Competition for Overseas Money Transfer Market


Sending money overseas is a hassle because it takes proper planning to find the best rates.  Hidden fees, delays, exchange rates, and commission fees are all concerns most consumers have and could be the reason(s) why people do not transfer funds abroad more often. Aside from receiving the best rates sending money overseas needs to be safe and reliable.  Below are the places most people go to for sending their funds abroad.

Western Union:  Many use Western Union to send funds overseas because the transfer is quick.  There is no limit on how much you can send at one time and it has over 400,000 locations worldwide.  Western Union does not deposit to any bank so the recipient needs to pick the money up.  The instant transfer payment comes at a price because the charge is sometimes over 10%.  The fees will vary depending on the amount of funds and the location of the transfer.  Other online money transfer companies will provide better exchange rates.  The transfer can be cancelled only if the recipient does not pick it up, and they do have an app for iPhone and Android users.

Bank International Wire Transfer:  Using banks for international wire transfers are common among people with a bank account.  It is one of the safest methods around because identification of both parties is needed for the transfer to go through.  The specific amount, routing number, Swift code, addresses, etc. are all needed for an international wire transfer.  The fees charged are typically higher and the transfer takes several days or up to a week.  It’s considered the most reliable way to transfer funds because banks are detail oriented.

Chase –

Bank of America –

Citi Bank –

Wells Fargo –

Money Gram:  If consumers want to send money overseas more frequently they prefer using MoneyGram over Western Union.  However, there are restrictions to how much money you can send at one time.  It teamed up with USForex to send funds over $2,999.  The transfer fee is $5 for anything under $5,000 and free if it’s over $5,000.  Money Gram provides 24/7 customer service and consumers have even used it to pay their bills for retailers and banks.  There are security concerns similar to Western Union because the funds are not traceable.

TransferWise:  TransferWise is a peer-to-peer money transfer service.  It’s one of the most cost efficient ways to transfer funds overseas charging 1% per transaction to U.S. customers.  There are no hidden fees but can take a long time to transfer your funds overseas.  Most of the complaints are because of the long wait time that can take a few weeks based on where you are sending the funds.  It also does not support all countries.  The biggest draw is that users can save close to 90% by using TransferWise.  Customer service is available Monday to Friday 9am-5PM (EDT) with the option to email.

PayPal:  Money can be sent to more than 190 different countries and the transfer arrives within minutes.  The fees are high for sending funds internationally and the recipient will get charged a fee as well for receiving the funds abroad.  There are hidden fees and both the sender and recipient need PayPal accounts for the transfer to go through.  PayPal is most often used for small transfers.  There are other places to go for better exchange rates.

Xoom:  Started in 2001 and has more than a million active customers.  The recipient can receive the funds through a cash pickup, bank account, or door-to-door delivery.  The lowest fees are through a U.S. bank account, but the transaction can take up to four business days.  The transaction is faster using a credit or debit card but the fees are higher.  The fees for international money transfers are typically lower than Money Gram and Western Union.  Sending money to certain countries such as India, Mexico, and Philippines will have even lower fees.  The major complaints for Xoom are their procedures may be too safe, they ask many irrelevant questions, and some transfers to foreign countries can take a long time.