Introduction on how to transfer Money Internationally

So you want to know about How to transfer money internationally?

Some years back, international money transfers were complicated and inefficient.

But we always need to transfer money internationally for some important transaction or to bail a close friend or relative out of a tight situation.

While many banks offer international money transfer services, they fail on a lot of fronts.

First, banks have an unfavorable practice of charging exorbitant transfer fees which can be as high as 10 percent of the amount you intend to transfer, and you know the implication of this if you are sending a lot of money.

Secondly, many banks transfers move at the pace of a snail. If you want to transfer money internationally for a pressing need, using a bank might put you in trouble with the huge amount of time the money spends in transit.

This is why this post will focus on the various ways of transferring money internationally.

What are the major methods of sending money abroad?

Primary, you can send money internationally through different channels which include:

  • Bank transfers

  • Online transfers

  • Online website Transfers

  • Specialist Companies

  • Currency Brokers

  • Prepaid Debit Cards

Bank Transfers

As discussed earlier, many banks provide international money transfer services, but their services are very slow and can turn out to be on the high side of things.

While sending money internationally through the banks might be safe, there are many other alternatives that a person can use to send money internationally, immediately.

Some banks, however, offer Express International money transfer services which they claim is instant, but it may not be truly instant, but the money will get to the recipient during the day.

This service usually comes with hefty service charges. So if you are not comfortable with the price tag, better to steer clear of the service and look for cheaper options.

Also, bank exchange rates are usually lower than that of other alternatives.

There is only time when I will recommend to use banks for international money transfers.

It is when the amount involved is substantial, and security is a concern because banks have a strong security system and are members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Online Money Transfer

Perhaps, the fastest way of sending money internationally is through online portals. Many online sites provide fast and efficient money transfer services. Some of them include Xoom, OFX, Skrill and Paypal.

Xoom is an online money transfer platform owned by PayPal. The company can deliver money to over 100 countries within minutes, and you can transfer money directly from your credit or debit cards.

The service also has favorable exchange rates that are usually 1-3 percent above the mid-market exchange rates, and charges can be up to $4.99 for every transaction worth $2,999 or higher if the amount you are sending is more than the maximum transfer limit.

OFX is also an online money transfer service that is widely popular among people who send money to international destinations.

The biggest selling point of this company is that it is a free service. No matter the amount of money you want to transfer, OFX will do it free of charge.

With OFX, you can send money to 91 countries through their mobile app, via the web, and on your phone.

The company also offers its customers favorable exchange rates which are above the market average. You can lock in exchange rates, and OFX will complete your transfer whenever the rates reach your specifications.

There are however drawbacks to the service. One, the service is slow, and it can take several days before the recipient gets the money.

Secondly, you can only transfer between bank accounts, as OFX does not use pick up points for its services.

Online website Transfers


PayPal is a popular online payment company and one of the most convenient channels of sending money from one country to another.

The company allows people to send money to 190 countries and territories and supports international transfers in 25 currencies.

To use PayPal to transfer money internationally, both the sender and the recipient must have PayPal accounts.

If you want to make an international transfer on PayPal, all that you need is the person’s email or phone number that is connected to PayPal.

While their transaction fees are low, they offer a lower exchange rate compared to other companies, and this is where they make their money.

One advantage of using PayPal is that you can choose who will pay for the transaction between the sender and the recipient.

You can transfer money internationally via PayPal on their app or through the web. PayPal transaction fees for international transfers is determined by the country of the recipient, but usually range from one percent to four percent of the amount involved.

Note: PayPal has a habit of freezing user’s accounts if there seem to be any discrepancies. PayPal will lock you out of your account, and you will have to provide different documents to unfreeze the account.

In addition, they are not suitable for making large transfers because they block most of it.


Skrill also provides a secure platform to transfer money internationally. To make international transfers with Skrill, all you need is a Skrill account, which is easy and free to open.

After creating your Skrill account, you can send globally through the recipient’s email address or phone number.

