How to Make an International Money Transfer
Making an international money transfer is something the majority of businesses and even individuals today need to do. And every transaction like this includes foreign currency exchange (FX or forex). This means that every time you send or receive a cross-border transfer, you are losing money not only on transfer fees. You also lose up to stunning 13% due to foreign currency exchange rates used by banks. And you might not even be aware of it.
The trick is that banks only show you the FX rate they use on any given day. However, the average person has no way to know what the mid-market rate is. That is the rate banks use trading currencies with each other. And it’s always much lower than what they charge you.
However, today you aren’t limited to banks as a method of currency exchange and money transfers. Therefore, you can cut these costs to less than 1% by finding the best money transfer company.
How Much Does a Bank International Money Transfer Cost?
Foreign currency exchange rates change constantly. They literally shift several times within a single day because they are affected by many economic, sociological, and political factors. Exchanging your currency in a bank can cost you from 2-10% of the amount, on average. Exotic currency transactions usually end up being more expensive.
The main reason for this is that banks do not only charge fees for literally everything, and then some. They also use a high FX margin. This is the amount added to the mid-market currency exchange rate that is used on the global forex market.
You also need to remember that if you want to make an international money transfer, you might be charged extra. Additional fees, which might not even be listed, will appear if the money has to go through an intermediary bank. For example, if your bank doesn’t have a branch in a different country, a transfer there will cost:
- A fee for sending the transfer charged by your bank
- Currency exchange rate
- A fee from the recipient bank
There are still some currency corridors, mainly to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, where a transfer can cost up to 20%!
Cut FX Costs Using the Best Money Transfer Company
The solution to high currency exchange and money transfer costs set by banks is using alternative services. Today you can find international money transfer companies that act like both FX brokers and online money transfer platforms.
You can use them to send or receive transfers of any size. This means that they are equally useful for online sellers, international students, and investors. In fact, you can use these forex companies to minimize any currency costs and risks you are exposed to. Even if you are a complete amateur in these matters. The best money transfer company will offer advice and specialized guidance. It will teach you how to hedge, trade, and generally use foreign currency exchange services to their maximum benefit.
Top 5 Money Transfer Comparison
It can be hard to find the best money transfer company because there are quire a few very good services today. As explained by MoneyTransferComparison, everyone should compare services available and make a decision for every case. This way, you’ll ensure that each of your transfers is the cheapest and most efficient.
To make this process a bit easier, check out a money transfer comparison of top 5 industry leaders.
OFX is one of the oldest forex companies in the industry. It’s also one with the widest international reach. For US clients, this company stands out because it’s a recognized top provider among the few services that accept transfers from all US states.
The company is public and completely transparent. It’s also online-oriented but it does have offices in all major locations. The convenience of this for clients is that they are able to make an international money transfer and use other FX services through a simple iOS or Android app. Meanwhile, they can be certain that the company is legit and can contact its offices and customer support service anytime.
Online sellers can also use OFX to open bank accounts not only in the USA but also New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Hong Kong. The company has 115 bank accounts all over the globe, which means it allows for easy local settlement. It charges almost no intermediary or receiving fees. OFX trades over $20 billion a year, which makes it one of the biggest forex companies in the world.
Currencies Direct is one of the leading providers in the FX money transfer industry with a 4.8 out of 5 customer trust rating. But according to the company’s press release, it currently operates only in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Washington, and Montana. Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois recently joined this list. Therefore, only residents of those states can enjoy the full scope of Currencies Direct services.
This means that those people can make a quick and cheap international money transfer to 120 countries in 40 different currencies. The company also offers advice on FX trading and overseas property investing. It has 22 offices in different locations and processes over $7.5 billion in transfers a year.
Most importantly for customers, Currencies Direct offers some of the cheapest FX transactions. That’s because the company doesn’t charge any fees for them.
TransferWise is the biggest and, arguably, best money transfer company today. According to its official website, the company has now expanded to the US. You can use ACH accounts to send money from any of the US states. But note that depending on the location, the company might use SWIFT transfers. This means that those transfers might be more expensive and take up to 5 days. However, it should still be cheaper compared to banks.
TransferWise uses 0.5% fixed FX margin for the majority of transactions. Therefore, its transfers are among the cheapest in the industry. Because of this the company is the best option for small transfers.
The level of customer satisfaction with TransferWise is very high and its app is easy to use. The best thing about this company, aside from the affordability, is that it grows constantly. Therefore, it may cover areas that other US FX services providers do not.
Moneycorp is the best money transfer company for many as it offers some of the best rates and terms. It’s also one of the biggest and oldest in the industry. In fact, it was established in 1979, when an international money transfer was a complicated and expensive process.
Today, Moneycorp offers a wide range of services for both businesses and individuals. It even carries a banking license from Gibraltar. The company is making some forays in online banking, which is definitely the future of the industry. It has the highest D&B rating, which means it usually wins in any money transfer comparison.
Unfortunately, there are still some US states where Moneycorp services aren’t available.
XE Money Transfer
The XE brand has gone though some major changes over the years. However, it dates back all the way to 1993. It’s one of the oldest names in the industry and one well-respected. This international money transfer company supports 60 currencies and has no minimum transfer limit.
This company deserves its place on the best money transfer comparison due to the fact that it’s highly widespread and has no fees. The FX rate will vary depending on the transfer volume.
The company has overwhelmingly positive feedback and offers highly accurate quotes. However, its app is, admittedly, not the best.
Why Are There So Few Forex Companies in the US?
It’s easy to find the best money transfer company in Europe. However, they are only starting to gain a foothold in the US. The reason for this is the strict regulation of forex brokers and any financial service providers in the USA. Those regulations are so complex and restrictive that very few money transfer companies can enter the American market.
However, it must be noted that financial scams are a real problem. Therefore, these regulations are in place for a good reason. It’s also why it’s so important to study a trusted money transfer comparison when choosing a provider.
Therefore, the services that people working and living in the US are limited. However, this situation is now changing. President Trump promised to lighten up the regulation to allow more FX companies a chance to enter the US. Even with OFX and TransferWise fully operational in the US the situation for people began to change.
The demand for international money transfer services is growing, especially considering how many migrant workers there are. In fact, the largest amount of remittances is going out of America. Making these transfers affordable can literally transform economies of some developing countries. Therefore, saving money on foreign currency exchange is not only a matter of personal finances.
Bottom Line: Forego Banks to Save Money on International Money Transfer
Banks might be traditional and trusted, but they definitely aren’t cheap. Therefore, if you want to save money on foreign currency exchange today, you definitely should use alternative services. The selection of forex companies is still limited in the US. However, even the few options that there accept American clients offer a big advantage. Therefore, you should research FX companies certified to work in your state to get the cheapest possible service.