Send money to Southeast Asia cheaply

Sending money to Southeast Asia is easy, affordable and convenient when you find the right money transfer company.

When you need to get money to a loved one overseas, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United Kingdom to Southeast Asia doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal.

Compare services that send money to Southeast Asia from the UK

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Filter values Finder score Pay by Receiving options Fastest transfer Fee (pay by bank transfer) Key benefits
OFFER
TorFX
4.5
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
Key Currency
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
OFFER
Wise (TransferWise)
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account, Alipay (China only)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Refer 3 friends to receive up to £50 referral bonus
DISCOUNT
PassTo
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet
Within minutes
From £1.40
No fees on your first transfer. Refer 3 friends to PassTo and earn £50 once they each make a transfer of at least £200. They'll earn £5 too. T&Cs apply.
Remitly
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet, Home delivery
Within minutes
From £0
OFFER
CurrencyFair
3.5
★★★★★
Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
€3
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyTransfer
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
OFFER
Currencies Direct
4.0
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
Starling
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
From £0.34
TorFX Business
4.5
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
£0
OFX
4.5
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Western Union
3.0
★★★★★
Cash, Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet
Within minutes
From £0
OFX
4.5
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
WorldFirst Business
Not rated yet
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account, Mobile wallet
24 hours
£0
CurrencyTransfer Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Xe Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Special offer: £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend
OFX Business
Not rated yet
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Currencies Direct Business
4.0
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
CurrencyFair Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
€3
Zero fees on your first 10 transfers. T&Cs apply.
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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. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit card, a debit card or transfer funds from your bank account. The money will 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.

Banks versus money transfer companies

Banks will happily handle an international wire transfer to Southeast Asia for you. The problem is that they won’t do it cheaply. Banks offer disappointingly low exchange rates and frustratingly high fees on international transfers.

However, there’s a much more affordable solution – money transfer companies. From WorldRemit and OFX to Western Union and MoneyGram, these companies offer better exchange rates and lower fees (for online transactions) than banks. They also offer secure transfers and some even allow you to make your money available for collection within minutes.

Example: Matt sends money to Thailand

Matt’s brother, John, is travelling through Thailand for a week-long bachelor party adventure. But when John wakes up in Bangkok after a big night with no wallet, no luggage and no shoes, he realises he only has £100 back in his hotel room safe and he needs some cash urgently. He phones Matt and asks his brother to send him £1,000, so Matt compares 2 money transfer companies to see which one can provide the best transfer deal.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate$1 USD = $42.448 THB$1 USD = $41.984 THB
Transfer fee£5£14
Transfer methodBank account depositCash pick-up
Processing time1-3 business days10 minutes
Amount received (in THB)$42,448 THB$41,984 THB

As you can see, although the second transfer company provides much faster transfers, Matt can send an extra THB$464 by using the services of the first company.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Southeast Asia

  • Exchange rates. How do the exchange rates offered by each company stack up against the competition?
  • Fees. How much will it cost you to send a transfer? Will you avoid any fees if you transfer a large amount?
  • Transfer methods. What methods are available for placing transfers? Can you only place them online, or are there other options offered?
  • Transfer options. Can you schedule recurring transfers in advance in order to save time? Can you lock in a great exchange rate for a future transaction with a forward contract?
  • Turnaround time. How long will it take for the funds you transfer to be made available to your recipient?
  • Minimum amount. Is there a minimum limit per transfer? Will this be manageable for you?
  • Pick-up methods. Can you pick up the funds from an agent location, or will they be sent straight to a bank account?
  • Customer service. Will phone, email and/or live chat support be available when you need it? Is there an online help centre and FAQ section?
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Foreign exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in December 2016, the pound was worth approximately 26 Mexican pesos. However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Today’s exchange rate GBP to PHP

How to send money to Southeast Asia from the UK

  • Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers are reliable but can be quite expensive.
  • Online money transfer providers. Companies such as OFX and WorldRemit offer secure and affordable online transfers.
  • Money transfer companies with cash pick-up options. MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria offer this service to customers.
  • PayPal. Check with PayPal to see if it offers international transfers to your chosen Southeast Asian destination.
  • Checks. Ask your bank if you want to use this slow but reliable transfer method.

Emergency cash transfers in Southeast Asia

If you ever need to send an emergency transfer to Southeast Asia, just be aware of the fact that you will need to pay extra for the transfer. High fees and low exchange rates typically apply to instant (allow 10 minutes) transfers, so it pays to check the full details of your transaction before you hand over your cash. Otherwise, you could end up paying a whole lot more than you need to in order to send your money overseas as soon as possible.

Tips for picking up cash in Southeast Asia

  • Make sure to only visit a transfer agent in a safe location.
  • Take a friend along for assistance and security.
  • Don’t flash your cash around in public.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money on your person.
  • Deposit the money into your bank account as soon as possible.

Learn more about using the Philippine peso in the Philippines

How to send money to Southeast Asia

When sending funds to Southeast Asia, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your name, address, contact information and valid photo ID.
  • Your beneficiary’s name, address and information, along with their bank account info if the funds will be deposited in their bank account.
  • How much money you’re sending, in what currency and which country you’re sending it to.
  • If you are not using cash for this transaction, you will need to provide your banking info in order to have funds drafted from your account.

Once you have completed your transaction, you will be given a tracking number. Make a note of this number so you can monitor the progress of your money transfer.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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