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From mortgage payments to utility bills and even regular remittances to loved ones — there are a range of reasons why you might need to send money regularly overseas.It wasn’t long ago that the only option for making regular overseas payments was to go through your bank — and endure a big hit to your wallet.
But the rise of online money transfer providers that specialize in moving funds internationally means that you have more options.
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From mortgage payments, credit card bills and other debts to utilities, salary transfers and rental income deposits — there’s a long list of reasons why you might need to set up a recurring international transfer. It makes sense to compare your options to find a secure, cost-effective solution.
Making an overseas payment requires you to pay money to an intermediary to handle your transfer — typically your local bank or a money transfer company. The provider you choose then converts your US dollars into the currency you’re sending overseas and transfers the money to your recipient. The money you sent can be transferred directly into a bank account or sometimes can be made available for a cash pickup at an agent location abroad.
8 ways to save on your international payments
Many digital money specialists allow you the convenience of setting up regular payments, whereby you submit your recipient’s information and transfer details for payments as far as 12 months into the future. Some even offer tools — like forward contracts and limit orders — that protect your transfers against market fluctuations, locking in more favorable exchange rates. And giving you the freedom you need to affordably manage your international payments.
For many years, banks offered the easiest, most convenient way to send money overseas through wire transfers. But there’s one big drawback to using your bank when you send money overseas: the cost.
Banks don’t specialize in international transfers — they offer everything from savings accounts and home loans to credit cards and insurance — and so the exchange rates they offer to customers can be disappointing. Couple that with frustratingly high fees of $50 or more per transfer, and making regular overseas payments through your bank could become very costly.
Thanks to technology and a more competitive transfer industry, here are now far more international transfer providers to choose from. Providers like OFX, Wise and WorldRemit
allow you to send bank account transfers overseas, but with much stronger exchange rates and lower fees than you’d pay with your local bank. Not only that, but they’re also fast and secure.
Sourav is an Indian national who’s spent the past year working in construction in Los Angeles. He’s sent a payment of $1,000 home to his family every month for the past year. But sending these payments through his bank has resulted in a major drain on his finances.
Sourav compares the costs and features of his bank’s transfer service with that offered by a specialist transfer provider to see if he can find a better deal on his recurring transfer.
|Major US bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 63.24 INR||1 USD = 64.10 INR|
|Transfer speed||2–3 business days||3–4 business days|
|Transfer options||Bank-to-bank wire transfer||Online bank account transfer|
|Total INR received||63,240 INR||64,100 INR|
Sourav learns that he can save $40 in transfer fees just by sending the funds with a transfer company instead of a bank. He can also ensure that his parents receive an extra 860 Indian rupees.
When looking for a money transfer provider to handle your regular overseas payments, keep the following factors in mind.
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