Scores of cross-border money transfers take place every day. While an expat might want to send money to a relative in his home country, a business might need to receive payments from an international customer. Whether you wish to send money overseas or receive international payments, paying attention to a few important aspects will hold you in good stead.
The Cost Factor
There are instances of overseas money transfer companies providing fee-free transfers, but they might make up for the cost by providing less than favorable exchange rates. On the other hand, seemingly great rates can be offset by steep fees. Factors such as where you and the recipient live, the transfer method you select, and the mode of payment may also affect the cost of your transfer.
An easy way to look for the most cost effective service provider is to compare how much money will get to the recipient. This applies even if you wish to receive money from overseas, and in such a scenario you simply have to direct the sender to the right company.
Transfer Methods and Processing Times
You get to choose from multiple options depending on the desired transfer method. The transfer method has a direct bearing on the turnaround time. Your options include:
- Bank account transfer. Transfers to overseas bank accounts may take anywhere from one to six working days. This depends on where you and the recipient live, the company you work with, as well as the recipient’s bank. Some of the leading companies that let you send money to overseas bank accounts include CurrencyFair, TransferWise, OFX, WorldFirst, and WorldRemit.
- Transfer to a cash pickup center. If you’re in a hurry to send or receive money, consider turning to a company that has brick-and-mortar offices or agent networks. Transfers to physical locations tend to process almost immediately. Some of the top companies that offer this functionality include WorldRemit, Azimo, Ria, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
- Transfer to a mobile wallet or mobile airtime. Companies such as Azimo, WorldRemit, and MoneyGram let their customers top up mobile wallets and airtime from different countries. These transfers tend to go through almost straightway.
- Transfer to an email address. If you want to send or receive money using no more than your email address, you may turn to companies such as PayPal or TransferWise. While these transfers go through almost immediately, you have to account for the time it takes to withdraw the transferred money into your local bank account.
The Information You Need
If you plan to send money or payments to an overseas bank account you will need the recipient’s complete name, a bank account number, the receiving bank’s name, and the receiving bank’s SWIFT code. Depending on where the recipient lives, you might also need an IBAN. If you wish to receive money from overseas into your bank account, you will need to provide the same details to the sender.
With transfers to cash pickup centers, senders get reference or transaction numbers at the end of the process. The recipient needs to provide this number along with a valid form of photo ID to collect the transferred money.
Transfers to mobile wallets or airtime require the recipient’s name, a phone number, and the name of the service provider at the receiving end.
You might get phone support depending on where you live and the company you select. Most prominent companies provide online support via chat and email. To find out what previous customers of the top companies have to say about their payments services, consider turning to Trustpilot, a review-based website.
Selecting the right overseas money transfer company for payments is easy if you address aspects such as cost effectiveness, speed, convenience, and customer service. However, it is important that you compare your options well.
Jon works as a researcher with iCompareFX, a website that lets its users compare leading overseas money transfer companies from the world over. When he’s not working, he can be found exploring new music from different genres.