HomeMoney TransfersBest Money Transfer Companies

Best Money Transfer Companies

Last updated 29th Nov 2022
Disclosure

Individuals and businesses are seeking to capitalize on a globally connected, digital world and access overseas markets for investment, or to support families at home. Thanks to the increasing number of money transfer providers, the financial gap between countries is diminishing more and more everyday. With a host of affordable and accessible services, there are options to suit everyone’s needs. Scroll down to find the top ten players in the market along with a helpful guide on how to compare services.

Top 10 Money Transfer Companies - At a Glance

  • Wise - Best for small transfers

  • Xe - Best for US

  • WorldRemit - Best for cash transfers

  • Instarem - Best for Asia

  • TorFX - Best for large transfers

  • Currencyfair - Best for cheap transfers

  • OFX - Best for advanced features

  • Key Currency - Best for UK

  • Currencies Direct - Best for good customer service

  • VertoFX - Best for business transfers

Top Money Transfer Companies Reviewed

Money Transfer CompanyAverage Cost (USD 1000 transfer)Average MarkupWise (formerly TransferWise)USD 80%Xe Money TransferUSD 00.4%-1.2%WorldremitUSD 40.5%-1.25%InstaremUSD 100.25%-1%TorFXUSD 01%-3%CurrencyfairUSD 30.45%OFXUSD 00.4%-2%Key CurrencyUSD 01%-3%Currencies DirectUSD 01%-2%VertofxUSD 00.2%-0.6%

Wise - Best for Small Transfers

Established little over a decade ago, Wise enjoys a grand global presence today with offices in over 20 key locations. Its user base has been on a steady rise, along with its reach and revenue. Two pillars of success define their approach: simplicity and transparency.

🏛️ Established2011🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies52🏢OfficesOffices in over 20 countries, including China, Switzerland, Estonia, and Malaysia.📱 PlatformsPhone service, online service, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsEmployer of the Year by HIRED (2020) + 2 more🌟Reviews4.5/5 from 168,878 reviews on Trustpilot💰 FeesFrom 0.41%📈 Trading VolumeOver USD 49 billion in 2021🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Wise

Besides the ability to convert at mid-market rates and provide low fees, Wise offers great products for converting and storing currency. The most notable of these is a multi-currency debit card users can get for as little as USD 6. Users can access it in 200 countries with very small ATM fees.

Pros and cons of using Wise

Pros

  • No exchange markup

  • Debit card

  • Great UI

Cons

  • Only supports bank deposits

  • Not suitable for large transfers

  • Sudden account closures

How to send money with Wise

  • Step 1: Head to the Wise webpage and use the calculator to get a quote for your transfer.

  • Step 2: Set up an account by submitting the required documents to verify your identity.

  • Step 3: Fill in the details of your transfer and pay for your transfer.

Senders can opt to pay their transfer via bank transfer, credit/debit card, or wire transfer — note that all methods come with different fees. Bank deposit is the only form of delivery. The transfer times depend on the payment methods and the popularity of currencies involved: Credit and debit payments only take up to 3 hours, while bank and wire transfers may take up to 3 business days to be completed.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

Exchange Markup0%Fixed FeeFrom USD 0.28, Depending on the Currency and Transfer TypeVariable FeeFrom 0.41% Depending on the Currency and Transfer Type

Wise is one of the rare providers that use the mid-market rate for international transfers, and features a straightforward and transparent fee structure. Users can find information regarding all fees involved with transfers from each supported currency and get the breakdown of costs prior to the transfer.

Xe Money Transfer - Best for US

After being a reliable exchange convertor for years, Xe moved into the business of international money transfers in 2015. Today it can power transfers around the globe and is celebrated for its impressive reach.

🏛️ Established1993🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies95🏢OfficesOffices in 6 countries, including Canada, UK, and New Zealand📱 PlatformsPhone service, online services, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit RatingInvestment-grade Credit Rating From Standard & Poors🏆 AwardsCanstar International Money Transfers Outstanding Value Award (2021)🌟Reviews4.3/5 from 53,034 reviews on Trustpilot💰 FeesVaries by Currency📈 Trading VolumeUSD 10 billion Yearly on Average🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Xe Money Transfers

With offices in key locations, Xe collects industry stars from around the globe to bring the most accurate market analysis to its customers. The company’s expertise in the field is unmatched, and it offers a great opportunity for those who wish to get informed about currency markets with historical charts, local interest rates, and rate alerts.

