A Guide to Receiving Money From Abroad

Receiving money from abroad is often necessary for international business and personal finances. It can also be confusing to figure out the best way to receive money from another country, especially if you’re new to the process. 

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you understand how to receive money from abroad. We’ll cover the different methods of transferring money, the fees associated with each method, and the best way to ensure the money arrives safely and quickly. With this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the best way to receive money from abroad. 

So let’s get started!  


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Common Reasons for Receiving Money From Abroad 

Payment for Goods or Services

One of the most common reasons for receiving money from abroad is payment for goods or services. This could be anything from selling an item online to working as a freelancer for an international company. In these cases, it’s important to ensure you have all the necessary documentation, such as a contract or invoice, to avoid any issues further down the line. 

Receiving Money From Family or Friends 

If you have family or friends who live in another country, they may occasionally send you some money to help you with your rent or utility bills or simply as a birthday present. 

Gifts and Donations 

Another reason you may receive money from abroad is as a gift or donation from friends or family members. In many cases, there is no need for any special documentation, but it’s always worth checking with your bank or the sender to be sure. If you’re expecting a large sum of money, it’s also worth considering whether you need to declare it to your tax authority. 


In some cases, you may receive money from abroad as part of an inheritance. This is usually handled by a solicitor or other professional, so they will be able to advise you on any specific documentation you may need. 

Receiving a Pension or Other Type of Government Benefit

Many people who retire abroad still receive government benefits, such as a pension from their home country. In order to do this, you will need to set up an international bank account and arrange for the funds to be transferred regularly.  

The Different Ways to Receive Money From Overseas

Bank Transfers 

Bank transfers are the most common way to receive money from abroad. The sender will need your bank account number and routing number, and the funds will usually arrive within a few days, although it can sometimes take longer. There may be a fee charged by the sender’s bank, as well as a fee charged by your bank for receiving the funds. 

Money Transfer Service 

When you use a money transfer service as a method to receive money, the person sending you money will need your name, address, and phone number. It’s necessary to provide the right amounts for each transfer. The company will then give them a quote and the fee they charge for the transaction.  

Once the fee is paid, the company will send the money to you. You can pick up the cash at a local agent location or have it deposited into your bank account. 

When choosing a money transfer service, it is important to compare fees and exchange rates. You should also consider the speed of the transaction and whether or not you need to track the money. 

Cash Pick-Up 

Another way to receive money from abroad is through a cash pick-up service such as Western Union or MoneyGram. With these services, someone can send you money from anywhere in the world, and you can pick up the funds at one of their locations (usually within minutes). 

To do this, they will need your name and location as well as an identification number that is specific to your account with that particular service provider. The sender will also have to pay a fee when initiating the transaction, ranging from $25-$50, depending on how much money is being sent and where it’s being sent from/to.  

How Long Does It Take to Receive an Overseas Transfer? 

The time it takes to receive an overseas transfer depends on a few factors, including the transfer method, the country of origin, and the receiving bank. 

  • Transfers typically take 2-5 days to arrive
  • Transfers from certain countries may take longer due to added security measures
  • The receiving bank may also hold onto the funds for a few days before making them available to you.

Overall, you can expect to receive your overseas transfer within 5 business days. 

What Information Do You Need to Provide to Receive an International Money Transfer?

In order to receive an international money transfer, you will usually need to provide the following information: 

  • The name of the sender
  • The name of the sending bank
  • The account number of the sending bank
  • The routing number of the sending bank
  • The amount of money being sent
  • The currency in which the money is being sent 
  • Your name and contact information (including your address and phone number)
  • Your bank account number
  • Your routing number

How to Receive Money From Abroad Without a Bank Account?

There are a few ways to receive money from abroad without a bank account. The most common way is to use a money transfer service. Money transfer services allow you to send and receive money internationally without a bank account and usually have lower fees than banks.  

You can also use cryptocurrency to receive money from abroad. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to send and receive payments internationally. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are many others available as well. 

