International Money Transfer Forum

Finding the solution that will serve them best in the diverse world of international money transfer solutions can cause people serious headache. Have a question about transferring money internationally? Find your question below, or post a new question. Additionally, feel free to share your experience by answering other people’s questions.

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Laura Cole 25.11.18

What are the pros and cons of setting up a personal account vs a business account to make international money transfers? 

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Admin 27.11.18

The limits, conditions, fees, and requirements are different for each account type. You will not be able to use a personal account for a transfer of a business nature, or vice versa.

  • Personal accounts are designed for individual transactions like sending money home, paying bills, small purchases, et cetera.
  • Business accounts require a legal entity, much more complex documentation, longer timing and are designed to pay foreign suppliers, employees, or partners, to invest in a business project abroad or to buy a foreign asset.
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John Brook 18.11.18

I don’t get how those small transfer companies can offer better prices than big and well-established international banks? What is the trick here?

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Admin 19.11.18

Whenever funds are sent abroad via a bank transfer, there are many hidden fees involved.

Banks make their money from the FX spread, normally charging you with the unfavorable interbank exchange rate, plus transaction fees.

Top money transfer services, on the other hand, often offer the real mid-market exchange rate, which is considered the fairest rate of all according to Reuters, and little to no transaction fees.

This process avoids currency conversion, as a result, this saves on currency exchange rate fees, bank fees, commissions, or international bank wires and the like.

Bottom line, foreign exchange (FX) rates can be drastically reduced in comparison with bank charges where money is actually moved overseas.

For a more info, visit our custom page.

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Mary Patton 21.11.18

Yep, that was my exact question when I was looking for a service to send my money with! So, as the manager at XE explained to me — what allows them to do so is that the funds actually never move across the borders. Apparently, they don’t actually transfer the sender’s money directly to the recipient, but instead redirect them to the recipient of an equivalent transfer going in the opposite direction. Something like that if I got it right.

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Sami Nada 15.11.18
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Admin 16.11.18

The process of receiving a money transfer will vary by provider and delivery method.

In general, your recipient will provide ID or a confirmation number for the transaction you will provide him/her with, to receive your funds.

If your recipient owns an account with a local bank or money transfer company, they may not need to provide this information each time you send the money.

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Malek Pkawadi 13.11.18
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Tamara Nadeeva 14.11.18

From my experience, the maximum amount per transaction through Western Union is USD $5,000.

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Admin 15.11.18

The limit per one transfer varies depending on the conditions of the provider that you are using.

Many providers have a minimum limit per one operation as well.

Local country laws may further limit payment amounts.


Check with the customer support of the chosen company before the transfer.

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Toni Basca 03.11.18

I am trying to send the transfer to my recipient bank account and I was told I need to fulfill his IBAN or SWIFT. What is it?

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Admin 05.11.18
  • IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It’s an account number that contains unique bank account information in a standardized format to improve validation when making an international money transfer.
  • SWIFT is a globally recognized eight to eleven-character identifier used to represent a financial institution for interbank transfers. A SWIFT code contains an eight-character business party identifier (i.e. the bank) and may be followed by an optional three-character branch identifier. The business party identifier consists of a four-character bank code, a two-letter country code, and a two-character location code. Also known as a BIC or BIC code or BIC/SWIFT Code.

Your beneficiary can find your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC or SWIFT) on his paper statement, by logging in to his online bank account or request from his local bank branch.

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Peter Sasson 29.10.18

For some companies at your website you write “mid-market” exchange rate. What exactly does it mean?

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Aditya Anand 29.10.18

As far as I know, the “mid-market” or “real” exchange rate is an average between the BUY and SELL rates on the global currency markets and it constantly fluctuates.

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Admin 30.10.18

Unlike the banks, that use the interbank rate, and add a significant markup on top of it, many modern online money transfer services use the “mid-market” rate.  

