If you’re moving overseas and need to transfer money, you might be at a loss as to how to go about doing that. You might have questions about where to go, how much the international transfer will cost, or what money transfer service is the best.
If you have questions, this comprehensive guide to international money transfers is exactly what you need. We’ll begin with a list of some of the most commonly asked questions referring to international money transfers and the companies that provide them. We’ll address the big question – what is the best way international money transfer service?
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At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for International Money Transfer Services
- Best Overall: Currencies Direct
- XE Money Transfer
- Send Payments
When it comes to international money transfers this old adage certainly holds true…
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
The widely held perception is that your trusted bank is the safest and best method to transfer your money overseas. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst banks were once upon a time the sole option for many years with the rise of the many online money transfer services now available consumers are more empowered than ever to take advantage of the lower fees (or in some cases zero fees) that these new international money transfer agencies offer. To ensure you’re getting the best deal you can when sending money abroad online i.e. the very best exchange rate with the minimal amount of fees possible, you need to compare money transfer companies. In this article, we will be dispelling many of the commonly accepted myths regarding online money transfers and will empower you to make an informed decision for transferring your money overseas.
The Overall Best Money Transfer Company
Currencies Direct offers bank-beating rates, zero free transfers, fantastic customer service, and has an excellent five-star rating on Trustpilot. They’ve been in business since 1996 and are our #1 pick for sending money overseas. If you are looking for the best ways to send money internationally then you can’t go wrong with Currencies Direct.
What Is An International Wire Transfer?
An international money transfer or international bank transfer (also commonly referred to as an international wire transfer) involves sending money to either another person and/or company overseas. This transaction can be completed either through a bank (the traditional method) or a specialist money transfer service. The money can be received electronically or in cash.
The vast majority of money transfers are transacted via SWIFT or Peer-to-peer payments (P2P) which have become increasingly more common and mainstream as the technology has evolved and resulted in reduced fees whilst improving speed and security. To put it into context, SWIFT handles $5 trillion in transfers per day according to the US Treasury, which gives you an insight into the size of the market.
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XE MONEY TRANSFER
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How Much Does it Cost?
There is no one single answer to this question. A transfer’s cost will vary depending on which company you use to transfer the money. It can also vary depending on which country you are sending the money to or from and even on how you’re paying for the transfer (i.e. – credit card, cash, debit card, etc.).
The exchange rate between countries is another factor that can determine how much sending money will cost you. You will normally get the best rates at companies that charge a flat fee across the board. These companies will be discussed later on.
What is the Most Important Factor?
When considering whether or not to use a money transfer provider or which company to choose when doing a money transfer, there isn’t just one main factor to consider. There are actually several.
The Exchange Rate
As already mentioned, the exchange rate between countries’ currencies is hugely important when deciding to send money to another country. Although new laws have been put in place recently to help keep banks from charging inflated exchange rates, it is still important to double-check that you are getting the most accurate rate when transferring money abroad.
Check online to see what the exchange rate is. Then, call around to several different banks and credit unions. Make sure they are all saying the same things about the rates. If they aren’t, make sure you go with the institution that has the exchange rate that will most benefit you and to whomever, you’re sending the money.
The Amount You Are Transferring
It is also important to consider how much money you are transferring. If you are only transferring small amounts of money, there are many companies that can help you send your transfer. However, if you are looking to transfer large sums of money at once, it may behoove you to choose a company that specializes in larger, business transfers. For extremely large amounts of money, you will want to avoid using banks if at all possible, as they often tack on heavy fees for transferring those amounts of money around the world.
Compare the Fees
It’s important to get a good understanding of the different money transfer fees and don’t be afraid to shop around and see which banks, institutions, or companies will give you the best rates on transfer fees. Also, consider the fees when deciding if you need a money transfer at all. For instance, if you’re sending $2000 dollars to your daughter because she’s about to get kicked out of school, paying the fees to get the money there quickly is probably a necessity. However, if you’re sending $10 dollars to your niece for her birthday, maybe avoid the fees and just send it slowly through the mail.