Pros and cons of using XE Money Transfer

Pros

  • Multilingual services

  • Low fees

  • Global reach

Cons

  • Poor customer service

  • Long delivery times

  • Limited transfer types

How to send money with Xe?

  • Step 1: Head to Xe’s website and get a quote for your transfer. You can switch to the convert tab to check the mid-market rate and compare.

  • Step 2: If happy with the terms, sign up for an account and send the required documents for identity verification.

  • Step 3: Choose a payment method and send in your transfer.

Senders can pay for their transfers via credit/debit card, bank transfer, or through e-transfer (Interac). Xe supports bank deposits for all currencies and has cash pickup services for selected countries.

The transfer times largely depend on the currency pairs. Popular currencies, like GBP to EUR, may take only minutes, while less frequently used currencies, like EUR to FJD, may take up to 3 days.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

Xe’s transfer fees vary by currency and payment method.

Exchange Markupfrom 0.4% to 1.2%Bank and Wire TransferVariesCredit CardUp to 5%, 2.99% for US UsersDebit CardVaries

WorldRemit - Best for Cash Transfers

Despite being in business for a little over a decade, WorldRemit boasts a global presence. Thanks to its vast network of providers and agents, the company can offer a variety of delivery options and has been recognized as an industry leader.

🏛️ Established2010🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies70🏢OfficesOffices in 4 countries, including the US and UK📱 PlatformsRetail Presence, Phone service, Online Service, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsThe Guardian Best Practice (2012), Investopedia Best for International Transfers (2021) + 2 more🌟Reviews4.1/5 from 64,133 reviews on Trustpilot💰 FeesFrom USD 1.99📈 Trading VolumeE.g.550,000 Payments Last year, Trading GBP 7.5bn in Currency in 2021🌐 Official WebsiteVisit WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s most outstanding feature is its accessibility: users are free to choose from a variety of payment methods, including payment apps like Apple Pay, and delivery methods, including cash delivered to the recipient’s door. WorldRemit also offers a convenient mobile wallet.

Pros and cons of using Worldremit

Pros

  • Flexible deliveries

  • Low fees

  • Extensive reach

Cons

  • Hidden fees

  • Low transfer limits

  • Poor customer service

How to Send Money with WorldRemit?

  • Step 1: Head to the WorldRemit website and get a quick quote for your transfer. If happy with the terms, sign up for an account and send in the required documents for ID verification. Note that the company may contact you for further documentation, so regularly check your emails.

  • Step 2: After verifying your identity, choose your delivery method and begin filling in your transfer details, which may include the recipient’s address or phone number.

  • Step 3: Choose your payment option and complete the transfer.

Senders can pay for their transfers through bank transfer, credit and debit cards, or payment apps, including Apple Pay and Trustly. There are options to top up the airtime of the recipient, having the transfer delivered in cash, or deposited to their bank account.

Transfer times largely depend on the payment, delivery method, and currency. Bank transfers may take up to 3 working days, but the majority are completed within the same day. Similarly, the majority of cash pickups, mobile money, and airtime top-ups take only minutes to arrive.

Additionally, WorldRemit is an ideal option to send money from the USA to Nigeria.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

While there isn’t a reference chart for the fee structure, it's known that fees depend on the currency pairs and transfer methods.

Exchange Rate Markup0.5 – 1.25%Fixed FeeVaries

Instarem - Best for Asia

Instarem is set to unseat competitors with a great UI, low-cost operations, and transparency. The operator may fall short in its reach, but strong ties make it one of the most competitive agents to serve in Asia. If you would like to learn more, we created the following guide on how to send money to China.

🏛️ Established2014🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies39🏢OfficesLondon, UK📱 PlatformsOnline Service and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsBest Value International Money Transfer Provider Award by Mozo Experts Choice (2020) + 5 more🌟Reviews4.5/5 from 7,322 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesVaries by Currency Pairs and Transfer Method📈 Trading Volume🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Instarem

Instarem has developed a highly-appreciated reward system, where clients collect points whenever they complete transfers using the platform. After they achieve a certain amount, they can redeem these points and get discounts on transfer fees.

Pros and cons of using Instarem

Pros

  • Competitive exchange rates

  • Good customer service

  • Low transfer fees

Cons

  • Limited coverage

  • Limited deposit options

  • Long verification times

How to Send Money with Instarem?

  • Step 1: Check the online calculator to get a quote. If happy, sign up for an account and verify your mobile phone and ID by submitting required documents.

