Best Ways to Receive Money From Abroad
Wiring money overseas has always been a process, but thankfully in today’s digital world, there is much less stress about where your money is going and how fast it will get there. With online transfer services, there are more ways to send money from the US to other countries abroad and vice versa. International money transfers can be a godsend when you are a student studying abroad or if you are working and need to send money back home.
These are three ways to send and receive money abroad:
1. Online Transfer through Bank Account
You can initiate most international wire transfers through your bank. Some people think ACH transfers are the same as wire transfers done by banks, but the process is different. You can order international wire transfers from your bank, and they are processed individually and sent straight from your bank to the recipient’s bank account.
This is a faster process than ACH, but the process is not instant for international wires. Domestic transfers tend to process in a few minutes, but international transfers take 2 to 3 business days in some cases.
If your bank supports international transfers, you can find it within your account console typically listed under “Send Money” or transfers. The online method is the fastest way to go, and it typically costs $10 to $50. Banks also charge a fee to receive wire transfers using the SWIFT system, which is typically around $35.
To use this method, you will need to provide all the recipient’s bank information including bank name, account number, SWIFT code, and ABA number.
2. Online Money Wire Transfer Services
Electronic payments made through a money transfer service can be deposited into the recipient’s account. The process changes depending on the service and bank account information. You can easily transfer money to a bank account using this method, however.
Money transfer services also use wire transfers. You will need to know all of the recipient’s banking information in order to submit the request unless you are wiring to a location. The recipient can then pick up cash.
3. ACH Transfer
An “Automated Clearing House” or ACH transfer is the most popular electric fund transfer in the US. ACH withdrawals and deposits have been assisting international transfers for decades. The system is not the fastest, but it is the most trusted. The cost is also pretty low. Most ACH transfers are free or cost a few cents.
You probably have used your bank’s ACH transfer system in the past. However, the system is different in the US and may not work as quickly. However, International ACH transfers may not work with some US bank accounts.
Things to Avoid When Sending Money Abroad
Both parties have to get involved in order to send an international transfer successfully. You have to provide your banking information, and the recipient has to provide their account information. However, you should never wire money based on any information that you receive in an email. While 95 percent of bank wire transfers are legitimate, the rest are scams trying to steal your financial information.
These are some things to keep in mind so that your transfer is successful.
Don’t Get Sucked Into a Scam
If someone you don’t know sends a transfer request with information through an email or chat message, it’s probably a scam. You should be able to call the recipient and verify all wiring instructions. Hackers are able to intercept financial information in emails and chat messages. If you are wiring larger sums, then you should check that your transfer is protected. In most cases, you should never send bank wire transfers unless you are working with a trusted company.
Check for Trust Symbols
Most banks and money transfer services are regulated and must abide by certain rules to send and receive money. Any company that says you can send an anonymous transfer is probably not trustworthy. Almost all bank-to-bank transfers require you to provide information for the sender and receiver. You may also look for OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) terms to ensure that they are regulated, as all international transfers with the US must be overseen by this agency.
Ask Questions and Contact Customer Service First
If you truly want to know how your transfer will be handled, you can contact your bank or money transfer service to see how well they answer your question. If you don’t get a response or can’t connect to anyone within 24 hours, then you know it could be difficult to solve a problem if something were to happen.
Prepare for Money to Be Taken Out First
As soon as you initiate a transfer with your bank or a money transfer service, the money will be taken from your account. Whether or not the transfer completes does not matter at this point, the funds must be there to start the transfer. If the transfer does not go through, you may have to ask customer service for a refund if it’s not automatically put back in your account.
When transfers don’t go through, they typically take 5 to 7 days to refund back into your account.
Check All Information Before Sending
To avoid costly mistakes and wait times, you should check your request for accuracy and ensure that all information is exactly as it’s supposed to be. Common issues that can stop a transfer are typos in the sender’s or recipient’s name, or perhaps a number was missing from the bank account information. Even providing the wrong address for the bank could cost you time and money.
Watch Out for Fees
Most banks and wire transfer services will notify you of fees upfront if they are reputable. Other no-name transfer services and secret scam companies may charge you after the transfer is initiated by removing the fees from the transfer amount. If your recipient was expecting $500, and $100 is removed to pay for fees, then you’ll have to send another transfer.
Look at the Company’s BBB Profile
The Better Business Bureau is still a good checkpoint to use if you are unsure about a company’s trustworthiness. Customers can file official complaints on BBB, which have to be resolved, or it affects the company’s rating. If you notice that your bank or money transfer service does not have an A rating, then you should check out the reviews to learn why.