Europe is home to 44 countries, but not all of them use the Euro. This makes sending money to the continent less straightforward than you may have originally anticipated. Those looking for cheaper alternatives when sending an international money transfer, must always consider the destination country, currency and costs involved. To reduce the cost of sending money to Europe, we have put together this guide which outlines the best ways to save money on European remittances.
Europe is a continent covering approximately 10.18 million km2. With 44 recognised countries, it is the continent with the second largest number of countries, after Africa. Of these 44 countries, 27 are members of the European Union, with the UK famously opting to pull out of the union in 2016.
The European Union is the economic and political union of 27 countries which make up much of the continent. It was formed during the aftermath of the Second World War – and originally known as the European Economic Community – as a coming together of countries with shared beliefs. To establish common goals and values across the continent, the EU focused primarily on democracy, equality, freedom of movement and human rights, as well as shared economic cooperation.
This economic cooperation, intended to allow EU citizens the freedom to enjoy products, services and capital from around the continent, has evolved into a large single internal market without borders. In 1999, the EU launched its own currency; the euro.
Approximately 340 million people in 19 countries now use the euro currency and, with the added benefit of EU policy on freedom of movement, EU citizens can live, work and travel around Europe using this single currency in most countries.
This term speaks specifically to the 19 European countries which have adopted the Euro full time, as their legal tender. The Eurozone countries are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
When it comes to international money transfers, the Eurozone is referenced when sending and receiving Euro Transfers.
For those unfamiliar with Europe’s social, political and economic policies, you could be forgiven for assuming that the euro has been adopted by all 44 countries located within the continent. In reality, there are many different currencies used across Europe, although the euro is the most commonly used by the continent.
After the Euro, the next most widespread currency is the Pound sterling and the Swiss franc, which are both included in the top 10 most traded global currencies. All other countries within Europe maintain financial independence by using their own currency. You can find out more about each individual country within Europe, by visiting our Send Money Abroad page.
In 2019, approximately 55% of European money transfers were sent within EU states, and Bulgaria, Croatia and Latvia were the most reliant on remittances. Conversely, the countries least dependent on international payments in the same year were Ireland, Greece, Finland and the Netherlands.
An international money corridor, or remittance corridor, refers to the amount of money which frequently travels between two specific countries. It is worth considering the international money corridor your transfer will travel, as this is likely to affect the speed and cost of your payment. Are the countries you are sending money between a commonly used remittance corridor? Will you be using the Euro or a more exotic European currency? How quickly do you need the money to reach your recipient?
International money transfer providers like WorldRemit and OFX are well-versed in all kinds of remittances, between all kinds of countries. It is simply a case of weighing up your options to find the best company for your transfer. If you are not sure where to begin, we can help you set up your first transfer.
Whether you are sending money to Europe from within the continent or outside of it, we highly recommend using an international money transfer specialist who can offer the optimum rate for your currency pairing. For many, this will mean converting their currency into euro, but this is not always the case. There is a specialist money transfer service for everyone and in this list we review some of the cheapest options for anyone sending money to Europe:
This currency exchange service provider is a trusted authority within the industry, often providing the cheapest options for international money transfers around the world. This is due to the fact XE does not charge customers transfer fees of any kind, and instead, adds a small profit margin to their exchange rates. These margins range from 0.3 – 1.4% which is substantially lower than bank transfer fees of around 3 – 7%.
Customers sending money to Europe can take advantage of XE’s mid-market rates, without paying excessive fees on top. In terms of European remittances, XE supports money transfers in the following currencies: EUR, GBP, CHF, HUF, SEK, NOK, DKK, PLN, CZK, RON, HRK, BYN, BGN, ISK, ALL, MDL, GIP, ANG, IMP, JEP, GGP.
Global money transfer service Wise facilitate payments to 61 countries, from 43 sending countries. Additionally, Wise fees are clearly displayed.
The variable fees depend on the transfer method you use but they are still competitive if you compare them with other money transfer providers
In addition to this, Wise is a very well rated money transfer provider, it is easy to use and it also has a great customer support available in different languages.
As an established international money transfer company with almost 20 years experience, TorFX are experts at securely sending money to over 110 countries.
With established offices in mainland Europe, TorFX is known as a market leader when it comes to moving money to European countries. The company has tailor-made various products to suit the individual needs of personal and business money transfers, and does not charge any of their customers transfer fees.
The only costs incurred when sending money to Europe with TorFX is a markup of between 1.9 – 2.7 % depending on the value of the transfer. Although this percentage is a slightly higher markup than the aforementioned options, TorFX still offers money-saving, bank-beating rates and their services are flexible to suit diverse customer needs.
The cheapest way to cut costs when sending money to Europe is to choose a provider who understands your needs as a customer and is well-versed in money transfer to and from your destination country. If you are not particularly precious about instant delivery, we would also recommend opting for an international money transfer provider who offers unmatched mid-market rates, even if the transfer takes longer to arrive, as this is an additional way to save money in the long-run. Take a look at the different companies featured on our website, and check out our comparison tool, to learn how to make the cheapest and most desirable Euro transfer.
Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London.
During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making.
During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.