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An international banker’s draft is accepted in most countries and is created in the currency of the destination where it’s sent. Although there are much quicker ways to send money overseas, if time isn’t a factor when you’re transferring money to someone overseas, banker’s drafts are a decent option.
Also sometimes known as a ‘bank cheque’, a banker’s draft is like asking a bank to write a cheque for you. Some people might ask to receive an international banker’s draft as a more secure way of receiving money abroad – it’s more secure because the funds for the transaction are withdrawn from the bank, rather than from the person’s account.
Unlike normal cheques, banker’s drafts are prepaid and issued by the bank. Drafts can also be drawn in the foreign currency you choose and are available for personal or business use. They have a few advantages when used for international transfers:
A banker’s draft is effectively a cheque from a financial institution. This means the funds for the transaction are withdrawn from the institution, rather than from the individual’s account.
The funds from a normal cheque aren’t withdrawn from the individual’s account until the cheque is cleared, which leads to the risk of there not being sufficient funds available when the cheque is cashed and it may therefore bounce.
When someone requests an international banker’s draft, though, they must immediately transfer the funds from their account to cover the amount of the cheque, which adds a crucial extra level of security. Drafts can be drawn in the foreign currency you choose and are available for personal or business use.
Let’s say you need to send £2,000 to Kenya. Here’s what you might face as far as costs when using an international banker’s draft compared to an international money transfer as of 28 September 2020.
|Money transfer||International banker’s draft|
|Fee||£0||£15 + receiving bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 139.36 KES||1 GBP = 137.41 KES|
|Transfer speed||1-2 days||1-3 weeks, depending on mail|
|Amount received||KES 278,728||KES 274,822|
As you can see, the international banker’s draft is much slower and gets a smaller amount of money to your recipient in Kenya. If you go with the money transfer service, your recipient ends up with KES 3,906 more than the bank offers.
You can cash a banker’s draft in a variety of ways, including:
An international banker’s draft is a secure way to send money abroad – but you have to rely on the postal service to deliver the banker’s draft safely. Many things can go wrong along the way, and even when everything goes right, there will still be a significant delay between sending and receiving the draft.
Consider using an international money transfer service instead of a banker’s draft when speed and convenience are crucial.
The transfer services below are not banker’s drafts, but rather allow you to make bank transfers which can be received by your recipient in their bank account or as cash. Consider using these services when:
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
An international banker’s draft has its time and place, but as the financial world shifts more and more into the digital realm, it might become obsolete. There are many ways to send money abroad that can be done entirely online. To learn how to get started with international money transfers, head over to our guide on transferring money abroad.
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