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Send money to the USA

If you are an overseas American and want to send money home, you need to be clear on the procedures and requirements. Some of them include various ways to send money to the United States, the information to provide when sending and receiving, the advantages of online money transfer services, and specific things to consider when sending.

This guide will delve into those areas and more.

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How To Send Money To USA

Sending money to USA is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

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Sign Up and Deposit

Sign up with the provider and deposit the amount you want to transfer.

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send and Receive Money In USA

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in the USA 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.

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Ways to Send Money to the United States

With a nominal GDP of $19.39 trillion (2017 est), the U.S. has retained top position as the world’s largest and most developed economy since 1871. It has a well developed financial system comprising financial intermediaries and financial middlemen.

There are several options when sending money to your family, relatives, and friends in the U.S. You can opt for international wire transfers, online money transfer services, international checks or even money orders.

Bank Wire Transfers

The U.S. banking system is the most extensive in the world. The number of FDIC-insured commercial banks in the country in 2017 was 4,909. Also, being the most banked society in the world, your loved ones can access money sent to them conveniently.

Most banks in the U.S. readily accept both international wire transfers denominated in the dollar and those denominated in foreign currency. That said, some banks may require different receiving information based on the originating currency.

Bank wire transfer charges largely depend on the location of the sending bank. International wire transfers typically take three to five days to complete a transaction. If your loved ones in the U.S. haven’t received any money after a week, contact the sending bank. As for the transaction charges, expect to pay anything between $30 and $50 per transaction.

Online Money Transfers

The increase in technology, mainly driven by the need for innovative, faster, and inexpensive ways to send money has seen online money transfers dominating the remittances space. Majority of the money transfer companies have their headquarters in the U.S. and trial their products there.

  • Western Union -Denver, Colorado
  • MoneyGram – Dallas, Texas
  • Xoom – San Francisco, California
  • Ria Money Transfer – Buena Park, California

Even for companies like WorldRemit and TransferWise that are elsewhere, their presence is all over the United States. The only limitation is the country you are in and the options available there.

Majority of online money transfer services only need you to sign up for an account and top it up using a debit or credit cards, bank transfer, or in-person cash deposit at a store.

Most of the providers allow you to send from their websites, through downloadable mobile apps, or from physical stores. Western Union allows you to start the process online and complete it at a store convenient to you. MoneyGram has a SendBot you can use to send money on the Facebook messenger app.

Using online money transfer services, you can send to the U.S. through any of the following options.

  • Transfer to Bank – Choose the bank option from the provider’s sending platform and transfer directly to the recipient’s bank account.
  • Cash Pickup – If the recipient is closer to a cash pickup location and they prefer to receive money this way, money transfer service providers such as Western Union, TransferWise, MoneyGram, Xoom, and WorldRemit can help you send.

Money Orders

The United States Postal Service accepts money orders from 27 countries. Many of those countries are in South and North America except for Japan. Money orders are still a secure, reliable, and convenient way of sending money.

International Check

Most banks in the U.S. accept international checks. That said, payment gets delayed until the bank presents the check to the foreign bank. Apart from the fees charged, this method of sending money may be subject to limits.

What’s Needed to Send Money to United States

When sending money to the United States, the provider you choose will largely determine the information to provide. Though circumstances may change especially, with many providers implementing the Know Your Customer (KYC) policies, you’ll still need the following information to send money to the U.S.

  • Your government-issued photo I.D.
  • Your credit card or debit card information if using this method to fund your transfers
  • The recipient’s name as indicated on their I.D. or passport document
  • The recipient’s address
  • If sending to the recipient’s bank, provide the bank name, account number, routing information, and branch.

Some banks in the U.S. may require specific information and declaration of the funds transferred. Ensure you find out from the recipient in advance to avoid giving incorrect information.

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Common Reasons For Sending Money To The United States

Living in the United States is relatively pricey. Cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston can cost as much as $1,200 per person per month rent not included. In New York City, the average rental for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre is about $3,000. A decent meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost upwards of $75.

Americans in the diaspora, therefore, feel the pressure of some of these expenses and regularly send money home. The following are some of the common reasons for remittances to the United States.

Household Expenses

Despite that Americans do not live in setups like in other continents with extended family living and a sizeable number of dependents, they still have families to support at home. Utilities and food expenses can be quite overwhelming if the recipient doesn’t have gainful employment.

