In today’s digital world, sending money overseas should be fast, flexible and secure. There’s no need for exorbitant bank fees when there are businesses whose entire service is focused on moving money around the globe.

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This article was originally published on The South African

We break down why banks are so expensive and what alternatives you should look for when doing international money transfers.

The problems with sending money through banks

Banks offer many different types of services, which can be useful, but also means that they tend to be the jack of all trades. Faced with the option of a bank that does something of everything or a company whose focus is solely on money transfer, the latter will always save you more. Let’s break down the banking fees you will face.

Banks will charge: 

  1.  A minimum fee regardless of how much money you are sending and this fee often increases the more you send. 
  2. Handling fees, which can be understood as shipping costs for your money. If the bank that is sending and receiving your money doesn’t have a relationship with the receiving bank, both banks will charge a fee, increasing your costs. 
  3. The receiver may also be charged a fee.

Banks also don’t offer the best currency exchange rates as they only fix rates once a day, building enough of a profit margin to protect against any currency fluctuations that may occur throughout the day. 

When it comes to sending money overseas, it is better to speak to a company that specialises in just that. This means their time is focused on creating an excellent money transfer service at a great price.  

International money transfers: the cheapest way to send money abroad

Previously banks were the only way to send money overseas and using their service was one of the only options most people had. However, those days are long gone. Now, with so many money transfer companies available to fulfil the same service, in half the time and often at a fraction of the cost, one is spoilt for choice. Money transfer companies should only charge you a once-off fee for the transfer and you can usually see the currency rate you will be getting. The fees are usually quite low and the exchange rates are better than what a bank would offer.

The fastest way to send money abroad

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to sending money overseas is the time it takes before the recipient gets the money into their account. Money transfer services operate online, and the money usually arrives in the recipient account within a few working days. Not only is time saved through removing the need to visit a bank, stand in a queue or wait on hold for long periods while trying to reach that private banker you’ve been promised but you could save days when it comes to how long it is before having the money in your account. Why wait when you can help yourself online, any time of day or night. We live in a fast-paced world, and money transfers should be able to happen within a matter of days.  

How international money transfers work

The process of using an online money transfer service is usually a simple three-step system

  1. You register for your account (as an individual or business) 
  2. You log in 
  3. Make your transaction

You can decide when you are ready to make your transaction, regardless of the time of day or night. The exchange rates are also quoted in real-time so you always know exactly how much money you will be getting. Companies that offer great services should also have online assistance via live chat. This means you can get real-time responses from actual forex brokers or assistants whose sole purpose is to help you execute your transaction quickly and easily. 

Find a forex service with the customer support you need

If you are accustomed to using a bank to transfer your money and are thinking of moving away from this system and using a forex service for the first time, you may feel quite overwhelmed. While most fintech companies do claim to have online assistance, these tech start-ups tend to operate in a robotic fashion, and reaching a human is often even tougher than reaching someone at a bank. If anything goes wrong with your transfer, or you are struggling with a certain step in the transfer process, you could end up feeling stuck and waiting for automated responses that don’t deal directly with your queries.

If the prospect of saving money is something you want but you feel that using an online service or app for your money transfer may potentially be too complicated or lack the customer service you require, then it’s great to know that there are middle-ground options available to you. 

Consider a savvy business whose customer service team is made up of real people who are in-tune with their client’s needs, who offer an email address and a phone number for you to call or an option that allows you to request a callback, should you need any reassurance or have any queries.  

Sable International forex brokers: the best of both worlds

Sable International specialises in moving money around the globe, as a fully accredited forex service. Our experience in the market has opened doors for us to negotiate the best rates available, which we pass onto our clients. Sable International is a company that is not only focused on having an online service with bank-beating fees, but on putting our clients first and being available to help every step of the way. Our clients are at the heart of our business, and we walk them through the entire process of sending money, creating peace of mind on every transaction.

We’ve been helping our clients send money to loved ones, pay off debt, purchase properties and so much more for over 22 years. We have offices in South Africa, the UK, Australia and are happy to answer any answer questions you have at any time. With multiple options for how to contact us, you can use the method that suits you best. 

Special offer – We’re offering all new clients their first three transfers free of charge. Register online and test our service for yourself. We’re online and always available for a chat.

Email or call +44 (0) 20 7759 7554 if you have any questions about your global money transfer needs.

We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you'll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.