With the incredible advances in internet technology, sending money overseas, whether to family or friends, or because you need to pay for a purchase has become much easier and much cheaper.
The Traditional method for transferring money such as Cheques, Money orders, Telegraphic Transfers or through specialist money movement retail outlets do of course still exist, but these tend to be fairly expensive with $30 or more to pay at each end not being unusual and the time it takes for the recipients to receive the money can be as long as 2 weeks.
Nowadays the size of the money transfer market is so huge at an estimated $400 billion dollars a year just from foreign workers sending money home, that a bewildering number of new players have come online. How to decide on which one suits you best depends on your needs and in this article we will try to outline some of the differences you need to look for.
1. Do a little research online and find a company that has solid backing and is not likely to disappear with your money when it goes broke. Companies that have been around for a number of years or are backed by a stock exchange listed parent are more likely to be safe.
2. Decide on how quickly the recipient needs to get the money. If time is important then you should look at a company which offers instant transfer of money through a virtual account. With this kind of company both you and the receiver need to open an online account and after that you can send the funds by the push of a button. Again if you decide to go this way, don’t forget point 1.
3. Look very closely at the fees. Often the hidden fees are the ones that add up to make your transfer expensive. Banks and money transfer companies usually charge you about $30 but on top of that there will be exchange rates which can vary substantially and there may well be a charge at the other end before the person you are sending the money to can pick it up. Remember to also ask about; obtaining the best exchange rates, do they charge a currency exchange fee, do they charge a % of the money you want to send or is there a flat fee which is much cheaper.
4. The new online money transfer businesses such as Ezybonds, OrbitRemit, Xoom and Moneybookers are well worth looking at, some allow you to send money direct through a virtual account for which you just need to provide suitable identification, some will send a debit card to the person you want to send money to and this can take some time. If a card is sent there will usually be a one time postage fee to pay which can add a fair bit to the cost, but these cards can be topped up if more money is required although that will incur further fairly small fees. Again remember points 1 and 3.
So what’s the cheapest method for sending money, probably the last mentioned and this should certainly be the fastest as well.