There are alternatives to using high street banks for converting and sending money abroad.
One option is to use PayPal. More and more services are cropping up, and I’m currently looking into the advantages of using one over the other.
Here are some others I’ve found.
Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden fees we’ve all been forced to pay. Now TransferWise lets expats, foreign students and businesses transfer money wherever it’s needed, at the lowest possible cost. No hidden fees, no headache.
This is by far my favorite service.
Currencyfair is the closest competitor to Transferwise and is also a great service. Check the rates given by both Currencyfair and Transferwise and choose whichever works out cheaper.
Here’s some information about the Payoneer services:
Payoneer Prepaid Debit MasterCard Card
You can sign up for a Payoneer card, and receive your payments directly to that card. As mentioned above, you pay a flat fee per payment received, and then the funds are loaded to your card within 2 business days. You can also choose to pay an extra $3 to have it loaded within minutes. The card is held in USD, and you can use it to make purchases online, in stores, and at ATMs worldwide. As a debit MasterCard card, all purchases in a non-USD currency are converted using MasterCard’s official exchange rates, which can be estimated here: https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/index.html. A conversion charge of up to 3% also applies.
Payoneer Global Bank Transfer Service
If you don’t want the prepaid card and instead want to get paid directly to your bank account, you can sign up for this service. It allows you to receive payments directly to your bank account in over 200 countries.
For more than 50 countries, we provide a local transfer solution. This means that funds are actually being paid to you from a local bank in your country, in your local currency. This eliminates any international transfer, and the extra charges associated with them. For the remaining 150+ countries we offer SWIFT transfers.
You pay per payment, with costs starting as low as $2.99 per payment (depending on your country). You will be able to choose the currency of payment, and if currency conversion is required, we use the official market mid-rate (at the time of transfer), and a conversion charge of 2% for the six major currencies we use, which are Euro (EUR), British Pound (GBP), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Philippine Peso (PHP), Australian Dollar (AUD) and Romanian Leu (RON). For all other currencies, a charge of up to 3% applies.
The Payoneer prepaid MasterCard works just like any other MasterCard. The card is accepted at all locations worldwide, wherever MasterCard is accepted electronically. You can use it at any point of sale location to make purchases, whether online or at retail locations. You can also use the Prepaid MasterCard at ATMs worldwide to withdraw cash. The Prepaid MasterCard may be used for online transactions wherever MasterCard is an accepted form of payment.
The fees for withdrawing at an ATM are $3.15+3% of the withdrawal amount for currency conversion.
Payoneer charges 1% of the payment amount when transferring to it.
The yearly fee of Payoneer is $29.95 per year.
Anytime money crosses borders or currencies, MasterCard and the issuing bank apply processing fees to the transaction. This is true of both POS (Point-of-Sale) and ATM transactions.
When the Payoneer card is used for non-USD transactions, a currency conversion fee takes place based on MasterCard’s exchange rate, which is adjusted regularly based on market conditions. The processing fee charged with the Payoneer card can be up to 3%. Please note that currency conversion fees are charged by all banks, and the fees charged with Payoneer cards are among the lowest in the market.
With all these options, you should also keep in mind that the two bank accounts can be set in different currencies. Be careful because with most banks, if you transfer an amount in one currency and the receiving account is set in another currency, that money will automatically be converted to the receiving account’s currency, thus incurring you a currency conversion fee and potentially an exchange rate which is not so good. To keep abreast of how the exchange rates are fluctuating, use Oanda, as I detailed in another post on this blog.