uses the US dollar as currency. US dollar bills are the only
money accepted. Ecuador produces its own coins and
both those and US coins. (Don't try to use Ecuador coins in
the USA, they won't be accepted). It's easy to
check the dollar exchange rate online and there are many
options to buy dollars overseas outside Ecuador.
change: note that in rural areas, most vendors will have trouble
finding change for a small purchase from a
$20 bill (and may well be hesitant to accept one, as they are aware of
the danger of forgeries). Most places will not accept $50
under any circumstances, regardless of how much you spend. If at all
possible, travel with small denomination bills (no larger than $10) in
rural areas. Don't even consider taking $100 bills to Ecuador
will not change them for smaller bills (they are not allowed to, only
the central bank can do this), so you will not be able to spend them at
machines (ATMS, or "cajeros automáticos") are available in
cities and larger towns and are by far the easiest way to
your Ecuador money as a tourist. Check with your bank
before leaving home, to be aware of any fees they charge, and warn them
you will be in Ecuador, so that they don't panic and block your
account. Travellers' cheques are not widely accepted in
you will almost certainly have to exchange them at a bank, which will
be time-consuming. Many rural areas do not have a bank, or
a cash machine, so you will need to plan ahead if you travel off the
beaten track or away from larger towns.
Money to Ecuador
Sending money to Ecuador is surprisingly difficult, considering the
technology available for international money transfers, especially if
you are sending it to an Ecuadorian national.
PayPal will not work with Ecuadorian banks, and many services
for sending money overseas will either not send to Ecuador, or else
charge huge fees. (To be fair, Ecuadorian banks are such a
bureaucratic nightmare that you can't really blame them). So,
you need to be specific when you search online. Search
for "international money transfer" or "sending money overseas"
and you will
find lots of cheap, fast, simple services. Specify that you
need to send money to Ecuador and you will find that your options are
considerably reduced, and a lot more expensive.
Money to an Individual in Ecuador
money to an individual in Ecuador is reasonably straightforward, if
costly, using the various instant international money transfer services
such as Western Union, which hand over the cash on presentation of the
appropriate passport and secret code, which you will have emailed to
the recipient. Don't try to surprise your friend in Ecuador
- they will be grilled as to the amount of the payment, and who it is
from, and will not be given the money if they don't know. So
make sure you give them all
the details you gave the money transfer
service, for example include your middle name, and give them the exact
figure you sent. This option is not available for sending
money to organizations, so paying for goods or services in Ecuador from
overseas is not possible with an instant cash transfer.
Foreigners in Ecuador who have a bank account elsewhere may
that the best option is to receive payments into a PayPal account, make
an online transfer from PayPal to an overseas bank account, and then
withdraw the cash from an ATM in Ecuador.
Money to a Business in Ecuador
To send money to an Ecuadorian business, an international
bank transfer is probably your best bet, and you will need to contact
your bank, probably in person. Your
bank may well be confused or even thwarted by the fact that
banks in Ecuador do not use sort codes, as some automated systems for
sending money overseas will not operate without an entry in the sort
code field. The bank in Ecuador is quite capable of refusing
to accept the transfer, and if they accept it will probably charge the
accountholder a fee in addition to what you have already paid.
To have the best chance of your bank transfer to Ecuador
being accepted, make sure you have the account holder's name (in the
exact form in appears on their account) and statement address, along
with their account number, the address of the bank, and the SWIFT/BIC
bank transfer to Ecuador from overseas will cost the sender probably
around 25 GBP
or 30 to 40 USD. Many
banks, especially in smaller countries,
do not have a direct contact with Ecuador, and so will route your
international money transfer through a third-party bank, probably in
the United States. Of course, this bank will also take a fee
from your money, perhaps around $25. In practical terms, it
is simply not worth sending less than about $100 as a bank transfer to
Ecuador, as there will be so little left after the fees.
Make sure you confirm with the receiving party in Ecuador the
amount that needs to arrive with them, and whether you need to cover
their account fee for receiving the transfer. Bear in mind
that you may not always get the best exchange rates using this method
of money transfer.
Donations to a
NonProfit in Ecuador
donations to charities in Ecuador is the most difficult of
all. The current government appears to be trying
to push nonprofits out of existence. One of the methods they
using is making it
extremely difficult for nonprofits to receive donations from overseas.
PayPal is not an option, as mentioned above. Bank
transfers are not feasible for small amounts. Online donation
platforms suffer from all the problems of bank transfers, plus they
have to cover their costs as well.
charity in Ecuador experimented with receiving donations on an
online giving platform. Of $100 aggregated
from various small donations, the platform took $5.
bank took a $30 transfer fee. Then the money went
via a bank
in the USA, which took another
$25. When the money arrived, the Ecuadorian bank took
fee for receiving it. Of the original $100, the
was left with just $33. To discover the amount
received, someone had to queue for 45 minutes, since the
bank won't divulge this information over the phone. When you
factor in all the administration work involved in promoting the charity
online and encouraging these overseas donations, you can see how little
benefit there is for a small nonprofit.
Sending money overseas from Ecuador incurs a tax, in addition to the
investment of quite a lot of time queuing in banks. Banks in
Ecuador usually insist that in order to send money abroad, they
need many details which you won't have, and which may not even exist.
For example, IBAN codes are only for entities within the EU,
but an Ecuadorian bank may try to demand one for a transfer to another
continent. If you are in Ecuador but have a bank account
overseas, the easiest method is probably to make sure you have a PayPal
account set up and make payments from that, so that the money does not
actually enter Ecuador. If you are sending money overseas to
an individual, you have the option of the (expensive but effective)
instant cash transfer services. Resign yourself to
a slow, costly process if you need to send an
international bank transfer from an Ecuadorian bank.
The currency of Ecuador, international money transfer options. Sending
money to Ecuador, sending money overseas from Ecuador. Note that
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