What Affects the Amount of Money You Will Receive?

There are a few things that can affect the amount of money you receive from abroad. The most common is the exchange rate.

The exchange rate shows how much a currency is worth in another currency. The rate fluctuates all the time, so the amount of money you get changes depending on the date of transfer. 

If you are receiving money from abroad in a foreign currency, it is important to be aware of the current exchange rate. This will help you to know how much money you will actually receive in your own currency. Exchange rates can fluctuate daily, so it is a good idea to check the rate before you agree to receive money in a foreign currency. You can check the current exchange rate online or at your local bank or currency exchange office.

Another thing that can affect the amount of money you receive is fees. Some banks and specialist money transfer services charge fees for sending or receiving money. These fees can vary depending on the institution and the transfer method, but they are generally a percentage of the total amount being sent.

For example, if you are receiving $1,000 from abroad via bank transfer, you may be charged a fee of $10-$20. Fees for receiving money via cash pick-up are usually higher, as much as 10% of the total amount being sent. 

Lastly, the country you’re sending money to may have restrictions on how much money can be sent in or out. This is usually done to prevent money laundering or other criminal activities. If there are restrictions in place, they may limit the amount of money you can receive. 

How to Avoid Fees When Receiving Money?


  • Use a fee-free service 

There are a few ways to avoid fees when receiving money from abroad. The first is to use a fee-free service. There are a few companies that offer this, so it’s worth doing some research to find the best one for you. 


  • Use a service that offers a low foreign exchange rate

Another way to avoid fees is to use a service that offers a low foreign exchange rate. This means you’ll get more bang for your buck, and it can be a great way to save money on international transfers. 

Overseas Money Limits

There are limits to how much money you can receive from overseas. The limit depends on the country you are receiving the money from and the method of transfer. 

For example, if you are receiving a wire transfer from a bank in the United States, the limit is $10,000. If you are receiving money via PayPal from someone in the United Kingdom, the limit is £5,500. 

There may also be limits on how much foreign currency you can bring into your country. For example, if you are bringing EUR into the United States, the limit is €10,000. 

If you exceed the limit, your bank or financial institution may freeze your account and report you to authorities. You may also be subject to fines or other penalties. 

Cancelation of Transfers

Once an international money transfer has been initiated, it can generally not be canceled. This is because the funds have already been sent from the sender’s bank to the recipient’s bank, and reversing the transaction would be very complicated and may not even be possible. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. 

For instance, if the sender used a credit card to send the money, they may be able to cancel the transaction and get a refund from their credit card company. If the sender used a wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram, they might also be able to cancel the transaction and get a refund, although this is not always guaranteed. 

If you are the recipient of an international money transfer you did not expect or do not want, your best course of action is to contact the sender directly and ask them to cancel the transaction. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, you can try contacting your bank or the wire transfer service used to see if they can help reverse the transaction. 

However, as mentioned above, this is often impossible or may take a long time, so it’s important to be sure that you really want to receive the money before initiating any transfers. 

Money Transfer Regulators 

Different countries have different organizations that regulate money transfers. In the United States, it is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) that monitors international money transfers. In the UK, it is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

FinCEN’s role is to ensure that international money transfers comply with U.S. sanctions and anti-terrorism laws. They also work to prevent money laundering. The FCA’s job is similar, but they also protect consumers by making sure financial services are fair, safe, and transparent. 

When sending or receiving an international money transfer, it is important to check with your local regulator to make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws. 

Overseas Money Tax

One common question people have when receiving money from abroad is whether or not they need to pay taxes on the money. The answer to this question depends on a few different factors, such as the country you are receiving the money from and the amount you are receiving. 

In general, you will not have to pay taxes on the money you receive from another country if it is considered a gift. For example, if someone sends you $100 as a gift, you will not be required to pay taxes on that $100. However, if you receive $100 as payment for services rendered, you will be required to pay taxes on that income. 