3 Reasons To Use A Specialist
Providers specialize in what they’re doing
For a money transfer service, transferring money is their business – it’s what they do all day, every day.
These companies work hard to ensure their rates are competitive and that you receive the best exchange rate at the lowest price possible. They have years of experience and resources behind them to ensure you get the most value for money and your transfer is a hassle-free experience.
These types of companies can save you time
Yes, using your bank is definitely an option, and if you don’t mind completing lots of paperwork and physically visiting your local bank branch (a requirement for most banks), then you can arrange a wire transfer through your bank.
You won’t be getting the best exchange rate though and you will certainly be paying more fees than you should be.
A money transfer company does all the hard work for you. They’ve really streamlined the entire process which can be completed securely online in minutes.
These types of organizations can save you (a lot of) time
As mentioned above in order to get the very best exchange rates you need to use a specialist money transfer agency. You will save a ton of money in fees and by securing a much more favorable exchange rate compared to what the banks can offer you.
Let’s look at an example.
6 Things To Look For In A Service
Deciding on exactly which money transfer service to use can be a tricky process due to the vast number of services now available. There are five main factors to consider when selecting a money transfer company:
Security & Safety: the online money transfer industry is highly regulated with multiple governing authorities including FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) in Australia, and FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) in the USA. These are just a few of the regulatory authorities too.
Exchange Rate: the exchange rate is arguably one of the most important aspects when selecting a service. When it comes to larger transfers the exchange rate will have a much bigger impact. Even a slightly better rate can result in thousands of dollars in savings for you. For example, if you’re sending US$10,000 (USD) to the United Kingdom (GBP) and the exchange rate is 0.79, you will receive £7,900. If the exchange rate is 0.81, you will receive £8,100. You can see how much difference a slightly better exchange rate makes when you’re transferring larger amounts.
Fees: this is the fee associated with making a transfer from one currency into another. Depending on which service you use, this may be a flat fee, a percentage based on the amount of your transfer, or a fee that is dependent on the methodology of the transfer you’re using. The fee will generally be higher if you’re using a credit card to make the transfer. The best option is to use your bank account when using a money transfer provider. Some services will even offer transfers without fees!
Transfer Speed: the actual speed of the money transfer i.e. how long it takes to deposit your money into your receiving account is an important factor. This generally ranges from a few hours to up to five working days. Depending on your specific needs you may be best to use a service that offers fast transfer speeds.
Amount Received: after the exchange rate, this is arguably the second most important factor. This is the actual amount you expect to receive in your destination bank account after any fees have been applied. This is really the key deciding factor when selecting a service.
User Experience: whilst the ease of use of the service is subjective you want to be using a service that is quick and simple – especially if you’re planning to make regular transfers. You also want great customer service if you find you need support. The companies we recommend have been vetted with all of these factors in mind and have a proven track record of providing outstanding customer service.
How Do I Compare Service Providers?
In addition to the two big comparisons already mentioned – transfer fees and exchange rates – there are a few other criteria you want to look at when comparing the companies you could potentially use to transfer your money internationally. The first of these is the total overall cost of the transfer. This is the amount after the exchange rate is factored in and the transfer fees are added and any additional fees have been tacked on. Furthermore, check out the businesses and online and see if they are having any special promotions or if any coupons are available to save you money.
Another thing to consider is how long it will take the money to reach the intended party. Many companies do transfers in a matter of moments; however, depending on the country, the amount of money being sent, and some other factors, transfers can take longer. You want to find the length of time that is going to work best for you and the second person.
Finding out whether or not you can cancel the transfer if the need arises and how long you have to do so is another important consideration.
Finally, check out customer reviews about the companies. See what people who have actually used the company are saying about it. Overall, are the reviews favorable? What did people say about the level of customer service satisfaction at each company? Was the service fast, safe, and reliable? These are all things to find out before deciding on a final company.
How long does the process take between banks?
If you’re wondering exactly how long does it takes to transfer money then you can work on a timeframe of between 0 to 5+ days depending on exactly which type of service you have used. International money transfers (IMT) generally take between 0 and 5 days to process, bank to bank transfers average around 2 to 5 business days, and wire transfers 1 to 5 business days.
