In today’s interconnected world, sending money from Australia to Fiji is more than just a financial transaction—it’s a lifeline that connects families and supports Fiji’s economy. Each year, many Fijians living in Australia send money back home. This act of sending money, known as remittance, plays a crucial role in Fiji’s well-being. It helps people pay for education, healthcare, and everyday living expenses. This blog will explore how necessary these funds are for Fiji, how they reach there, and why they matter to individuals and the broader community. Let’s dive into the significant impact of remittances on Fiji and discover the best ways to send money to Fiji. 

The importance of remittances in Fiji

Remittances are a significant part of Fiji’s economy. When Fijians living abroad send money to Fiji, they are doing more than just helping their families. This money boosts Fiji’s economy significantly. Remittances are one of the country’s top sources of foreign income, alongside tourism and sugar exports.

This flow of money helps not just individual families but whole communities. It is the lifeline that pays school fees and medical bills and even starts new businesses. For many families, these funds are not just a luxury; they are their primary source of income. Without them, life would be much harder.

In some areas, remittances have not just made a difference; they have transformed communities, built better homes, and improved local facilities. It demonstrates the profound impact of the connection between the Fijian diaspora and their home country. The money they transfer to Fiji does more than pass through banks; it weaves into the fabric of daily life, strengthening bonds and supporting development across the islands.

Fiji Day in Sydney, Australia.
Fiji Day in Australia. Sydney Olimpic Park, 7th October 2023.

The Fijian Diaspora in Australia 

The story of the Fijian diaspora in Australia is a tale of seeking new opportunities while maintaining strong ties to home. Thousands of Fijians have moved to Australia over the past decades, driven by the search for better jobs, education, and a different lifestyle. Yet, despite the distance, their connection to Fiji remains strong.

According to Cultural Atlas, SBS, the latest census, nearly 69,000 Australian residents were born in Fiji, showing a significant presence in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. This group is characterised by a diverse composition, including a substantial number of Indo-Fijians, reflecting Fiji’s multi-ethnic makeup.​

The current Fijian diaspora in Australia is diverse and modern, with migration driven by several factors, including educational opportunities, seasonal work, and permanent residency options. Seasonal work programs, particularly in agriculture, are a significant pull for Fijians. They offer economic benefits to workers and their communities back home through remittances. Education is another key motivator, with many Fijians pursuing higher education and professional training. The Australian government’s recent introduction of the Pacific Engagement Visa aims to make migration for work and family reunification easier, reflecting a modern approach to fostering closer ties with Pacific communities.

Methods to send money to Fiji

Several methods are available for sending money to Fiji from Australia, each with benefits and drawbacks:

Traditional methods

Bank transfers and wire services are commonly used due to their reliability. However, they often come with higher fees and longer processing times. 

Wire services refer to electronic transfer systems allowing individuals to send money from one bank account to another, domestically or internationally. Banks and dedicated money transfer companies typically provide these services. They operate by electronically transmitting information between banks, allowing for the secure and rapid transfer of funds.

Digital platforms

Digital platforms have emerged as a popular alternative due to their convenience and speed. Online services allow Fijians in Australia to transfer money to Fiji instantly and at lower costs. These platforms also allow users to send money directly from their smartphones, making it easier for them to manage their finances.

Digital platforms are online services and apps that allow you to send money electronically. These platforms are designed to make financial transactions quick and easy from anywhere with internet access. They often offer lower fees and faster transfer times than traditional banking methods. Examples include PayPal, Venmo, and specialised remittance services like Rocket Remit or WorldRemit, which are popular for international money transfers.

Cash pick-up

Cash pickup is another method for sending money to Fiji, particularly useful for recipients who may not have easy access to a bank account. Services like Western Union, MoneyGram, and Ria allow senders in Australia to transfer money that recipients in Fiji can collect in cash at various local agent locations across the country. This method is valued for its convenience and speed, as funds are typically available for pickup within minutes of completing the transfer.

Different methods to Send money to Fiji.
There are different ways or methods to transfer money to Fiji

Send money to bank account in Fiji

When transferring money from Australia to a bank account in Fiji through a bank transfer, the process generally involves international wire transfer facilities offered by banks. Here’s a more detailed look at the process:

Bank Selection: Choose an Australian bank that offers international wire services. Big banks often have robust systems for overseas transfers.

Digital platforms like Wise or WorldRemit offer options for transferring money to a bank account. Each offers varying fees and speeds.

Gathering Recipient Information: Collect accurate details such as the recipient’s full name, bank name, account number, and the SWIFT/BIC code of the bank in Fiji.

Fees and Rates: Check the transaction fees and exchange rates offered. Banks may have higher fees and less favourable exchange rates than specialised remittance services.

Processing Time: Bank transfers to Fiji can take 1-5 business days, depending on the bank’s processing times and the transaction specifics.

Send money to Fiji to a cash pickup location

To send money to a cash pickup location in Fiji from Australia, you can use services like Western Union, MoneyGram, or other remittance providers that offer cash pickup options. Here’s how it typically works:

Select the service: Choose a remittance service with cash pickup locations in Fiji.

Transaction details: Provide the sender’s and recipient’s details, including the amount to send.

Payment: You can pay for the transfer using your preferred method (credit/debit card, bank transfer, etc.).

Cash pickup information and receiving funds: The recipient in Fiji will receive a transaction or reference number. The recipient can collect the cash at designated locations by presenting valid identification and the transaction number. Ensure the recipient has the details of the nearest pickup location and knows the hours of operation for collecting the money.

Send money to Fiji via mobile money

Sending money to Fiji via mobile money involves transferring funds directly to a recipient’s mobile wallet. This service allows recipients to receive and use funds without a bank account. Firstly, you should know the leading mobile wallets available in Fiji.

In Fiji, Vodafone’s M-PAiSA and Digicel’s MyCash are two popular mobile wallets. These services allow users to store money digitally on their mobile devices, make payments, and receive funds electronically.

Mobile wallets in Fiji Vodafone M-
Paisa and MyCash Digicel
Leading mobile Wallets in Fiji M-Paisa by Vodafone Fiji and MyCash by Digicel Fiji 

Both services significantly enhance financial accessibility, especially in remote areas where traditional banking is less available.

Here’s how it generally works: Send money to Fiji via mobile money:

Choose a Provider: Select a remittance service in Australia that offers mobile money transfers to Fiji.  When selecting a remittance service that offers mobile money transfers to Fiji, you should look for providers that specifically support transfers to mobile wallets, like M-PAiSA or MyCash. 

A service like Rocket Remit typically offers this capability. This provider allows you to send money directly to a recipient’s mobile wallet in Fiji, enabling them to use the funds immediately for mobile payments or to withdraw cash at authorised agents. 

It’s important to compare fees, transfer speeds, and user reviews to choose the most reliable and cost-effective option.

Set up the transfer: Enter the amount you wish to send and the recipient’s mobile number linked to their wallet and pay using your preferred method.

Recipient receives funds: The funds are deposited into the recipient’s mobile wallet, and they receive an SMS notification.

The mobile money method is fast, secure, and convenient, especially in areas with limited access to traditional banking services.

To conclude

Sending money to Fiji from Australia offers various methods tailored to fit different needs, whether through bank transfers, mobile wallets, or cash pickups.

Services like Rocket Remit, Western Union, or World Remit provide flexible, secure, and efficient ways to transfer funds. Each method has benefits, from speed and convenience to low fees and broad accessibility. By understanding and comparing these options, you can effectively ensure that your money reaches its Fiji destination, seamlessly supporting family, friends, or business transactions.

About Rocket Remit

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