  • Step 2: After your account is verified, begin arranging your first transfer by filling in the required details.

  • Step 3: Pay and complete your transfer. You can begin tracking it through your account.

Depending on the originating country, you can use bank transfer, debit cards, or some country-specific payment methods like POLi of Australia. All transfers are deposited to the recipient’s bank account. In some cases, users can get instant money transfers, but in some extreme cases, it can take up to 5 days.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

Instarem is famous for using near mid-market rates for transfers and low transfer fees.

Exchange Markup0.5%Transaction FeesVaries Between 0.5%-0.25%

TorFX - Best for Large Transfers

Navigating a stellar team of currency experts located in key locations around the globe, TorFX has become a go-to name for large transfers for specific purposes.

🏛️ Established2004🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies40+🏢OfficesOffices in 6 countries,Including the UK and Singapore.📱 PlatformsPhone Service, Online Presence, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit RatingLevel 1 credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet (Highest Possible)🏆 AwardsBest Customer Service in (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) by Moneyfacts Consumer Awards + 2 more🌟Reviews4.9/5 from 5,318 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesNo Transfer Fees📈 Trading VolumeOver USD 8.8 Billion Yearly on Average🌐 Official WebsiteVisit TorFX

Both for personal and business clients, TorFX provides a highly personalized service to cater to individual needs. From general health checks for businesses to legal advice for moving large sums abroad, TorFX has the means and tools to minimize the costs and risks associated with currency exchange.

Pros and cons of using TorFX

Pros

  • Dedicated account managers

  • No transfer caps

  • Range of FX tools

Cons

  • Not ideal for small transfers

  • Long sign up process

  • Bank transfers only

How to Send Money with TorFX?

  • Step 1: Sign up for an account or request a free quote to start your transfer. Someone will contact you to discuss your rate and best options.

  • Step 2: Fill in the details of your transfer. Depending on the amount, TorFX may ask for further documentation.

  • Step 3: Agree on a transfer type and pay for your transfer.

Unfortunately, TorFX only supports bank transfers. So, only transfer amount and currency pairs affect the transfer times — while most transfers are completed between 1-3 days, large transfers flagged by the compliance team may take much longer.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

While TorFX doesn’t put additional transfer fees, third-party fees may apply.

Exchange MarkupVaries Between 0.5% – 2%Transaction Fees0%

CurrencyFair - Best for Cheap Transfers

CurrencyFair has limited coverage in comparison, but has perfected and streamlined its services in the countries and currencies it serves. Distinguished by its tailored services and low-cost, the Irish operator is set to unseat competitors.

🏛️ Established2013🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies17🏢OfficesOffices in 5 Countries, Including Hong Kong and Ireland📱 PlatformsPhone Service, Online Service, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationCentral Bank of Ireland✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsMost Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation by IIA Dot IE Net Visionary Awards (2013)🌟Reviews4.5/5 from 5,887 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesUSD 3 + 0.45%📈 Trading Volume🌐 Official WebsiteVisit CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair has versatile services in terms of currency conversion. By listing your offering in the marketplace, you can find buyers for your currency at your desired rate. Or if you get a desired rate but not ready to make the payment yet, you can still convert your currency and store it in a multi-currency wallet.

Pros and cons of using CurrencyFair

Pros

  • Competitive exchange rates

  • Low fees

  • Excellent customer satisfaction

Cons

  • Countries in Middle East and Africa can’t open accounts

  • Limited coverage

  • Limited deposit options

How to Send Money with CurrencyFair?

  • Step 1: Set up a free account. You can sign up for a personal or business account.

  • Step 2: Apply for account verification by submitting a photo-ID scan and proof of address.

  • Step 3: Set up your first transfer by entering the details of your recipient.

CurrencyFair only supports bank transfers, and transfers may take anywhere between 1-5 business days.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

CurrencyFair is often dubbed as one of the cheapest alternatives to bank transfers.

Exchange Markup0.45% on AverageTransaction FeesFixed Fee $3

OFX - Best for Advanced Features

Australia’s biggest non-banking money transfer provider, OFX has long roots in the industry and today it boasts a coverage of 197 countries across 55 currencies. The operator is known for simplifying and serving complex FX tools for low-cost.