XE Money Transfer and OFX are amongst some of the quickest services with the average transfer time taking only 0 to 3 days to process.
Many people will avoid using a bank when transferring money due to the slow processing times and the costly fees and hidden charges.
How to Get the Best Exchange Rate When Sending Online
Although this may be running it into the ground, it needs to be said once more: The best way to get the best exchange rate is to do your research and shop around! If you know you’re going to be sending money to a specific country soon or if you regularly send money to the same country, follow the market trends for that country. See if there are any patterns or times of the month or year where the rate is better. The internet can be incredibly helpful in researching these types of things.
Find companies that offer promotions such as fixed or “locked-in” rates. Some companies offer the best price guarantees that ensure you get the best exchange rate, even if they have to match the rate of another company. Also, try to avoid sending money when rates are exceptionally bad. Sometimes it is also possible to send same-currency transfers, which eliminates the need for an exchange rate altogether.
How To Send It Internationally
Here are the exact steps to take when using a money transfer company to send money overseas.
Step 1: Register for an account online through the company’s official website. You will need to provide your basic contact details including your name and address.
Step 2: Verify your identity. Most of the services require you to verify your identity in order to prevent fraud. This generally involves uploading photos to prove your identity. Different companies have different requirements and are also dependent on how much money you’re transferring too.
Step 3: enter your transfer either online or via phone. You can now place your first transfer which will often involve locking in the exchange rate. Most services will require the transfer to be completed within a certain timeframe to hold the quoted currency exchange rate. Whilst other services will only lock in a rate once the transaction has been completed. The timeframe is often referred to as a “guarantee”. If you’re transferring the money to another individual then you will require the other person’s contact details including name, address, account number and Branch Number or Bank Identifier Code (SWIFT BIC or IBAN).
Step 4: make the payment to the money transfer company from your bank account.
Step 5: you can track the progress of the transfer online or via email.
Step 6: the funds arrive in the recipients’ bank account (your account if desired) and the transaction is completed.
The Three Different Types
There are a plethora of services available that provide bank-beating rates – they’re cheaper, faster, more convenient, and just as secure as your bank. At this point, you’re probably asking the question “what is the best money transfer service?“.
The money transfer services which offer an alternative to using your bank will generally fall within three categories…
- Remittance Companies
- Peer-to-peer (P2P)
- Non-Peer-to-Peer (P2p)
These companies facilitate money transfers between immigrants who are working in one country, such as the United States and are sending money home to family members in their home countries. Remittance payments have become a huge source of income for developing countries in which there is little work to be found.
P2P (Smaller Transactions) Companies
These companies facilitate exchanges between one person and another person directly. The most common way that this happens is for one person to transfer money directly from his or her bank account to another person’s bank account online or through their cell phones. These exchanges are usually relatively small and would not raise the attention of financial institutions.
Non-P2P (Larger Transactions) Companies
Non-P2P transfers are transfers between companies in different countries or extremely large transfers between individuals. The sums of money transferred in these transactions are often very large and can draw the attention of federal and financial agencies. There can also be additional steps to take when transferring large sums of money to a different country.
Tips for Saving
The best tips for saving on your international fund transfers are those listed above.
- Shop around. Find the best rates for you.
- If you’re sending small amounts of money that don’t need to get there quickly, don’t use international wire transfers at all.
- Double-check the exchange rates.
- Pick a company based on the best deal for the amount of money you are sending.
Understanding the fees to send abroad
Before we go much further, let’s discuss the common fees associated with international money transfers.
Simply put, this is the fee your bank, credit union, or other company charges for sending your money. For instance, if you want to send $100 dollars, and the company charges a transfer fee of $15 dollars, your total price for sending that money will be $115 dollars. $100 will go to your party in the other country and the company will keep the $15 dollars for their profit.
These fees can be set rates, or they can depend upon a number of factors, including where you’re sending the money, how much money you’re sending, and how fast you need it to get there, among others.
