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How You Can Use Peer-to-Peer Money Transfer Services to Your Advantage

Save money and enjoy fast processing times when you send money overseas using a peer-to-peer money transfer service.

Back in the day, international money transfers were affectionately referred to as just another bit of “bank business” but with the advent of peer-to-peer (P2P) banking services for money transfers, a whole new realm of possibility awaits. Imagine a world where people can share access to currencies without the need of a central server. One simple exchange, no meddlesome middleman, and a ton of big savings to boot.

Compare Money Transfer Services

You can use the table below to compare peer-to-peer money transfer services based on fees, minimum transfer amounts and transfer speed. If you’re interested in finding out more about a transfer service click “More”, or if you’d like to open an account click “Go to Site”.

Rates last updated June 26th, 2019
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
CAD 0
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
Use code FINDERCA and pay zero fees on your first transfer. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
WorldFirst International Money Transfers
CAD 2,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates with $0 transfer fees for Finder customers. WorldFirst will beat any eligible quote from another provider.
XE International Money Transfers
CAD 0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
TorFX International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.

Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
CAD 5
1 - 2 days
Online
Special offer: Pay zero fees on your first 5 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
GBP 5,000
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do peer-to-peer money transfers work?

P2P money transfers are simple. First, you determine an amount to transfer, and then choose a receiving country. Upload your funds to an online platform, which will then convert your money at the mid-market rate and match you up with a person sending funds in the opposite direction. If you happen to be sending money from Canada to the United Kingdom, for example, you’ll be matched with someone sending funds from the United Kingdom to Canada. This allows customers to cut out the middlemen in the exchange—the banks—and enjoy better exchange rates and lower transaction fees.

Peer-to-Peer vs bank

Sarah has been living in Toronto for 10 years, but is ready to move home to the United States so that she can live close to her elderly father. After searching for months, she finds a small cottage on the outskirts of New York and enlists a broker to purchase her new home. Before Sarah takes possession of the house, she needs to send $50,000 to her father in New York to cover her down payment. Sarah decides to compare her bank and a peer-to-peer online service by looking at the cost to send $1,000 with both services, before she commits to her transfer.

BankPeer-to-peer
Exchange ratesCAD$1 = USD 0.73
CAD$1 = USD 0.76
Transfer fees$25$3
Amount received (for $1,000)USD $730USD $760
Transfer speed2 – 5 days1 – 2 days
Options availableBank-to-bank transferBank-to-bank tranfer
or cash pick-up

Sarah realizes that she can save USD $30 (around $39) in the exchange rate with peer-to-peer service, with an additional $22 in fees. If she sends $50,000 to her father, she stands to save USD $1,500 (around $1,956).

How do I compare peer to peer-to-peer money transfer services?

It’s important to consider the following features when comparing peer-to-peer money transfer services.

  • Exchange rates. Look for the company with the best rates. Avoid transfer services that suck you in with seemingly low rates but then hit you with high fees.
  • Fees. Be aware of hidden costs. Does the company charge a flat fee or is it a percentage based on the amount you’re transferring? Is the fee waived entirely if you transfer more than a certain amount? Don’t forget to read the fine print.
  • Minimum and maximum transfer amounts. Know your limits and play within them. Each company will set different minimum and maximum transfer amounts, so be sure to do your homework.
  • Transfer methods. Discover your options. Is this an online service, or are there phone and in-person options? It’s best to have everything at your fingertips.
  • Customer service. Hold reputation in high regard. Is the company known for providing excellent customer assistance? Is there an online help centre and live chat available? Can you email or phone for support? Make sure you don’t get left high and dry.
  • Available currencies. Compare currencies and receiving destinations. Check in with each P2P service to make sure your money gets where it needs to be, on time and in one piece.
  • Contracts and orders. Find out about forward contracts and limit orders. These can come in handy if you want to lock in an exchange rate for a later date or set a minimum exchange rate that monitors fluctuations in the market to track your chosen rate.

What are the pros and cons of using a peer-to-peer money transfer service over a regular service?

Pros:

  • Low Rates. Take advantage of exchange rates that are up to 8x more competitive than the banks, depending on your service provider.
  • Minimal Fees. Banks often charge 5%, while P2P services usually charge a commission of 0.5 to 1.5%.
  • Fast processing. Don’t get left behind with faster processing times (most transfers can be completed within one business day)

Cons

  • Supported currencies. It can be difficult to find certain rarely-traded currencies and remote transfer destinations (but more are being added every day)
  • Unexpected delays. Exchange rates can fluctuate rapidly and P2P models will pause your transfer if your currency has moved up or down significantly from the point of booking to the point of processing.
  • Estimated rates. P2P sites often publish up-to-the-minute rates but since it can take 3-5 days to find a buyer, the exchange rates that you receive might be significantly different from what you actually booked (although the transaction will typically be postponed until the actual rates are within 3% of the rates booked).

Are there any risks?

When you’re making an international money transfer, poor exchange rates can eat up a big chunk of your money, while hidden fees can be a nasty surprise if you don’t read the fine print before lodging a transfer. Make sure that you’re working with a reputable company before signing on the dotted line.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    mickApril 12, 2016

    I am going to Europe in February 2017 which is 9 months away and I want to buy euros when the AUD is at its highest. If this were to happen in 4 weeks time and I entered into a peer to peer transaction then,

    1. how and where do I collect my funds?
    2. is it possible to have a forward contract like this or not?

    If this sort of transaction requires a bank account then it would be possible to use a low cost forex company and park the funds. The real issue is that it is nigh well impossible to open a banking account in Europe unless you reside there. I have tried. Hence the interest in peer to peer transactions.

    If all else fails meeting the counterpart when one half or the other arrives overseas seems like an option, where a physical exchnage of funds is possible.

    Getting rather messy!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AdrianApril 13, 2016Staff

      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately you cannot use a peer-to-peer currency exchange service to pick up money in Europe unless you have a bank account there.

      Peer-to-peer international money transfer services like Transferwise and Currency Fair don’t offer limit orders as well, so it’s generally not possible to conduct these.

      Alternatively, you may want to consider bringing a debit card overseas for your travel.

      I hope this helps,

      Harry

  2. Default Gravatar
    NevilleDecember 12, 2015

    My recipient in Changrai Thailand does not have a bank account, is there any other provider besides Western Union that will be able to facilitate a cash transfer?
    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyDecember 14, 2015Staff

      Hi Neville,

      Thanks for your question.

      Moneygram and Worldremit also offer cash pick up options.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  3. Default Gravatar
    CyprienFebruary 10, 2015

    I am in Rwanda,I would like to use World Remit and i realise that rwanda is not elligble in your list.how to do?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyFebruary 11, 2015Staff

      Hi Cyprien,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are number of organisations that may be able to assist: MTN Mobile Money Online, Ria Financial Services and I&M Bank.

      Your local bank may also be able to assist with this transaction.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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