If you are an investor, you understand that fees add up and how each unnecessary fee damages your annual performance.
When looking for the best way to make large international money transfers, traditional banks might be the first option to pop into your mind. However, when it comes to currency transfers which can take up to 2.5% per transaction in the UK, banks are not the best choice. If you have other overseas income, sold property abroad, or simply want to wire some money, you can benefit from finding cheaper services online. Luckily, today many money transfer companies will help you wire money across borders in no time and with competitive fees. Below, we have compared some of the best international money transfer companies in this industry.
1. Currencies Direct
Currencies Direct is a UK-based currency exchange and money transfer provider that has been around for more than 20 years. Their website has an intuitive and easy-to-use platform, and its rates are competitive for both private and corporate clients.
The main advantages of using this platform boil down to their no-fee policy, their expertise in overseas property, and the many awards they have gotten over the years. They support 59 currencies, are authorised by the FCA, and turn over £7.5bn annually.
Currencies Direct’s business model is rather unique in the market. The company earns its revenue through exchange rate spreads as opposed to fees. This comes as a big difference compared to traditional banks that usually charge for almost every transfer.
The firm offers hedging tools such as forward contracts and are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, FinCEN, SARB and FINTRAC.
There are some obstacles you may run into by using them, such as the fact they are not operating in some US states, and that exotic African currencies are currently unavailable.
Another thing to keep in mind is that fees tend to be higher if you use a debit card to fund the transfer, therefore it is advised to instead do it through a domestic bank transfer in your currency.
Another great option for cheap international money transfer is TorFX, whose staff has more than 100 years of foreign currency exchange experience combined and over 300,000 active clients. It is not a very big currency broker, but it is known for always providing an exemplary service.
The company offers many FX hedging tools and it is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and ASIC.
TorFX charges between 1.91% and 2.71%, the latter usually applying for smaller transfers (about $1000). Otherwise, there are no hidden fees.
A big reason for its popularity is the fact that the industry veteran offers its clients a dedicated account manager when transferring large sums of money, unlike some of its competitors. However, this also shows that the company policy is more suited for larger trades than small transfers of currency.
TorFX has offices in Australia, which might be a slight disadvantage for UK clients; with that being said, the ease of use of their new and improved website makes up for it.
Arguably the most well-known firm for currency transfer is Wise (formerly TransferWise). Founded in 2011 in London, it is currently the biggest company in its industry, with a £4bn monthly turnover. Dubbed by many as the best international money transfer company, Wise went public on the London Stock Exchange in July 2021.
Wise prides itself on the transparency of its fees and good exchange rates. Wise uses the model of a fixed fee plus a variable fee. Their fixed fee is £0.2/transfer, and the variable one differs from the type of transfer you choose – the low-cost transfer is 0.35% of the amount of money sent, and fast transfer is 0.65%. The 0.5% FX margin is the same for transfers of all sizes.
Some advantages of using Wise are their award-winning customer support, their smooth online system for onboarding clients, and very high client satisfaction. Since they are the largest money transfer company today, they come across as trustworthy and safe. In addition, their website offers plenty of resources for inexperienced users or beginners, from guides to fee calculators, and their mobile app is very intuitive and well-designed.
The downsides of using Wise to transfer money internationally are the lack of a dedicated dealer or account manager to guide clients and the fact that it does not handle cheques. Even though Wise is cheap, they do not offer any discounts on high volume transfers and it is not as accommodating for bigger transactions such as property deals or large business payments.
Moneycorp is another very well-known and trusted company in the forex industry. The firm was launched in 1979 and it trades around £36.9bn in currency each year.
Being the first commercial money transfer company to ever exist, moneycorp is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, ASIC, and FinTRAC, as well as multiple additional regulators across the globe. It is a trustworthy business, with the highest D&B rating in the industry.
Moneycorp is also a very well-rated broker for hedging. Their forward contracts have smaller deposit requirements than the competitors in this industry, and the company offers different hedging tools for both corporate and private clients.
A disadvantage noted by its clients is the £50 minimum amount when making a transfer, as well as several issues with their mobile app, as mentioned by users reviews on Google Play and Apple App Store. Their website is also not as user-friendly as its competitors, and the sign-up process can be a bit overly complicated even for trying to set up one small transfer.
5. Global Reach Partners
Global Reach Partners is a great choice for international money transfers for both private and corporate clients. The well-established money transfer company has been moving currency since 2002 and has satisfied many customers with its quick setup and ease of use.
Global Reach offers a ‘best exchange rate guarantee’, meaning that if a client finds a better rate at the time of setting up the transfer, they will match this rate, as long as it is verifiable. They also support more than 140 currencies; however, they do not offer multi-currency accounts.
Global Reach does not charge maintenance fees for either its corporate or personal accounts, but it charges a transaction fee of up to £20. Larger transfers (over £3,000) come at no cost to the sender.
Some of the downsides of using this provider are the fact that they do not offer a mobile app, and that they don’t process transfers below £1,000. The service is also not accessible for clients based in the US (but clients can transfer money to the United States from other countries). In addition, their exchange rate margins tend to be in the region of 2%, which is above the mid-market rate.
All of the companies mentioned above are good choices when it comes to transferring currency internationally. Depending on the amount of money, the nature of your transaction (personal or business), and what you value most in a service, you can decide on which service provider suits you best.