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  • Michael Clarke

Guide to Sending Money Overseas

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

There are migrant workers all over the world who need to send money back home to their family and friends. This might be as a one-off, or it could be on a regular basis depending on individual circumstances. Learn about the various ways it’s possible to send money overseas.

How to send money overseas using PayPal

At the end of 2019 there were approximately 295 million active PayPal accounts all over the world. It’s available in more than 200 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, and has quickly become a mainstream way to send money across the world in a few easy steps.

Transfers into a PayPal wallet

Money can be sent to a ‘Friends & Family’ PayPal wallet, if the recipient has a PayPal account. This usually costs around $2 (USD), and will be an instant transfer. To send money via PayPal, simply register your credit/debit card to your PayPal account, pay in the relevant funds, and then it can be transferred again using just the recipient’s email address or phone number. PayPal do charge a money exchange fee for this service.

Transfers into a bank account

It’s possible for the recipient to transfer the money they have received in their PayPal wallet, into their bank account. This can take up to four days to transfer.

If the recipient does not have a PayPal account, it’s possible to transfer money straight into a bank account using Xoom – a PayPal service. After creating a Xoom account, you can enter how much money you wish to transfer overseas and pay using your PayPal account or with your debit/credit card. Money sent this way will be sent abroad for pick up, usually from an exchange center. It will be subjected to exchange rates and Xoom fees.

How to send money overseas using banks

It’s also possible to send money abroad via your bank. Either phone a helpdesk number or visit a high street branch, and a member of staff should be able to help you. All you should need to make the transfer is your International Bank Account Number (IBAN), Bank Identifier Code (BIC), and those of the recipient.

Among the main advantages of this money transfer method is the fact that your money is well protected. You can be confident that the bank will keep funds secure, and they will reach the intended recipient safely.

Disadvantages, however, include that this method rarely offers the best exchange rates. While this might not be a big issue for smaller amounts, when sending a significant sum you’re likely to notice the difference. Another negative is that international bank transfers can take up to six working days to go through, however it might be possible to pay a fee for an express service.

Michael Clarke


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