Over the past few years, thanks to the rise of a number of disruptive Financial Technology, otherwise known as FinTech businesses, it has become far easier, and cheaper to send money overseas.
Until recently most of us would have used either a wire transfer agency, such as Western Union or Ria Money Transfer, or a high street bank to send money internationally, but there were 3 major drawbacks to this approach.
Firstly, it would usually take up to 5 days for the money to reach its destination. Secondly, the bank or wire transfer agency would charge a high fee for the transaction. And finally, the exchange rates offered would be skewed in favour of the bank or agency, and not representative of the real mid-market rates used by currency traders.
Thankfully there are now a range of alternative ways to send your money abroad. Below we list 5 services that will help you send money faster, save on fees, and benefit from better rates.
This fintech disruptor was founded by 2 Estonians frustrated at the excessive rates banks were charging them to send money from London back to Estonia.
TransferWise is a peer-to-peer network, which means if you are looking to swap British Pounds for Euros, for example, the service will match you with somebody looking to perform the reverse transaction, effectively cutting out the middleman.
This system makes TransferWise up to 8 times cheaper than using a bank to make the same transaction. TransferWise uses the “real” exchange rate that you can see on Google, for example, and charges you the lowest possible fee. The service is completely transparent – there are no hidden fees.
Azimo allows you to send money overseas to contacts using just their mobile phone number, or bank account. Firstly, you select how much you want to transfer; secondly, select your preferred payment method. Thirdly, you confirm the details and click send.
It really is as simple as that. Azimo allows users to send money to over 190 countries, either direct to somebody’s account or mobile banking account, or to one of 20,000 banks globally, or 270,000 cash pick-up locations.
World First caters for a range of different international payments, from businesses, to personal, to people selling products online. The service only caters for transactions above £1,000, but providing you are sending more than this amount the service is available without fees. Plus World First promises to cover correspondent and receiving charges where it can, too.
World Remit describes its service as low cost, fast, simple and trusted, and it’s hard to disagree.
The service combines industry-leading technology with guarantees that your money will reach its destination safely every time. You can make transfers in a number of different ways, too. Bank deposit, cash pickup, mobile money or even airtime top-up.
This is a money transfer service that has really made strides; Revolut recently announced that they were scrapping 0.5% fees on money transfers on transaction below £5k and making them free instead, and have also introduced a ‘Turbo’ service, that can speed up transactions from 3-5 days, to between 1 and 2 for a small fee.
The startup also offers a subscription service for those who regularly send money abroad – by paying a small monthly fee, users can make unlimited fee-free transfers and benefit from additional features.
So, hopefully you can see that there have never been more ways to send money abroad, and that there is no excuse these days to not to explore the possibilities before making an overseas money transfer. It may be confusing at first, but the above guide should give you some pointers where to start your search for the best available deals.