A common question I get from expats is about transferring money to and from their home country so I've done a summary of the major players.
Traditionally your only option would have been to go to your bank to help you out, but the service they offer is costly, time-consuming, and the rates are often less than favourable.
Advancements in internet technology have made this process much, much simpler but it also brought with it a plethora of money transfer services to choose from. With so many choices on offer, it can be overwhelming when looking for the best rates at, the lowest costs with the highest security record.
The services below consistently show up in top money transfer lists and you are bound to meet your transfer requirements within one of these options.
World First is an award-winning money transfer service that is said to make it “faster, cheaper and easier for private individuals and businesses to move their money overseas.”
They are FCA authorised and the string of awards they’ve won include The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200, The European Business Award for Customer Focus and The Customer Experience Award.
They don’t charge any fees for personal transfers over £1,000 (which is the minimum transfer amount) but this will often be reflected in the rate. Rates are still much better than banks and credit unions but just keep this in mind. Business transfer fees will vary between £0 and £15.
Allow for up to four working days for your money to reach the recipient bank if it’s not in Sterling, US dollars or Euros.
TransferWise was founded by Skype’s first employee, Taavet Hinrikus, and is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular international transfer services.
With TransferWise there are no hidden fees embedded within the exchange rate. The rate you are offered is the real mid-market rate and the fees are clearly shown upfront.
The fee structure is varied but they’ve got a handy pricing page where you can work out the costs upfront. For example, if you send £5,000 to Hong Kong, it will cost you about £25 (or 0.5% of the converted amount).
The company is FCA regulated and moves over £500 million every month. Transactions take between one and four business days to complete.
Currencies Direct might not be as well-known as the other entrants, but it allows for quick, simple and secure transfers at bank beating exchange rates. And that’s really all you need.
The company’s been around since 1996 and was actually the first money transfer provider in Europe. In 2017 alone they’ve handled £4.5 billion worth of currency transactions.
You can rest assured that your money is safe with them as they got a top-level rating from Dun & Bradstreet (credit agency) and is also FCA regulated.
They have a reducing fee structure which starts at 1.4% for transfers up to £2,000 and moves down to 0.2% for transfers over £200,000. The company also states that transfers take up to 48 hours to complete, which is quite quick for international transfers outside of Europe.
There are a couple of factors that make TorFX a distinctly unique money transfer service in today’s market. The company allows you to fix an exchange rate for up to two years to protect against currency fluctuations, and they also guarantee to beat exchange rates offered by competitors.
Transfers are free but will be incorporated into the rate that you are offered. Saying that, exchange rates are still around 3% better than what you will get through banks. They also promise to have your money in your destination account within in two working days.
The company’s won The Moneyfacts Consumer Award for International Money Transfer Provider of the Year and the overall award for Best Customer Service.
FCA regulation provides added security for your money and TorFX also holds the highest credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet.
HiFX is one of the largest money transfer specialists and has processed over £100 billion in transaction volume.
The company allows you to move any amount between £50 and £300,000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Transactions can take up to four working days to complete.
HiFX doesn’t charge any fees for processing a transfer but again, watch out for the exchange rate that you get as it will most likely be incorporated.
Advanced anti-fraud safeguards, FCA regulation, and automatic notifications every step of the way will give you added security comfort when using HiFX.
As with most online services, it’s always wise to shop around when looking to transfer money abroad. Exchange rate, fees, processing time and customer service are all equally important when comparing the different offers.
NB I'm not affiliated with any of these companies. I will not receive any income should you use any of these services. This article was produced to summarise some of the options available to you.