How to Wire Money to Russia

by Calla Hummel ; Updated July 27, 2017
You can transfer dollars or rubles to Russia through a wire transfer service, a bank or an online transfer service.

Items you will need

  • Official identification
  • Cash
  • Security question
  • Recipient’s full name
  • Recipient’s location
  • OR
  • U.S. bank account
  • Routing number of recipient’s Russian bank account
  • SWIFT number of recipient’s Russian bank account
  • OR
  • Internet transfer service review guide
  • Account with internet transfer service
  • Debit card
  • Routing number of recipient’s bank account
  • Recipient’s address

You have several options when you wire money to Russia. As with most countries, you can wire money through a wire transfer company (Western Union has the largest network in Russia), a bank or an Internet based transfer company. Fees, time and regulations vary. Wire transfer companies are fast and expensive, banks are slow, the least expensive and most reliable, and Internet companies are convenient and moderately expensive.

Wire Transfer Companies

Step 1

Find a branch of a wire transfer company that also has a branch at the recipient’s location.

Step 2

Give the representative your full name, the amount you wish to send in cash and a security question that the recipient can answer. The representative will then send this to the branch in the recipient’s city or town under the recipient’s full name (as it appears on the recipient’s official identification).

Step 3

Pay the service fee and the money should be available at the recipient’s location in 24 hours.

Bank Transfers

Step 1

Confirm with your bank and the recipient’s bank that they provide an international money transfer service, and confirm what kind of data each bank requires for the transfer. ICICI Bank allows you to transfer money without having an account with the bank.

Step 2

Ask the recipient to give you their bank account number, name that the account is registered in and the bank’s SWIFT number or the recipient’s account routing number.

Step 3

Go to your local bank and request a transfer to this account for the amount you wish to send. Pay the service fee (if any, many bank transfers are free or considerably less than wire transfers). The money should appear in the recipient’s account in three to four business days. Promsvyazbank has a next-day service.

Internet Transfer Services

Step 1

Find a reputable Internet transfer service. Some banks and wire transfer companies, including Bank of Moscow, have reliable online transfer services, though they usually charge the same commissions that their physical offices charge.

Step 2

Establish an account by filing your personal information with the transfer service and usually linking a debit or credit card, or a bank account, to your transfer account. Some services also charge a set-up or membership fee.

Step 3

Send money through the website by withdrawing an amount from the card or bank account you have linked to the website and entering the recipient’s name, address and often bank account information. Online transfer services usually either mail a check in rubles to the recipient or transfer directly to the recipient’s bank account.

About the Author

Calla Hummel is a doctoral student studying contraband in international political economy. She supplements her student stipend by writing about personal finance and working as a consultant, as well as hoping that her investments will pan out.

Photo Credits

  • four thousand rubles image by Yulaki Khvenchuk from Fotolia.com