How to send money abroad?

Usually, for our everyday transactions, we can easily pay for the goods or services in cash or with the basic services provided by our local financial institutions. However, with the ongoing globalization we can travel between countries, establish our business connections there, work abroad, and easily access international products on the Internet. Therefore, one may need to learn how to make international money transfers most efficiently. In this article, we will cover different ways to send money abroad. Each method has its own benefits and different prices.

For many people, the obvious choice is a bank. However, in recent years, many remittance startups have appeared on the market. It allows you not only to send money with a click of a button but also do it for the fraction of international bank wire costs. However, with thousand offers available on the Internet, which one to choose? At our platform, we try to provide the users with the most recent information about different money transfer services. You can find here a full article review of each company, sort them based on the features and compare with one another.

Method 1: In-person

Visit your bank’s local branch

Nowadays, most of the banks have their own websites and banking platforms. Therefore, there is no need to visit the physical branch. However, if you have any trouble figuring out how to order an international money transfer online, the bank assistant will surely help you when you visit their location. We recommend reading our article further, as we will try to explain the benefits of sending money using the Internet. It is a very easy thing to do.

Moreover, many banks currently charge more for ordering a transfer at the branch. Let’s take a look at Barclays fees. Using their online banking platform allows you to send money for around 4GBP. On the other hand, the cost of ordering the same transfer at the branch can reach 15GBP.

What do I need to make money transfer in person?

First of all, it’s good to do a quick research if your bank doesn’t require making an appointment. If so, call your bank representative.

Prepare your recipient’s information:

  • The name and address of your recipient’s bank
  • Bank account number or IBAN,
  • SWIFT/BIC codes

Also, remember to bring your ID and of course, the correct amount of money + the fees. You can find in our review section descriptions of fees from all of the popular banks.

How much it costs to send money in person?

For the transfers within the Eurozone, it usually costs from 5-15GBP. However, for more remote countries, the banks may charge you up to 40GBP.

Other options for in-person payments

If you want to pay in person, yet the bank fees are too high for you, you may want to research other alternatives. For example, there are many independent remittance companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram, just to name a few. Depending on where you live, you will most likely have their location in your city. The whole process is very similar to sending money through a bank, however in that case you don’t have to open an account. All you have to do is to bring your ID and money in cash to their branch.

Such companies often charge less than mainstream banks for processing your international transfer. Moreover, the money may be available to be picked up by your recipient even after a few minutes, if there is a branch location of the said-company near him.

Method 2: Online

Online banking

The most popular and possibly the most convenient way to send money abroad is to use the Internet. If you already have a bank account, check if your bank has an online platform or maybe a mobile app. It will make it easy to order the payment and you can do this without going out of your house. Nowadays, it has become an industry standard for banks to provide online banking to their customers. However, in some cases, you may need to “register” or rather “enable” the online features for your account. Visit your bank’s website, navigate to the online banking section, and follow the instructions there.

What do I need to prepare for an online transfer?

You need to prepare your recipient’s information and some transfer verification method depending on your bank. Some banks send an SMS with a unique code, which you need to type in the web browser, others ask you, for example, a security question.

For the transfer you need:

  • The name and address of your recipient’s bank
  • Bank account number or IBAN,
  • SWIFT/BIC codes

After you fill all of the information, double-check if you haven’t made any mistakes. When you click "send", the money should automatically leave your account and be transferred to your recipient’s. The transfer usually takes up to 3 days. However, for some more remote countries, it can take even a week.

Other platforms to send money abroad online

Here is where the abundance of offers come in place. The most difficult part of sending money online through an independent remittance platform is not ordering the money transfer, but choosing the right service. Most of the platforms operate globally, which means that you can easily access companies outside your country. Each of them has different characteristics and offer various features. For example, there are platforms focused on providing reasonable exchange rates. Others specialize in fast transfers. On our platform, in the “Personal Transfers” section, you can find detailed reviews of them. We rate each company based on fees, speed, safety, and customer satisfaction. You can also read other user reviews to learn about the real experience with the particular service.

The most significant advantage of online remittance platforms are the costs. Especially, compared to the regular bank wires. On the other hand, their reliability may be questionable. Therefore, it’s best to use the recommended companies, which already successfully processed millions of transactions. From the most established ones, there is, of course, PayPal, which is one of the biggest online payment processors in the world. You most likely met PayPal when shopping online, as most of the stores handle their sells through it. There are also other platforms, which are oriented for international money transfers such as TransferWise, WorldRemit, or Azimo, just to name a few.

To use such a platform, you need to register an account with them. It all requires your basic information and can be done online in a few minutes. However, depending on how much money you want to send, you may be required to undergo an individual verification. It is a standard procedure for all of online financial-related companies. They need to comply with the international laws and regulations about preventing money laundering. You will be asked to send them photos of yourself, your ID, or other documentation to verify your identity. To say it simply, the company needs to make sure that the person who opens the account online is really you.

Method 3: Cryptocurrencies

This method falls into the category of online transfers. However, it’s quite unique, therefore it requires a separate category. At the moment, it is not the most popular method of sending money online. However, it’s worth researching its benefits and explore the features, as it may be the future of money remittance.

Cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology, which allows them to be almost instant-fast and costless. To put some numbers in, sending money using cryptocurrency called Ethereum, costs around $0.2 and will be delivered to your recipient in a literal minute. Sounds too good to be true? Well, there are obviously some disadvantages of crypto, which prevent the global adoption yet.

To use it, you need to download a special application and then buy the currency at an exchange. However, most of the cryptocurrencies have volatile prices. One day they can lose or gain up to 10%, which makes them very inefficient to store value. Another drawback is that your recipient needs to have an individual crypto wallet established, so you can’t send it to anyone. But as the technology behind crypto gets developed, and more and more people learn about the benefits from these cheap and fast transfers, you may see more transactions being conducted there. Currently, more than 500,000 transactions are being made every day with Ethereum, which is the second-biggest cryptocurrency. Let’s add to it 10 other popular cryptocurrencies, and we can easily see that few million transactions are already conducted each day.

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