The world is getting smaller, and there are many more opportunities for travel than there used to be. The internet has brought the global community together in a way which was inconceivable as little as twenty years ago, and many of us have grandchildren or other friends and relatives who are taking advantage of this brave, new world in which the horizon is no longer the limit. Studying abroad is becoming increasingly common. Of course, to be able to do this, they need money. Lots of us would like to help out with this – but how to get that money to the right person quickly, safely, and without being ripped off by transfer and exchange rates?
Be On Time
The internet has made it very easy to send money quickly – but if you’re sending that money abroad, you will find that you pay a lot more for a faster service. Of course, if the money is needed urgently and immediately then there is little that you can do about this – but if you and whoever needs the money can plan ahead a bit, then you can save a lot of funds being swallowed up in fees by using a slower service. Talk to your bank about ways in which to send money abroad cheaply – and advise the recipient to get an account with a bank well used to handling foreign transfers.
Don’t Send Cash Or Cheques
Sending a cheque in the mail, however, is generally not to be recommended. It’s very slow, will require a foreign currency draft, and will incur handling fees which may well be hefty. Although some services are well-equipped to deal with currency exchange and so forth, others will charge extortionate admin fees. Cash is even more of a bad idea. Not only is it illegal to send cash through the mail in a variety of countries – including the USA – your relative is also likely to lose a lot more through exchanging currency in cash than they would if it’s done electronically. Not to mention the fact that sending money overseas in an envelope is a risky business at the best of times. Should it get lost in the post, you both lose out. Wiring money or transferring online really is your best option. If you prefer to deal in cash and/or cheques, try giving the cash or cheque to someone who is more comfortable to electronic money transfers. They can then pass the money on overseas for you.
Use An Agency
One popular way of getting money abroad is through use of an agency. The way in which this works is very simple: you find an agency with branches near both you and the recipient, you hand over the requisite amount of cash, you are given a reference number, you pass the reference number on to the recipient, and they pick up the cash at their end. There are, of course, admin and exchange fees to pay up front, but this is a great way to get money to where it needs to be fast and efficiently. There are plenty of agencies which offer wire transfers of this variety – do some research to find the one which suits you.
Talk To Your Bank
You can transfer money abroad through your bank, but getting money to a foreign bank account is not as simple as it is to get money to an American bank account. Banking numbers are different, and systems may well not match up. You’ll need an international bank account number from the recipient’s bank, and (depending upon the amount being transferred and the system used by your bank) may have to do a bit of paperwork. There will also be transfer costs, which vary depending on the country to which the money is going, and the funds may take a few days to reach their destination. However, your bank should be able to handle the more complex details for you, and will be able to talk you through various options regarding increasing the speed of the transfer, reducing costs and so on. Bank transfer is still one of the most reliable ways in which to get money from one place to another – although costs can be prohibitive in some cases. You may prefer to get a Paypal account, and encourage your friend/relative to do the same. Although sending money abroad through Paypal still holds charges, there are fewer hidden costs than often come with bank transfers, and the system as a whole is set up to cope admirably with currency exchange etc.