Sending fees are basically the same thing as transfer fees. However, you may often hear them called by this name instead depending on which company you’re using.
The exchange rate is the method of conversion between one country’s currency and another. For instance, if the exchange rate between the United States and China is one dollar to 7.08 Chinese yuan, then that is the rate at which your money will be converted. Using this exchange rate, if you wanted to send $100 US dollars to China, your second party would be receiving 708.05 Chinese yuan.
This fee is paid by the person receiving the money, rather than the person sending the money. Some companies charge both a transfer fee and a receiving fee, meaning they are making a profit off both the person who is transferring the money and the person who receives it on the other end.
What Are My Rights?
There are several federal laws that have been put in place to protect the consumer using international money transfers. These laws require that most companies, banks, and other institutions provide purchasers with specific information before and after making transfers of any amount of money larger than $15 dollars.
The information these companies are required to give include but are not limited to, the following:
- Any taxes and/or fees the sender will be required to pay during every step of the transfer.
- The current and exact exchange rate customers will be using to convert their currency.
- Any additional fees charged by outside agencies.
- The total amount of purchasers will be paying.
- The total amount of money a person is sending and how much of that money his or her recipient will receive.
Customers also have the right to cancel any transfer transaction within 30 minutes of placing the transaction. However, if the transferred money has already been received or picked up by the second party, this right is waived.
Furthermore, customers have the right to ask to be able to track their money transfers. Most companies provide this service, but there are a few who don’t. If a customer asks to be able to track his or her transfer and are told it isn’t possible, that person is then free to cancel that transaction and take his or her transfer to another company.
Now that you know a bit about what international money transfers are and how to use them, let’s discuss the top ten companies currently available for use in transferring money.
These Services vs a bank when sending abroad
Based on what you’ve just read above you’re probably starting to reach the conclusion that it’s a good idea to use a money transfer service, especially if you want to ensure you’re getting the best exchange rate and avoid fees when sending money internationally. In order to make the right choice, you need to consider various factors including fees, reliability, security, and service. Let’s go over some of the benefits of using a remittance service provider over a bank.
- Banks are generally more expensive: the exchange rate offered by the bank isn’t likely going to be as competitive as you can get from a transfer specialist. Banks will also charge a wire transfer fee which can typically be up to $40 per transaction. Whilst it is true that some banks will offer overseas wire transfers at no additional cost there are often hidden charges that can provide difficult to identify. You also need to keep in mind the fee that you will be charged by the receiving bank on the other end of the transaction too.
- Banks usually require a lot more information: you might be surprised to hear that some banks don’t even offer wire transfer services. The bank will commonly require you to physically visit your local branch too. There is often lengthy and tedious paperwork to complete for each and every transfer you want to make. You will also be asked to confirm your identity with photo identification.
- Banks will often require you to have an existing account with them: in order to make a wire transfer, the banks will require you to already be banking with them. If you don’t already hold an account then you will need to open one which involves a lot of paperwork and time.
- Bank transfers are generally slower: bank wire transfers are much slower compared with online service providers.
- Banks commonly only transfer to banks: when you make a wire transfer via a bank you’re often limited to transferring to another bank on the receiving end of the transaction. With online money transfer services, you don’t face the same limitations and can nominate the receiving account of your choice.
- Online money transfer companies are more flexible for smaller transfers: whilst some banks are equipped to handle smaller transfers with lower fees you’ll often find the exchange rate is not as competitive as specialist providers.
- Specialist money transfer providers are great for large money transfers: when it comes to transferring a large sum of money (i.e. purchasing a home) you really can’t go past a specialist provider. The banks simply can’t compete with the highly competitive exchange rates and low (or zero) fees these specialist services offer.
Top 10 Companies: BEST OpTions
- Currencies Direct: Known for competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees, Currencies Direct offers tailored solutions for personal and business transfers.
- XE Money Transfer: With a strong reputation for accurate currency information, XE Money Transfer provides fee-free transfers and competitive exchange rates.
- OFX: Offering competitive exchange rates and low fees, OFX has become a popular choice for individuals and businesses seeking a secure and user-friendly platform for international transfers.
