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How to transfer money to Russia from abroad: 5 working ways

Russians can still transfer funds to the country from abroad: the Central Bank clarified that there are no restrictions on accepting payments. However, difficulties may be associated with the sanctions and counter-sanctions of Russia, as well as the measures of the Central Bank to stabilize the exchange rate, reports RBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Transferring money from abroad to Russia has become more difficult amid sanctions against the country's financial system and the withdrawal of international companies from the Russian market. Here are the active options:

1. Through the SendNomad app

Send Nomad mobile application continues to process money transfers to Russia between individuals. Transfers are processed on a completely legal basis, as they are carried out in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The application was developed on the basis of the blockchain, due to which the service guarantees the absolute security of personal data. Money sent via SendNomad is credited to the account very quickly, it usually takes 15-20 minutes. Another nice feature of the SendNomad service is zero commission. The currency conversion rate is always equivalent to the current rate on the Forex exchange.

The maximum money transfer amount for unverified users is up to $1000 per month (it can be sent in one or multiple payments). If you are verified, you can transfer up to $7500 per month.

The service allows you to send and receive funds from card to card and to more than 100 electronic wallets. At the moment, the company supports transfers to 31 countries, but the main market is concentrated in the CIS.

SendNomad is an American startup founded by Kairat Ashim and Yelezhan Zhakia, graduates of MIT who passed the YCombinator acceleration.

2. With the help of money transfer systems

Due to sanctions, American and European services WesternUnion, MoneyGram, Wise, OFX, PayPal, TransferGo have suspended their activities in Russia. However, three domestic translation services are available:

  • "Gold Crown"
  • Unistream
  • Contact

The service allows you to transfer money to Russia from a wide range of countries, including EU states, but until September 9, 2022, you can receive funds only in rubles. The system sets the conversion rate independently. “You can pay for the transfer with Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Mir cards issued by Russian banks,” it is indicated on the service’s website, and transfers can also be made from cards issued in Europe. The card must support 3D Secure payment technology, that is, transaction confirmation via SMS.

On the subject: New sanctions: the EU imposed an embargo on Russian oil and disconnected Sberbank from SWIFT

RNKO "Payment Center", operator and settlement center of the payment system "Gold Crown", indicates in the text of the agreement that if the country of receipt of the transfer is the Russian Federation, the client can send no more than five transfers in 30 calendar days in a row, and the total transfer amount from a card issued by a Russian bank cannot exceed $4750 during this period. The maximum amount of transfers from a card issued by an EU bank is set by the service based on the amount of confirmed information about the client. At the same time, the Zolotaya Korona service for cash transfers can be used at the offices of partner banks, as well as in the salons of Beeline, Svyaznoy, MegaFon, MTS, Rostelecom and others - in this case, the transfer limit is $10 or €000.


Through Unistream, you can transfer no more than $4750 to Russia at a time, including commission. The rules state that when receiving a money transfer in a currency in excess of ₽100 thousand, $1 thousand or €500 at customer service points, you must pre-order the amount in the required currency to receive: one to ten days.

"Unistream" carries out only transfers "not related to business activities, investments, transactions with securities." Also, the service does not make transfers between individuals - residents of Russia in foreign currency throughout the country. At the same time, an individual who is not a Russian resident can transfer funds in rubles and foreign currency across the territory of Russia without restrictions.


On its website, the service indicates that there are no restrictions on accepting transfers from other countries to Russia: “We recommend that you check the details at the place of sending in partner systems that operate on the territory of other countries.” It will not be possible to send a transfer through the online service from a card of a foreign bank, only cards of Visa, MasterCard and Mir payment systems of Russian banks are supported for debiting, transfers through the online service to a card of another country are also not available.

The service in Russia issues cross-border transfers in foreign currency from any country exclusively in rubles: “Currently, not all banks have set up a system for issuing currency transfers converted into rubles, so we recommend that you call the bank’s contact phone number for a consultation before contacting the point in person” .

The Central Bank clarified the requirements for transferring funds without opening a bank account: “Funds received as a transfer from a bank outside the Russian Federation, as well as from electronic wallets, are issued exclusively in rubles. The conversion is made at the rate of the bank, and the amount paid cannot be less than the amount calculated on the day of payment at the official rates of the Central Bank.

3. Map "World"

Transfers from abroad to Russia are possible through the Mir card: it also allows you to pay abroad and withdraw cash in local currency. The Mir card is accepted in countries such as Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

4. Bank cross-border transfers

You can also transfer money from abroad to Russia using SWIFT transfers using account details. The support services of Tinkoff, Rosbank, Gazprombank, Raiffeisenbank confirmed the ability to send money via SWIFT.

The operation will not work if the accounts are opened in Russian banks under blocking sanctions: VTB, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Otkritie, Rossiya, as well as Alfa-Bank and Sberbank. The sanctions include the freezing of bank assets and the imposition of a ban on US citizens and companies from doing business with them.

5. Through stablecoins

A stablecoin is a digital currency whose value is pegged to the exchange rate of another asset. One of these cryptocurrencies is USDT from Tether: it is pegged to the value of the US dollar in a ratio of 1:1. There are other stablecoins, such as USDC from Circle or BUSD issued by the Binance crypto exchange. Stablecoin issuers keep on their balance sheet the necessary amount of assets to provide a link to their digital coin. You can buy stablecoins using crypto exchanges, p2p platforms and exchangers:

“This cross-border transfer option has no jurisdiction and is a so-called gray investment scheme. In this case, all the risks lie on the shoulders of the investor or the individual making the transfer,” warned financial consultant Igor Faynman.

Through UnionPay transferring money from abroad will not work.

UnionPay cards do not provide cross-border p2p transfers (person-to-person), writes Frank Media. At the same time, transferring funds across the border between system cardholders is possible through the UnionPay MoneyExpress service, but money can only be transferred to UnionPay cards issued by Chinese banks.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants, and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

At the same time, only individuals can make transfers on the territory of the Russian Federation, in accordance with UnionPay rules. The daily limit for the transfer of funds in the order of p2p transactions is ₽600 thousand or the equivalent in foreign currency. At the same time, the maximum amount of one transaction is ₽150. You can transfer funds to a UnionPay card within Russia in the following ways:

  • from another UnionPay card;
  • by topping up your UnionPay card;
  • by debiting funds from the bank account or reducing the balance of the payer's electronic money and crediting funds to the recipient's account or increasing the balance of the recipient's electronic money account.

In Russia, transactions with UnionPay cards are carried out in rubles, with the exception of such cases as cash withdrawals from ATMs, payments in duty-free shops, as indicated in the rules of the system. Currency conversion takes place at the exchange rate of the Bank of Russia at the time of the transaction.

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