When transferring money either as an individual or a business, your top priority should be the safety of your funds. The provider you choose must be approved, licensed and regulated by the relevant authorities in the markets they operate. This gives you the confidence you need to send your money anywhere in the world.
In this guide, we will take you through the risks and security aspects to watch out for when sending money and the safest way to transfer money. This includes the general safety of internet-based transfers, how to assess platform safety, and the security protocols safeguarding online transfers.
The safest way to transfer money is to use a reputable, regulated money transfer provider or your bank account. Companies specialising in international payments, with robust security measures will help protect both parties involved in an international transaction. Like all matters related to personal finance, whether this is personal loans or understanding your credit score, it is hugely important to assess all your options when transferring funds. This ensures the safest, cheapest and fastest money transfers for your needs.
When making international money transfers, never trust your money with just any provider. Being diligent about your personal safety, the safety of your device, bank account and funds will aid in finding the safest way to transfer money. It should be noted, there are several risks involved in money transfers. Here are is a summary of what to watch out for.
Essentially, the provider of any financial transfer should guard you against identity theft, suspicious and fraudulent activities, as well as protect your information from being intercepted. It is best practice to consider money transfer providers as financial institutions in their own right, this allows you to look at them objectively as you would a bank account. However, users also must ensure their own personal safety by securing their passwords, personal documents, installing security updates, and being on the lookout for hoax emails. Here’s a full breakdown of what to bear in mind:
Yes, but only if you use reputable platforms. Thanks to technology advancements and regulatory surveillance, sending money online is safer today than it was years ago, and it keeps getting better. Money transfer companies have taken a lot of precautions to counter fraudulent activities and bolster information security.
Some of the measures include but are not limited to constant audits, stringent data management systems and processes, and deployment of fraud management tools. In the spirit of fighting fraud together, users are also advised to adhere to some basic fraud management guidelines. For UK consumers, the FCA has comprehensive coverage of the guidelines to follow. US customers can get a detailed fraud guidance outline from FinCEN.
Money transfer scams are becoming more sophisticated with time, so it is good to have good knowledge of the safest ways to send money before making a transfer. Platforms are always put on the spot with others pushed to hire ethical hackers to foolproof their systems from within. If you want to send money either overseas or domestically, here are some of the best methods available.
Bank transfers come in two main forms: bank wire transfers and ACH transfers. In both, the money goes from one bank to another and then to an account. In most jurisdictions, opening a bank account requires submission of legal documents and identity verification processes.
These processes make it a little harder for fraudsters to take advantage of bank transfers. In the case of wire transfers, the SWIFT network, used by banks to send money around the world, is largely considered safe. If you are going to transfer money through a bank account, you should be aware of higher exchange rates and the fact many banks charge fees for sending money abroad. So, although convenient as you can carry out transactions within your online banking, these may not be appropriate.
Online money transfer service providers give users an efficient, inexpensive, and relatively safe way to transfer money across borders or within countries. The transfers may be performed using a web-based platform or a mobile app.
These companies are regulated by bodies such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). They also have internal safety mechanisms and security protocols that protect users’ information and funds when transferring money.
These companies can save you both time and money and are safe to use as long as you ensure you’re sending your money with a reliable provider. We review all the best online money transfer providers on this site to give you peace of mind on this front. It is possible to use a PayPal account and transfer funds using a PayPal balance, but fees are generally higher and it could take a number of business days to transfer the funds from PayPal to your bank account.
International money orders are relatively simple to use in sending money abroad. To transfer money, the sender is required to provide a photo ID, a signature, and other details. If they happen to get lost on mail, senders can request for cancellation and a reissuance of the money order.
Compared to bank transfers and money transfer companies, money orders are less regulated hence more exposed to fraud and scams. They can also be stolen and fraudulently cashed (although it is harder to do this with an international money order than with a regular cheque), making a reissuance difficult if not impossible.
Cash may be convenient as it is the most liquid asset. However, when it comes to security, it is the least secure, as if someone is able to steal the cash you’re transferring, there’s no recourse to get it back.
On the receiving end, beneficiaries picking their money from cash outlets face the same security challenges as the senders. The requirement to provide photo ID, passport or driver’s license to send and receive money may not deter street thieves. If you are sending large sums of money, avoid cash pickups as payout options.
No money transfer platform will admit to being insecure. However, there are certain parameters you can use to assess the level of security of a platform (including reading the reviews on our site). Here are the things to check for:
There are several measures that money transfer service providers and banks use to secure the movement of money on their platforms from the sender to the recipient. Here are some of the technologies used.
The user is expected to take some necessary steps to reduce exposure to fraudulent activities when transferring money. Here are some of the tips to consider.
Since safer transfers mean additional investment by the money transfer company in security software, they can add to operating costs. However, these costs are priced indirectly into their products through transfer fees, exchange rate margins, and other charges, so you don’t notice them much as a customer.
It is also worth noting that good security is a feature of all reputable platforms, and therefore security costs don’t tend to make different providers significantly more expensive than their competitors.
Yes. Mandatory regulatory checks from KYC compliance verification to anti-money laundering (AML) confirmations can delay transfers. However, these are necessary checks for your transfer safety, and in general any electronic transfers take a maximum of 5 days to complete, but are usually faster.
If you think you have been tricked into transferring money to a fraudster, there are two main steps you can take to try and protect yourself against loss and possibly get a refund.
Some providers may have specific directions for their customers to follow. For instance, Western Union had an active page at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to cater to their users who had been scammed between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017.
Money transfer companies do not guarantee that you will get your funds back. However, if the transaction is still within their system or has not been paid out by the receiving bank or cash pickup point, they’ll do everything they can to help.
Sending money to another person or making a business transfer locally or internationally is changing as technology improves. Cash-based transfers operators and bank transfers are gradually sharing the pie with emerging online money transfer companies, with the latter gaining more and more influence.
It is now faster, cheaper, and more convenient sending money across borders than it was a decade or so ago. Having said that, the risks involved in money transfers have also transformed. More sophisticated identity theft and fraud incidences have been recorded with a call to both money transfer providers and users to step up their security surveillance systems.
As a user, it is your responsibility to assess the security of the various platforms available to find the safest way to send your funds. Whether you use a bank transfer, online money transfer, or cash-based transfers, you need to check their safety protocols and take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of your transaction. You can visit review sites such as Trustpilot and social media networks, or read money transfer reviews, to see what other users are saying about certain providers, and also check out the reviews here on MoneyTransfers.com which will take you through the security features of each platform.
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.