Whatever your reason for transferring money overseas might be, there are two ways you can do it: the smart way and the expensive way. During an international money transfer, you’ll naturally want to get the most bang for your buck, but if you’ve sent money to a bank account overseas before, you may have witnessed some surprising reductions along the way. How exactly can we prevent this happening? Charlotte Djukanovic from currency transfer specialist WorldFirst offers some handy tips.
#1 Don’t use your bank
While using a bank may seem like the most obvious and direct way to transfer money overseas, many people don’t realise that the exchange rates aren’t the best in the market. In addition to the rates not being as competitive, banks have to focus on a whole range of other services aside from transfers; while this can be helpful if you’re looking for an all-in-one banking solution, the customer service level may not be as attentive as those of a specialist transfer provider.
#2 Use a reputable international money transfer specialist
Do your research and find a currency transfer specialist to take care of the transaction. Qualities you should look out for in an international currency transfer provider include:
- Exchange rates up to two-and-a-half times better than the banks
- 24/7 transfer capability
- Personalised customer service; either over the phone or through a local relationship manager
- Established offices worldwide
- Wide range of currencies
- Positive customer reviews
- Regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
#3 Use the right exchange rate calculator
If you’re at the stage of comparing banks and currency transfer specialists, make sure you’re looking at accurate rates before making your final evaluation. Most providers (including banks) have a conversion rate calculator hosted on their websites. However, the exchange rate displayed may not be the one you’ll receive for your personal transfer. Instead, you could be viewing the inter-bank rate, which shows the rate that banks swap currencies between one another (these are usually more favourable). If the exact exchange rate you’ll be getting isn’t clear, give the provider a call to clarify. This is where a 24/7 personalised service will come in extra handy.
#4 Get rate alerts to monitor the market
If you’re not in a hurry to do an international money transfer, set up a rate alert and track your target exchange rate across the market. At WorldFirst, you’ll be contacted when your ideal rate has been reached; from there, you can decide if you want to make the transfer.
# 5 Use Forward Contract
If you notice the current market is performing particularly well but you’re not yet ready to make a transfer, lock that current rate in with a Forward Contract. The great thing about it is that you’ll know exactly how much you’ll get when you’re ready for your transfer – plus, you’ll have six whole months to decide when that will be. This can be especially helpful if you transfer funds regularly.
Find out more about the exchange rates (two-and-a-half times better than banks*), service and money transfer capabilities of WorldFirst by calling them at 6805 4370 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Based on exchange rates publicly advertised in the period of 1 July to 26 July 2018. Banks that were compared include DBS, UOB, OCBC, Citibank and Maybank. Fees not included.
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