A large percentage of this money was sent through inter-bank transfers and partly through online money transfers and in-person transfers. Sending money to Germany, especially from outside the European Union comes with lots of regulations, exchange rate differences and fees. This guide helps you to find out how to send money to Germany and put all this into perspective to make your next money transfer a breeze. Also, if you want to know more about living in Germany, our guide about moving to and living in Germany as an expat.
Looking to find out best way to send money to Germany? The steps are simple and easy. Read below to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Germany but these will largely depend on the money transfer provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about the best ways to send money to Germany.
There are several channels you can use to send money to Germany both from the EU and outside the EU region. When looking for the best money transfer services, how you choose one and leave the other is purely based on personal preferences when making international money transfers.
Bank transfers are the most popular ways of sending money to Germany. If you are sending from the EU you may be charged much lower fees than someone sending from outside the EU. Typically, when sending from North America (Canada or the United States), you will be charged around USD 45-50 flat fee to execute your transfer. Since this amount doesn’t change irrespective of how much you transfer, international wire transfers are best for transferring large amounts of money.
Another dimension to these transfers is that if you use a bank that has a branch office in Germany or a branch of a German bank in the country you are sending from, you may end up paying less in fees. Correspondent banks usually cause delays in transfers and a hike in fees.
If you share a bank account with your spouse, sending a transfer can be as simple as depositing into your own account. The other bit you need to be careful with when sending through wire transfers is the exchange rate. Most banks offer low exchange rates for transfers without communicating explicitly to the customer.
Germany has a highly a reliable network of banks with the vast majority of adults holding a bank account (an estimated 69 million out of a population of 83.8 million). Within 3-5 days from initiating a transfer, the recipient in Germany should have received the funds.
Online money transfer services are becoming increasingly popular among Germans in the diaspora looking for ways of sending money home. The providers in this category are cheaper compared to banks, especially when sending small amounts person-to-person. Consider your options to find the cheapest way to send money to Germany.
Even if you do not have a bank account in the host country, you can still send money through money transfer services. Some money remittance companies such as Payoneer, issue their own debit cards which makes it even easier for you to move money.
With online money transfers, you’ll need to sign up for an account, pay for your transfer through a debit or credit card or bank debit (ACH). Debit and credit cards are the fastest means of funding your transfer while for a bank debit it may take a few days to complete the funding of the transfer. You can send the transfer through the provider’s website or through a mobile app.
There are two main ways of sending money to Germany using online money transfer providers. These providers will also help you track your transfers.
Bank Transfer -When sending from North America or from within the EU, the transfers are delivered the same day into the recipient’s account. Most providers including Worldremit, TranferWise and Xoom offer this service.
Cash Pickup – This method involves sending money to the recipient to enable them to collect it in cash from their nearest pay out location. Cash pickups are instant. Xoom, MoneyGram and Western Union offer cash pickup services.
Even if you do not have a bank account, you can still send money to your loved ones through in-person cash transfers. Sending money through this method is easy and quick. You just need to locate a store near you, go in and complete a form, give the clerk the amount you want to transfer, and show them your ID. You will be given a unique code that you will send the recipient.
The only downside with these services is that they charge fees based on a percentage of the amount you send. For large amounts, this can be costly. The exchange rates given may also be unfavourable. Western Union and MoneyGram are the main in-store cash transfer methods. They also have a feature where they allow you to begin the sending process online and complete it in person at the nearest store.
Whether you are sending money to Germany using online money transfer services or in-store cash transfers, you’ll need to provide some information to facilitate the transfer. Most providers ask for the following information.
Depending on the country you are sending from, you may be asked to disclose the source and purpose of the money.
Depending on the money transfer service provider you use, there are three main ways you can receive money in Germany: direct bank deposit, cash collection from an agent and mobile top-up.
All money transfer operators offer bank transfers as a pay out method in Germany. Whether the transfer is business or personal, receiving money through a bank deposit into your account is safer and doesn’t require you to do anything much other than transacting. If the sender is in the UK, US, France, Canada or any of the countries in Europe, you may receive the transfer the same day or the following day.
You can receive money in Germany from pick up locations some of which are in banks and others in standalone shops in malls or corner stores. Cash pickups are often received the same day. Irrespective of where you live, Xoom, Western Union and MoneyGram have cash collection points in Germany from where you can access your money. Xoom has 1065 locations in Germany as of 2022.
Instead of receiving cash or a bank transfer, you can opt for mobile reload. The sender top-ups up your mobile account directly from the provider’s platform.
If you are receiving money through a bank deposit or airtime top-up, there is nothing you need to do. However, for cash collections, you’ll to provide the following information and documents to the agent before receiving the money.
MoneyGram requires that you fill out a form where you give additional information on the money you are receiving. Speaking to the customer service team of your chosen provider will also give you further insight to any specific needs.
With most Germans in the diaspora working, doing business or in their retirement destinations, there are many reasons why they might transfer money to Germany.
Some German expats living abroad may choose to send part of their income back home to Germany, building up a savings pot in their own currency should they return home.
Germany is a developed economy with lots of investment options in disruptive as well as legacy businesses. These opportunities attract inflows from Germans abroad.
Germans abroad with businesses back home may from time to time send money to pay contractors and employees.
Those with families back home may send money regularly to supplement their incomes or directly support them in their day to day living expenses.
Others may be repaying debt or mortgages and have to honour the obligations as provided in the loan covenants they signed.
When transferring money to Germany, you have the option of using bank-to-bank transfers. However, sending money using money transfer services is often a cheaper, faster alternative. Here are some reasons why you should consider money transfer services when looking for the best ways to transfer money to Germany.
There are various aspects to consider before deciding on how to send money to Germany. Three of the most outstanding factors are taxation, currency exchanges, and withdrawal limits.
When transferring money online to Germany, money transfer services can give you the best rates, charge you low transaction fees and even help you manoeuvre the money transfer complications, thanks to their transfer experts. To find out more about fees, take a look at our money transfer fees guide.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Germany. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com