The best way to send money to Indonesia depends on the resources available to the person who is receiving the money. There are a few options to consider when sending money to Indonesia including bank wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal or a prepaid debit card through a variety of vendors.
The fastest way to send money to Indonesia is through either PayPal or Western Union. These methods are able to get the money to the recipient within minutes of the transaction. The thing to consider with these methods is whether the recipient has access to a PayPal account or Western Union location. Bank wires take one day to process because most wire transfers are done as a batch at the end of the business day. Prepaid debit cards are not quick to get the initial card to the person depending on whether the person can pick one up at a location or whether it needs to be sent to the recipient. Once the recipient has a card, you can make a computer transfer and fund the card so that money is immediately available at designated ATMs or as a debit card. Keep in mind that many Indonesian locations are extremely rural and you will need to check accessible locations for the recipient.
Although all methods of money transfer attempt to have security measures placed in the process, some are more vulnerable than others. PayPal is a widely used source but only requires an email address to send money. If you make a mistake on the email, you may send the money to the wrong person. Western Union requires passport numbers and provides you, the sender, with a PIN code to provide to the recipient. The recipient must have this in order to claim the money. Prepaid debit cards are good as long as the card remains in the possession of the recipient. Banks remain the most cautious by requesting not only the bank information but also the name and address of the recipient to ensure that the money goes into the right account. Indonesia has a lot of crime, and making sure the money is protected is paramount. Bank transfer is the safest method.
Although Western Union and PayPal both are very quick in getting the money to the person, not everyone can access money in PayPal immediately. Western Union offices will give the recipient cash immediately. Many people have debit cards associated with their PayPal accounts. This makes the money immediately accessible. If this is the case, then PayPal is also readily liquid. Bank wires are also available as soon as the money hits the recipient's account.
Most of the methods of transfer are done with a fee associated. You are able to select who pays the fee, either the sender of recipient. Banks are the most reasonable for large transfers because they charge a flat fee. PayPal charges 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent of the amount sent. Western Union charges much more, as high as 6.8 percent. Prepaid debit cards require that you pay for the card purchase, which is usually $1 to $3, and then a percentage between 1 percent and 5 percent to load it.