🏛️ Established1998🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies50🏢OfficesOffices in 7 Countries, Including Australia and Malaysia📱 PlatformsPhone Service, Online Presence, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA-authorized as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI)✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsExcellent Brand of Forex Services by Metro Finance Radio (2021) + 1 more🌟Reviews4.0/5 from 4,921 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesNo Transfer Fees📈 Trading VolumeUSD 6 Billion Yearly on Average🌐 Official WebsiteVisit OFX

As industry veterans, OFX is a keen observer of currency fluctuations and they are experts in analysis. One of its leading features is a risk assessment tool, which allows customers to get informed about the severity of their currency exposure and take reasonable steps to protect themselves.

Pros and cons of using OFX

Pros

  • Extensive banking network

  • Two decades of experience

  • Well-rated mobile app

Cons

  • Expensive for small amounts

  • Only supports English

  • Only supports bank transfers

How to Send Money with OFX?

  • Step 1: Sign up for a free account. A representative will reach you regarding your application, and after you send in the required documents your account will be activated.

  • Step 2: Fill in your transfer details and get a quote for your transfer.

  • Step 3: Check your recipient’s details and pay for your transfer.

Unfortunately, OFX only accepts bank transfers. The transfers are generally completed within 1-2 working days.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

OFX doesn’t ask for transfer fees and generally keeps exchange markups small. But as it only supports bank transfers, third-party fees may apply with payments.

Exchange Markup0.40% on AverageTransaction Fees0%

Key Currency - Best for UK

The UK-based currency broker has established a significant presence in Spain and specializes in facilitating specific transfers between the two countries. With the help of its many currency experts and various FX tools, the broker is reliable and convenient when sending money to the UK.

🏛️ Established2015🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies39🏢OfficesUK, Spain📱 PlatformsPhone Service, Online Presence, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA, Bank of Spain✔️ Credit RatingLevel 1 Credit Rating with Dun & Bradstreet (Highest Possible)🏆 AwardsBest Currency Exchange Service by ADVFN (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022)🌟Reviews4.9/5 from 1,288 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesNo Transfer Fees📈 Trading VolumeOver USD 350 Million Yearly on Average🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Key Currency

Much like Xe, Key Currency is renowned for its in-depth market analysis for those who’d like to get knowledgeable about currency fluctuations. Coupled with the personalized service of a broker and a variety of FX tools, Key Currency offers valuable features catering to complex exchange needs.

Pros and cons of using Key Currency

Pros

  • Specialized services

  • Dedicated account manager

  • Competitive exchange rates

Cons

  • No mobile app

  • Lack of fee transparency

  • Limited deposit options

How to Send Money with Key Currency?

  • Step 1: Request a free quote or set up a free account by filling out contact information along with the purpose of your transfer.

  • Step 2: A representative will call you promptly to talk about your options. Get a quote for your transfer and fill in your recipient’s details.

  • Step 3: Pay and complete your transfer.

Key Currency only supports bank transfers. Regions involved in the transfer and the sum affect the transfer times. Transfers within the SEPA region usually take 1-2 days, while other regions may take up to 5 days.

Costs, Fees, and Exchange Rate

Key Currency operates with a no-fee policy, and the exchange rate markup and third-party fees change depending on the amount and currencies involved.

Exchange MarkupVariesTransaction Fees0%

Currencies Direct - Best for Good Customer Service

Started as a high street transfer service in 1996, Currencies Direct is one of the early adapters to the digital revolution and has managed to stay relevant by keeping its costs low and customer service excellent.

🏛️ Established1996🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies40+ provided🏢OfficesOffices in 7 Countries, Including Portugal and South Africa📱 PlatformsRetail Presence, Phone Service, Online Service, and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA, ACPR, FSB, FINTRAC, FinCEN✔️ Credit RatingLevel 1 Credit Rating with Dun & Bradstreet (Highest Possible)🏆 AwardsMoney Transfer Provider of the Year by the MoneyAge Awards (2020)🌟Reviews4.9/5 from 7,357 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 Fees📈 Trading VolumeOver USD 8 Billion Yearly🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct offers great flexibility in conversion — users are guided through finding the most suitable transfer type, including forward contracts and limit orders, or choose to buy currency any time to store in a functional wallet to use at a later date.

Pros and cons of using Currencies Direct

Pros

  • Local branches

  • Personalized customer service

  • No fees

Cons

  • Limited deposit options

  • Not suitable for small amounts

  • Custom quotes

How to Send Money with Currencies Direct?

  • Step 1: Request a free quote or sign up for an account. If you request a quote, a representative will call you within half an hour. If you choose to sign up for an account, you’ll have to submit the required documents and someone will contact you when they verify your identity.

