money

Even small businesses today are going global. Whether it involves purchasing goods and services from overseas suppliers or paying wages to remote workers, sending and receiving money is a crucial aspect of owning a business.

When it comes to sending and receiving money both domestic and overseas, money transfer services have significant advantages over banks. Just make sure that you choose a service provider that can do the job securely and cost-effectively.

If you are looking for the best money transfer service for your small business, here is a list of your top 8 providers today.

TransferWise

TransferWise is an innovative money transfer service that veers away from the usual method of international transfers by using two local transactions instead of a single one. What sets it apart from most of the service providers in this list is the fact that it converts money at the true mid-market exchange rate.

TransferWise does not charge a markup on the exchange rate. Instead, it charges a percentage of the transfer amount and a flat fee for specific country combinations or routes. It uses local accounts to collect and send money, eliminating the need for intermediary bank fees.

Here are some of the main features of TransferWise:

  • Fees are transparent and you’ll know exactly how much the recipient will receive.
  • You can open a multi-currency account and hold balances in over 40 currencies.
  • The platform has a batch payment tool, which lets you make a maximum of 1,000 transactions by uploading one CSV file. This is convenient if you are regularly sending money overseas to a large pool of recipients.
  • Keep in mind, however, that TransferWise can only send money to bank accounts at the moment. If your recipient does not have a bank account, you won’t be able to use TransferWise as your platform.

TorFX

TorFX is a money transfer service based in Australia and the UK. It is best known for offering its customers personalized service. Upon signing up on the platform, you are assigned a personal account manager who will walk you through setting up and processing your first transactions.

The platform is a perfect choice for business owners who are expecting to come across some regulatory issues in the recipient’s countries. Having personalized service makes it easier for you to figure out how to overcome these hurdles.

Below are some of the things that you can expect when you use TorFX:

  • In most cases, the service uses the SWIFT banking network, which allows it to send and receive funds anywhere in the world. However, remember that using SWIFT also means that there are additional charges that will be incurred by the recipient.
  • The company imposes minimum and maximum transfer values for its customers. However, if you are planning on transferring sums that are greater than the designated maximum, you can try contacting your account manager for assistance. They’ll be more than happy to authorize such transactions and help you get what you need.
  • TorFX does not charge fixed rates. Instead, it makes money through margins on exchange rates, or what is typically referred to as a spread. A lot of people find this more transparent than having arbitrary admin or transaction fees. Furthermore, the rates are competitive, often beating the banks by more than 3 percent.
  • Transfer speed depends on the currency, the bank, and the amount being sent. For most currency pairings, expect the transaction to be completed within 2-4 days.
  • You can also opt-in to receive free market news and updates involving currency movements and other economic reports.

XE

XE was founded in 1993 and has headquarters in California and Ontario. The platform is available in multiple languages, and includes both online and phone support. This money transfer service offers transactions to 42 countries.

The service does not charge fixed fees; instead, it makes its money from the spread between the buy and sell price of the currency you buy. The rates are directly linked to live forex rates, which means that if you are doing a transfer while the markets are open, the rate will fluctuate until confirmation.

If you are planning to use XE for your next money transfer, here are some of the things to expect:

  • Exchange rates are not stated on the website. You’ll need to register and login to the system to get the current rates.
  • You can’t use credit cards on the platform and you’ll need to fund your account with a bank transfer. Transfers also must be sent to the recipient’s bank account since cash pickup is not available.
  • On average, money transfers take 2 days to arrive. However, the exact duration will vary depending on the currency, amount, and destination.
  • There are no minimum and maximum transfer amounts. However, if you are making large transactions, you might need to get in touch with their customer service representatives to provide additional information.

World First

World First has its headquarters in the UK. It offers international money transfers for both individuals and businesses. Transfers can be done through their website or mobile app, or by calling their customer service center. It also offers money exchange services such as standard currency exchanges, forward exchange transactions, and others.

Below are the top things to expect when using World First for your money transfer transactions:

  • Minimum transfer amount is £250 when transacting online, or £1,000 when transacting via phone.
  • Standard delivery time is 2-3 days, but this will vary depending on the destination.
  • Their customer service team is helpful and efficient, offering personalized service to help customers understand their process.
  • The platform follows a two-step process for their transfers. First, you need to wire the money to World First. Second, World First will then deposit the amount to your recipient’s bank account.
  • You’ll be required to provide identification documents such as your social security number and government-issued IDs. Some accounts may be declined because of compliance issues.
  • You can lock-in exchange rates for up to three years in the future. This is perfect if you like the current exchange rate but are not ready to make a transfer.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit has offices in London, Sydney, and other cities across the world. It has an international network of banking providers in more than 150 countries. The company was established with the objective of reducing the fees charged by older, legacy money transfer service providers.

