- student working a part-time job who sends money back home, or
- entrant into the job market who is able to save a bit of money to help support your family (a process known as remittance)
Here are the things that you need to take into consideration before you start to transfer funds abroad.
Transfer Funds Abroad: Essential Things to Know Before Transferring Money
Transferring money abroad can be tricky. You never want to transfer funds abroad if you don’t have all the essential knowledge necessary. If you read below, you’ll find out what you want to know before transferring money internationally.
The Timeline — Yours and Theirs
When it comes to transferring money abroad, failure to plan can cost you money as some companies charge more for time-sensitive transfers. Therefore, it pays to know when you’ll want to send money and investigate the various options before the time comes in order to save money.
For example, if you send money with Western Union:
- a cash pickup can be ready in a matter of minutes
- sending money to a bank account takes three business days to complete
Knowing the speed of the transfer can be useful in times of emergency when you don’t have time to wait for remittance. During these times, you might choose a faster transfer method rather than a more affordable one.
However, even the slowest international transfers do not take a lot of time.
The Security and Reliability of the Provider
Some companies may offer international money transfer without a license in turn for a lower fee. However, this can mean the customer takes on more risk. Whereas, banks or other providers that are licensed might be more reliable but charge a slightly higher fee.
A secure website can be a good sign that the company is trustworthy and competent overall.
Signs that a website is secure include a:
- URL that begins with “https”
- green URL or lock icon in the address bar, depending on your browser
Both of which Western Union displays. In fact, the Western Union site even offers advice to customers who are sending money to help them avoid scams.
For many people, the cost is the deciding factor when they’re choosing between the different services offered by a company. Fees vary depending on the money’s destination, so it may cost you more to send money to India than Mexico.
Western Union typically charges less for a cash pickup than a bank deposit; although, some people are surprised to learn that the receiving bank may also charge a fee that they take out of the transferred money. Your payment method matters, too. Starting a transfer online from your debit card is often the cheapest method, followed by a bank account and then a credit card. Fees also change if you transfer money to a store.
Don’t forget about currency exchange as these change daily. If you wish to send a certain amount of money home, you may need to send a little more or less than the last time you transferred money abroad. If you want to get the most for your money, waiting for a better exchange rate might be one option.
First-time customers may be eligible for discounts, and Western Union accepts promo codes for international money transfers as well.
While it’s not illegal to transfer money abroad, it is illegal to use these services to launder money. Well-meaning people can face serious consequences if they do not abide by the law when sending money internationally.
One such instance involves sending a large amount of money without reporting it on tax forms. Even if you unwittingly do this, you are breaking the law. So, make sure to familiarize yourself with laws in the country where you’re sending money as they can differ from other countries where you’ve lived.
Fortunately, for most people, it’s easy and convenient to use a service like Western Union for these financial transfers. Because international transfers are more common than ever before, in part thanks to technology and the Internet, finding the answers to these questions should be quite easy. For some people, the customer service provided by these services will be the final deciding factor in choosing where to do business if several options appear similar after doing their research.
Do you know enough to transfer funds abroad? Are you ready to make the transfer?
AUTHOR LaTia Longuemire
My name is LaTia Longuemire. I enjoy writing, singing, and cooking in my spare time. My passion is helping others. At this stage in my lifetime, I'm primarily focused on my children. They are everything that keeps my world spinning.