Mortgage Repayment

Mortgage debt on family residences in the U.S. amounts to about $10 trillion. With a lot of mortgage products available, most first-time homeowners opt for homeownership loans. As families move abroad, some put up their houses for sale, others rent them out and continue to pay the mortgage.

Investment Financing

The United States financial market is one of the most complex yet lucrative. From bonds to derivatives to equity and anything in between, Americans in the diaspora have a lot of options back home. The markets are bullish and attractive to overseas Americas looking to build wealth at home.

Charitable Donations

National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) found that there are 1.5 million charitable organisations in the US. Each of these organisations supports one cause or the other within and outside the United States. Out of concern and human good, Americans send money home to support such noble causes.

The use of the money as specified by those sending may not necessarily be the actual use by the households. Beneficiaries may alter the usage of funds to suit their immediate and most pressing needs.

Why Use a Money Transfer Service?

Looking at the options available including international wire transfers, money orders and international checks, online money transfer services stick out as the favourite. The technologies they use, the convenience they offer, and the transfer speed, are more than a bargain for the fees they charge. Here are the reasons Americans in the diaspora find online money transfers attractive.

Easy to Set Up

Even if you are a first-timer, sending money to the U.S. is such a simple process. You only need to sign up for an account, fund it through a debit/credit card, bank transfer or cash deposit. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and transact on the web, mobile app or in-store. The information you provide is secured using multifactor authentication (MFA).

Favourable Exchange Rates

Depending on the country you are sending from, rates of the domestic currency to the dollar can be quite punitive. Traditional methods of sending money maximise on the exchange rate spread to reap a fortune. Online money transfer service providers are a little different. They give you more on exchange rates without taking it back on transaction fees. TransferWise is a good example. The company uses real rates when sending money.

Lower Transfer Cost

Transfer charges can erode the amount the beneficiary will receive. If you have a fixed amount to send to your loved ones in the U.S. higher transaction costs can be debilitating. Online money transfers spread the cost of sending over the volume of transactions they handle. The lower transaction cost leaves more money in your pocket or looking at it in another way, enables you to send more.

Multi-Currency Support

Providers are expanding into lots of different countries very fast. Western Union is currently present in 500,000 locations in 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram and Xoom have 350,000 locations in 200 and 130 countries respectively. The extensive network guarantees senders that irrespective of their location, they are covered.

Safety and Reliability

The first concern senders have is the safety of their money. Online money transfers have put in place different measures to safeguard remittances. The technologies they use have end-to-end encryption that masks the senders and recipients information. The providers also offer 24/7 transaction monitoring services to prevent hacking and phishing.

Transfer Speed

Money transfer services use this proposition as their unique selling point. Depending on the country you are sending from, the recipient can have the money as soon as ten minutes. The fastest method of transfer is through debit or credit cards. Bank transfers can take up to three days. When sending, most providers give you the option of a slow or fast method.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to the United States 

Sending money to the United States is relatively simple. However, there are a few considerations you need to make when sending money home. The investment climate, exchange rate risks, and the regulatory environment.

  1. Investment Climate - Fears of a recession have hit the U.S economy. Economic growth has slowed down, business fixed investment, household spending, and returns on equities especially, bank stocks have begun declining. The US Federal Reserve has remained conservative on adjusting rates. It has opted to maintain them in the 2% to 2.25 range. Investments in such a mature market need to be well calculated, balancing potential risks and returns.
  2. Regulatory Framework -The trade disputes with China have led to the tightening of the regulatory environment. The movement of funds in and out of the country is closely watched for any irregularities. Funds coming into the country have to be reported, who the recipient is and their purpose. Online money transfer services have transfer specialists who handle such compliance requirements. However, sending through bank wire transfers may require that you explain in person.
  3. Exchange Rate Risks - In the wake of the trade wars with China, the U.S. government has given indications of currency interventions to protect the economy. Part of the interventions includes weakening the dollar to improve U.S. exports. If and when it happens, Americans in the diaspora will be giving less of the currency in their destination countries for the dollar. However, it could also result in economic consequences that even the White House says would be difficult to control.

Whatever the case, sending money to the United States is a simple process with online money transfers. There are lots of options available such as bank transfers and cash pickups. For a smooth sending exercise, ensure you have all the information required, know the different ways of sending money and considered the different aspects in the U.S. economy that could impact your transfers.

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the USA. If you're looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations. 

Jonathan Merry

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