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Receiving money from overseas

Find out your options for receiving money from abroad.

There may be times in your life when you will be receiving money from overseas. Be it from friends or family, or maybe you are living abroad. With the right tools at your disposal, you can find the best deal and have quick access to your funds when you receive a money transfer from overseas.

What is the best way to receive money from overseas?

The best way to receive money from overseas depends on your specific situation. For many, receiving the money to their bank through an international wire transfer is the most convenient – even if it can be expensive. However, you will find it is often cheaper to use a money transfer service instead. These types of companies specialise in sending money overseas, and offer lower fees and stronger exchange rates than banks.

We’ve listed the best ways to receive money from overseas – going from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. International money transfer service. Specialised money transfer companies are one of the cheapest options when it comes to receiving money from abroad. Use our comparison table to find a money transfer company that suits your needs before you receive your transfer.
  2. Money order. Sometimes called a bank draft, an international money order is an inexpensive but slow way to receive money from overseas.
  3. Mobile wallet. Having money delivered to a mobile wallet can be convenient if it’s available.
  4. Cash delivery. Consider having your money sent to a local money transfer agent location as a cash pickup. Some services will even deliver it straight to your home.
  5. Bank wire transfer. International bank wire transfers through a bank often get charged fees on both ends of the transaction, so tend to work out as an expensive option.

Compare international money transfer companies to receive money from abroad

As typically one of the cheapest options when it comes to receiving money from abroad, you can save yourself more money by comparing money transfer services.

Use our comparison table to see how much money you could receive through different money transfer companies and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.

1 - 11 of 11
Name Product Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Offer
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.41%
Within minutes
From €3
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
From €0
Atlantic Money
Atlantic Money
Within minutes
Currencies Direct
2 days
Within minutes
From 0.3%
Within minutes
From €0
24 hours
417 days
24 hours
From €0
Within an hour
From $2.99

How does receiving money from overseas work?

The process may differ depending on the service provider used to send the funds. With some money transfer services, you need to request the transaction reference number from the sender and present the number along with your identification documents. You may also be required to fill out a receive form to access your funds.

With online transfers, the funds are deposited into your account, after which you can withdraw them. You can also receive funds through a prepaid card or mobile wallet.

Bank information needed to receive money

Keep in mind, in order to receive money from overseas, you’ll need to provide specific bank details, including:

Do I need to pay fees if I’m receiving money from overseas?

While most fees are incurred by the sender, your bank may charge a fee for processing and depositing the money you have received from overseas.

It is also worth keeping in mind you could be required to pay intermediary fees. Intermediary banks act as the ‘middleman’ through which money passes when transferring between two financial institutions. As a result, they take a small fee from the funds being transferred. This is separate from the fees charged by banks or money transfer services.

How do exchange rates and margins affect the amount I receive?

The amount you receive in the end may be less than expected if the sender doesn’t pay the currency exchange rate at the beginning of the transaction.

Most banks and money transfer providers will quote an exchange rate that’s higher than the mid-market rate, otherwise known as the midpoint between the buy and sell prices. This markup is also known as a margin, which is how these companies make a profit.

The exchange rate margin is often the reason why there is a difference between the amount that is sent and the amount that is received. Small differences can put a big dent in the end amount, especially when receiving larger amounts of money.

What type of money transfer should I use to receive money?

Money transfers come in many varieties, all of which can be used to receive money from overseas. Here are some of your options:

  • Online transfer. You can use online payment services to transfer and receive funds. The funds are converted into the recipient’s currency.
  • Money transfer. Money transfer companies that offer cash pickup are an easy way to receive money. Just double-check that there’s an agent location near you before agreeing to receive a cash transfer.
  • Prepaid card. You can access your funds through an ATM when using a prepaid card to receive money.
  • Mobile wallet. Receive and send funds directly from your smartphone when using a mobile wallet.

Frequently asked questions

Can I receive money from abroad in my bank account?

You can receive money from abroad directly into your bank account when using an international money transfer service. You will just need to provide specific details about your bank, including your account number, BIC/SWIFT code, Bank State Branch (BSB), full name and street address.

Can I receive money from abroad via PayPal?

The short answer is yes. PayPal allows funds to be transferred between more than 200 different countries. You will just need to provide the sender with your phone number or email address.

Is there a limit to receiving money from overseas?

There are no international money transfer limits. However, in most cases, banks and money transfer services have their own upper limits. Your bank may also have limits on the amount that can be automatically converted. It is also worth checking the tax regulations on amounts received from abroad.

How long does it take to receive an overseas transfer?

It depends on the service provider, the transfer method the sender has chosen and how the funds are received. For example, if the sender pays with a credit or debit card, and the recipient opts for a cash pickup, the funds will be transferred almost instantaneously.

Do I need a bank account in Ireland to receive money from overseas??

There are ways to receive money from overseas if you don’t have a bank account. Several money transfer services allow you to receive your funds as a cash pickup from an agent location or delivered directly to your door.

Is it illegal to receive money from another country?

Receiving money from another country is not a crime. However, criminals have used international money transfers in the past to launder their money. As a result, certain laws are in place to prevent fraud from happening. So it is worth reading up and knowing the law in the country you are planning to receive your funds in.

Is it possible to receive money from an anonymous source?

As long as the sender has the recipient’s details correct, then it is possible to receive money from an anonymous source. Money transfer services like Western Union and Xoom allow account holders to transfer money to someone anonymously.

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