Sweden sends more money to countries like Finland, Germany, Denmark, Lebanon, and Thailand than it receives. The bulk of the $2.8 billion that Sweden receives annually comes from countries such as the United States, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Most Swedes living in Europe and North America are mainly businessmen, industrial workers, religious and social workers. When sending money home, most of them look for the readily available money transfer channels or what they were introduced to by friends and relatives. However, it is important to understand that some of these providers may be offering low exchange rates, charging high transfer fees and their delivery times may not be as prompt.
In this Sweden money transfer guide, we shall explore the different channels you can use to send money home, the factors you need to consider and the advantages you are likely to enjoy. This will help you make informed decisions on how to transfer your money next time you are sending home.
Sending money to Sweden is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Sweden but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
There are three main ways you can send money to Sweden. There is the bank to bank wire transfers, online money transfer services and agent-based cash transfer services.
This option is great for sending large sums of money as it is secure and reliable. However, the fees you will pay, and the exchange rate you will get, largely depends on the country you are transferring from and the currency pair.
Most banks in Europe such as Barclays UK and Santander, allow for internet-based wire transfers, telephone transfers and in-person branch-based transfers. When making any of these transfers, ensure you do a cross-comparison of costs. For instance, telephone and branch-based transfers cost a little more than online-based wire transfers.
Sending money to Sweden from the Bank of America will cost you $45 per transfer if you send in USD. However, if you send in Swedish krona (SEK), you’ll not be charged transfer fees, instead, the bank will make its cut from the exchange rate margin. Most bank transfers take 1 to 3 days to get to Sweden.
The growth in technology has created a platform for fintech companies to join the money transfer ecosystem. Companies like TransferWise, Currencies Direct, Moneycorp, Xoom, and WorldFirst are gaining popularity on the various Swedish remittance corridors.
Some of the companies like OFX serve both individual and corporate needs. You can pay your bills, salaries, mortgages and lots of other obligations straight from most of these platforms. Online money transfer providers make their profits from transfers fees and exchange rates. That being said, there are those like TransferWise that do not charge any exchange rate margins and others that don’t charge transfer fees.
Ensure you check the fee structure of the several providers that you are considering before making a decision.
One of the attractive features of online money transfer providers is that they allow you to make transfers even if you do not have a bank account. For bank-to-bank transfers, both you and the recipient must have bank accounts.
You can pay for your transfer using a credit or debit card, bank wire transfer, or direct bank debit. The choice of your payment method is important because it can either delay or hasten your transfer. If you pay using a debit or credit card, you transfer will get to the recipient faster.
To make a transfer, you’ll need to sign up for an account. This exercise can take anything from minutes to a couple of hours depending on the provider and the verification process. Once the account is operational, you can make your transfer at any time. Most providers have mobile applications that improve the sending experience and give you lots of flexibility with your transfers.
The sender and recipient can opt for direct to bank transfers or cash pickup options. These are the two main transfer payout options in Sweden.
This option requires that you visit a store which could be in a mall, banking hall, or fuel station. Once you fill in the forms and hand over the cash, the transfer is executed.
Western Union, Ria and MoneyGram are some of the top cash transfer companies in this category. When sending money from the UK through MoneyGram, you can choose cash pickup or a direct deposit to the recipient’s bank account. Whatever the case, the money should arrive in a couple of hours. Typically, cash pickups take minutes for the transfer to be completed.
MoneyGram and Western Union charge transfer fees and exchange rate margins. They also allow for online transfers or a hybrid of online and agent-based cash transfers.
For your transfer to Sweden to be successful, you need to provide the following information and documentation:
Usually, it takes a little longer to make the first transfer, but for subsequent transfers, the process is much simpler and fast. Some online transfer platforms allow for recurring transactions.
Transfer recipients in Sweden can opt for cash pickups or bank deposits.
Cash pickups- This payout option is suitable for transferring smaller amounts of money. It is convenient in that the transfer time is shorter. Providers like Xoom have partnered with Ria to give their Sweden customers 123 locations where they can pick up their cash.
Bank Deposit- The transfer is deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. This is an excellent payout option when receiving large sums of money. All major banks in Sweden including ICA Banken, Lansforeakringar Bank, Nordea, SEB, Skandiabanken and Svenska Handelsbanken (SHB) support direct bank deposits.
You only need the transfer transaction number and your national ID or passport to receive money in Sweden. For bank transfers, you don’t need to provide any information as the money is deposited directly into your account.
Much like transfers to other countries around the world, transfers to Sweden are made in varying amounts and for different reasons. Some of the common reasons underlying transfers to Sweden are:
Some Swedes who work out of the country regularly send money to their families and relatives back home. According to Eurostat, the average age at which young people in Sweden leave their parent’s households is about 19 years. Family support plays a critical role to help these young people stabilise.
Companies overseas that have employees in Sweden can pay their staff wages using online money transfers or bank wire transfers as well as some of the inflows to Sweden are for supplier payments for goods or services sourced from Sweden.
Sweden is a highly capitalised economy with a low debt-to-GDP ratio. Investors including Swedish nationals living abroad prefer putting their money in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or American Depository Receipts (ADRs) that track American stocks.
Part of the money sent to Sweden is directed at savings instruments mostly in the banking sector. Banks and loan companies in Sweden offer some of the best interest rates on deposits in the country thereby attracting inflows from Swedes abroad. Some of the institutions are government-backed.
Some of the large transfers into Sweden are for outright home purchases or mortgages. Areas in the South of Sweden such as Falsterbo and those near the University town of Lund have become destinations for real estate investors both local and international.
The debate on whether to send money through mainstream banking institutions or money transfer providers boils down to the following factors.
When sending money to Sweden, there are certain aspects you must consider so as to ensure your transfer is smooth and with no lost opportunities.
Therefore, when sending money to Sweden, it is not just about the channels, several other factors come to play. It is important that you factor all of them in as they contribute to the overall transfer experience.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Sweden. 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