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How long does an International Money Transfer take?

The time it takes to move money overseas is determined by several factors which include the transfer method, the amount, the destination country and the currency pairing. In this guide we delve deeper into these factors, identifying how they contribute to the overall speed of an international money transfer.

Updated: 28/05/2021
Read time: 5 minutes
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Why should I use an international money transfer provider?

Utilising the services of an international money specialist like WorldRemit or Azimo is a smart way to go if you are hoping to send funds overseas quickly and efficiently. Due to their resources, international money transfer providers are able to offer the most competitive rates, bank-beating fees and speedy delivery. These companies understand foreign exchange and global transfer routes better than any bank and make it their business to offer the best possible service to customers.

An added bonus of using a specialist provider is the fact they often allow multiple payment methods. Unlike traditional bank transfers, you will likely be given the option to pay by cash or debit/credit card, as well as being able to choose how your recipient receives the funds from a variety of pay-out options such as cash pick-up, doorstep delivery or mobile wallet.

What affects the speed of an international money transfer?

Although faster than the average international bank transfer, a number of aspects can still affect the delivery speed of international money transfers as they are sometimes processed by different institutions before arriving safely in the recipient’s chosen account, country and currency. 

The following factors determine the speed of an overseas remittance:

Currency conversion
Destination country
Security checks
Time of transferof your transfer
International vs Domestic

International money transfers are subjected to more checks and processes than domestic transfers, due to the cross-border nature of the payment. For this reason, some international transfers may take up to 5 working days, as opposed to minutes/hours for a domestic transfer. Check the estimated arrival date with your provider before initiating your transfer.

How long does an international money transfer take? 

We hope the above information has outlined the various factors which dictate the transfer speed of international payments.

Generally, if you are sending money in one of the most traded currencies, like USD or GBP, international money transfer providers are likely to be able to deposit the money within 1 working day. Sometimes even within minutes/hours. As mentioned in the above section, countries and currencies outside of the bigger trading markets, may incur longer delivery speeds.

International bank transfers, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 1 to 5 business days to be deposited into the recipient’s account. This is due to the various systems which banking institutions must adhere to. To find out more read our guide: How Long Does a Bank Transfer Take?

Top transfer tip

Remittances sent through the same financial institutions can often be processed quicker. This applies to alternative international money transfer services as well as banks. For example, peer-to-peer payment apps specialise in sending money instantly between users, regardless of location.

Bottom line

When it comes to transfer speeds, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, transactions initiated through money transfer companies, such as the ones recommended by us, will arrive with a recipient quicker than a traditional bank transfer. This is why more and more customers are choosing to utilise the first-rate services offered by specialist companies, steering clear of outdated and overpriced bank offerings. Various considerations must be taken into account before providing an estimated arrival date for an international remittance, but if speed is what you need, check out our guides: Fastest Way to Wire Money and Best Way to Wire Money.

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April Summers

April is a journalist and full-time content writer for MoneyTransfers.com. Over the last decade she has written for a number of different online and print publications. Having lived overseas in Canada and Vietnam, April hopes to see more of the world as soon as possible, with Japan at the top of her travel list. As a former expat, April has first-hand experience of managing finances from overseas. She enjoys writing about forex trends and the future of banking.

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