The best ways to transfer money

Money Transfer

Sending money around the world can be a regular occurrence for international expats, but with so many money transfer methods to choose from, which is the best?

There many reasons for expats to need swift money transfers, you could be paying bills back home or simply sending money to a loved one, whatever the reason speed and reliability are usually at the top of a money transfer client’s ‘want list’.

There are a number of different organisations that offer various forms of international money transfer, with varying levels of speed and service. Here are some of the different methods, and the companies that offer them.

Money Transfer

The international money transfer is possibly the most widespread method, and the market leaders are Western Union and Moneygram. With theses organisation the recipient of the funds does not need any sort of account, all they have to do is visit the chosen branch of the respective company and simply collect the sent funds.

As such these types of money transfer are the easiest to complete, and are also very swuift, funds can arrive in the chosen destination within minutes of the arrangement. Western Union and Moneygram both have a powerful global presence with branches of both companies found all over the world. Also, you don’t have to go in personally to send money as phone and online services exist too. However, for this level of easy and efficiency you must pay more than some other methods, with fees differing depending on the distance and amount.


Internet site PayPal allows you to send money over the web to around 180 countries in 18 different currencies. To conduct a transfer both parties need to have PayPal account. The sender must also give the recipients email address and phone number. For this service PayPal charges a basic rate of 3.9 percent of the amount plus 20 pence.

Currency Brokers

Foreign currency brokers are more suited to larger sums of cash as opposed to a few bob sent back to a wayward teen.

However, that doesn’t mean they are only for huge transfers, in fact currency transfers are useful; if you are making regular payments of a medium size, perhaps for an overseas mortgage.

Currency brokers offer more favourable exchange rates than high street banks, and often don’t even charge transfer fees. However it is wise to do your research as there have been reports of unscrupulous brokers operating away from the proper regulated channels.

There are a number of different companies that conduct currency transfers, including Currencies Direct, Currency Solutions, Foreign Currency Direct, HiFX. All these companies have different fees for different transfers so you are advised to shop around to find the best price for your specific transfer.

Of course, another method of transferring money is by using a bank. High street banks all offer various different forms of transfer, however, for an expat the best method of money transfer could be through an offshore bank account.

Offshore banks base their business on supplying specialise services catered to the needs of international clients. International money transfers are just one of the services offered by offshore banks, and in modern times having such an account is vital for international business people. Visit our offshore finance section to learn more about offshore banking for expatriates.