- Send Payments: Combining technology with financial expertise, Send Payments offers a secure, simple, and fast platform for international money transfers.
- TorFX: Offering personal account management and competitive exchange rates, TorFX is a popular choice for individuals and businesses seeking customized transfer solutions.
- WorldFirst: With a focus on transparency and competitive pricing, WorldFirst caters to businesses and online sellers with its extensive range of currency services.
- Wise (formerly TransferWise): Renowned for its transparent fees and mid-market exchange rates, Wise is an ideal choice for cost-effective transfers.
- CurrencyFair: Providing a peer-to-peer currency exchange platform, CurrencyFair allows users to access competitive rates and low fees for international transfers.
- WorldRemit: Specializing in low-cost remittance services, WorldRemit enables transfers to over 150 countries via bank deposit, cash pick-up, mobile money, and airtime top-up.
- MoneyGram: As one of the largest global money transfer providers, MoneyGram offers secure and reliable transactions through its extensive network of agent locations.
1. Currencies Direct (Our #1 Recommendation)
Currencies Direct is a leading company with a perfect five-star review on TrustPilot. The company was founded in 1996, so it has quite a bit of history and is older than several of the other companies on this list. In that time, they have served over 250,000 customers.
Currencies Direct does not charge any transfer fees, and the exchange rates are incredibly low and competitive. Accounts are set up online or through mobile devices, and those accounts are free as well, and quick and easy to set up.
This is a company with one of the best rates on the market today; if someone is looking for the best price on transferring money internationally, this might be the company to check out. However, there is a downside to this company as well.
It only transfers money into a little over 20 different currencies. So if you are planning on a secure money transfer to somewhere that isn’t exactly common or “the norm,” you may not be able to use this particular company.
However, as the thousands of five-star reviews can attest, this doesn’t seem to be a major downside for most people. Customers consistently praise Currencies Direct’s excellent, 24 hours a day, seven days a week customer service, and the company is well-known for working on behalf of the consumer rather than against him or her.
The company has also won several awards, including the Money Transfer Provider of the Year award in 2018 and the Consumer Champion of the Year award in 2017. They are our top recommend provider for online money transfer services in USA and globally.
Full Profile: Currencies Direct reviews
|💱 Currencies||40+ provided|
|🏢Offices||London, Spain, France, Portugal, USA, South Africa and India|
|📱 Platforms||Retail presence, phone service, online service and mobile app|
|⚖️ Regulation||Authorised by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI)|
|✔️ Credit Rating||Level 1 credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet (Highest Possible)|
|🏆 Awards||MoneyAge award (three time winner of ‘Money transfer Provider of the Year’)|
|🌟Reviews||Excellent 4.9/5 from 8,903 reviews on Trustpilot|
|💰 Fees||No transfer fees|
|📈 Trading Volume||550,000 payments last year, trading £7.5bn in currency in 2021|
Our runner-up, also receiving five out of five stars on TrustPilot, XE has become a globally recognized name in international money transfers. XE offers several great features that aren’t all offered in one place by some of the other international money transfer companies on the market today.
They offer an option to do same-day transfers to most of the 170 countries they serve, and they have the ability to transfer currency into any other available currency. They consistently have some of the best exchange rates on the market, and one of the things that consumers love best about them? They do not charge any additional fees to send your money!
They are an online company that allows purchasers to send and receive money from the comfort of their own homes, and each user has his or her own private account on the company’s website, meaning anyone can monitor his or her account at any time, day or night, twenty-four hours a day.
XE boasts over 285 million visitors to its site each year and has had over 65 million app downloads since the site first launched. They work with over 200 of the leading global brands, such as Apple, Walmart, Google, Amazon, and more, and in the year 2015 alone, over $74 billion dollars was transferred safely and quickly using their service.
XE is authorized by the FCA and protected by Norton Security. Users can set up free accounts on their sites for personal or business use. They offer 24-hour tracking of each of a customer’s money transfers.