The amount of money you receive also affects whether or not you will need to pay taxes. In most cases, you will only be required to pay taxes on amounts over a certain threshold. For example, in the United States, individuals are only required to pay taxes on payments over $10,000. So if someone sends you $9,000 as a gift, you won’t have to pay any taxes. 

There are some exceptions to these general rules, so it is always best to speak with an accountant or tax advisor before receiving any large sums of money from overseas. They can advise you on any applicable taxes in your specific case. 

Security When Receiving Money From Abroad

When receiving money from abroad, it is important to be aware of the potential for fraud. There are a few steps you can take to help prevent fraud: 

  • Only give your bank account information to trusted sources and avoid providing such information online or over the phone
  • Be careful if someone asks you to pay a fee to receive money because this is often a sign of a scam
  • Be cautious of any offers that seem too good to be true. For example, if someone promises to double your money if you send them a certain amount first, this is likely a scam
  • Keep track of who you send money to and how much you send. This will help you spot any unauthorized transactions quickly

What to Do If You Suspect Fraud?

If you suspect that you have been the victim of fraud, there are a few things you should do: 

  • Contact your bank or financial institution immediately and let them know what has happened. They may be able to cancel the transaction or put a stop to further payments
  • File a report with the police or another law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction. This will help create awareness about the scam and may also lead to catching the person responsible
  • Contact any relevant government agencies in your country. These agencies can provide further information about what steps to take next and may also investigate the matter further themselves
  • Spread the word to your family and friends. This way, they can be aware of the scam and avoid becoming victims themselves

Keeping Your Money Safe When Receiving Money

  • Use a reputable service 

When receiving money from abroad, it is important to use a reputable and reliable service. Many scammers pose as money transfer services to steal your money. To avoid being scammed, only use established and well-known services. Research the service before you use it, and make sure that it is properly licensed and regulated. 


  • Keep your personal information safe 

When sending or receiving money internationally, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your full name, date of birth, address, and phone number. It is important to keep this information safe to avoid identity theft. Do not share your personal information with anyone you don’t trust completely. When entering your personal information into an online form, make sure the website is secure (look for https:// in the URL).

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Receiving Money 


Receiving money from abroad can have several advantages. For example, if you are a student studying overseas, your parents may send you money to help cover expenses. Or, if you are working abroad, you may receive a higher salary than you would at home, which can be beneficial if the cost of living is also higher in your host country. 

Another advantage of receiving money from abroad is that it can help you to save on currency exchange fees. When you convert your home currency into the local currency of your destination country, you will usually have to pay a fee. However, if you receive money in the local currency from someone who lives there, you can avoid this fee. 

Finally, receiving money from abroad can give you access to funds you may not otherwise have. For example, if your family is based in another country and they have some extra money that they want to send to you, it can be very helpful in covering unexpected costs or emergency expenses. 

Among the other pros are:

  • It can be done relatively easily and quickly
  • If you have a friend or family member who lives in another country, they can send you money through a number of different methods
  • It can be a very convenient way to get the funds you need
  • If you live in a country with strict currency controls, receiving money from abroad can be a great way to get around those controls and access the funds you need


While there are several advantages to receiving money from abroad, there are also some potential disadvantages. For example, depending on where the money is coming from, it may take several days or even weeks to arrive. This can be frustrating if you need the funds immediately for an emergency. 

Another disadvantage is that there may be fees associated with receiving international payments. These fees can vary depending on the bank or transfer service used but can add up over time and eat into the total amount of funds you receive. 

Additionally, the exchange rate between two currencies can fluctuate, which means that the value of the money you receive may be less than what was originally sent (or vice versa). 

Among other disadvantages:

  • It can be expensive depending on how you receive the funds and what method your sender uses, and you may have to pay fees for the transfer
  • There may be some risk involved in receiving funds from an unknown source. If you are not careful, you could end up being scammed out of your hard-earned cash

Our Top Choices for Receiving International Payments

Currencies Direct – Best for receiving large amounts of money from overseas 

For cross-border payments, Currencies Direct has provided bank-beating rates since 1996. Personal and business payments can be made overseas in more than 60 currencies, including those from Australia, Canada, the United States, and South Africa. 

