Just last week, a friend complained to me, “My aunt transferred money from the US to my local savings account. It’s been 3 days but the money isn’t there yet. What’s taking so long?”

She has a valid question. If her aunt has already sent the money, who has the funds? How long will it take for her to receive it?

International money transfers can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days – or weeks, even, in rare cases.

Among other things, the speed influences the fee for the money transfer.  So if the recipient needs money right away, choose an instant money transfer service. But if you don’t mind waiting a few days, then pick a more cost-efficient alternative.

Cash Pick-Up Remittances

Paul is an immigrant worker in the UK and he needs to send 300 GBP to his mom, Linda, in the Philippines. If he goes to Western Union and pays for instant transfer in cash, it’s 22 GBP transfer fee. For a next day delivery, the transfer fee drops to 9.9 GBP. 50% less fees, it’s worth the wait right?

Transfer speeds - cost of next day delivery with Western Union Transfer speeds - instant delivery with Western Union

International Wire Transfers (Bank to Bank Money Transfers)

Bank to bank money transfers, sometimes offer cheaper services and more security to the recipient. The downside is it takes more time, usually 3-5 business days.

This latency is the result of the communication between the several banks involved in the transfer but also a way to reduce the risk of fraud for both parties. Indeed, the receiving bank wants to make sure the money is “there” before they credit the recipient’s account.

Note that this latency is also as a way for the bank to benefit from the interest during this period, and maybe gain some money on a floating currency exchange rate.

As you see, the speed of the transfer will differ from money transfer operators, type of transfer and type of service. Make sure you only pay for the speed you need. If it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate to consider only money transfer operators offering instant transfers. If it can wait, you might be able to save a lot of money by being patient.

Money transfer speeds filter

On TawiPay’s price comparison tool for money transfer, you can use the filter section to choose which Transfer Time suits your needs, and we’ll display all the money transfer operators available considering your criterias.