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With today's global market expanding, there are now more reasons than ever to send money abroad; and with advances in technology there is now a range of ways to do it.

Who is money transfer for?

Many individuals, especially foreign workers in the UK, wish to send money and earnings home to their family. Perhaps you're living or working abroad, have friends or family overseas or plan on making foreign purchases. Whether it is for personal, business, education or leisure reasons; money transfer can be not only useful, but a necessity.

So, what are the options?

There are a few ways you can transfer money; generally through banks, money transfer operators, online money transfer services and prepaid cards.


Bank transfer is the most traditional way of sending money abroad, however it can sometimes be a pricier option. Most can transfer money provided both you and the recipient have bank accounts. Ask in your branch or look online.

Money transfer operators

You'll find MTOs (Money Transfer Operators/Transmitters) such as Western Union and Moneygram, all over the high street, either as a specialist shop, or as a service offered in another shop. They don't require you to open an account, but the sender will need a bank account with a debit, credit or prepaid card.

Online money transfer

Online money transfer; for a small fee you can send money via the internet. Some banks and MTOs offer this service as well as specialist online companies. You'll generally need a bank account or credit card, and will need access to the internet so you can register online and use the service. The person receiving the money will also need a bank account and access to the internet.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid transfers work by sending a secondary card to someone abroad and then 'topping up' the card by whatever means the card offers; via Paypoints, banks, SMS or other ways. The card can be used to withdraw cash at an ATM, or to purchase good in a shop or online. Crewcard for example automatically gives you two cards for the price of one.

Foreign exchange

Foreign exchange providers also provide transfer services, and like banks, can be better when when transferring larger sums of money.

What should I look out for?

It's best to look at the rates involved, (how much a company may charge you to send the money) and whether the method suits you, for instance, if you are sending regular, modest mounts of money; or one large lump sum. And always use a reputable company.


Please Note: is not authorised to give advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

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