It is basically the same exchange rate you will find on Google, XE and Yahoo, so it is completely independent of banks or currency exchange providers and is considered the fairest rate of all according to Reuters.

The mid-market rates are especially beneficial since they save money on international payments.

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Kiki Mbanga 26.10.18

I will have to send my first ever international transfer soon and I’m really worried about it. How can I now that I will not be scammed and that my money will reach my family?

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Admin 26.10.18

Most of the money transfer companies are licensed and fully-regulated services.
Luckily, there is a plethora of local and international regulatory agencies and authorities giving licenses and controlling those services, such as:

  • FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK
  • ASIC (Australia Securities and Investments Commission) in Australia
  • FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), in the USA

Those are just a few of them. There’s many more and all of them serve the same function: to prevent companies from taking advantage of trusting consumers.
Once a company is licensed it becomes bound by the regulatory framework that governs international money transfers.

At Top10MoneyTransfers we exclusively list and review companies that are approved and licensed by major financial regulatory agencies.

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Ahmed Yassin 25.10.18
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Admin 26.10.18

eKYC stands for the Electronic version of Know Your Customer standard and makes the user verification and authorization process completely digital, excluding the need for paper document turnover.

So with the companies who offer this option, you can complete the verification and onboarding process fully online.

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Boris Poplawski 22.10.18
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Tony Ben 23.10.18

You will have to provide some ID at least, like a passport or a driving license

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Admin 23.10.18

Depending on the service, transfer method and the sending location, the set of required documents may vary.

1)In most cases, you will need some proof of identity.

It could be:

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • National ID Card
  • Armed Forces ID card
  • Residence permit
  • Visa                                                     


2)Sometimes you might also need some proof of address:

  • a bank or building society statement
  • utility bill (gas, electric, landline phone, water, satellite/cable TV, broadband)
  • driving license
  • residence permit
  • buildings or contents insurance – current year, tax bill etc.

3)In some cases, the recipient personal data might be required as well.

Please check the local regulations of the sending location & the transfer service you are willing to use.

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Clara Hutton 22.10.18

I see this term a lot, but don't really understand what it means? How is it different from a money transfer?

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Penny Wexler 22.10.18

Well, generally a definition of remittance is any payment that gets sent somewhere else. To "remit" is to send money or make a payment and what you send is called remittance. So what makes it different from a standard money transfer — that’s actually a good question...

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Admin 24.10.18

In finance and specifically money transfer industry, this term is commonly used to define the funds an expatriate sends to his or her country of origin. If one is working abroad and sending part of his profit back home — it would be called remittance.

Remittance payments have their specifics in:

  • Countries corridors (mostly from more developed “western” to developing countries)
  • Frequency (mostly regular, repetitive transactions)
  • Sending and receiving options (wire-transfer, cash pick-up, mobile top-up etc.)

See the best services for remittance in this custom table.

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Samuel Molletti 17.10.18

I want to send USD from my bank in the US to my USD account in Costa Rica.  I do NOT want to "convert" funds to local currency. How can I do this?

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Admin 20.10.18

You can eliminate the currency exchange by transferring the money between the two accounts in the same currency, but in different countries.

For example, if you transfer between a US dollar account in the US and a US dollar account in the other country — you can transfer money between these with a bank wire transfer (with no hidden fees as there is no currency exchange).

However, you will still not be able to withdraw the cash money in US dollars in any other country without having to convert to local currency.

This can only work for two Euro accounts in different countries in Europe for example, since it is the same local currency for the sending and receiving location.

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Pushpika Edirisinghe 14.09.18

Hi There, can you please tell us if there are any charges for the receiver side?

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Admin 21.09.18

In most cases, all the expenses related to the transfers are on the sender.

However, some services would offer the sending party two options:

  1. To pay all the extra fees and charges on top of the expected for the delivery amount upfront, so that the recipient could get the needed sum completely
  2. To deduct the fees and charges from the original transfer amount, leaving the receiving side with what’s left
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Aditya Anand 10.10.18

Actually, the receiver may face some local restrictions.

