International money transfers are becoming straightforward and very commonplace. Many expats who live and work in the US have grown accustomed to regularly sending money back home via fast and convenient money transfer services. Those who are new to using such services often go by friends’ recommendations. Yet, the question needs to be asked – Is there more to money transfers than the obvious? Might we be missing something? Are we really doing all we can to get the best deals? Here is a list of factors to consider.
Security and reliability
Nowadays, in several parts of the world small and agile independent operators routinely handle larger volumes of remittances than banks. These nimble service providers known as International Money Transfer (IMT) services are usually as secure as banks. Some of them, such as Ria Money Transfer, have built reputations of excellence over years. Yet, it is recommended to verify the authenticity of your IMT for yourself, especially when trying a new service. You can take a look at their website and see if they have well defined processes for addressing complains and issues. You can also check to see if their phone or email helpline works. If your friends or colleagues regularly use an IMT, that is a good sign of its reliability as well. Guaranteeing the safety of your hard earned cash must be a top priority.
Sending remittances from the US can cost between 3% and 35% depending on where you want to send money. If you got a great deal from an IMT once, it does not mean they will always be the most cost-effective. IMT charges, fees and exchange rates fluctuate incessantly. Moreover remittance costs and even taxes vary according to transfer volumes. Remittances, like any other marketplace, are affected by forces such as demand, supply and competition. There are many players competing out there. It pays to take a few minutes to compare the available options before sending a wire transfer. Doing so can help ensure that you don’t miss out on seasonal discounts, special offers and attractive deals offered by new players entering the market. Over the longer term your savings can be sizable. A little advance planning can also help steer clear of the worst adverse effects on forex markets of major international events such as Brexit.
Speed and ease
Your money should reach your beneficiaries on time. Sending a remittance for a special occasion or need would lose much of its value if the money does not reach your family when it must. Most times you may be able to plan your transfers in advance, but not always. In an emergency for example, you would want to ensure that your family back home gets money quickly. Your regular IMT may have a slightly higher priced variant of their service to address such eventualities. What is paramount is that your IMT is dependable, and that your folks get the money on the date and time promised. An unreliable service is avoidable regardless of how cheap it may be.
Another important aspect is convenience. This can be a subjective concept, although there are a few obvious questions worth asking before you decide to go with a service. How much documentation is your IMT asking for? How much of your time will be spent filling forms (online or offline) to send money? Is it a onetime process or will you be asked to do this for each transfer? Is there any action required at the recipient end to complete the transaction, and is it convenient for your beneficiaries to do it? Will there be any additional tax implications? Is there a transfer limit? Your time is important, as is the peace of mind of your beneficiaries. A cost-benefit analysis will often reveal that it is more than justified to spend a little more for your remittance transfers with an IMT that can guarantee superior convenience.