The Ultimate Guide to Send Money Abroad

All you need to know before your next international transfer

Written for you by the experts of Monito


This guide complements our comparison tool and aims at throwing light upon the international money transfer market. Learn the various attributes of money transfer services and how to choose one without wasting your money.

You'll find plenty of advice on this page, we also invite you to have a look at our guide collection tackling more specific issues :





Chapter 1

Cost breakdown

Transfer fee

Is charged by the payment service provider to transfer the money. It can either be a fixed fee, or vary depending on the transfer amount.

Conversion fee

International payments are often made between countries with different currencies. Payment service providers make part of their margin from slight differences between interbank exchange rates and the rates they apply to their customer's transactions. This conversion fee is not paid upfront and is essentially hidden to the untrained eye.


1st chapter

How to choose

Many parameters have to be taken in account when choosing the right money transfer service. By knowing clearly what you need, you'll avoid paying for unnecessary features. Keep the following points in mind:

Price

The transfer amount, speed of transfer, and payment and delivery methods chosen impact the price.

 

Availability

Look up the availability of the service at your destination.


Speed of transfer

Only pay for a fast transfer if you actually need it.

Convenience

Online transfers are often more convenient than waiting in line at a store.

 


Chapter 2

Delivery methods

There are many ways to send money abroad, and these are constantly evolving thanks to advancements in technology. Here is an overview of the most common ways to receive money. Note that some of these might not be available in the destination country of your choice.

 Cash 

The recipient picks up cash at a local agency after proving his identity.

No bank account is required
One of the fastest transfers

Time spent waiting in line
Traditional cash-to-cash services usually charge higher prices

Bank account 

The money is sent from one bank account to another.

Transfers within a same bank or to a partner bank can be very cheap

Can be slow: transfer times of 6 days or more are not unheard of
The recipient might incur bank charges

 

 

 Prepaid cards 

The recipient receives a card by mail or at a branch, which he can then use at ATMs or for online purchases.

No bank account is required
Many withdrawal locations

Additional fees to withdraw the cash might be charged

 Mobile top up 

The recipient receives communication credits or airtime on his mobile phone.

Very fast
Easy

Limited use of funds

 Mobile banking 

The money arrives on the recipient's mobile banking account, from which it can be withdrawn or be used to make payments.

Very fast
Easy and convenient
Wide coverage

 

 Send goods 

The recipient receives a voucher which they can use to buy goods and services from partner shops, or to pay their bills.

Low price, no conversion fee
Control over how the money is spent

Limited number of partner shops


Chapter 3

Tips to save money

Compare different services

It's always a good idea to have a look at a few offers before choosing one. The cheapest payment service might differ depending on the transfer amount, the payment and delivery methods or even the time of the year. Comparison websites such as Monito make this easier for you.

>> Compare now

 

Be aware of the cost breakdown and structure

The cost of transferring money typically includes both a transfer fee and a conversion fee. Take both of these into account, along with any other fees, when comparing services. Fees sometime evolve in "steps", such that it may be advantageous to transfer more money at the same cost.

 

Hunt for special deals

Payment service providers often distribute coupons or offer special promotions for a limited time. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities. Stay tuned by consulting social media channels, newsletters or websites. You can also subscribe on Monito and we’ll inform you when deals are available.

 

Pay only for the speed you need

It's always a good idea to have a look at a few offers before choosing one. The cheapest payment service might differ depending on the transfer amount, the payment and delivery methods or even the time of the year. Comparison websites such as Monito make this easier for you.

 

Bundle your payments

Every money transfer incurs charges. However, as the transfer amount increases, these fees usually increase proportionally less. You can therefore save money by making less frequent but bigger transfers.

 

Evaluate a change in your habits

By being flexible and willing to change your habits, you could save big. For example, transferring online instead of at an agency, opening a bank account in the payment beneficiary's country, sending to mobile, etc.