From what I heard,  when I send money to someone in India who is not a close family member,  he could be on the hook for a gift tax as regulated by the Indian Income Tax legislation. Same goes for inheritance or wedding gifts — if they exceed some limit they must be declared as income and could be taxed.

So seems It's worth checking every time before the actual transfer...

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Adeline Sho 28.08.18

Hi there, I would like to transfer a large amount in the near future. Is it possible to get a better rate for high amount transfer and how safe it is for the transfer?

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Admin 01.09.18

Some companies are specifically designed for small transactions, while others can be much more profitable for a larger payment.

  1. Be sure to check the amount limits and the fees breakdown. Sometimes the bigger amount is, the bigger fee you are paying, in other cases, there is little to no fee after some specific amount threshold, making a bigger transfer more profitable.
  2. Choose a partner with a fixed fee structure or smaller percent fee, like XE, Currencies Direct or WorldFirst for example.
  3. Pay attention to the exchange rate used by the service, since it can drastically influence the final cost.
  4. Many of the transfer services have online calculators on their websites to roughly estimate the cost. For the more specific quote, don’t hesitate to contact their customer support before the actual transfer.
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Brandon Walker 13.08.18

I am trying to decipher your top 10 table: when you rate the exchange rate as high, I assume that is in my favor? So the best option is low fees, high exchange rate?

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Admin 15.08.18

"High exchange rate" means higher commission or margin, so it's NOT in the sender's favor.

The best option is low (or no) fees and low exchange rate.

We rate the companies from the top to the bottom according to the preference, where the 1st place is the optimal package.

Be sure to check the amount limits and the fees breakdown. Sometimes the bigger amount is, the bigger fee you are paying, in other cases, there is little to no fee after some specific amount threshold, making a bigger transfer more profitable.

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Ethel Pinote 24.06.18
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Admin 26.06.18

Most if not all of the transfer companies offer the sender an option to track the transaction.

Depending on the service and the payment method used, it may be available by:

  • The transaction code
  • Phone number
  • ID number
  • Within a website or mobile application account etc.

Before making a transfer, make sure to refer to the provider’s customer service for the tracking options and instructions.

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Maria Sharmin 21.06.18

I would like to know some information about receiving money: one of my relatives sent me the money from abroad — how can I receive it?

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Admin 24.06.18

Transfer sending methods and delivery options vary from one provider to another, as well as from one country to another:

  • Cash pick-ups
  • Local recipient’s bank account
  • Receiving account with the same service one used to send the transfer etc.

You can see the sending and receiving options for a particular company by clicking the ”More info” button in the comparison table and in the review of each transfer service featured.

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Tord Henriksson 15.06.18

I have to transmit the specific amount every month for 12 months from EUR to another currency. How can I do it?

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Admin 19.06.18

You can set up a recurring payment plan to save time and avoid filling the same forms over and over again.

You can see the Recurrent Payments option availability for a particular company by clicking the ”More info” button in the comparison table and in the review of each transfer service featured.

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Charlene Stanley 14.06.18
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Admin 16.06.18

Some providers make their money by charging transaction fees, while others use a business model that involves little or no fees at all.

Here is a comparison table of the best money transfer services available.

The “Fees” column contains info regarding fees — transfer fees, but also exchange rates.

It is possible a service does not charge a transaction fee but charges a high exchange rate instead, so you should always consider both components.

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Dan Lara 09.06.18

I am looking at transferring less than a $1,000 USD at a time any suggestions?

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Admin 10.06.18

Most money transfer services accommodate transferring small amounts. Usually, a minimum transfer amount ranging from $0 - $100 applies, depending on the company and transfer corridor.

Some services are specifically designed for small transactions. Always check the fees and charges breakdown of a service you are thinking of using, since some of them have fixed transfer fees, regardless of the transfer amount, while others only charge a certain percentage.

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