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Best Money Transfer Services in the UK

When you need to transfer money from the UK, it's hard to know where to even get started. To help you make the right decision, we're going to look at the best ways to transfer money internationally from the UK
May 8, 2023 14:51

When you need to transfer money from the UK, it's hard to know where to even get started. With so many choices, it can be tough to know which one is the best deal.

To help you make the right decision, we're going to look at the best ways to transfer money internationally from the UK. We'll explore fees, exchange rates, and transfer times to help you figure out what is the best way to send money to someone outside the UK. 

Best Options to Transfer Money from the UK

Several reliable options are available to send money abroad from the UK. Traditionally, using a bank has been the most common method. However, more people are turning to remittance companies - especially money transfer apps - to save on fees and avoid higher exchange rates when they transfer money internationally. Let's dig into both modes of money transfer to see which is the best international money transfer service.

Transferring Money Using Banks

When you want to send money from your UK bank account to someone in another country, you'll need to use what's called a wire transfer. This is simply an electronic method of moving money from one bank account to another.

When you send money from your bank account in the UK to a bank account in another country using a wire transfer, your bank will usually use what's called the SWIFT system. SWIFT is an international network of banks that facilitates cross-border payments.

A wire transfer typically costs more than other methods because your bank will often impose a substantial fee for sending the payment and also because the exchange rate banks offer is usually not as competitive as the rates offered by remittance companies, like money transfer apps.

Setting up a wire transfer is relatively straightforward, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before initiating one. First, it can take several days for your recipient to get the wired funds. So, if they need the money urgently, you may not be able to get it to them in time.

Also, to avoid the transfer taking any longer than it already will, you'll need to provide the recipient's correct information, such as:

Although banks make it more convenient these days to transfer money by letting you use their websites or mobile apps, be aware of the fees your bank may charge for the transfer as these vary depending on the institution. And because wire transfers involve currency conversion, pay attention to the bank's exchange rate. Keep in mind that this rate fluctuates, so it's a good idea to check it before initiating the transfer.


Here's a tip: If the bank charges no transfer fees, double check their exchange rate. If it's higher than what other banks or money transfer apps offer, it could be because they increased their exchange rate to make up for not charging other transfer fees.


Transferring Money Using Remittance Companies

Before the rise in popularity and accessibility of mobile apps, remittance companies - like Western Union - were the main way to transfer money internationally if you didn't want to go through a bank.

Remittance companies used an extensive network of global agents, so you could send money to recipients no matter where they were. In most cases, you would have to visit a remittance company's branch location to initiate the transfer by providing the recipient's name, address, account information, and the amount of money you wanted to send. The company would then facilitate the transfer and ensure the funds were delivered to the intended recipient.

Transferring Money Using Money Transfer Apps

Today, remittance companies in the form of money transfer apps are coming out on top as the best way to transfer money internationally due to greater affordability and convenience. 

A money transfer app is a mobile application that allows you to send and receive money internationally right from your smartphone. These apps usually also have websites where you can check live exchange rates.

There are many different money transfer apps available, but they all work in essentially the same way. To send money, you simply download a money transfer app, like PassTo, onto your smartphone. Then, create an account to link the app to your bank account and enter your recipient's information, including their name, address, and bank account number.

Once that's all set up, you'll be able to choose how much money you want to send and what currency you want to use. Your recipient will then be able to receive the funds through their own bank account, a mobile wallet, or even as cash at a pickup location.

Money transfer apps are convenient because they can be used from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. They are also cheaper and faster than traditional money transfer methods, such as wire transfers or money orders. These apps can deliver the funds to your recipient in just a few minutes or - at most - in 1 or 2 days.

Sending money internationally doesn't have to be complicated or expensive - with a money transfer app, it can be done in just a few taps on your phone.



Key Factors When Sending Money Abroad from the UK

So, when going with a money transfer app to save money and send funds faster, how do you decide which app is best for you when there are so many options to choose from?  There are a few key factors you'll want to consider to send money abroad.


Money Transfer Safety

When evaluating whether to use a money transfer app, make sure it's regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is a regulatory body in the United Kingdom that oversees financial service providers to ensure these companies provide fair and honest financial services. They set rules and guidelines that companies must follow, and they conduct regular reviews to make sure that they are complying.