Full profile: XE Money Transfer Reviews
Using the same rating system, TrustPilot, OFX was rated four out of five stars. They, too, require no transfer fees for transferring money through their company. They offer transfers directly from the purchaser’s debit card or via wire transfers. They are a bit limited in how the money can be received, however, requiring that it must be deposited directly into the receiver’s bank account.
They are well-known globally; they have offices located in several different countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. They do have a lock-in rate feature, allowing purchasers to lock-in a specific rate before actually transferring the money.
They support 55 different currencies, including, but not limited to, currencies in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, South Africa, China, Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, Russia, and Pakistan. They offer tracking for your transfers, and keeping track of your transfer history is incredibly easy using your private account on their website.
OFX does not offer same-day transfers. Depending on a number of factors, transfers with OFX can take anywhere from one to two days up to three to five days for some of the more exotic locations. There is a full list of the common and exotic currencies they serve on their website.
Full profile: OFX Reviews
4. Send Payments
Based in Australia, but providing global services, Send is another company with a 5 out of 5-star customer rating on TrustPilot. This year they were award ‘Best value international money transfer provider’ by Mozo, one of Australia’s leading financial comparison platforms. Send specialize in assisting clients to move from country to country with excellent exchange rates on high volume transfers, zero fees, the ability to book transfers 24/7 with same days transfers plus local support from their team of account managers that you can speak to and discuss your requirements.
Setting up an account with Send is very user friendly, free and there’s no obligation to use them once the account is setup. Once your identity has been verified you will be introduced to one of their team to discuss and then process your transaction or if you don’t want to speak to anybody then you have the option to self-serve on their secure 24/7 payments platform.
Once you have agreed and accepted an exchange rate either via your personal account manager or online you will receive a copy of the contract and instructions to complete your transfer. Once Send have received your funds they are typically transferred to your nominated bank account overseas on the same day.
Send are trusted by some of Australia’s largest international relocation and removal companies who recommend their services to their clients for the purpose of transferring money internationally, safely, and securely.
SendFX Pty Ltd ACN 617 647 220 is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (‘ASIC’), is a registered remittance provider with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (‘AUSTRAC’) is a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (‘AFCA’) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (‘AFSL’) (number 509635).
Based out of the United Kingdom, TorFX is another transfer company with a five out of five-star rating on TrustPilot. It has also won a few awards, such as the Moneyfacts Consumer awards for Best Customer Service and Exceptional Money Transfer Provider; that last one was won four years in a row. Like the two companies listed above, TorFX does not charge any transfer fees for sending money with their company. They also have great exchange rates.
The process for setting up an account with TorFX is also quite simple. It takes only moments to set up an account on their website. After that, TorFX assigns you a specific agent to act as your Personal Account Manager. The two of you will work together to agree on a rate that works best.
After the rate is agreed upon, a confirmation will be sent to you, and you will give your agent the details about the second party who will be receiving your money on the other end of the transfer. Then you will add the funds to your account; they will be cleared and sent immediately to the account of the receiver in the country you’ve specified.
One of the best things about TorFX is that it is safe and secure. Not only is it authorized by the FCA, but it was also awarded a Level One rating from the leading UK agency, Dun & Bradstreet. This rating is the highest rating that can be given to an institution like this. TorFX also holds segregated client accounts with Barclays, a well-respected and highly secure credit company.
Full profile: TorFX Reviews
6. WorldFirst (For Business)
WorldFirst is another United Kingdom-based money transfer company. It has a four-star rating on TrustPilot, and it offers many competitive benefits. It has a 24 hours a day, seven days a week customer service and account monitoring guarantee, and it offers both same and next day transfers to many countries.
As long as you are transferring to another WorldFirst customer, the transfers are also free of transfer fees; however, if you are transferring money to a recipient in another way, fees will be added to your transfer. Despite the fees, many people love WorldFirst because it offers one of the largest pools of transferrable currencies, boasting a huge 187 different currencies.
WorldFirst currently has over 400,000 individual customers and more than 150,000 business clients across the globe, and since the company’s launch in 2004, those customers have transferred over 70 billion pounds, roughly 90 billion US dollars, using the company as a facilitator.
