There are various ways of sending money abroad, each are outlined below with their pros and cons. It's most certainly worth talking to the recipient before you choose a method as some of the options may not apply to their situation:
In this case it may be possible for a donor to pay the money into the recipient's UK bank account and for the recipient to draw the money directly out of their account from overseas. For the recipient this can be done using compatible cash point (ATM) machines (if available) or by cashing a regular UK cheque through an overseas bank (this incurs a charge of varying amounts depending on the overseas bank).
If the recipient is a full-time Christian worker and has a UK bank account, tax can be reclaimed on any donations (see OSCAR - Service zone - Finance - Tax).
Most folk overseas are able to cash a UK cheque in their name but the cheque can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks to clear before the money can be paid and there is usually a fee charged by the overseas bank.
MoneyGram have a network of 100,000 local agents across 170 countries and territories. In the UK, you can use the MoneyGram service at all Post Offices, Thomas Cook shops and anywhere you see the MoneyGram sign. You can also find the MoneyGram service at the Jersey Post in Jersey and at the IOM Post on the Isle of Man. The service claims to be a safe, fast way to send and receive money worldwide, and also claims that the money will be ready to collect at the other end just 10 minutes after payment.
Most high street banks will advise you on the different ways of sending money abroad. There are two basic services they can offer:
International Money Order (IMO) or Bank Draft
This works like an international bank cheque in the name of the recipient and needs to be sent through the post (therefore can be slow). There is a charge at the issuing bank and possibly at the overseas bank where it is cashed.
International Transfer (Wire Transfer)
This uses the universal bank-to-bank SWIFT electronic payment system. The transfer can be in any currency and is usually immediately available at the other end (no lengthy clearing process). Although the most convenient, this is often the most costly way as the typical charge for these transactions by High Street banks ranges from £8 to over £20. It's often cheaper to go online and use your bank's website. Other cheaper alternatives are available with both Girobank and the Co-operative Bank. They have a fixed-rate charge for sending money abroad regardless of the amount being sent. Girobank's Eurogiro service has a flat rate charge of £5 for its account holders and Co-op's Tipanet charges an £8 fixed fee.
For more information on this option, see www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/reader_guides/article3964271.ece or www.thisismoney.com/20000918/sb20762.html
GlobalWebPayAn online service allowing people in the UK to send money to bank accounts worldwide for the lowest fees possible, while avoiding any additional recipient or account fees. Our rates and low fees allow people to get the best value on money transfers when dealing in smaller amounts (below £5000).
HiFXPersonal and corporate foreign exchange & international money transfer services. Global operations in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. Serving over 2,500 corporate clients worldwide, and 30,000 private clients annually.
Tel: 01753 271 500
InterchangeA foreign exchange website that offers free money transfer services at excellent, commission-free rates.
MoneybookersMoneybookers enables any business or consumer with an email address to securely and cost-effectively send and receive payments online – in real-time!
Use moneybookers to:
- Send money via email from your credit card or bank account
- Make online purchases
- Collect money via email
Tel: 0905 848 0011 (calls cost 25p / minute)
No1 CurrencyNo.1 Currency is an accessible foreign currency specialist who provides safe and secure Worldwide Transfers and Bureau de Change services, adding real value to their affiliates and customers. Founded in 1996, No1 Currency - formally Xchange Business - is the UK's fastest growing independent foreign currency specialist. We offer the most competitive rate on the high street through our nationwide Bureau de Change outlets and provide bank beating rates and services for businesses and individual clients who require Worldwide Transfers for an array of requirements, from purchasing a property abroad or emigrating to importing or exporting goods globally.
Tel: 0800 840 2886
PayPalPayPal allows you to send money free to other account holders around the world in 16 currencies. Check the fees before you send any money. Charges can vary depending on where the money is going how you are transfering it..
Ruesch InternationalThey charge £5 for a draft or £10 for a TT. The exchange rates given are much better than the high street banks. Everything can be done over the internet which makes life much easier. There are no fees to set-up an account or annual subscription but they only accept applications from those who are transfering £30,000 or more per year.
Tel: 0800 424292
Sendmoney.org.ukThis website compares the rates of major high street banks with that of Tor Currency Exchange Ltd, an often better value alternative.
Smart Currency ExchangeThis service claims to save you thousands of pounds if you're transfering large sums of money overseas. Worth investigating.
TranzfersThis site charges a flat fee of £7 to transfer money from the UK to countries including the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
Western UnionThis well known money transfer service has been operating for 150 years. One of the most convenient and fastest ways of sending money abroad, and a good option for smaller payments.
World FirstThis service offers completely free currency exchange and international payments to registered charities with a minimum amount to be converted of just £1,000. Most charities can pay for free using their online or telephone banking (or by posting a cheque), World First then convert to Euros, Dollars, Zloty, Forint, Rand etc. (they can do virtually all currencies) at a commercial exchange rate (almost always higher than the high street banks) then make a free international payment to their nominated beneficiary account.
For further advice on sending money abroad/receiving money from abroad can be found by searching on this topic at www.bba.org.uk
For some information on different options for spending money abroad, try