The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.
Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country – in this case, Italy. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Although banks are quite capable of sending money to Italy, you’ll face high exchange rates and multiple fees to get your money into the hands of the person who needs it. If you need a quick option, banks also fall short – it could take up to a week, while money transfer companies may be able to exchange your money in a few hours.
Specialist money transfer companies are the best place to start. These companies — such as OFX and WorldRemit — offer fast, secure and much more affordable transfers to Italy. The fees are usually lower than what you’d find at a bank, exchange rates are higher and the transactions can be handled from the comfort of your own home. This gives money transfer companies a competitive edge over banks, so consider one when you’re in need of a money transfer to Italy.
Filippo Sends Money to Italy
Filippo is a professional rugby player based in Wellington. He wants to send a $1,000 gift to his sister back home in Florence for her 30th birthday, but he is not keen on paying his bank’s $50 transfer fee. He compares two money transfer companies in the hope of finding a more affordable solution.
Money transfer company 1
Money transfer company 2
1 NZD = 0.59 EUR
1 NZD = 0.57 EUR
Bank account deposit
Bank account deposit
3 business days
1–3 business days
Amount received (in EUR)
As you can see, Filippo can send an extra 20 euros to his sister if he uses the second transfer company.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Italy
Exchange rates. A better exchange rate means more money for your recipient, so look for a company that offers attractive exchange rates.
Fees. A hefty transfer fee can easily turn an affordable transaction into an astronomically expensive one, so check how much each provider will charge for handling your transfer.
Transfer methods. Can you send your transfers online, through a mobile app, by calling the company or visiting one of its branches?
Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
Turnaround time. How long will it take for your money to arrive? Processing times can vary from a few minutes to several days.
Minimum limit. Some companies will impose a high minimum limit on all transfers, a fact that can be quite restricting if you don’t want to transfer very much money.
Pick-up methods. Can the cash you send be collected from a branch in Italy, and if so, how many branches does the provider have? Alternatively, can you send funds via bank account transfer?
Customer service. If you ever have a question or a problem, when will customer support be available and how can you access it?
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. A strong currency will yield more money when exchanging it for a weak currency. Italy is in the heart of the eurozone and uses the euro as its currency. The euro’s exchange rates is flexible, so it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic and political stability and inflation. Exchange rates for Italy
How to send money to Italy from New Zealand
Bank transfers. A transfer from your bank account to an Italian bank account is a secure option but will typically cost you more.
There are certain circumstances where you may need to send a transfer urgently, for example, if your son or daughter is travelling through Italy and has their wallet stolen. When this happens, there are companies that can get the funds to your recipient in minutes, but you’ll have to pay extra for the privilege of a rapid transfer. Higher fees and lower exchange rates may apply, so check the fine print to determine the total cost of your transfer first.
Tips for picking up cash in Italy
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Safe Travel website advises Kiwis travelling or living in Italy to exercise caution. Italy has an increased risk of terrorism; theft from tourists is common, particularly in crowded and tourist areas, in larger cities and on public transport; and the country experiences frequent civil unrest and strikes.
With this in mind, you should take care whenever you pick up cash from a transfer agent. This means staying aware of your personal safety at all times and taking a few steps to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.
Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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