  • Step 2: Fill in the details and arrange your transfer. If you need any help, you can contact the customer service through the online service.

  • Step 3: Triple check your details (because you can’t cancel after) and pay for your transfer.

You can either pay by bank transfer, or move money to your wallet and make your payment from there. The majority of transfers are completed between 24-48 hours, but larger sums may be flagged by the compliance team and take longer.

Costs, Fees, Exchange Rate

Currencies Direct runs a no-fee policy, but third-party charges may apply depending on payment methods.

Exchange MarkupBetween 0.40% to 1.4%Transfer Fees0%

VertoFX - Best for Business Transfers

One of the few exclusively B2B money transfer services, VertoFX offers versatile business solutions to keep up with the challenges of SMBs seeking to do business in emerging markets.

🏛️ Established2017🌎 ClientsGlobal💱 Currencies39🏢OfficesUK📱 PlatformsPhone Service, Online Service and Mobile App⚖️ RegulationFCA✔️ Credit Rating🏆 AwardsShortlisted — Best Cross-Border Payments Infrastructure by Payments Awards (2022)🌟Reviews4.1/5 from 281 Reviews on TrustPilot💰 FeesNo Transfer Fees📈 Trading VolumeMulti-Billion Yearly🌐 Official WebsiteVisit VertoFX

Besides a functional wallet, VertoFX also provides clients with global bank accounts with IBAN numbers for customers located in key locations, including Australia, Canada, and the UK. This way, clients can still benefit from the reliable SWIFT system to run their transfers while avoiding the high fees of traditional banks.

Pros and cons of using VertoFX

Pros

  • Speedy delivery

  • Live chat

  • Tailored service

Cons

  • New to the market

  • Limited reach

  • Long verification times

How to Send Money with VertoFX?

  • Step 1: Sign up for an account by submitting information about your business and purpose of using the services.

  • Step 2: Submit the required documents, which includes separate filings for each shareholder above 25% ownership.

  • Step 3: After your account is verified, you can start arranging transfers.

Senders can send the transfer directly from their bank accounts, or by sending money to Verto Wallet. All transfers are deposited to a recipient’s bank account, or if they are also a client, optionally to their global Verto account. The majority of transfers are completed within the same day.

Cost, Fees, and Exchange Rate

VertoFX doesn’t ask for additional transfer fees and serves reasonable exchange rates.

Exchange MarkupBetween 0.2%-0.6%Transfer Fees0%

Money Transfer Companies to Avoid

There are also some long-established companies as alternatives to banks. Despite the accessibility and security, they tend to ask for very high fees and serve poor exchange rates.

Western Union

One of the biggest brands of money transfer, the company is losing its relevance quickly due to its high fees and poor exchange rates. The profit margin on top of the mid-market rate can be as high as 7% and waiting times routinely prolongs after transfer payment is done.

MoneyGram

Although featuring much lower fees than its peer Western Union, MoneyGram is notorious for its unfavorable exchange rate, which can be up to 5% above the mid-market rate — almost as high as high street banks.

What Are Money Transfer Companies?

New ways of transferring funds abroad are popping up daily to challenge the high street banks. Companies of the sort are often associated with lower costs, quicker delivery times, and flexibility in transfer methods, and offer versatile digital products.

Currency Brokers

Brokers typically specialize in moving large sums abroad and have a variety of FX tools in offer, including limit orders and forward contracts. They usually don’t ask for additional transfer fees and assign a dedicated account manager to walk users through the process of arranging the exchange rate and finding the best option for their needs.

Money Remittance Companies

Remittance providers are usually quick, cheap, and convenient. They typically boast a solid online presence and specialize in moving your funds in the quickest and cheapest way possible.

Money Transfer Apps

Some providers offer a versatile mobile app, likeWise or PayPal, while some operate app-only, like Google Pay. These services specialize in completing your transfers on-the-go, and while they offer the kind of convenience unique to their proposition, they may lack sophisticated services.

What to Look For in a Money Transfer Company?

Having a myriad of options is a blessing and a curse as it is not always easy to differentiate good service from bad, and having your money at stake just adds to the pressure. Our guide should help you to find the right provider to suit your needs and these are some extra tips to help with your search.

How Do I Compare Providers?

While there are some obvious points to consider, such as security and reliability, the best provider will ultimately depend on your particular needs. To ensure they cover the most basic requirements, it’s necessary to read your chosen provider’s fine print on data privacy and legal compliance. A provider must be regulated by their respective authorities to keep your transfers safe and, ideally, have a series of measures in place to protect against unauthorized access.

