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Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies
Vera Maruinha worked hard in high school and won a full scholarship to a prominent university in London. She found a part-time job in a library, which allowed her to save some money and work on her English. Back in her hometown, Vera’s parents bought a friend’s flower shop. They asked whether Vera could assist with a contribution for the grand re-opening.
Vera has the choice between two money transfer companies since her UK bank doesn’t support the CFP franc.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||£1 = XPF134.316||£1 = XPF129.785|
|Amount received for £500||XPF67,158.0||XPF64,892.5|
|Transfer time||2 working days||2 working days|
|Transfer options||International wire transfer||International money transfer|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via French Polynesia?
Here’s how to make sure you get the best value for your pounds when sending money to French Polynesia.
- Exchange rates. Some services offer quicker delivery for a higher fee, while others offer a slower transfer process but with low or zero fees. The idea is to find a happy medium so that you save on transfer fees while ensuring that the recipient gets the maximum amount in exchange for your dollars.
- Pick-up methods. Depending on where and to whom the funds are going, you can choose between different pick-up methods. Money can be deposited directly into the recipient’s account or the recipient can collect the funds in person at a designated pick-up point.
- Fees. How much you pay in fees depends on the service provider. Some services charge a transfer fee as well as a fee to convert your dollars into the local currency. If you’re paying a lot in fees, at least make sure that the delivery is speedy.
- Same-bank transfers. Transferring between accounts held at the same bank usually don’t incur any fees.
- Turnaround time. Transfer time differs from service to service, but most guarantee delivery within two business days if the transaction is finalised before midday. A slower turnaround may be cheaper, so decide based on your needs and the urgency of the transfer.
- Transfer methods. Most services facilitate transfers online, via telephone or in person at a branch.
- Transfer options. Depending on the service, you can set up regular payments to your recipients or market orders for investments.
- Minimum transfer amounts. Money transfer services usually have a minimum amount you can send, usually around £50 in most cases.
- Customer service. The money transfer service you choose should have a competent customer service department. If you can’t get information by checking your transfer’s tracking number, an available and reliable customer service staff member should be able to assist you.
How do I send money to French Polynesia from the UK?
Not all money transfer companies and banks allow transfers to French Polynesia. Your best bet would be an international wire service like MoneyGram. You can research alternatives, but the ideal option is a reliable service that will convert pounds to the local currency for little or zero fees.
Consider the following for transfers to French Polynesia:
- TorFX UK. This online transfer company allows for bank-to-bank transfers but no cash/cheque transactions. No fees are levied.
- Currency Online. You can send money transfers bank to bank via this site for no fee.
How do I receive money in the UK sent to me from French Polynesia?
If you need to send money to the UK from French Polynesia, the best option is a money transfer service like MoneyGram or Currency Online rather than a bank. If they offer services from the UK, chances are that they can do transfers in the opposite direction too.
Try one of the following online transfer services:
- World First. This service offers quick, cheap transfers between French Polynesia and the UK. You can finalise the transaction online or over the phone.
- Western Union. This is probably the most popular and widely available online transfer service. You can receive money directly into your UK bank account or collect it in person at a Western Union office.
Emergency cash transfers in French Polynesia
If you suffer a financial emergency while in French Polynesia, the best and quickest way to access funds is via online money transfer or bank-to-bank transfer. Your choice depends on the nature of your emergency and how quickly you need the money.
Keep in mind that exchange rates, turnaround time and fees differ from service to service. One company may charge for the service but deliver quickly, while another may offer a free service for a delayed delivery. Here are a few methods to have money delivered in an emergency:
- Transfer service with pick-up locations. One way to quickly access money is through an online transfer companies like MoneyGram or Western Union. Cash can be made available in a little as 10 minutes.
- Travel insurance. Depending on the type of emergency, you can make a claim on your travel insurance policy. However, there’s no guarantee on how long it will take to process your claim. Be sure to check the policy disclosure statement before filing a claim.
Tips for picking up cash in French Polynesia
You should be vigilant wherever you go, even on tropical islands. Although the more populous centres are relatively safe, it still pays to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour when collecting your money. Go with your travelling partner or ask a local from your hotel to accompany you. Check the opening hours before you go so that you’re not left waiting outside.Back to top
What are the steps to send money to French Polynesia?
You can send money from the UK to French Polynesia via online money transfer or bank-to-bank transfer. Each method comes with its own fees and conversion charges, so your choice will depend on how urgently your recipient needs the money.
If you’re a first-time sender, you’ll have to set up an account before the transfer can take place. Information required includes:
- Your name and address
- Contact information
- Credit card or bank account number
- Your recipient’s contact and bank information
Once you’ve requested the transfer, the company usually gives you a tracking number. The customer service department should be able to assist if you have questions or if there’s a problem with the transaction.