Back in the day, when technology was in its infancy stage, sending money between countries took weeks, sometimes months.
You had to mail the cash through the postal services which have always been slow, and then have to wait for another number of weeks to get a reply mail informing you that they received the money.
But no more, since the advent of the internet and online banking has taken overseas transfers to within minutes and a few working days.
What is an International Money Transfer?
An international money transfer is the sending of funds from one party to another involving the crossing of national borders. It is essentially the transfer of money from between countries and can be either in cash or electronic. This service can be done by traditional banks or specialist money transfer companies.
Factors to Consider Before Making a Transaction
Before you decide what type of service you want to use to transfer your money, there are a few things you need to mark off your checklist:
1. Exchange rate
Knowing the exchange rate between the sending and receiving countries is important if you don’t plan on paying exorbitant charging fees. These differ across regions and countries so ensure to do enough research to get the most accurate data. To be thorough, after browsing online, you can still call the bank or company for clarity.
2. How much are you sending?
Another thing to consider is the amount of money you want to send, is it a large sum or relatively small? If it is not a lot of money, many companies can transfer it for you.
Try to avoid banks when sending large sums as they charge a steep rate for them, consider specialist services instead.
3. Compare and contrast transfer fees
When looking to transfer your money, don’t be afraid to shop around and look for better alternatives than the ones at your disposal. Different transfer services offer varying rates for separate reasons.
Choose which will benefit you most according to your needs i.e emergency, time-sensitive purchases, sending of gifts, etc.
Why You Should Use a Specialist Money Service For International Transfers
1. They offer specialized expertise
As the name clearly states, specialist money services provide ‘specialized services’ as they are experts at money transfer. It is their business and they know how best to stay competitive with low exchange rates, transfer fees, and years of experience.
2. They are time savers
Although banks do offer the same services, they don’t offer a stress-free transaction process. Bank transfers involve you filling a lot of paperwork and worst of all require your physical presence. Specialist money services have done all the groundwork for you, streamlining the process, thus, requiring less time to send the money.
3. A financially smart choice
Specialist services naturally are much smaller organizations than banks, this is a big reason why their services fees are much lower than that of traditional bank transfers. They also help you lookout for the best possible exchanger rate before sending your money.
What to Look Out For When Choosing A Money Transfer Service
Deciding on a preferred money transfer service has been made difficult with the influx of new companies every year. There are however several markers to indicate a viable option, these are:
User experience/Customer service:
Ease of service is undoubtedly subjective, but everyone can agree that they want their transaction to be as stress-free as possible. You need to read reviews of money transfer services and ensure that the process is quick and simple. Also, make sure they have effective customer service waiting on standby to handle any queries you might have.
This is the service fee paid to the company for your transaction. It could be charged at a flat rate, based on a percentage of the money sent or your method of transfer(credit cards cost more). Although some services even offer free transfers, it is advisable to use your bank account with money transfer providers.
Exchange rates are a very important aspect of your choice of a service provider. The larger the sum for transfer the more impact the transfer rate has on your money. For example, if you’re sending $1,000 to GB at 0.8 you send £8,000, at a rate of 0.77, you send 7,700. That is how much power the exchange rate has over your transactions.
The speed of transfer is basically how long it takes for the money to be deposited in the recipient’s account. This usually takes between a couple of hours to a few days. So depending on your needs, if you need the money sent as fast as possible then choose a service provider that offers fast transfer speed.
After fees amount:
This is another important factor that should influence your choice of specialist service. How much do you expect to be in the recipient account after transaction fees and exchange rates have been accounted for? Knowing this is vital to your choice of a service provider.
How to Transfer Money Overseas Online
The steps involved in sending money overseas is relatively straightforward (compared to using traditional means), they include:
- Step 1: Register for your account on the company’s official website
This will require that you provide a few basic information about yourself i.e name, address, etc.
- Step 2: Verify your identity
This a thorough process that aims to eliminate impersonation fraud among others. You will be required to provide proof of identification like ID, passport, photos, etc. What you’re asked for largely depends on how much you want to send.
- Step 3: Enter your transfer
If you’re sending to another party you will be required to provide details like account number, name, address, branch number, or Bank Identifier Code.
- Step 4. Make payment to the transfer service provider.
- Step 5. Track progress of transfer via email or online.
- Step 6. The transfer is completed and funds arrive in the banking account.
Below are some popular international transfer service providers:
- Western Union(Recommended)
Money transfer services are growing at astronomical rates for good reason. They are affordable, fast, secure, and stress-free. Sending money via these services though secure still requires that you adhere to the rules and regulations of online transfers. Consider checking for customer reviews online before choosing a transfer service.