After ticking all the necessary boxes, there are a few points to consider to compare their services.

  • How urgent is the transfer?

  • Is it a one-off transfer or regular?

  • How much is the amount?

  • How stable is the currency?

Understanding Different Services

For complex transfers, such as with very large sums and regular payments, it makes sense to opt for a service with specific FX tools, such as,

  • Forward contracts: These allow senders to lock in an exchange rate for a set period of time, so they are protected against market volatility.

  • Limit orders: Allow senders to choose a desired exchange rate, and the provider will complete the transfer automatically as the rate is achieved.

Some providers offer custom quotes and tailored services for specific requirements, such as buying a property, business investments, or overseas payments. When in need of transferring funds for such specific purposes, it makes sense to opt for a bespoke service as they will help avoid legal trouble and inform you about tax implications.

Making the best out of one-off or infrequent transfers will depend on the urgency and amount of the transfer. Providers charging transfer fees tend to offer more favorable exchange rates and some, like Wise, manage to keep fees very low. Credit or debit payments are often the quicker forms of payment but also the costliest, so if your transfer is not urgent, you can save by choosing the cheapest way of transfer and sacrifice the speed.

Why Do Money Transfer Providers Charge Fees?

Money transfer companies, at the end of the day, are businesses that need to make a profit to keep their operations running and cover their costs. There are different ways in which providers charge for their services:

  • Transfer fees: Based on a percentage markup or flat fee.

  • Exchange rate markup: Refers to the profit margin providers put on top of the mid-market rate, which tends to be smaller than that of high street banks. To calculate the exchange markup, take the difference between the mid-market rate and the provider’s rate and divide it by the mid-market rate.

Note that there are also third-party fees, which are charged independent of the providers, and depend primarily on the payment methods.

Are There Any Other Ways to Send Money Abroad?

High street banks are generally the first method that comes to mind when it comes to international money transfers — but they are made redundant with rising competition.

How Long Does It Take for Money to Transfer Between Banks?

Largely due to security checks, bank transfers are typically released after 3-5 business days, with times depending on the sum, time of the transfer, and currency pairs. They are typically the slowest way to transfer funds abroad.

Using a Money Transfer Company vs a Bank When Sending Money Internationally

Money transfer companies offer solutions to unfavorable situations that come with bank transfers, so they tend to be faster, cheaper and more flexible.

BanksMoney Transfer CompaniesSafetyRegulated by the likes of FCA and PRA in the UK, and the Federal Reserve in the US, and the highest levels of anti-fraud protection and data encryptionRegulated by FCA and the highest levels of data encryptionExchange Markup2%-5%0%-3%Fixed Transfer feesUSD 15-50 on averageUSD 0-30 on averagePersonal GuidanceIt’s unlikely for customers to contact a currency expert for their transfersCustomers can get dedicated account managers to help find the best optionsAccessibilityBank transfers only work if both parties have an accountCash pickup/delivery is a common service among remittance companiesSpeedBank transfers may take up to 5 daysRemittance companies can complete the transfer in minutes

Money Transfer Companies vs Digital Wallets

Digital wallets, like PayPal, have many unique benefits to them — they are almost instantaneous, allow for storing funds, and are very convenient as they come with a sleek app. Here’s how they stack up against money transfer companies:

Digital WalletsMoney Transfer CompaniesSpeedIn minutesCan go up to 2 daysService VersatilityAllows storing currency, but doesn’t offer different transfer and contract typesMay present a range of delivery and conversion options, and a dedicated brokerAccessibilityWallet-to-wallet and wallet-to-bank transfers possible.Variety of delivery/deposit options, including wallets and cash transfers.Transfer FeesCan go up to 6% of the spreadNo-fee option and competitive rates

FAQs

Are all recommended services appropriately regulated?
Can you fund your international transfer through a debit card?
Do all top money transfer companies have a mobile app?
Do all top money transfer companies have an online platform?
Do all top money transfer companies offer forward contracts?
Do all the best money transfer companies have dedicated account brokers?
What can’t I use a money transfer company for?
Idil Woodall

Idil Woodall

Idil is a writer with interests ranging from arts and politics to history and finance. She spent several years in publishing before becoming a full-time writer, and learning the inner workings of an industry she loved ignited her interest in economics. As an English graduate, she cultivated valuable research and storytelling abilities that she now applies to make complex matters accessible and understandable to many. When she’s not writing, she can be found climbing or watching a movie.