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Sending money back home

 
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donfan



Joined: 31 Aug 2003
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:21 pm    Post subject: Sending money back home Reply with quote

I am going to Russia to work next year. I will need to send money home(Australia) while I am there to pay off debts(only very small ones - credit cards etc). Is it possible and/ore easy to do it from Russia? Thanks.
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bobs12



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 310
Location: Saint Petersburg

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi donfan,

The standard way to do it is to send it through my Swiss account. PM me for the bank name and account numbers.

Very Happy

Er, I don't really know whether it's possible. The only way I can think of doing it is, kind of like my silly joke above, to give the money you want transferred to a *trusted* acquaintance who has plenty of cash in a bank outside of the RF, and get him to BACS it to your account. You could Western Union it or even FedEx it home in cash, but I wouldn't dare use WU, not just because they'll take a big lump out of it anyway, but also because I've heard a few horror stories.
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, let me tell you how it was for me earlier this year. I had to send like $1000. The Western Union option was there, plenty of branches all over the place in Russia as far as I can see, but their charges are a little high. Also you need to inconvenience someone at the other end.
A direct bank-to-bank transfer turned out to be possible for me in the fairly small, remote outpost of Stavropol in the Northern Caucasus. But you couldn't go to just any bank. The one I went to is called something like vneshtorgbank or something I can't remember. Anyway, you needed to have foreign currency (USD recommended, EUR very likely possible, AUD I doubt it) to send. Absurdly, however, you also needed to have a receipt to prove that you had obtained this "valyuta" by means of an exchange from RUR. Well, whatever, that's not very annoying because the split is very, very small on USD all over Russia, unlike many Western European countries where the bureaux de change rip you off. Now the next, and the potentially most annoying point is that you must have the correct identification codes for your bank/branch. This should now, I believe, be something called an IBAN, which is an effectively unique global identifier for your personal bank account. Don't let your bank fob you off, they will have this and they must give it to you somehow. It's a long string of letters and numbers. You may get away with just giving a SWIFT code if the Russian bank isn't 'with it', but I suspect not, I think the rules have changed internationally as of last summer. Of course, bring all relevant information just in case, including full bank branch address.

There are other things, but they're just common sense. Of course my experience is just one particular circumstance, but I can't think of a good reason why it would be different for anyone else.

Is it worth going through the hassle? I don't know, but I didn't try Western Union or MoneyGram, whatever it's called, so I can't compare.
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donfan



Joined: 31 Aug 2003
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

I was wondering if it would be possible for me in Russia to convert my money into travelers checks, send them home and get someone at home to cash them and deposit the money in my account?

Would this work?
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 225
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can be difficult to move your paycheck money from Russia back to the home country and into a bank account. Travelers checques can be had in Russia, though they are not common. There are several American Express offices here in Moscow.

I've had a dreadful time keeping my bills paid by the due date from Russia. Our pay is direct deposited into an American checking account, which is a good thing, but paying the credit cards on time has been a different story.

Mail takes almost forever so I gave up on that. Payments were always late. Now I call the credit card company's 800 toll free number and pay by phone from my American checking account. They charge me from $10 to $15 for every pay-by-phone fee, but at least that way their bills get paid on time and I don't suffer all their wrathful penalties.

Most expats use some kind of online banking but I don't trust it, no, not at all. Personally I consider online banking to be very very risky. Even with Norton antivirus on my computer I've acquired 3 viruses in the last year--no telling what they were up to. And last year BEFORE we left the States, somehow some way, our checking account was hijacked. A huge mess. I wish I could help you more, but financial transactions and overseas bills can be very difficult situations to get a handle on.
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

expatella_girl, it seems you have a very unusual deal if you get your salary paid directly to an American bank account. Do you mind if I ask which company you work for? I'm guessing it's American-run, right?
It's unlikely that the OP will have that kind of deal, I think it's very rare (note he's Australian).
So he faces the much more fundamental problem of getting some of his salary home by other means. [Incidentally donfan, if you're determined to avoid bank-to-bank transfer, although I don't know, I doubt that the travelers checks (hmm travellers cheques BrE Smile ) will prove easier or less expensive than, say, Western Union.]

The correct solution to the problem you describe expatella, of paying off a credit card (or paying any other bill back home) is, IMHO, online banking - and that's why, as you say, so many expats are using it nowadays. Fraud is a possibility every time you use financial systems, however you use them. I bank with HSBC, one of the world's top few banks (in size), and I've been using their online banking abroad for about 3 years now. It's primarily useful for checking the balance, and also transferring cash from my current account (AmE checking account) to pay off a credit card bill. I used to work as a software architect at a bank, so I have a pretty good idea of the security mechanisms used to protect your data. Is it perfect or foolproof? Of course not. And yet we're so blase about using our credit cards in the offline world - handing them to waiters in restaurants etc, or just reading out the number over the phone. Viruses acquired online have very little to do with it, unless you're foolish enough to write down your PIN numbers etc. in files on your hard drive (and even then it's HIGHLY unlikely that the information would be stolen and used). If you want less viruses, currently the right thing to do is to use less Microsoft software (and start with kicking Internet Exploder into touch).

All the modern financial fraud variants, using telephones, email and the internet are just variations on the old theme - 'con trick' = confidence trick. It's about tricking someone into trusting you. I remember that several of the old 'hackers' who became famous amongst their peers admitted, when asked about how they broke into various computer systems, that they basically just phoned up the company's employees and asked for the passwords Smile
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bobs12



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 310
Location: Saint Petersburg

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waxwing, you dark horse, you're a programmer?! Hee hee, I like the 'hacker' story, I think I'll try that. Also about Internet Exploder- what's a good alternative that won't bugger up XP?

I stick by my suggestion, which is to get a trusted friend to transfer the moolah from a foreign account. Maybe we should set up a money transfer for ex-pats?
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobs12 wrote:
Waxwing, you dark horse, you're a programmer?!

Well, was - but more of a script kiddie really Smile

bobs12 wrote:
Also about Internet Exploder- what's a good alternative that won't bugger up XP?


www.getfirefox.com - Firefox, from Mozilla. Very highly recommended. If you really, really care about techie things, I spose you should just get Linux and trash Microsoft entirely. I did that in the past when I was a tinkerer, now I just take what I'm given as far as OS is concerned. Confused
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