Although international transfer options have been around for some time, it can be tricky to determine which is the best way to send money abroad from the UK. With a variety of different transfer methods, along with a range of charges and speeds, it’s important to examine each option carefully to determine the fastest and most cost-efficient way to transfer funds abroad.

In this article, we provide critical information on how you can send money abroad from the UK and explain what international transfer methods are available. Read on to discover how easy it can be to facilitate cross-border transactions when you have 1:1 support from PayAlly.

What Is an International Transfer?

An international transfer refers to a transaction that sends money from a UK-based account to an account held in another country. In contrast, a transaction from a UK account to another UK account is known as a domestic transfer.

If you want to send funds to a recipient that has a non-UK bank account, you’ll be making an international transfer. As you might imagine, international transfers are a little more complex than domestic transfers as there are more intermediaries involved. However, this needn’t mean that sending money abroad from the UK is time-consuming or complicated. In fact, with the right transfer options, making international transactions can be easier than you think.

How to Send Money Abroad from the UK

If you want to make a cross-border transfer, you’ll need to decide what type of transaction you want to make. There are many different types of international transfer, but some are only available within EU countries, while others are available worldwide. To find out what the best option for your next cross-border transaction is, take a look at some of the most popular ways to send money abroad from the UK now:


Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers allow you to send money abroad from the UK easily and efficiently. However, you’ll only be able to transfer funds to EU countries and:

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Lichtenstein
  • Andorra
  • Monaco
  • Switzerland
  • San Marino
  • Vatican State

Although the UK left the EU in 2020, it remains a member of the Single Euro Payments Area, so you’ll be able to send money abroad from the UK via SEPA transfers, despite Brexit.

If the recipient account is based in a SEPA country, then this type of transfer can be a fast and low-cost way to send funds. In fact, some SEPA transfers are free, so you may be able to send money without incurring any fees at all.

It’s worth noting that there is more than one type of SEPA transfer, so you can select the option that’s best for you depending on what type of payment you want to make and how fast you want the funds to be delivered to the recipient’s account. Types of SEPA transfer include:

SEPA Credit Transfer

This is the standard form of SEPA transfer, which allows you to send a maximum of €999,999,999.99 to a recipient within the Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA Credit Transfers are generally completed within one business day, so the transaction isn’t immediate, but it is relatively quick.

When it comes to costs, a SEPA Credit Transfer is generally a low-cost way to send money abroad from the UK. Depending on how much you’re sending, a SEPA Credit Transfer can be free or as little as €1-€2.

SEPA Instant Credit Transfer

As the name suggests, a SEPA Instant Credit Transfer is a faster way to transfer funds to recipients within the Single European Payments Area. These transactions are completed in seconds, so it’s the ideal way to send money abroad from the UK when you need it to arrive quickly. However, SEPA Instant Credit Transfers are limited to a maximum of €100,000.

Although a SEPA Instant Credit Transfer tends to incur higher fees than a regular SEPA Credit Transfer, it remains a cost-efficient way to transfer funds to recipients outside the UK.

SEPA Direct Debit

If you’re making repeated or recurring payments to a person or business located in the Single European Payments Area, then a SEPA Direct Debit could be a cost-effective and efficient way to facilitate this. Operating in the same way as a domestic Direct Debit, this type of regular transfer ensures the funds are taken from your account on a specified date and maximises convenience when you’re making regular transfers.


Another way to send money abroad from UK is via the European Central Bank’s real-time gross settlement TARGET2 system. Here, your financial institution or bank submits the payment order to the TARGET2 system, and they are settled with Central Bank funds.

Although TARGET2 payments are sent in Euros, more than 55,000 banks worldwide are part of the TARGET2 system, so there it has a widespread applicability. However, TARGET2 is usually used for high-value payments and/or commercial settlements, so fees can be relatively high.


Technically, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is a messaging system that allows participating banks and institutions to communicate with one another. When they do so, transaction instructions, known as payment orders, are sent and received.

Operational in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, SWIFT is a great way to send money abroad from UK. In general, SWIFT payments usually incur higher fees than SEPA transfers as they go through more intermediaries. Despite this, it can be a cost-effective way to securely send funds to recipients who are located outside of the Single European Payments Area.

Send Money Abroad from the UK with PayAlly

Whether you’re making a one-off, high-value payment, a moderate transfer or recurring transactions, PayAlly provides a secure and flexible infrastructure to meet your needs. From SEPA, SWIFT and TARGET2 transfers to our innovative multicurrency account, we make it easy to manage your finances and facilitate cross-border payments.

What’s more – our team is always on hand to provide assistance. With one-to-one support from your dedicated Relationship Manager, you can plan and execute transactions in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

To find out more, contact PayAlly’s expert team now.