Thinking of transferring pension payments abroad, buying or selling international property, or quite simply sending a lump sum back home? Whatever your reasons for making an international money transfer, you should always do your homework to get the best deal around.
Of course, there is no one answer that is right for everyone and changing currency can often seem confusing as exchange rates are constantly fluctuating. Many people, therefore, use their banks to make a transfer, but they may not realise that there are many currency specialists available like HiFX that enable you to transfer money without the high fees and rates of the banks. If you’re an expat or planning a move abroad, then take a look below at the main points to remember when sending money abroad.
Watch out for hidden charges!
Whether you’re sending the payment or receiving it, the costs can be categorised into two main parts. When shopping around, make sure you keep note of the following:
- Fees (the charges you see): These are often lots of small fees that can be charged to the sender as well as the recipient.
- Exchange rates (the charges you don’t see): Some banks are slightly cheeky – they offer commission-free transfers but then offer you a poor exchange rate instead so they are still cashing in.
This makes it very hard to compare one supplier with another and so it comes down to one question: “How much foreign currency will I get for my money after those charges have been applied?”
Exchange rates change every six seconds, so you may want to compare suppliers simultaneously – just make sure you add on the hidden charges before you make your mind up!
Make sure you’re protected
If you’re making an especially large transfer for a mortgage overseas or transferring your pension, then you need to know that your money is fully protected. If you decide to register with a currency specialist, make sure you undertake the following checks:
- How long have they been in business?
- Are they regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Payment Services Directive?
- Are they registered with HMRC as an overseas money service provider?
- Do they hold your money in segregated client trust accounts
- Do they have audited accounts on their website?
- Do they have professional indemnity insurance protecting customers from staff fraud etc.
- Do they have direct access to SWIFT? SWIFT is the world’s largest payments and settlements network for domestic and international trades. Direct access ensures that you’ll benefit from faster payments and enhanced security.
At HiFX you’ll benefit from consistent bank-beating exchange rates, 24-hour account access and top-class customer service as well as the ability to transfer to over 160 countries around the world.