Oct 022017

Are you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to send money to a family member or friend in Russia? I have a good tip for you, one based on personal experience. I’ll share it at the end of this article.

First let me tell you what doesn’t work, so I can save you the time of going through what I did.

Among other things, I write novels. I recently completed a novel and hired a young woman in Russia, an illustrator, to design the cover. She lives in St. Petersburg. She gave me an extremely reasonable rate of $175. Her name is Dari.

When the cover was complete, Dari gave me her bank account information so I could send the money by wire transfer. I would have preferred to send it by Paypal, but Paypal does not operate in Russia.

First I tried sending the transfer online, through my online banking website. It failed. I was told that the transfer was rejected for security reasons. So then I went to the actual bank branch. The transfer officer was an old acquaintance. He put the transfer through without charging me a fee, and gave me a receipt. I told Dari to let me know when she received the money.

Three days later, to my embarrassment, the money was refunded to my bank account, minus a $35 handling fee. I was given no reason, except that the transfer could not be completed.

Okay. In the past I might have tried iKobo, but they went out of business a few years back. I had a thought to try Xoom, which I’ve used in the past to send money to Panama. When I went to the website, lo and behold Russia is not one of the 65 countries they send to.

Xoom logo

Xoom Corporation

At this point I was beginning to suspect that, due to the limited economic sanctions in place against Russia by the U.S.A., I was going to have trouble sending this money to Russia.

Next: Sending Money to Russia, Part 2 – What WORKS