Do you know how to prepare to receive money online? What about sending money?
You may know how to send people money on the other side of the world if they are in urgent need. There are several ways to try, but not all of them work in all parts of the world. It pays to find out ahead of time so that you don't have to do all the research in a hurry.
But what if you are on the receiving end? At least you long to receive money from people internationally, right? You've been asking! But are you ready to receive money online? I do send money to a couple of ministries fairly regularly, and have had to figure out what works best in each case. However, I have learned more in the last two weeks when a ministry friend in an Asian country emailed in panic that he needed money fast so that his wife could have urgent surgery.
I suggested I send what I could spare via World Remit. He declined. He wanted me to send my gift to a friend of his in Africa, who would then combine it with his gift and send it to him.
Immediately I thought, "How foolish!? There will be extra fees with so much re-handling of the money, so you will get less than I’m planning to send," (and I knew it was not enough). Besides, asking me to send to a third party friend, for whom he would not even give me an email was a major danger signal. That smells so much of a scam that the MoneyGram agent would try to dissuade me, and if I told any of my friends they would denounce me as totally stupid for falling for a fleece like that!
My spirit chaffed at my friend's foolish ignorance about how to receive money online. Just because he had never heard of World Remit before he was going to turn down a better, faster way to get my gift in hand! He could certainly put it together with his other friend's gift from Africa once he had received both gifts.
On top of that, because we are at opposite sides of the world, while I was up and working in the daytime at my computer, he was sound asleep (if not tossing and turning) in his country. This meant that there were often up to six hours or more between our email exchanges. Which meant, our dialogue took two days and two nights! Even once I relented and decided to do it his way because he would not heed my advice, I had to wait until he woke up at his end and finally sent me the contact information so that I could send my gift to his friend first. Then I had to drive to a branch of my bank, withdraw the gift amount I was prepared to send, and drive in the other direction across the city, to where I could send the MoneyGram from a postal outlet. (Yes, MoneyGram insists I have to pay in cash). The fee turned out to be $15 which is $5 more than I'm used to spending on a regular gift I send this way.
Definitely NOT a good way to send or receive money online!
I was sure he was under mental and emotional stress because of the diagnosis of his wife's health problems, and the surgery, so I tried to be forgiving, but I decided that I need to alert my other friends in third world countries, that if you want your friends from the Western World to help you out, you really ought to check out the best options for receiving that money - the fastest and the cheapest ways. Nowadays there are a number of ways to send and receive money internationally. Some are within moments, and some are within a few minutes. Some have unusually high fees and some are much more reasonable.
Even if you don't have an urgent crisis looming over you, it would be smart to check out all the options that apply for receiving funds in your country. (PayPal, for instance, will not allow us to send money to certain countries; find that list on their site). I would recommend opening an account on the free services that would work for you.
Then, when a kind donor is willing to send you some support monies, or a gift of cash, you can quickly provide them with these options and what information they would need to send funds to you.
Here are some that I have checked out and think are safe to use; World Remit Ltd- very fast, can be done from a smart phone in moments, reasonable rates.
PayPal - recognized world-wide, but does not send money into certain countries. (here you give potential donors your email registered with your PayPal account; but I recommend you not give it out until someone is ready and willing to send you funds).
There have been others that I've checked out, but would not even give them a mention now.
There are some online banks that now are set up to be able to transfer funds for you to another country. Simplii is one. xe.com offers this service now too. It is possible your current bank has taken up this work; check with them.
Above all be very careful! The scenario I told you about above turned out NOT to be from my friend, but a hacker had got into his email address and was pretending to be him, requesting money from various friends in different parts of the world. While I chaffed at my friend, he was totally innocent, and his wife was not sick at all. In fact, they had gone to another country. So I was fleeced after all.
But now I will be on guard in the future! If I don't really know you, and you suggest a stupid way to send or receive money online - you are out of luck with me!
I have resolved to make doubly sure in the future. If a friend asks for funds unexpectedly out of the blue, I will first try to contact that person by another means, such as a phone call to verify the request. I also plan to research for all the best ways to protect against this as a donor, and what you can do if you are hoping for a much needed donation to ensure that potential donors can trust you. Then I will write another article to share those precautions.
Let me know your thoughts and questions on giving in response to these articles.
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