Sending Money Abroad

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:

 

If the recipient has a UK bank account

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).

 

Sending a UK Cheque

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.

 

Post Office services

See MoneyGram in the resources below.

 

High Street Bank services

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 Girobankand 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.

 

Resources

  • GlobalWebPay

    An 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).

  • HiFX

    Personal 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.

  • MoneyGram

    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.

  • No1 Currency

    No.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.
  • PayPal

    PayPal 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.
  • Sendmoney.org.uk

    This website compares the rates of major high street banks with that of Tor Currency Exchange Ltd, an often better value alternative.

  • Skrill

    Skrill (previously Moneybookers) enables any business or consumer with an email address to securely and cost-effectively send and receive payments online.

  • Smart Currency Exchange

    This service claims to save you thousands of pounds if you're transfering large sums of money overseas. Worth investigating.

  • TransferGo

    TransferGo is a cheap, convenient way to send money abroad without having to pay excessive bank fees. TransferGo's innovative online money transfer system means you can quickly transfer money and the money does not have to leave the country as funds are paid in and out locally.

  • Western Union

    This 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 First Foreign Exchange

    We specialise in getting clients the best possible exchange rate for their international transfers. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements and the options available to you for your transfers.
    Tel: 0800 112 4087
  • Xendpay

    Xendpay is an online international money transfer platform based in the City of London. Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, it allows people to transfer money overseas cheaply, safely and securely. Help is offered to clients in five languages and to date over $4 billion has been transferred.

  • Xoom

    We offer you fast, easy, and secure ways to send money, reload phones, and pay bills for family and friends around the world. And now we're part of PayPal, the global leader in digital payments.