One might have many reasons to transfer money abroad: you are student and money from your parents, you found your dream job and decided to relocate in another country or you’ve decided to retire in Spain or Portugal to enjoy warmer temperatures. Let me share with you my experience and a tool that allowed me to find the best way to send money online.
Why banks are not the best way to send money via Internet?
Many of us are used to go to our bank when we need to make an international money transfer. I remember when I was studying in London, my parents (in France) were sending me money each month to help me with my day-to-day expenses. We did not even ask ourselves if there were alternatives, we knew we could do it from home and that there was no need to visit a branch. So we just asked them how to process and they told us that it was we could be assured it was the best way to send money online.
Let me now explain you what happened when I received their first transfer: short story, long story, I had lost almost 15% of the amount they intended to send me. How is that even possible? We had been using what we thought was the “best way to send money online” remember? I made some research and realized that we paid a fixed fee that anyone would pay if you using your bank, then we paid a variable one that was a percentage of the amount sent. Finally, we paid what is called “hidden fees”. Most of the time hidden fees can be found in the exchange rate. Indeed a way banks make money out of international transfers is by apply a poorer exchange rate than the real one, clever isn’t it?
What are the best ways to send money online?
I paid 150€ in fees for my first transfer, using supposedly “the best way to send money online” but there was no way I could use my bank again to receive money from my parents. So I started to search for more information about international money transfers and I discovered an entire new world with many more actors than I thought! Not only can you send money online with your bank (which I do not recommend obviously) but you can also use 100% online services such as Transferwise, World Remit. Even Western Union, the old dinosaur of money transfer now has an online version of its services. I started to look for information to make sure, this time, I would find the best way to send money online from France to the UK. I thought it would be easy thanks to Google but there are so many actors offering this possibility that it would have had taken me years to compare them! I did not have time for that as I wanted to avoid using my bank the next month.
After hours spent on Google, I could not find a website that would compare these solutions. I was about to quite my studies and launch myself this business but then, I found one! ALLELUJAH! There it was, I must say I was happy but also sad as I thought I had the best idea ever that would solve exchange students issues.
I used it during the last month of my semester and I love it! I went from paying 15% fees to 2%. I’ll let you do the maths and guess how many rounds of Pimm’s I paid to my friends with that extra cash 😉