WorldRemit makes money by charging both a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate. You can pay for the transfer using a wide range of methods, such as doing a bank transfer, using your credit or debit card, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Sofort.

Take note of the following things before you choose WorldRemit as the platform for your next money transfer:

  • Generally, transfers done through WorldRemit arrive almost instantly. However, a transfer may take longer depending on your mode of payment and the type of transfer you are doing. Payment by card, for instance, may take longer until your card is authorized. Home deliveries may take as long as 7 days, depending on the location. The speed of bank transfers depend on which banks are involved.
  • The fees are competitive, however, the fee structure can significantly vary for each transaction. Some of the factors that will affect the fees you need to pay are your location, your recipient’s location, the amount being sent, the currencies involved, and the payment method you used.
  • The website and app are user-friendly. Most people can complete the registration process within a few minutes.
  • There is no minimum transfer amount, making it the ideal option for business owners who frequently make small transfers. It does, however, have a maximum transfer amount of 5,000 USD if you are using a debit/credit card or Apple/Android Pay.

OFX

Based in the USA, OFX is an online provider that can deliver money transfers to more than 80 countries across the world. Compared to other competing services, OFX is considered as one of the cheapest international providers when it comes to transaction fees. They also have a stellar reputation for high-quality customer service.

OFX does not charge any transaction fee, regardless of the amount being sent. Like other providers on this list, the site makes its money through the exchange rate markup. This markup fluctuates, and is dependent on the currency routes and volumes being traded.

Keep the following things in mind before choosing OFX as your money transfer service:

  • Transfers can be done on the website or on the mobile app. Creating an account is completely free and you won’t be locked into a long-term contract with considerable early termination fees.
  • The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 USD. There is no maximum transfer amount. This is perfect if you regularly transfer large amounts of money to multiple recipients.
  • Transfers are sent to bank accounts only. On average, transfers are sent within 2 to 4 business days.
  • The platform offers 24/7 customer support through phone or email. No matter what time of day it is for you, you’ll be able to reach an English-speaking OFX customer representative.
  • You’ll have to place a call when you are planning to transact using certain currencies.

Western Union

Western Union is one of the oldest and largest money transfer service providers in the world. The company has more than 550,000 agent locations in 200 countries across the world. It is considered as the leading money transfer service today because of its worldwide coverage and the wide range of available methods to send and receive money.

Western Union charges transaction fees as well as exchange rate markups. The margin added on by the company can mean a difference of 5 percent or higher, depending on the currency you send. In fact, Western Union is notorious for its relatively higher margins compared to its competitors.

  • You can use the website or mobile app to send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, and agent channels.
  • You can use cash, debit card, your business credit card, or a bank transfer to fund transactions.
  • Transfer limits will depend on the payment method, your location, your recipient’s location, the payout method, and your transfer history.
  • Exchange rates often fluctuate with the mid-market rate.
  • Transfer speed depends on several factors. If you’ve chosen cash pick-up as the payout method, the funds will be available to your recipient in a matter of minutes. Bank transfers typically take 1-5 business days. Speedier transfers will often cost you more.

PayPal

PayPal is widely regarded as the pioneer for online payments and transfers. Based in California, the platform revolutionized e-commerce when it launched two decades ago and is one of the biggest players in the industry today. Business owners can create PayPal accounts to pay for goods and services and send money to people from all corners of the globe.

Although PayPal offers quick transfers and payments, these come at a cost. The company charges a markup on the exchange rate, flat fees, and a processing commission rate. If you are looking for a platform that ensures speedy, nearly instantaneous transfers, then PayPal is the perfect option for you. However, if you are looking to save money on fees, there are more cost-effective providers out there.

Here are some of the top things that you should expect when using PayPal:

  • PayPal allows you to make personal transfers without the need for a bank account. Your recipient just needs to have an account on the site.
  • Money transfers take less than a day to arrive. However, this largely depends on the amount, the currency you used, and the location of the recipient.
  • The platform does not have a minimum transfer amount. There is also no set maximum transfer amount. However, you may be prompted to provide additional information when you are making large transfers.

Conclusion

Before sending money across the globe, you need to be certain that you are using reliable platform with transparent costs and excellent service. Always take some time before you decide. After all, a few minutes of research can save you hundreds of dollars in transaction fees and exchange rate markups.

Justin Rampono is the founder of The Currency Shop, an exchange rate comparison site.

Money transfer stock photo by Who is Danny/Shutterstock