Find an affordable and easy way to manage your overseas bill payments by sending international money transfers.
Some of us have enough trouble keeping up with our bills at the best of times, so the idea of managing bills from abroad can sound pretty daunting. But from mortgage repayments and rental payments to utilities and business expenses, there’s no shortage of potential situations where you might need to send money overseas to pay a bill.
Sending an international money transfer is not as complicated or as expensive as you might think. With developments in transfer technology and the rise of companies offering much more affordable transfers, you can save a whole lot of time and money when you need to send international payments. All you have to do is find a reputable money transfer provider that can provide good value for money.
Compare International Money Transfers
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With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:
- Buying property abroad
- Regular overseas payments
- Risk management
How can I pay overseas bills?
Just like the method of paying your domestic bills by check is being phased out in favour of online payments, old-fashioned methods of sending money overseas are also being scrapped in favour of newer, more affordable options.
For example, while you could send a secure international check overseas to a biller, you’ll need to pay a fee for doing so and also be willing to wait patiently for the check to arrive. Similarly, sending an international money transfer via your bank is no longer the most convenient or affordable option. As banks charge high fees and offer mediocre exchange rates, it’s quite easy to find a better deal if you’re willing to do a little bit of research and shop around.
The most affordable way to pay a bill overseas is to use a specialist money transfer company. While the best-known providers of international transfers are companies like Western Union and MoneyGram that offer cash pickup transfers, the last decade has seen a rapid rise of online money transfer providers.
Companies like USForex, Payza, Viamericas, WorldRemit, and many more allow you to send bank account transfers overseas, but they allow you to do it much more cost-effectively than any major bank. With better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks, they allow you to send fast and secure bank transfers all around the world.Back to top
What are some of the overseas bills I may need to pay?
- Rent. Whether you’re away on holidays and need to pay rent back home or you’re maintaining an overseas rental for a relative, you might need to send money overseas to stay on top of your rental payments.
- Mortgage repayments. Your mortgage repayments won’t go on holiday even if you do, while you might also have purchased an investment property overseas that needs to be paid off.
- Utilities. Gas, water, electricity, and the like are all essential financial considerations.
- Buying goods and services. Purchasing something from overseas? You’ll need to find an efficient way to get money to the seller, and credit card payment isn’t always an option.
- Paying staff or contractors. Whether you’re employing people overseas for your business or hiring contractors to build you a house, you’ll need to make sure they are paid promptly.
What are my international money transfer options?
- Bank transfers. The most convenient option for many people is to simply approach their bank to help them send overseas. Any major bank, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, can quickly and easily send international wire transfers. The problem with doing this is that international transfers with banks don’t come cheap – in fact, banks offer some of the most expensive transfers around. With high fees and exchange rates much lower than you’ll be able to find elsewhere, bank transfers may be secure but they’re certainly not a cost-effective way to pay overseas bills.
- Online money transfer services. In recent years, a much cheaper money transfer alternative than the banks has taken shape. Online money transfer services offer transfers from your bank account to your beneficiary’s bank account overseas, but they offer much better exchange rates and lower fees when doing so. Some companies that offer this service include Xoom, WorldRemit, Payza, and Viamericas.
- Money transfer services with cash pickup. While many bills these days are paid electronically, sometimes you need to send cash overseas to pay off your debts. Western Union, MoneyGram, and Ria offer fast and reliable international money transfers that your beneficiary can collect in cash from agent locations all around the world. Check out each provider’s website for details about their locations near you and near your recipient.
- International bank check. A slightly more old-fashioned way to pay an overseas bill is to get a bank draft and then post it overseas. However, there are a few key problems with this approach, including the extra processing time while you wait for the check to arrive and be cashed, as well as bank fees and charges for both the sender and the recipient.
How can I compare money transfer providers?
With so many money transfer providers competing for your business, choosing the right company to handle your transactions can be a difficult process. To help make it easier, use the below features as a checklist when weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of competing transfer companies:
- How much will transfers cost? There are two expenses to consider when sending money overseas: exchange rates and fees. Compare rates between providers to see which one comes out on top, but remember that companies with the best rates can sometimes also charge some of the highest fees. It’s also a good idea to make sure there won’t be any hidden fees attached to your transaction.
- How can you send transfers? Some companies other online transfers only; others also allow you to place transfers over the phone, by visiting a branch, or by using a mobile app. Also keep an eye out for companies that offer flexible features such as forward contracts, which allow you to secure an exchange rate now for a transaction that will be completed in the future, and the option of scheduling regular payments in advance.
- How can you pay for transfers? Options range from bank account transfers to credit card payment, debit card payment and cash payment.
- How can your beneficiary receive transfers? Will the funds be transferred straight into your recipient’s bank account or will the cash be available to collect from a transfer company branch?
- What currencies can you transfer? Check each company’s list of supported currencies and countries to see if you’ll be able to send the currency you desire to the destination you want. Will the available options be enough to satisfy your international bill payment requirements now and into the future?
- How long will transfers take? Some companies can offer transfers within minutes while others will take several business days to process your funds. Keep in mind that rapid transfers tend to attract higher fees.
- What customer support is available? You will want to be able to enjoy peace of mind when sending money overseas, so the availability of phone, email, and online support means you can transfer funds with confidence.
What are the pros and cons of paying overseas bills using an international money transfer?
- Easy to do. You can send funds overseas with a few clicks of the mouse and by providing a handful of basic details.
- Convenient. Send transfers from the comfort of your home or from wherever you want using your smartphone.
- Stay on top of your finances. Whether you’re on holiday or simply live on the other side of the world, international money transfers allow you to stay up to date with your bill payments no matter where you are.
- Fees apply. If the fact that you have to pay a bill wasn’t bad enough, contending with a transfer fee on top of the amount you already owe can be frustrating.
Frequently asked questions
Can I pay bills in any other country around the world?
While you should be able to find a money transfer provider to send your funds almost anywhere, there are certain countries regularly excluded from possible transfer destinations. These include North Korea, Iran, and Myanmar.
Can I set up regular bill payments in advance?
Yes, there are many online transfer companies that allow you to organise recurring transfers up to a year in advance. This convenient option makes it easier to stay on top of your bill payments.
Why is it important to find the best exchange rate?
The exchange rate is crucial in determining how much a transaction costs you and how much money your beneficiary receives. For example, imagine you are deciding between transferring funds to Italy with two companies — one offers an exchange rate of 87 Euro cents for every US Dollar, while the other offers 89 Euro cents per US Dollar. When you send USD $1,000 overseas, using the company with the higher exchange rate means your beneficiary receives an extra 20 Euros.
Can I track an international money transfer?
Yes, transfer companies offer transaction tracking services through their websites. You will receive a transaction reference number that you can use to monitor the status of your funds.