UK’s money transfer industry

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

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: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

View details
Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfer
Within minutes
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

View details
New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

View details
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

View details
New customers spend GBP 20 and use code TAKE10 for a GBP 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

View details
Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfer
Within minutes
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

View details
New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

View details
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

View details
New customers spend GBP 20 and use code TAKE10 for a GBP 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
WorldFirst
24 hours
£0

View details
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Global Reach
Global Reach
24 hours
£0

View details
Global Reach sends money in over 35 currencies, with a price-match guarantee and no maximum transfer amount.
Clear Capital
Within minutes
£0

View details
Clear Capital specialises in sending 150+ currencies abroad for individuals and businesses, with a dedicated account manager to help you.
Virgin Money
Virgin Money
24 hours
From £20

View details
Book transfers over the phone through a dedicated dealing team or by using Virgin Money’s 24/7 online platform.
Foremost Currency Group
24 hours
£0

View details
Make the most of your money with Foremost Currency Group - excellent personalised service and bank-beating rates.
Xendpay
24 hours
£0

View details
Free, fair & fast: Cheap money transfers to help you get the most for your money.
Halo Financial
24 hours
£15

View details
London-based and operating for over 10 years, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that your money is in expert hands.
Currency Solutions
3 hours
£10

View details
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score.
Moneycorp
2 days
£0

View details
Send money abroad with the longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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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