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Fastest ways to make an emergency money transfer

If you or a loved one are in an emergency and need cash quickly, here are your best options.

Online money transfer services offer some of the fastest ways to transfer money to someone in cash or for direct deposit in an emergency – but which provider you should use depends on how much you’re sending and how quickly you need it to arrive.

Compare the fastest international money transfers

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you’re ready to send.

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Wise (TransferWise)
USD 1
1-2 days
Varies
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Skrill
Skrill
INR 80
1 day
None
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees.
Instarem
INR 4,000
Within minutes
1%
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is the fastest way to transfer money internationally?

There may be occasions where you need to get money to friends or family in an emergency. In most cases, the fastest way to send money internationally is by using an online money transfer company.

Some money transfer services allow you to send funds almost instantly, with the recipient able to collect in cash or via a bank deposit. Apart from the speed, another advantage of using online transfer services is that you can easily compare fees and exchange rates and choose the most favourable for your transaction. To learn more about how exchange rates are calculated, take a look at exchange rates explained.

Which are the fastest services to use when sending money abroad?

When there is an emergency, getting money out as quickly as possible is key. Western Union, Wise and Skrill are the three providers with the fastest money transfer services in India.

Western Union

Western Union has 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries, making it the largest provider of international money transfers in the world. As with MoneyGram, your fastest option is to pay by debit or credit card for cash pickup.

Western Union Money Transfers logo

Western Union at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: $10,000
  • Minimum transfer: $1
  • Transfer speed: In minutes if using a debit or credit card for cash pickup
  • Transaction fee: Typically around 5% of the transfer
How can I send money quickly?
  • Head to Western Union’s website. You’ll need your personal information, your recipient’s details and a valid method of payment to make the transfer.
  • Visit a Western Union location near you with cash or a debit card.
What happens next?

You’ll receive a unique Money Transfer Control Number with your confirmation. You can track your transfer online with this number. If you have any problem, contact customer service 24/7 at 800-325-6000 or through the online form on Western Union’s site.

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Wise

Wise is an online service which allows you to send money overseas from the convenience of your computer or via its app. Wise does only allow payment by bank transfer, but it aims to complete a transfer within one day on popular routes.

Wise logo
Wise at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: $1m
  • Minimum transfer: $1
  • Transfer speed: Within 24 hours
  • Transaction fee: Varies depending on destination
How can I send money quickly?

You’ll need to create a free account and provide personal information, the transaction details and your payment information.

What happens next?

You can track your transfer in your Wise account, and it will inform your recipient when it is coming. If you have any problems, you can log into your account online and access Wise’s personalised support centre.

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Skrill

Skrill is an online e-commerce service that lets you send money both domestically and internationally between a variety of currencies. Money sent through Skirll can be delivered directly to bank accounts or held in a third party wallet.

Skrill Money Transfers logo
Skrill at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: Varies depending on country
  • Minimum transfer: £1
  • Delivery speed: Within 1 hour, or up to 2 business days
  • Transaction fee: Varies depending on method
How can I send money quickly?

You’ll need to create a free account and load funds into your wallet. To do this you will need to provide personal information and details about your transfer.

What happens after?

You can track your transfer through your online account or the Skrill app. If you have any problems, you can contact customer service through email at help@skrill.com.

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What factors affect the speed of a money transfer?

There are several factors that can affect how fast your intended recipient receives their transfer, and they are worth keeping in mind if you need to send money in an emergency.

    • Transfer destination. Where you are sending money to will impact the speed of your transfer. It’s often faster to send money between countries where financial exchange is commonplace. Just remember that every transfer destination involves specific banking regulations and procedures, which could potentially delay transfers.
    • Payment method. How you choose to pay for your transfer will determine the processing speed. Typically paying by credit or debit card is your fastest option.
    • Receiving method. The form your intended recipient chooses to receive their funds will also affect the transfer time. You will find that a cash pickup can be done almost instantaneously.
    • Signing up to an account. If you are not already registered with a money transfer service, it can take time to apply for an account and provide the required supporting documents.

What do I need to look out for when sending cash quickly?

Fees for emergency transfers will vary among banks and money transfer services. Before you make your transfer, try to compare the following:

      • Exchange rates. Money transfer services make money by skewing exchange rates. You’ll want to look for a rate that’s as close to the mid-market rate as possible.
      • Transfer fees. Fees can range from flat fees of a few dollars to up to $80 or more, depending on how you’re sending it or picking it up.
      • Transfer options. Can your recipient accept a bank account transfer, or do they need to pick up cash right away?
      • Security. For emergencies, you’ll appreciate being able to track your transfer through to receipt.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

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