The transfer is usually instant, and the recipient can withdraw to a local bank, withdraw as cash at designated locations, or to a mobile wallet.

With this method, you can transfer money internationally in 40 different currencies to more than 200 countries and territories in the world.

They offers low transaction fees and exchange rates that are marginally higher than the market rates.

Skrill also provides users with the opportunity to make their first international transfer free of charge. Skrill charges 1.9 percent of the transfer amount as transaction fees.

Specialist Companies

There are companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram and Altras Money Transfer who provide solely money transfer services.

These companies offer some of the fastest international money transfer services. with thousands of cash pickup points all over the world you are safe to go with them.

One more thing is that they operate in some of the remotest locations where banks do not work.

The service is ideal for immigrants to the developed world who need to send cash to their dependents in their home countries.

And more so, the recipient only needs the reference number to pick up the cash, and the deal is done.

Western Union

Western Union is the world’s most famous money transfer company. With over 500,000 pickup points and services in over 200 countries and territories in the world, there is hardly anywhere you want to transfer money to that is not covered by Western Union.

International Money Transfer through the Western Union can be done via the internet, through their app, on the web, or in person.

You can send cash, or wire the money through your credit or debit card. If you are transferring via the company’s mobile app or the web, it is normally cheaper but very slow.

If you transfer between agents locations, the charge is higher, but the transfer is effected within minutes.


MoneyGram is the second largest international money transfer service provider after Western Union. The company is owned by Ant Financial which is a Chinese interest.

The company is active in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and has over 350,000 agent locations.

MoneyGram is reputable for the speed of its transfers and transfers to agent locations takes a few minutes, while transfers to bank accounts will take only 24 hours. But the transaction fees are higher.

Altras Money Transfer 

Altras Money Transfer is one of the pioneers in the industry of the money transfer service From Europe, United States, Canada and Australia to Africa and the Middle East.

You can transfer money using the online web app, the mobile app or even form pickup points.

The company is based in the United Kingdom and has a long reputable history serving hundreds of clients.

Using Altras money transfer, you can ensure that your transfer goes immediately without any delay.

The beneficiary gets a notification via SMS that tells him/her about the information needed to collect the payment.

Overall, Altras Money Transfer is one of the big companies based in the United Kingdom that specializes in Online money transfer.

singing up is Free and you can create your account here immediately and start sending money.

Currency Brokers

There are thousands of currency brokers in cities around the world. You can find them in busy markets and designated areas.

Some of the advantages of using currency brokers are that they offer excellent rates compared to that of banks and even online money transfer services.

Normally, transfers are effected within 24 hours, but variations in time zones and currencies might cause some delay.

Before you can use currency brokers for money transfer, you have to register with them.

Prepaid Debit Cards

You can also send money internationally through prepaid debit cards. Many companies provide debit cards that can be used to make international money transfers.

The way it works is that the card provider will issue a card with capabilities to send money to international destinations.

The card may have a dedicated account that the owner will fund for making the transfers or it might be a replenishable card that has no limit.

Note that these type of cards come with exorbitant prices but transfer through them is usually instant.

So if money is not an issue and you require speed and confidentiality, this is a perfect way of sending money internationally.


The fastest services on this list are Skrill, and Xoom. They both provide instant transfer that will reflect at the pickup points within minutes, though Skrill is cheaper than Xoom.

In addition, Skrill provide the biggest coverage in over 200 countries and territories around the world.

If you want to send money to your relatives in rural areas, Skrill might be the ideal choice for you, as all that you need is the phone number or email address of the recipient.

If you are transferring money to relatives and friend in Africa or the Middle East then Altras Money Transfer is the best choice for you.

No matter the amount of money you want to transfer, you can always get a secure international money transfer service for your needs.

However, if speed is not important, you can use bank transfers and other methods on the list.

Remember always to consider the integrity and security of the platform you are going to use for your money transfer, and if that is an issue, your bank might be the safest option for you.

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