Published: 24 May 2018
Sending an International Money Transfer isn’t always straightforward. If you don’t come from a financial background the jargon makes things more confusing than they actually are. The most important decision to make when figuring out how to send money overseas is which provider to use.
To the untrained eye, they all may seem the same; all they do is send money overseas, right?
There is actually a massive difference between providers!
We all know clothing stores mark-up the clothing they sell, and transfer services are no different, they mark-up the currencies they sell. This is why the exchange rate you are usually given is worse than the one seen on Google (Google shows the actual exchange rate that banks receive). Banks usually give you a rate that is approximately 4.85% worse than the actual exchange rate.
There is usually a fixed fee component. A fixed fee is charged to cover the cost of transferring your money overseas. Be careful, most providers advertise a very low fixed fee and make back the money on the exchange rate, so make sure to check both are competitive! Banks usually charge a fixed fee of $10-20 per transfer.
Once you send your money it is important for it to arrive in a timely manner. Over the last few decades, the time taken to send money overseas has slowly been reducing. Timeframes can be hard to predict when dealing on a global scale time-zones and financial institution operational hours may not always line up. Most banks quote two to five days to transfer money overseas.
To send money overseas your identity will need to be verified by the provider you use. This is a legal requirement to help prevent money laundering, however, this can be a painful process that requires photographing and scanning your personal documents and then includes several days of waiting for approval. Most institutions will either take 48 hours to approve documents online or will require in-person visits.
International money transfers can be confusing, so it is important to choose a provider that takes your experience seriously. You need to be able to receive quick responses and help with any of the processes.