Whether you’re sending money to family overseas, buying goods from an international seller, or just looking to help out a travelling friend who’s run out of funds, there are a range of reasons why you might need to send an international money transfer.
In the digital age, there are plenty of ways for you to send money overseas quickly, easily and efficiently. One option worth considering is sending an international money transfer with a company that offers a cash pickup option. This allows you to securely send funds to someone on the other side of the world without breaking the bank, and the money you send is often available for your recipient to collect within minutes.
Compare International Money Transfers
How does a cash transfer work?
The basic premise behind a cash transfer is quite simple. In a nutshell, this option allows you to send money overseas to a beneficiary, who can visit a transfer agent to pick up the cash you send.
The two best-known providers of this service are Western Union and MoneyGram. Western Union allows you to send money online or in person at a branch, and has more than 500,000 locations in over 200 countries. MoneyGram also offers online and in-person transfers to more than 200 countries, with some 350,000 agent locations around the globe.
Another option for a cash pickup transfer is WorldRemit. This company allows you to send money overseas which your recipient can then collect from their local bank branch.
Cash transfers are designed to be both secure and convenient, giving your beneficiary fast access to the cash you send. However, the costs involved in sending a transfer can differ substantially between providers, so it’s always a good idea to compare a range of options before sending a transfer.Back to top
How do I compare cash transfer services?
You’ll need to compare the following features when weighing up the pros and cons of cash transfer companies:
- Exchange rates. How do the exchange rates on offer vary to those provided by other companies? Are they better or worse, and how expensive are the fees attached to those exchange rates?
- Fees. How much will you have to pay to send a transfer? Will fees vary if you send a larger amount, use a different payment method, or need to send an urgent transfer?
- Pickup locations. How many agents does the provider have in the area where you are planning on transferring money? Are they conveniently located and when are they open?
- Transfer time. How long will it take for the money you send to be available for your recipient to collect? If you need to send an emergency transfer, can the cash be ready for pickup within minutes?
- Payment methods. How can you pay for your transfer? Will the company accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, and/or bank account transfers?
- Transfer methods. Can you send a transfer online, over the phone, or by visiting a branch? Is there a mobile app available for added convenience?
- Customer support. What sort of help will be available if you have a problem with a transaction? During what hours? Phone, email, and live online chat support can all be valuable if you ever have a question you need answered.
What are the pros and cons of cash transfers?
- Fast. International money transfers with cash pickups offer an incredibly quick way to send money overseas. Some companies even allow your beneficiary to access the funds you send within minutes.
- Plenty of choice. There are several trusted companies operating in the money transfer industry, giving you the freedom to shop around and find the best deal.
- Safe and secure. There are many trusted providers, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, that can offer secure and reliable international transfers.
- Convenient. Picking up cash from a transfer agent makes it simple and convenient for your recipient to access the funds you send.
- Can be expensive. Cash pickup money transfers attract higher fees and lower exchange rates than bank account deposits offered by online money transfer companies.
What are some risks to be aware of?
- Transfer fees. Cash pickup international money transfers tend to attract higher fees than online money transfers sent straight to your recipient’s bank account. Make sure you’re aware of all the fees that will apply to your transaction before you hand over your cash.
- Mediocre exchange rates. Exchange rates on cash transfers can be lower than you would receive from an online money transfer provider. Even a small difference in rates can equate to a much larger difference when you calculate the total cost of your transaction, so see how the exchange rate you are getting compares to the competition before you commit to a transaction.
- Not shopping around. You can save yourself a significant amount of money if you do a quick comparison to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Check to see what rates and fees other companies are offering rather than simply sending your funds with the first company you find.
- Untrustworthy providers. It’s essential to find a trusted provider to send your funds — you can find a list of reputable companies at finder.com.
- Picking up cash. In certain parts of the world, picking up cash from a transfer agent can expose you to the risk of theft.
What are some tips for picking up cash?
No matter where you are in the world, picking up cash from a transfer agent can be dangerous. Keep the following safety tips in mind to ensure that you don’t become a victim of thieves:
- Phone ahead to confirm an agent’s location and opening hours before visiting
- Avoid visiting an agent in an area where you do not feel safe or where crime is known to be a problem
- Ask a friend to help you pick up the cash
- Keep the cash hidden in public
- Be aware of your personal security and of where your wallet/bag is at all times
- Don’t carry big sums of money around for any longer than is essential
- Deposit the funds into a bank account
Frequently asked questions
How do I know which cash transfer provider is right for me?
In order to choose the right provider you will need to examine your transfer needs, including where you wish to send money and what types of transfers you wish to send. You’ll need to compare the transfer networks and branch locations offered by different providers as well as the payment methods and transfer options they offer. The best place to begin your comparison is at finder.com.
Where can I send cash transfers to?
The list of countries you can send a transfer to will depend on the provider you choose, as each will offer a different range of coverage around the world. However, every provider will have a list of countries to which they don’t send transfers – countries which commonly feature on this list include Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Myanmar.
Can I send instant cash transfers?
Yes, MoneyGram, Western Union, and other providers can make the funds you send available for collection by your beneficiary within minutes.
How do I lodge a transfer?
The most common ways to lodge an instant cash transfer are by visiting a branch or supplying your transaction details online. Some companies will also allow you to send money over the phone or by using a mobile app.
What about if I don’t want to send a cash transfer?
If you would rather send a transfer to your recipient’s overseas bank account, there are plenty of online money transfer companies that can help. These include Xoom, WorldRemit, USForex, HiFX, and Payza.