatar. Online transfer services have become popular because they are simple to use. All you have to do is sign up for an account, then enter the payment amount and recipient’s details. You will need to have the receiver’s name, bank account details, and BIC/SWIFT code.

As with anywhere else, you will need to take note of international money transfer costs in Qatar. This is because online transfer services usually have lower fees than banks, and you will normally see exactly what fees you will pay before you make the transfer. As a result, you will have a good idea of what service charges and currency conversion fees you are paying. Exchange rates are based on publicized rates from reputable sources, such as Reuters. Expect to pay between 1%-4% in fees for making an online international money transfer in Qatar.

Many online transfers are immediate, while others can take two to three days. Because of the quick turnaround time, it’s often worth paying the fees for online transfers. Another benefit is that online transfer services offer a good level of security. Many use Know Your Customer (KYC) practices to verify user identities. Additionally, most also protect your information with 128-bit SLL encryption and allow you to track your transactions.

For more information, check out these international money transfer options:

  • CurrencyFair offers money transfers to over 150 countries and have exchange rates up to eight times cheaper than the banks, helping you avoid excessive bank fees.
  • Moneycorp offers foreign exchange and global payment services to individual and corporate customers in over 120 currencies.
  • TransferWise is an international money transfer provider available in 59 countries that offers transfers between cross-border bank accounts up to eight times cheaper than traditional banks.

You can also use Monito’s online comparison tool to save on fees, obtain the best exchange rates, and find the cheapest option for your international money transfers.

International money transfers in Qatar by traditional bank

You will find that traditional banks are still the most popular way to make international money transfers in Qatar. This is because they are convenient and offer a good level of customer service. You can make these transactions in person at your local bank, online or through your bank’s mobile app.

Costs of international bank transfers in Qatar

Traditional banks charge the highest international money transfer costs in Qatar. Although these vary between institutions, you can expect to pay a nominal fee for outward international payments in Qatar. Inbound payments attract larger transaction and currency conversion fees. For example, the Commercial Bank of Qatar charges QAR10 for outgoing payments. Similarly, incoming payments made in Qatari Riyals attract a QAR50 transaction fee; payments in different currencies are charged at 1% of the total amount.

How long do international bank transfers in Qatar take?

Most banks can now process international money transfers in Qatar between two and four days. However, this depends on several factors. For example, if your Qatari bank has a relationship with the bank that you are transferring money to, you can expect the processing time to be much shorter.

Making an international money transfer in Qatar by bank

Banks are much the same around the world, so you will find the process of making an international money transfer in Qatar quite familiar. Essentially, you will provide all the necessary details to your bank and request to make the transfer. You can do this in person at your local bank branch, or through your bank’s online portal or mobile app.

You will need the recipient’s name, bank name, and account number, and SWIFT/BIC code. In certain cases, you may need to provide additional documentation. If you make the transfer in person, you will need to verify your identity with your government ID and show your bank card.

Receiving an international money transfer in Qatar by bank

If you want to receive an international money transfer in Qatar, you will need to provide the sender with a few important details. They will need your name, your bank name, your bank account number, and your SWIFT/BIC code. Once they transfer the money, it will appear in your account within a few days. Your bank will impose transaction and currency exchange fees for making the transaction, so you may find the final amount is less than you were expecting.

International money transfers via online and mobile banking

All banks in Qatar offer internet and mobile banking. These include all the big banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered, Commercial Bank of Qatar, and Doha Bank.

International money transfers in Qatar

The details of sending international money transfers in Qatar may differ depending on your bank, however the experience is much the same. You will sign into your online banking portal (or mobile app) and go to the funds transfer page. You will then input the necessary details – such as the recipient’s bank account and transaction amount – and confirm the transaction using a one-time password sent by SMS or email.

Don’t forget to consider international money transfer costs in Qatar, because you will have to pay both transaction fees and currency exchange fees. These differ between banks and even online or mobile banking, but you will usually see the charges and rates before you confirm the transfer. Doha Bank offers good currency exchange rates and will apply charges at both sides of the transaction. There are ways to get around this, however. For example, customers with HSBC Advanced and Premier accounts are given access to Global Transfer through their internet banking portal. This allows them to instantly transfer up to US$100,000 to other HSBC accounts at no charge.

These banks offer online and mobile banking in Qatar:

Wire transfers in Qatar

Wire transfers are another easy way to make international money transfers in Qatar. Although these are quite similar to traditional bank and online transfers, there are subtle differences. The main difference is that you will use a third-party provider and the recipient can choose to pick up the money in cash from a branch location.

Handling cash

For cash transactions, you will only need to provide the recipient’s name; they can then pick the money up using their government ID and a transaction number that you will give them.

In Qatar, Western Union is the most popular wire transfer service. They allow you to transfer up to QAR20,000 at one time, and you can cancel the request at any time before the money has been collected by the recipient. Another reason why wire transfers are popular is that funds are often available immediately.

Of course, you will incur some fees and you will have to shop around to get the best offer. WorldRemit, for example, only charges fees required by the bank. MoneyGram, on the other hand, charges fees based on the sending and receiving countries and the amount being sent.

These are some of the most popular wire transfer service providers in Qatar:

Foreign exchange brokers in Qatar

Although there are several foreign exchange brokers operating in Qatar and forex trading is legal, the industry is not regulated in the country. Despite this, forex trading does have certain benefits which are drawing more and more people to use the service. You will often have access to a broker to make transactions for you; you will save up to 50% of the cost of regular banks; and the spread (pricing) for currency conversion can be as low as 0.15%. Often, you can also lock in exchange rates for future transactions.

To make international money transfers in Qatar through a foreign exchange broker, you will first need to pick the right broker. For security, check to see that they are affiliated with their local authority; for example, UK-based brokers have to be registered with London’s Financial Conduct Authority.

When you are ready, complete an application and verify your identity with government-issued ID documents. Sometimes, you will also be vetted for money-laundering and credit. When your account is set up, you can begin making transactions online or by phone. You will pick your currency pair (i.e. QAR-EUR) and check the spread. Once the transaction has been agreed upon, you will send the money to your FX broker, who will make the transaction and send the new currency to your nominated account in two to three days. As with all transactions, you will need to provide details for the receiving account, such as account name and numbers and SWIFT/BIC codes.

These are a few of the more reputable foreign exchange brokers in Qatar.

What to consider when deciding how to make or receive international money transfers in Qatar

  • Costs: Most banks and online services will charge to send international money transfers in Qatar. You will also be charged currency conversion fees. Shop around to find the lowest fees.
  • Exchange Rate: Currency exchange can rack up high international money transfer costs in Qatar. This is usually decided on and applied by the receiving bank.
  • Payment/Pick-up Methods: Most international payments in Qatar can be made online, in person, or through mobile apps. Transfers are received directly into the recipient’s bank account or in cash from wire transfer service locations.
  • Transfer Options: Banks will often allow you to schedule recurring payments, but other service providers – such as Western Union – will only offer one-time payments.
  • Payment Time: Online transfer services are usually the quickest way to make international money transfers in Qatar.
  • Transfer Amounts: All international money transfer services will impose maximum limits on daily transactions. Some, such as forex brokers, will offer minimum limits, too.
  • Customer Service: Banks and wire-transfer services offer a high level of customer service for in-person transactions. Online portals have customer service, too, but these are often harder to access.

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