According to data released by the Pew Research Center, migrants living in different parts of the world transferred an estimated U.S. $574 billion to their home countries in 2016. Fortunately, people who wish to transfer money overseas in this day and age no longer have to depend on banks and high street brokers, as was the case till the turn of the last century.
The arrival of several FinTech players in this realm made overseas fund transfers more cost effective, and there has been a positive effect on turnaround times as well. However, selecting a suitable service provider requires paying attention to various aspects. For instance, where you live might have a bearing on the companies you may shortlist.
Send Money to a Bank Account
Sending money to an overseas bank account is fairly simple and takes little time. However, some companies have minimum transfer limits in place. After you register with a service provider, you will need to provide the recipient’s bank account details for the transfer to go through. While all FinTech companies let you get started online, some let you initiate the process over the phone as well.
The fee you will need to pay depends on the company you select, the transfer amount, and the currencies involved. Processing times may vary from one to five or more business days. Some of the leading players that provide this facility include TransferWise, WorldFirst, Currency Fair, and OFX.
Send Money to a Cash Pickup Location
If you need to send money overseas in a hurry, your best bet is to transfer it to a cash pickup center, because most such transfers tend to process almost immediately. However, sending money to a cash pickup center is typically more expensive than transferring it to a bank account. Some of the FinTech players that have extensive agent networks in place include WorldRemit, Azimo, and Ria.
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Other Transfer Methods
PayPal has given its customers the ability to transfer funds using no more than email addresses for some time. Now, TransferWise offers this functionality too. However, if you compare the two, you will notice that TransferWise is more cost effective. Some companies such as Azimo and WorldRemit give you the ability to top off mobile wallets and mobile airtime from different countries. More recent players such as Abra, BitPesa, and Coins.ph are already facilitating cross-border cryptocurrency transfers.
Paying For Your Transfer
How you wish to pay for your transfer will have an effect on the companies you may select. While most cross-border remittance companies accept payments via bank transfers, not all let you pay via credit or debit cards. Some of the companies that accept card payments include FrontierPay, HiFX, WorldRemit, and TransferWise.
Some of the other methods you get to choose from depending on the company you select and where you live include Apple Pay, Google Pay, ACH, BACS, CHAPS, iDEAL, SOFORT, and POLi.
Technology has simplified sending money from one country to another, giving you the ability to transfer funds from just about anywhere at practically any time. However, individual requirements play a crucial role in selecting a suitable service provider, which is why comparing your options is the best place to start.
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