The big complaint concerning WorldFirst is that as of February 2019, they no longer have operations in the United States and no longer serve online customers from the United States. Customers from the United States can, however, switch over to their new platform under the name of Omega.
Full profile: WorldFirst review
7. Wise (formerly TransferWise)
With a TrustPilot score of 9.1 out of 10, Wise is another safe and secure choice for sending money internationally. They have 12 offices around the world, and approximately $4 billion dollars are sent through their company every month by their six million customers in 59 countries.
TransferWise does charge a fee for sending money, but they are generally quite low, some as low as $1 dollar plus 10% of the total transfer amount per transfer. These low fees make TransferWise one of the best possible sites for transferring smaller amounts of money. For transfers that are larger than $10,000 dollars, though, other companies might be cheaper in the end. Despite these fees, there are no surprises or hidden fees, and TransferWise is very upfront and clear about all its charges.
TransferWise also offers several different available options for how to send money. Money can be sent using direct wire transfers; customers using this method can actually transfer as much as a million dollars. Other methods of transferring include debit and credit cards, direct ACH transfers from one’s bank account and even Apple Pay.
This company also offers next-day transfers, but this is not available for all transactions. Although purchasers can send money through TransferWise at any time, the receiver may not have access to the transferred money right away. For instance, if a customer sends money on a Friday evening, the recipient of the money may not be able to pick the money up until his or her bank or another institution opens once more, which could potentially be as late as the following Monday.
The biggest draw for most people who choose to use TransferWise is that they use the actual exchange rate released by the government, and they adjust their exchange rate as the exchange rate is adjusted. This means the purchaser is never paying an inflated exchange rate to transfer his or her money.
CurrencyFair has been in business for nearly a decade and has already facilitated the exchange of over 8 billion euros, which is the equivalent of right at 9 billion US dollars. It has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on TrustPilot and is known and trusted globally. They are based out of Ireland and the United Kingdom, but they also have offices in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, as well.
Setting up an account on their website is fast, free and easy, and it gives you access to sending and receiving money from over 150 different countries. CurrencyFair customers seem to use this company more as a way to receive money rather than transfer money, although both of those things can be accomplished through the company.
Receiving money that comes directly from a bank transfer into your CurrencyFair account is free; however, if you receive money into your account from any other type of transfer, there are fees associated with the process. The website also mentions that there may be other bank fees associated with the transfer process depending on any third-party institutions that have to be involved in the process.
Two of CurrencyFair’s most interesting and innovative features are its ChatBot and the ability for the customer to set up automatic transfers.
The ChatBot is an online help tool that is available around the clock on the CurrencyFair website. It allows users to ask questions and work through problems in real-time without the hassle of sitting on the phone waiting for someone to pick up on the other end of the 1-800 line.
The automated transfer feature is fairly self-explanatory. Customers are able to set up automatic transfers to be sent up to two weeks before the actual transfer date. They can be canceled or adjusted during this time period, as well. There are detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to set up this process on the CurrencyFair website, and if you have trouble with the process, the ChatBot is always there to help, as well.
WorldRemit has over 125,000 5-star reviews on TrustPilot and an overall TrustPilot rating of over 4 stars. This company allows you to send money to over 140 different countries globally. With WorldRemit, customers can also send money from over 50 different countries around the world.
There are some fees associated with sending money through WorldRemit, but they are reasonable, and their exchange rates are fiercely competitive. The company also takes its payment from several various sources including, but not limited to, the following:
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Prepaid Cards
- Debit Cards
- Credit Cards
- Bank Account Transfers
- and More!
Another thing that customers love about WorldRemit is that it offers several different and innovative ways to transfer your money to its recipient. In addition to the normal bank transfer option, WorldRemit also offers a cash pickup, a door-to-door payment method, an airtime top-ups method, and mobile methods of payment.
Cash pickups are exactly what they sound like. They allow your recipient to physically go to a trusted location with his picture id and the transaction reference and pick up cash money from a WorldRemit employee. These pickups can usually take place nearly instantaneously, as well, which is incredibly convenient for both parties. Door-to-door delivery is quite similar, except in that case, the money is delivered in cash to your recipient’s home.
