If you are in a situation where you need to transfer money abroad with any regularity, you know how expensive it can be. If your bank or money transfer company charges excessive fees and transfer charges – those small percentages really add up over time. Of course, there are many ways you can choose to transfer money abroad. There are banks, FX companies, in-person money transfer services, and more. If you’re consistently using a money transfer service, you need to find the best option for you – preferably one that saves you a few dollars here and there!
What factors should you consider?
Regardless of who you currently use to transfer your money abroad, there are several factors you should consider when choosing a money transfer service provider.
- Commission. Some financial institutions earn a commission every time you pay a transfer fee. As a result, their fees are numerous and pricey. While this might be a great deal for their employees, it isn’t for you!
- Online platform availability. Most money transfer services have some form of online or mobile application availability. Some transfer companies are online-only, meaning they have lower business costs and can pass those savings on to you. This is a good way to save money on international transfers.
- Security. Obviously, you want your personal financial information to be protected from hackers. Making sure your transfer company doesn’t have a history of data breaches or scams, and checking their security, is an important step. You could lose a lot of money if your funds aren’t protected.
- Credibility. Unfortunately, there are scam artists out there. Before giving your money to a money transfer company, ensure that they’re credible. Making sure they’re insured or hold a business license is a good first step. Once scam artists have your information you could lose not only the money you sent them to transfer but your identity.
- Ease of use. In today’s day and age, time is money. You don’t want to work with an overcomplicated money transfer service. Their transfer process should be simple, secure, and comfortable. Most importantly, you want it to be a quick process – both for you and for the person you’re transferring money to.
- Customer service. A good money transfer company will have excellent customer service. They understand that, even if you aren’t paying high fees, they need to communicate effectively and efficiently with you regarding your transfer.
As is the case any time you start working with a new financial institution, you should carefully vet the company before you give them any of your money. Check out their online reviews, as well as an official Consumer Report review.
How can you save money during transfers?
There are several ways – big and small – that you can save money on your international fund transfers. The first way is to do your research. You need to research what fees you’re paying at your current transfer company, and what competing companies charge. You also need to research the accurate exchange rate to make sure you aren’t transferring using an old rate – you deserve to transfer money using the up-to-date international exchange rate.
The second way to save money while transferring funds abroad is to go with a currency provider. Although many people traditionally use banks or brick and mortar financial institutions for their international money transfer needs, these organisations don’t have your best interest at heart. They will charge you a wide range of fees, and their processes often take longer.
Working with a currency transfer provider like TransferWise or WorldFirst often means paying no fees or low fees. They’re much more transparent than banks are – you’ll know ahead of time exactly what the fees you owe are and they won’t transfer before you confirm that you accept those terms. Users often pay 8x less than they would if they were transferring with a bank.
Finally, you can transfer larger sums of money to save money. It may seem counterintuitive – but it’s true. If you’re transferring small sums weekly it may make sense to save your pennies and switch to transferring a larger sum one a month or every other month. Money transfer companies often charge fees (even if they’re minimal) for small amounts transferred. If you choose to transfer larger sums, you’ll pay fewer fees (often no fees, depending on how much you’re transferring).
Using a currency provider who you’ve researched and feel comfortable with is easily the best way to save money on international money transfers. In today’s day and age, it’s crazy for big banks to think it’s okay to charge excessive fees on a service that can be done for free (or at least inexpensively). Currency providers are the best way around these fees.