By Jon Dela Cruz,
The FinTech boom has had a significant effect on the international remittance industry, with several new players making their presence felt over the last two decades. UK-based TransferWise, for instance, is the first unicorn from this field, and it announced profitability within six years of beginning operations. Some of the notable FinTech money transfer companies from this field include WorldRemit, Azimo, InstaReM, and CurrencyFair.
Given the alternatives, picking a suitable overseas money transfer company requires that you pay attention to your individual needs while focusing on the aspects discussed below.
Countries Where You and the Recipient Live
Registering with an overseas money transfer company takes some time so it is best to get this out of the way before you even start. After all, it’s no good signing up with a company that does not support your desired countries or currencies.
For example, while U.S.-based Remitly accepts customers from the UK, they can use its services to send money only to India and the Philippines. Companies such as TransferWise, Azimo, WorldFirst, and TorFX, on the other hand, lets residents of the UK transfer funds to most countries the world over.
Not all overseas money transfer companies follow the same fee structure, which is why this aspect requires careful consideration. For instance, some companies charge no fees at all, some have fee-free thresholds in place, some charge a percentage of the transfer amount, and some others have fixed per-transfer fees. In addition, you also have to account for exchange rates that tend to vary from one service provider to the next.
An easy way to determine which company is the most cost effective is to look at how much money the recipient stands to receive at the end of the process.
Modes of Payment
The most commonly used method is bank account transfers. Some of the top companies let you make payments using debit and credit cards. You may even find companies that accept payments using region specific methods such as SOFORT, iDEAL, and POLi.
Transfer Methods and Processing Times
Transfers made within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) tend to process within one or two working days. If you are sending money outside of the European Union, your transfer may take up to seven working days. Factors that affect the turnaround time in this case include the company you work with, the destination country, as well as the recipient’s bank.
Sending money to cash pickup centres is possible if you turn to companies such as WorldRemit and MoneyGram. While these transfers tend to process straightaway, they usually come at an added cost.
With your money at stake, it is crucial that you select a company that is reliable and offers high levels of security. All the good companies that operate out of the UK are registered with and regulated by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Pay attention to customer service levels before making a decision, and look for companies that provide over-the-phone and online support. Check online platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo to find out what previous customers of the company you select have to say.
Selecting an overseas money transfer company can be fairly straightforward provided you know what factors to consider. If cost effectiveness is your top priority, send the money to the recipient’s bank account and pay for it using a bank account transfer. For a speedy transfer, go the cash pickup way.