7 Ways to Save Money When Transferring Funds Overseas

Transferring money to other countries

With numerous banks and exchange houses offering remittance options, it can get confusing when deciding on the best option to use to transfer your money overseas. Gifford Nakajima, Head of Wealth Development, UAE and MENA, at HSBC Bank Middle East recommends that people use a bank to remit their money as it β€œprovides far greater security and convenience. There are a number of steps you can take to save money when you send funds overseas. ServiceMarket has put together the following tips to help you to save when transferring money.

1. Keep track of exchange rates. Keep a close eye on how exchange rates are changing in order to exchange your money at a suitable time. Exchange rates often change frequently during peak times, such as Eid or summer holidays, so staying aware of exchange rates and patterns can help you to save money! Also, look to transfer money between Monday and Friday as rates on the weekend and on public holidays are not β€˜live’ rates, and can end up being higher or lower than when the international markets are open.

Tools such as XE app, as well as websites like Bloomberg and Oanda will give you an indication of where the exchange rate is trending. HSBC also offers live rates on their Internet banking platform. Gifford explained that β€œHSBC has a β€˜live’ exchange rate tracker online, which is linked to market movements and refreshes every 90 seconds, so that users have the most accurate information available. Our system also saves beneficiary details; making it convenient and efficient for customers to carry out future transactions.”.

2. Do the transfer in the currency of the beneficiary’s account. It is usually recommended that you do the transfer in the currency of the beneficiary’s account so that you are sure of the exchange rate you are getting. If you send the money overseas in your local currency, it will be subject to the exchange rate offered by the recipient’s bank or exchange house.  

3. Choose who pays the transfer cost. When transferring money, you can choose who pays the processing fees. You can choose whether the sender or the receiver pays or you can even choose to share the cost and this cost can vary from country to country.

4. Transfer your money online. Online transfers are usually faster and cheaper as they reduce the possibility of errors and gives customers on-the-spot notifications for their transactions. They also offer higher physical security as you do not need to walk around with a lot of cash. HSBC offers an online fee discount and also has fee-free offers for transfers in Indian Rupee, Pakistani Rupee, Egyptian Pounds and Philippines Peso. HSBC offers up-to-the-minute currency exchange rates online which are updated every 90 seconds. This service is available around the clock, giving you the ability to know the exchange rates at any time without having to visit a branch. (It is important to note though that when currency markets are closed rates are not updated – such as international weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and holidays, this is why it’s best to transfer Monday to Friday.)

5. Set aside some time for the transfer. It is possible to save money if you are willing to wait a few days for the money to be transferred instead of instant or express transfers. Express transfer rates are typically a bit more expensive. Usually, transferring money on Mondays or Tuesdays will get the transaction through faster than on other days, because it usually takes 2-3 working days to process the request. With UAE being closed on Fridays, and international banks being closed on Saturdays? Sundays, Monday or Tuesday are the best days to ensure your money gets transferred within the week.

6. Keep an eye out for hidden charges. Make sure to always read the terms and conditions and understand all charges on both ends of the transfer. Some exchange houses charge a β€œback-end fee” which is an additional fee upon collection of the money overseas. This can mean that the recipient overseas will receive less money than you anticipated, so make sure you ask in advance!

β€œThe primary benefit of using our currency service is that the customer knows the exchange rate that will be applied to the transaction, rather than receiving institution applying their own rates, which are not always known to the customer,” said Gifford.

7. Open a bank account in your home country. If you are looking to send money back home, it is a good idea to look into opening an account in your home country as well as the country where you are currently living. This will allow you to easily transfer money between the two accounts. If you open the two accounts with the same bank you should be able to make fast transfers between the accounts in different currencies. Some banks, such as HSBC, offer a fee-free online transfer service in certain currencies through internet banking, which could help you to save money, especially if you plan to send money back home on a regular basis. Transferring money to the same bank abroad is cheaper than sending money to any other bank, as this usually means intermediary institutions are involved – who may charge additional fees. That is why it is beneficial to use one trusted global banking partner if you frequently transfer money abroad.

β€œWith our internet banking service customers can transfer money internationally at anytime, anywhere,” said Gifford, β€œand this is done within 6 seconds [for supported currencies which are available on www.hsbc.ae if the transactions are carried out between your global HSBC accounts using the β€˜Global View and Global Transfers’ service.”

Transfer in 30 currencies to 200 countries, 24 hours a day. Send money home for free instantly, through internet banking. Track foreign currency movements online with live exchange rates. Terms and Conditions apply.

Transfer with HSBC

Transfer in 30 currencies to 200 countries, 24 hours a day. Send money home for free instantly, through internet banking. Track foreign currency movements online with live exchange rates. Terms and Conditions apply.

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