Home Wire Transfers Transferring Money to a Foreign Bank Account

Transferring Money to a Foreign Bank Account

People make international bank transfers every single day for a wide range of reasons. From sending money to a child travelling or studying abroad, expats wiring money back home, to making a foreign purchase for business or leisure, there will always be a demand for faster, cheaper, and more convenient methods of sending money abroad.

Updated: 27/10/2021
Read time: 9 minutes
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If you’re interested in transferring money internationally to another bank account, you may be wondering what your options are. In this guide, we’ll take a look at your main options to transfer money abroad, plus the steps you need to follow to safely and securely deposit your money to a foreign bank account. Take a look out our guides to find the cheapest way to send money abroad or the fastest way to send money internationally.

What are your options when transferring money to a foreign bank account?

Money transfer providers

Using a money transfer provider is one of the most popular ways to send money abroad, and this is largely because they have:

The best provider for you depends on where you’re sending your money to, the sum you are sending, whether you want a fast transfer or the lowest-cost option (they’ll rarely be the same), and how you are planning on paying for your transfer.

Sending money abroad with WorldRemit

WorldRemit is one of our top recommended providers for transferring money to an international bank account. Supporting over 150 countries and 90 currencies, WorldRemit is a good option for sending money quickly and has a range of payout methods beyond just bank transfer.

These include:

  • Cash pickups
  • Mobile airtime top-ups
  • e-Wallet deliveries

Using your bank

Another option that some people opt for when transferring money to a foreign bank account is to use your own bank. While this is a convenient way of transferring money, it is rarely the cheapest. Unless you are transferring money to a foreign bank account that is the same branch as your own bank  – and therefore likely to have lower fees attached to the transfer – a money transfer provider will almost always be your best option. Read our guide to wire transfer fees.

How to transfer money to a foreign bank account

Decide how you’ll send your money abroad: Use our comparison tool to find the best provider for your transfer needs. Our tool will give you the best options for your specific transfer, breaking down key factors including fees, payment methods, the exchange rate, transfer times, and how much your recipient will receive on the other end.

Make sure you’ve got all the information you need: Whether you choose to transfer your money abroad with your bank or with a transfer provider, you’ll need to provide some essential information to make your transfer possible. Make sure you enter all the information correctly, as it might be difficult to reverse your transfer. This includes:

  • Your recipient’s name and address
  • The name of their bank (possibly the address, too)
  • Your recipient’s bank details (account number, sort code, in some cases their IBAN and BIC/SWIFT codes. You can use our SWIFT code calculator to find the right details for your transfer.).
  • How much you are sending
  • The date you want to send your payment

Check the fees you will need to pay: In most cases, you will need to pay a fee in order to transfer your money abroad. Some exceptions might be if you were transferring money to your own account under the same bank branch as your existing bank. The fees associated with foreign transfers include:

  • Fixed transfer fees
  • Markups on the exchange rate

These can vary depending on the provider you use, the currency pair you are converting between, the sum you are sending, and how you choose to pay for your transfer (a card payment may be more expensive than a bank transfer, for example, although it will often be faster). Regardless, make sure you are given a clear picture of the exact fees you can expect to pay before you lock-in your transfer.

Double-check everything and then initiate your transfer: Incorrect details can result in long delays and even more fees, so take the time to make sure you’ve entered all your details correctly. Then, you can initiate your transfer. Depending on how you are transferring your money, your recipient may receive your funds instantly, or it may take a few working days. You should be given an estimate of the transfer time when making your transfer.

What is the best way to transfer money to a foreign bank account?

Our top recommendation is to transfer money internationally with a money transfer provider. In almost every case, you will save money, time, and effort when sending with a specialist provider versus a traditional bank.

In addition, most money transfer providers have a digitally-led focus, enabling customers to initiate foreign transfers 24/7 and on the go. Use our innovative comparison engine to find the best provider for your transfer needs.

Top money transfer providers for sending money to a foreign bank account

Azimo

Azimo is a popular money transfer provider for sending money internationally to over 80 countries, with the option to pay by bank transfer as well as via debit/credit card.

The company boasts that users will save 90% with their services compared to a traditional bank, with a transparent fee structure and competitive exchange rates.

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer supports transfers to over 220 countries and 139 currencies, using enterprise-grade security to safely transfer your money across the world.

This trusted money transfer company is particularly highly rated for transferring larger sums of money, with 24/7 access via their app and fast transfer times for hundreds of countries.

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Yasmin Purnell

Yasmin is the content writer for MoneyTransfers.com. With an English degree from the University of Nottingham and over 5 years’ experience freelancing in the personal finance niche, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers accessible and easy to understand for all. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Yasmin on her yoga mat or planning her next escape to the mountains.

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