The process of sending money begins after the sender registers for a Personal, Business, or Online Seller account.  

Once they enter all the details correctly and submit them, they will receive a secure PIN via SMS or email. Next, the Currencies Direct account managers will contact them by phone or email.

The first transfer can begin once you have completed the verification process by selecting the currency and amount they wish to send and provide your  details. As soon as Currencies Direct receives payment, funds will be sent directly to you. 

All day, every day, Currencies Direct provides a live exchange rate list that shows true mid-market rates. 

Customers setting up international transfers will receive a slightly lower rate. Spreads on foreign exchange rates are how the company makes money. Even with the markup, Currencies Direct offers competitive exchange rates compared to most banks. 

What’s more, Currencies Direct does not charge any fees. There may, however, be other fees charged by third-party providers. 

In most cases, Currencies Direct transfers reach you within 24 to 48 hours. Get an estimate of the delivery date from the customer service team before paying to avoid disappointment. A transfer involving “exotic” currencies may take longer than one involving a major currency. 

🏛️ Established1996
🌎 ClientsGlobal
💱 Currencies40+ provided
🏢OfficesLondon, Spain, France, Portugal, USA, South Africa and India
📱 PlatformsRetail presence, phone service, online service and mobile app
⚖️ RegulationAuthorised by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI)
✔️ Credit RatingLevel 1 credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet (Highest Possible)
🏆 AwardsMoneyAge award (three time winner of ‘Money transfer Provider of the Year’)
🌟ReviewsExcellent 4.9/5 from 9,169 reviews on Trustpilot
💰 FeesNo transfer fees
📈 Trading Volume550,000 payments last year, trading £7.5bn in currency in 2021


  • With over 20 years of experience in currency exchange
  • There are over 325,000 active clients who receive $7.52 billion in transfers every year
  • The company has won many business and consumer awards
  • Professional staff with a friendly attitude
  • No matter how much money is transferred, the fee is not fixed
  • 22 offices around the world
  • Multilingual support staff & website


  • Money can’t be sent  to Asia or South America with this service
  • Wise.com has a more intuitive user interface
  • Despite its functionality, the online app doesn’t have an appealing design


Wise – Best for Smaller Transfers

It is for good reason that Wise is a well-known name in the industry. Financial services have been brought to a whole new level with the company’s increased transparency and no hidden fees.  

A major selling point of Wise is the fact that they are transparent about fees and exchange rates: the exact amount that will be transferred to your  account is confirmed before the transfer occurs. 

There are over 180 thousand reviews from people who use Wise’s services, and the company’s Trustpilot rating is 4.5 out of 5. 

As part of the Wise sending process, senders must provide information about themselves and you, including name, address, number of phones, e-mail address, bank account information, and International Bank Account Number (IBAN).

As soon as they enter the currency and amount, they will see the fees associated with each payment method. After that, the funds can be transferred. Customers can lock in rates for 24 and 48 hours with Wise, regardless of exchange rate fluctuations.  

Transfers are free of charge, but additional fees may apply depending on the speed at which money is delivered, the amount transferred, and the currency used. The fee is usually a percentage of the transferred amount and ranges from 0.5% to 0.7%. Funds are typically transferred within three to five business days. 


  • Transparent and clear fees and margins
  • Known for its reliability and trustworthiness for more than a decade
  • Guaranteed rates are available for 24 to 48 hours
  • Fast transfers are available


  • There is no cash pickup available
  • Difficulty with large transactions due to the lack of specialized support


Receiving money from abroad doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. By following the tips and tricks in this guide, you can make sure your money arrives safely and without any extra fees. 

So don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family overseas – with a little planning, it’s easy to receive money from abroad. 


Categories Money Transfer