Sometimes you need to send money overseas urgently: it could be an unforeseen crisis, to pay a bill that is overdue, or for a loved one who is overseas and needs help. Whatever the case may be, if you need to send money instantly, there are plenty of options out there, but you will need to find the best money transfer provider for your needs. This helpful guide will take you through all the information you need to send money online instantly.
Sending money ‘instantly’ usually means completing a transfer within seconds or minutes, rather than immediately, and with some providers this is indeed possible. However, not all money transfers are this quick – it will depend on whether the transfer is domestic or international, the payment method you use, and the type of transfer you make.
Domestic money transfers are usually close to instant, but international money transfers are usually more complicated and sending money abroad in seconds can sometimes be more expensive than waiting for a few hours or days.
You’ll find that most money transfer providers have limits on how much you’ll be able to send via the fastest methods, so it will depend on how you define ‘large’. Generally speaking you might find it difficult to instantly transfer amounts larger than a few thousand dollars.
Instant money transfers are not reversible as they are processed as soon as you make the payment, so there is no opportunity to stop the payment before it is delivered. This is why it’s important to check all details thoroughly before sending money.
If you want to send money abroad instantly, your best bet is to compare different money transfer providers to see who offers the best speed and rate for your transfer.
Different providers will let you send money abroad via:
The fastest way to send money is usually via cash pickup, as it’s often ready for collection as soon as you’ve deposited the money on your side.
The cost of sending money abroad as fast as possible will depend on where you’re sending as well as how much – it can be broken down into two main parts.
Fees: Some money transfer providers charge a fee as part of their service, which can range from one or two dollars to over 20
Exchange rate markup: You’ll also likely be charged a markup on the exchange rate, which can have a bigger impact on larger transfers
Generally speaking, it’s possible to send money immediately to most locations, but it depends on the provider. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram have global agent networks that allow instant transfers to almost every location.
However, instant services may be harder to find on less commonly-used transfer routes. It is best to check the exact transfer time with the company before initiating the transaction.
To ensure your money transfer goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible, always keep the following in mind:
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.
Mehdi is a writer and editor with over five years of experience in personal finance, writing for brands including MoneySuperMarket, Equifax and The AA. He graduated from Brunel University with a BA and MA, and likes to spend his free time hiking, travelling, and reading.