Do you work abroad and send money home? You have bills to pay or you want to support your family? If you use remittance services regularly, are you sure you're getting your money's worth? With all the options available, you can have your pick of money transfer services. You might think your current remittance provider is good enough but you won't know that for sure unless you check the competition. But in case you're still on the fence, let me show you how you might be wasting your hard earned money on a bad remittance service.
Banks have an an "official rate" for trading, a.k.a. interbank rate but each transfer operator applies their own rate when they exchange your currency. The difference between the official rates and the applied rate could be as little as 0.001 cent per unit, but don't underestimate that because it can cost you dearly once you multiply it by how much you're sending. For an in-depth explanation of exchange rate margin, read this guide.
Do you really need to send money instantly? What's the rush? In Western Union, an instant transfer from United Kingdom to Kenya for 300 GBP will cost 8.90 for the transfer fee and 11.40 for the exchange rate fee. If you opt for next day transfer, the transfer fee drops down to 6.90 GBP while the exchange fee remains constant. Just imagine how much money you're losing if you do this regularly! More information about transfer speeds here.
You might be loyal to MoneyGram because they have branches near you. But have you considered what that loyalty is costing you? Because you haven't checked other options, you may not be aware that there are cheaper, faster or more reliable transfer operators around. If you're really reluctant, I get that. It's hard to entrust your money to a company you don't know. To get over your fears, try sending a small amount first. See how that works. Then you can see for yourself whether it's worth switching or not.
There's no such thing! Banks and transfer operators don't do free transfers. Whatever they don't charge as a "fee" is recovered - some as much as three times more - through high currency exchange rate margins. As a consumer, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with information so you know what's actually going on and don't waste your money on phony advertising claims. Check this post to know more about the dirty secrets of zero advertising fees.
Not all remittance services are created equal. Their rates, reliability and fees will vary so it's wrong to assume that one is just as good as the other. Comparing different services manually is hard but you can use Monito's comparison tool to find the lowest fees, best exchange rate and speed for your remittance. No more guessing games on how much your recipient is going to get.