UK’s money transfer industry

Does the sender or the receiver decide which money transfer service to use?

Updated

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Money transfers is a huge industry, with millions of us in the UK alone sending money overseas every year. Convenience, exchange rates and hidden fees are all part of the consideration when deciding who to send with. But according to our latest study, over 17 million Brits have little choice in what provider they use.

In other words? That’s 41.5% of those who do send money overseas choosing their provider based on what’s best for the person receiving it.

Choice Percentage
Best for the recipient 41.50%
Best for the sender 58.50%

What are these considerations?

  • Branches that offer cash pickup
  • The ability to transfer directly into their bank account
  • The fastest method
  • The access to customer support
  • Hours of operation

Compare some of the best international money transfer services

Table: promoted deals sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

Check out our table below in order to compare multiple money transfer providers and find the best deal for you.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply).
Get bank-beating exchange rates and no fees when you transfer with TorFX.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Universal Partners FX offers competitive exchange rates and same-day transfers for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Take advantage of fee lock-ins and live bookable rates, helping you save up to 85% in hidden bank fees. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 1.093 EUR
10,924
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.101 EUR
11,014
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 1.101 EUR
11,009
First two transfers free for new customers.
Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points.
Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.096 EUR
10,956
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply).
Get bank-beating exchange rates and no fees when you transfer with TorFX.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Universal Partners FX offers competitive exchange rates and same-day transfers for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Take advantage of fee lock-ins and live bookable rates, helping you save up to 85% in hidden bank fees. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
With 17 years of foreign exchange expertise, OFX know the money transfers business very well, offering facilities for one-off and recurring transfers. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 1.093 EUR
10,924
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.098 EUR
10,981
Fast, fee-free transfers and great exchange rates. Book transfers over the phone through a dedicated dealing team or by using Virgin Money’s 24/7 online platform. Show details
GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 10.00 1.101 EUR
11,003
Make the most of your money with Foremost Currency Group - excellent personalised service and bank-beating rates. Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.102 EUR
11,020
Make simple, fast, secure payments online or over the phone - simply choose the service that best meets your needs. Go to site Show details
GBP 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.101 EUR
11,014
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
10,992
Frontierpay has a proven reputation for competitive rates and a refreshingly open and honest approach to transferring money worldwide. Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.103 EUR
11,026
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
10,992
London-based and operating for over 10 years, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that your money is in expert hands. Show details
GBP 1,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.098 EUR
10,981
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.1 EUR
11,003
Send money abroad with the longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK. Show details
GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.096 EUR
10,959
Get a great deal for your international money exchange with no commission, no hidden costs and a guaranteed exchange rate. Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.096 EUR
10,956
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
GBP 50 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.102 EUR
11,018
Start your low cost money transfer with Travelex Wire, at an average of 3 times cheaper than leading money transfer providers. Travelex Wire is provided by Travelex Europe Limited, FCA regulated (FRN 900537). Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 50.00 1.064 EUR
10,589
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Show details
GBP 100 Same day GBP 4.00 1.074 EUR
10,733
Show details
GBP 100 2 days GBP 9.50 1.08 EUR
10,791
Send up to £75,000 online per day to almost anywhere in the world and take advantage of the Lloyds International Moneymover Service. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Let’s go deeper

The remaining 58.5% of those using money transfer services choose their provider based on suiting themselves. This could be for the most cost effective method or the ease of use. Men are more likely to send money overseas at 41.2%, compared to only 29.3% of women. They also tend to be more considerate, with 42.9% of men choosing the provider based on the needs of the sender (with women at 39.5%).

Millennials are also most likely to be transferring money overseas, with 58.8% of all millennials saying they do. This is followed by 37.2% of Gen X and only 22.6% of Baby Boomers.

Region Percentage
London 61.4%
North East 49.0%
West Midlands 36.9%

Who’s most likely to be sending money overseas?

Those living in the East Midlands are the most selfless senders, with more than half (58.3%) choosing a provider based on what’s best for the person receiving the funds. Londoners followed (51.8%), followed by those residing in the North West (44.0%).

Why do we send money overseas?

The most common reason why people send money overseas is to support their family (41.2%). This was followed by sending money as a gift (37.8%), for a holiday (23.7%), an emergency (20.3%), transferring funds to their own foreign accounts (16.9%), business (13.5%) and for a wedding (9.5%). Check out here where the UK sends the most money in the form of remittances.

Recievers Percentage
Family support 41.20%
Occasional gift 37.80%
Holiday 23.70%
Emergency 20.30%
Own overseas account 16.90%
Business 13.50%
Wedding 9.50%

By the demographics

Women are more likely to transfer money overseas to their families than men (42.2% compared to 40.5%). Twice as many men (17.6%) are sending money overseas for business than women (7.8%).

Millennials are the most likely to be sending money to their families by a wide margin, at 50.7%. Gen X followed at 37.8%, then Baby Boomers (35.3%). Gen X are the most likely to be sending money not only for gifts (41.8%), but for business as well (15.1%).

Jon Ostler

CEO (UK)

The remittance industry is unique due to its multi-market nature – for the over one in three Brits using international money transfers, choices are endless. However, if you’re one of the 41.5% sending on the needs of the recipient, options start to become more limited.

Improvements need to be made at both ends to improve the range of options for Brits. There’s no point in money transfer providers improving their options and services within the UK when the receiver of the transfer is limited to how they accept the funds.

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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