When looking for a money transfer app, look for an FCA disclosure statement that says something to the effect of 'Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.' Or visit the FCA website to check if the app is regulated. This assures that your money is protected in case something goes wrong with the transfer. The FCA also provides compensation if a financial institution fails. So, if you're sending money through an FCA-regulated app, you can rest assured that your money is in good hands.

Compatible Currencies Countries

Another factor to keep in mind when scouting out a money transfer app to use is whether it works with the currency in which your recipient will need to receive the funds. For example, if you want to send money to India from the UK, see if the app offers Indian rupee (INR) as a recipient currency.

Also, make sure the app can send money to the country your recipient is in. The money transfer app should provide you a list of countries it can send money to or a list should be available on their website.

Money Sending Limits

When deciding on a money transfer app to use for international transactions from the UK, it's crucial to consider the app's money sending limits. Most apps have daily, monthly, or even annual limits in place. This is to protect both you - the sender - and the recipient from fraud. If you need to send a large sum of money, you'll need to make sure the app doesn't have any restrictions in place that would prohibit the transaction.

Exchange Rates

One detail that might make you choose one money transfer app over another is the exchange rate it offers.

An exchange rate is the rate at which one currency is exchanged for another. They can be either fixed or floating. A fixed exchange rate is one where the rate is set by a government or some other authority and is not allowed to fluctuate. However, a floating exchange rate is set by the market and fluctuates based on supply and demand. Most exchange rates today are floating rates, and money transfer apps use a floating rate.

To research the most competitive exchange rate for your money transfers, the best option is to use a currency converter calculator. These are included in money transfer apps or on their websites. You simply enter the amount of money you want to transfer, and the calculator will show you the real-time exchange rate offered by the app.

It may take a few minutes to compare rates between the different money transfer apps you're considering using, but it’s definitely worth doing if you want to get the best possible rate.

Transfer Fees

In addition to scoping out the best exchange rate, you'll want to find a money transfer app with the lowest transfer fees. What exactly is a transfer fee? Simply put, it's a charge levied by the company that you're using to send money.

These fees can vary widely from one app to the next, which is why you'll want to do a quick comparison before sending money abroad. Thankfully, transfer fees charged by money transfer apps are much cheaper than those charged by banks, which can go as high as £25 per transaction - even if the amount you are sending is low!


Best App for International Transfers

Now that you know what to look for when deciding on a money transfer app for your situation, what is the best UK app for money transfer overseas?

If you haven't yet used PassTo to transfer money abroad, you're leaving money on the table.  Here are several reasons why PassTo is one of the best apps to send money instantly from the UK.

Low Transfer Fees, No Hidden Fees

If you've ever sent money abroad, you know that fees can quickly add up and subtract from the total your recipient would have received. And if you're not careful, it's easy to get hit with unexpected charges - what are known as "gotcha" fees.

That's why we created PassTo. With PassTo, you'll never have to worry about hidden or gotcha fees. We pride ourselves on offering strikingly low transfer fees. And to sweeten the deal, your first two transfers are completely free for a limited time!

And it's worth pointing out that our app is usually the cheapest way to transfer GBP to African/Asian currencies. So, if you've been asking yourself which money transfer service is cheapest, PassTo is the way to go.

Competitive Exchange Rates

When it comes to international money transfers, it's important to get the best exchange rate possible. After all, even a small difference can add up to a lot of money over time.

That's where PassTo comes in. We offer highly competitive exchange rates compared to our rivals. Check out the currency conversion calculator on our home page to find out how much more sending power you'd have with our app.

Rewards Program

PassTo also has a rewards program where you can earn transfer credits for referring friends or family who complete successful transfers.  You read that right - not only do you get the satisfaction of helping out a friend or family member in need, but you can also get rewarded for it!

Your friends also receive a credit for being referred to by you. By giving PassTo a try the next time you need to send money, you and your friends may just find yourselves earning free transfer credits in the process.

Super Fast Money Transfers

When you need to send money to someone, you want to know that it will get there quickly and safely.

With PassTo, you can rest assured that your money will arrive swiftly and without any fuss. The majority of transfers made using our app are completed within minutes, and you can check on the status of your transfer in the app.

Finally, whether you're sending money to family members for support, emergencies or any other purposes, PassTo is the fast, easy way to get your money where it needs to go.