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Save money on your regular payments overseas
You can make regular overseas payments with ease, provided you know how to go about the process.
Technological advancements have made international money transfers quick and easy. If you wish to send money overseas on a regular basis – to a family member or towards a recurring payment – you don’t have to go through a long process for every transfer.
This is because some service providers let you schedule regular overseas payments as per your needs.
What are regular international money transfers?
If you’re living outside New Zealand for a prolonged period, you may have to continue making payments towards your mortgage or credit cards. You might want to send part of your income to your New Zealand bank account. On the other hand, you may want to send money to someone living outside New Zealand periodically. Whatever your situation, you can benefit by scheduling the payments in advance.
Compare providers that can set up your recurring payments
A typical regular international money transfer would have money debiting from your bank account and crediting into the recipient’s account in accordance to a predetermined schedule.
How does a regular international money transfer work?
The main difference between a regular international money transfer and a one-time transfer is that the regular transfer happens on a recurring basis. This can be weekly, monthly or even annually.
Several money transfer companies let you schedule transfers, which include bill payments, in advance. While various banks in New Zealand let you make regular overseas payments, you can also choose from a number of money transfer companies as well. To use a money transfer company to pay your overseas bills, you’ll have to register as a user first.
As with one-time transfers, aspects such as exchange rates, transfer fees, turnaround time, ways to send money, methods of receiving money and customer service levels require your attention in choosing a suitable service provider.
Case study: Benjamin sends money back home
Benjamin Wilson’s son moved to the UK to study and will remain there for at least a year. During this period, Benjamin plans to send him $1,500 on a monthly basis to look after his day-to-day expenses.
While the bank he has an account which lets him transfer money to the UK, he thinks he can get a better deal through a money transfer company. He compares his options online and this is what he finds.
By using the money transfer company, Benjamin discovers his son will receive some extra money after each transfer. He benefits from a quicker turnaround time as well.
|New Zealand bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||$1 = £0.445||$1 = £0.4495|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Transfer time||3-5 days||1 day|
|Amount received for $1,500||£657.71||£674.25|
What are the types of regular payments?
Regular overseas payments fall into two basic categories.
- Fixed payments. If you wish to send the same amount of money every week or month, it would qualify as a fixed payment. These can include transfers to personal accounts as well as payments towards rent, mortgage and subscriptions. When you make fixed payments, you can benefit from locked exchange rates, where the exchange rate remains the same for a given time period. This can protect you from negative fluctuations in exchange rates.
- Non-fixed payments. If you’re making payments towards bills or if you’re not sure about sending the same amount each month, you cannot use locked exchange rates. In these situations, you’ll only get the prevailing exchange rate.
How do I send money overseas?
The steps involved in making regular overseas payments essentially depend on the method you select.
- Using your bank. If your bank lets you make regular overseas payments, you may be able to do so in person, online or over the phone. You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and bank account details, and then put a schedule in place. You can get the funds to transfer on a particular date of every month.
- Using a money transfer company. If you wish to use a money transfer company, you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and bank account details as well as details of your bank account or debit card. Next, you would have to set a schedule for the transfers to take place.
You can make changes to the schedule down the line, provided you do so as per the service provider’s terms and conditions.
Pros and cons of using a money transfer service
- Save money. Money transfer companies typically charge lower fees compared to banks, and you can find service providers that offer fee-free services. You can also get more competitive exchange rates through specialist money transfer companies.
- Save time. Most money transfer companies process their transfers within one to two business days. However, banks can take noticeably longer, with some taking up to 12 business days. If you want your regular payments to go though in a timely manner, turning to money transfer companies is a safer bet.
- Physical presence. Many money transfer companies limit their presence to the online world. This can work as a drawback, especially for people who prefer face-to-face interactions. However, money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have a considerable physical presence across New Zealand.
Are there any risks?
When sending money overseas, make sure you deal with a reputable business because there are some unscrupulous elements in this realm. Some service providers let you lock in rates for transfers you may want to schedule. Do this with care because while this takes away the need to worry about negative fluctuations in exchange rates, you may end up missing on a favourable rate in the future.
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