The world is more interconnected than ever before, yet transferring money internationally is still seen as complicated. However, making international money transfers can be easier than you think. In this article, we cover all you need to know about sending funds abroad and give you the lowdown on how to choose the best method of international money transfer.

Transferring Money Internationally: What to Consider

If you want to use the fastest, most cost-effective and more secure methods of transferring money internationally, then there’s plenty to consider. Before you start moving your funds, be sure to consider the following:

1. Where Are You Sending Money To?

The recipient’s location will have a significant impact on the types of international money transfer that use. If you’re sending money within the EU, for example, then a Single European Payments Area (SEPA) transfer may be your best option. For international transfers outside the EU, a TARGET2 transfer enables you to send funds in Euros to more than 55,000 banks worldwide, while a SWIFT transfer provides access to more than 11,000 institutions across 200+ countries and territories.

2. How Quickly Do You Need to Transfer Funds?

Again, the speed at which you need to transfer funds will help to determine which method of international money transfer you should use. For cross-border payments within the EU, SEPA offers two options for one-off payments:

  1. SEPA Credit Transfer
  2. SEPA Instant Credit Transfer

A SEPA Instant Credit Transfer takes seconds to process, while a standard SEPA Credit Transfer usually takes one business day to complete. In contrast, a SWIFT transfer can take days for the funds to be received due to the transfer methods that are used to facilitate the transaction.

Similarly, TARGET2 transfers are usually completed within seconds, but it’s worth noting that the system is only typically available during business hours on Mon-Fri and is closed on public holidays. In contrast, SEPA remains available 24/7, which offers additional flexibility and speed.

3. How Much Are You Transferring?

When you’re transferring money internationally, the amount you’re sending can also impact which transfer methods are most appropriate. SEPA Instant Credit Transfers have a maximum limit of €100,000, for example, while SEPA Credit Transfers have an upper limit of €999,999,999.99 and TARGET2 transfers have no upper or lower limits.

4. What’s the Cost of Transferring Money Internationally?

Transferring money internationally used to be a costly process but that’s no longer the case. In fact, SEPA Credit Transfers are often free or subject to a nominal fee, while you’ll usually be required to pay a fee of less than €2 to make a SEPA Instant Credit Transfer.

The cost of making a TARGET2 transfer is typically higher, while the price of a SWIFT transfer depends on how much you’re sending and to which location you’re sending it to.

Remember – prices for transferring money internationally can be a fixed-fee, commission-based or a combination of the two. By calculating the cost of a potential transfer in advance, you can determine which is the most cost-effective option. As you might expect, instant transfers are typically more expensive than slower options, but you do benefit from real-time transaction completion.

5. What Information Do You Need?

If you’re planning to send funds internationally, you’ll need specific information to ensure it gets to the intended recipient. In most instances, you can make an international transfer providing you know the recipient’s:

  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
  • Bank Identifier Code (BIC)

In addition to this, you’ll need to supply additional information, such as the amount you want to transfer, what currency you want to transfer in (if applicable), the recipient’s name and your own account details.

6. Is It Safe to Transfer Money Internationally?

Yes – providing you use established and reputable transfer methods, such as SEPA, SWIFT or TARGET2. In fact, these systems have been created and developed to provide secure and efficient cross-border payment options and are heavily regulated, so you can be confident that your funds will be transferred safely.

7. Do You Need to Make Recurring Payments?

SEPA Direct Debits are an efficient way to make recurring payments within the EU, which can be useful if you’re paying for a subscription-based service. Alternatively, you may want to use PayAlly’s bulk payment facilities to manage regular, multiple payments, such as staff remuneration or transfers funds to regular suppliers.

8. Should You Centralise Accounts?

If you’re making frequent international payments, it may be more cost-effective and more efficient to centralise subsidiary accounts within PayAlly’s infrastructure. When you enrol suppliers or customers into PayAlly, for example, transfers to their respective accounts are treated as local transfers, rather than international transfers. As a result, transactions can be made more simply and with fewer associated fees.

9. Does the Exchange Rate Matter?

When you’re transferring money internationally, it’s important to pay attention to the exchange rate at the time of your transfer if you’re making the payment in an alternative currency. If you’re based in the UK but you want to send money in Euros or U.S. Dollars, for example, you can use a Foreign Exchange service to convert your currency.

With PayAlly’s multicurrency account, for example, you can transfer funds into 39 different currencies to facilitate international transfers. What’s more – you can set up forward contracts to lock in an exchange rate and mitigate the risk of the value of your funds decreasing prior to the transfer.

Are You Ready to Transfer Funds Internationally?

At PayAlly, we’re dedicated to localising international finance, and we provide a wide range of services to enable you to send and receive funds worldwide. Whether you’re making a one-off transaction or sending international transfers regularly, your Relationship Manager will be on hand to provide assistance and guidance.

Combining a secure infrastructure, access to recognised global payment systems and 1:1 expert support, we make it easy to transfer money anywhere in the world. To find out more or to talk to a Relationship Manager, contact PayAlly now.