Airtime top-ups are a little more abstract. Basically, any time a person connects a mobile phone to a telecom network, that person will be required to buy credit to utilize that particular Telcom network’s airtime. The airtime is, of course, what gives a person access to his or her phone’s functions, such as data, text messaging, voice mails, and more.
Adding this type of credit to a pre-paid cell is known as “topping up.” WorldRemit allows customers to top up their own phone or someone else’s phone through the site. These transfers, too, are almost always instantaneous.
Finally, mobile methods of transferring work very similarly to any digital wallet service, such as Google or PayPal Wallet.
In the United States, MoneyGram is probably one of the most recognizable brands of international money transfers there are. Stop by any Wal-Mart, head to the service desk or money center, and logos, and signs for MoneyGram will be everywhere.
Even though they only have a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating, which is lower than some of the other companies’ ratings, MoneyGram is one of the most widely used money transfer services throughout the entire country. It also has one of the most comprehensive lists of countries to which they send money, including over 350,000 locations in more than 200 countries.
MoneyGram is one of the quicker methods of sending money, with many of their transfers arriving the very same day on which the transfers are purchased. In the case of banks being closed or holidays, the transfers can sometimes take a little longer, but even so, they usually arrive by the next business day. There is a transfer and monthly limit, both of $6000 dollars.
Despite the wide variety of countries available and the speed and convenience of delivery, or perhaps because of those things, MoneyGram is one of the more expensive transfer services. They have, at times, added markups as high as three percent.
However, there is one other great benefit to using MoneyGram. They make it very easy for people without bank accounts to receive money because they have so many physical locations where people can go and pick up money that has been sent to them in person, without having to set up any accounts or go through any banks.
|1||Currencies Direct||Competitive exchange rates, no transfer fees, tailored solutions for personal and business transfers|
|2||XE Money Transfer||Fee-free transfers, competitive exchange rates, accurate currency information|
|3||OFX||Competitive exchange rates, low fees, secure and user-friendly platform|
|4||Send Payments||Secure, simple, and fast platform for international money transfers|
|5||TorFX||Personal account management, competitive exchange rates, customized transfer solutions|
|6||WorldFirst||Transparency, competitive pricing, extensive range of currency services for businesses and online sellers|
|7||Wise (formerly TransferWise)||Transparent fees, mid-market exchange rates, cost-effective transfers|
|8||CurrencyFair||Peer-to-peer currency exchange, competitive rates, low fees for international transfers|
|9||WorldRemit||Low-cost remittance services, transfers via bank deposit, cash pick-up, mobile money, airtime top-up|
|10||MoneyGram||Secure and reliable transactions, extensive network of agent locations|
The Best of the Rest of the Organizations
Western Union is another incredibly well-known and popular money transfer system, especially in the United States. It is very similar to MoneyGram in several ways. Like MoneyGram, Western Union, too, has operations in over 200 different countries; however, they beat out MoneyGram on locations, boasting a huge 550,000 locations around the globe.
They also provide the same or next day delivery of transfers to most recipients, depending on which country someone is sending money to. However, unlike MoneyGram, Western Union charges extra for this rush delivery; it is not standard practice.
Western Union is also known for having quite expensive rates, as well. Sometimes, the transfer fees are no more than five dollars, depending on the amount of money being sent, but the inflation rate for the exchange rate can be over 6%.
The advantages of using Western Union, though, can potentially outweigh the disadvantages if you need to send money to a rather obscure country. Furthermore, because of the abundance of locations and the option to pick up money in person rather than via a bank transfer, Western Union is the only viable option for some people, even if they do balk at the lofty fees. Perhaps that’s why it has a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating.
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Matt is a veteran of the moving industry, a recognized moving expert and is the founder of Mover Focus. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History. He also has completed the EiM (Essentials in International Moving) course from the FIDI Academy. His advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Business News Daily and The SpareFoot Blog Go. Read more.