What is the best way for international money transfers?

There are many reasons why you might need to make an international transfer, whether you’re paying for overseas property, paying overseas tuition, or sending money to family and friends. There are a few different ways that you can send money overseas, however, some methods are better than others. 

In this article, we will explain: 

  • What an international money transfer is 
  • How money transfers work 
  • What to look for when choosing a money transfer company 

How does an international money transfer work?

An international money transfer is when you transfer funds from your bank account via your chosen payment method (usually a credit card, debit card, or wire transfer) directly to a bank account in another country. When choosing the right money transfer service provider to make your international money transfer with, most people will first check the transfer fees and exchange rates offered. It’s also important to check the quality of service by reading customer reviews of a company, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the foreign exchange market. With large transfers especially, exchange rates make a big difference to the value of your transfer. 

man giving debit card for payment

Transfer fees 

When you make an international bank transfer, your transfer is likely to be subject to transfer fees. Transfer fees are to be expected, however, the expense of the fees should be compensated by the quality of service of the company you’re using. For example, financial institutions on the high street such as your local bank or post office will charge expensive transfer fees without providing the same value as specialist money transfer companies. 

Exchange rates 

All money transfer companies will offer a different exchange rate on your transfer amount. Your high street bank and post office might be the most convenient option but will offer the least competitive exchange rates. On the other hand, an FX broker will use specialist techniques to secure the best exchange rates on your currency transfers. This is especially important when sending large amounts of money overseas. Sending a large transfer internationally at the right time will make your money go much further in the market. 

Quality of service 

Some money transfer providers will offer more than others in terms of value and service quality. If you do not have much experience making international transfers, a company that offers specialist currency exchange advice will be invaluable to you. Having an FX broker oversee your money transfers will ensure you get a better exchange rate whilst mitigating currency risk. 

International money transfer options

When you need to make an international money transfer, you will be offered one of the following options: 

Spot contract 

A standard spot contract is a ‘trade now, pay now’ foreign exchange solution. Spot contacts allow you to immediately agree to an exchange rate to buy or sell currency. You will usually have to settle immediately or within two business days of the date that you agree to the trade. These currency trades are ideal if you need to make a quick overseas payment or a specific time. 

Forward contract 

A forward trade is a ‘buy now, pay later’ currency trade. Forward contracts are customisable derivative contracts between two parties that allow you to set a favourable exchange rate in advance for your preferred currency pair for a future date. Currency forward contracts are a hedging tool used by foreign exchange specialists to allow buyers to take advantage of the volatile foreign exchange market and to protect buyers’ trades against currency risk. 

Limit order 

Automated orders are a way to make your currency trade at the time the exchange rate hits your chosen level. You choose a rate with your currency consultant and the currency exchange will go through automatically when it hits your desired market rate. 

man holding notes for money transfer

What Do I Need to Make an International Transfer?

The information you are asked to provide will depend on the destination country of your transfer. When sending money overseas from the United Kingdom, you will typically be asked to provide: 

  • Full name and address of the recipient’s bank account details  
  • The account number of the receiving bank account 
  • Recipient’s IBAN (International Bank Account Number)  
  • BIC code/SWIFT code of the recipient’s bank  

Make Smarter International Money Transfers With Halo Financial

At Halo Financial, we’re here to help you start getting more from your international transfers. We develop smart Foreign Exchange solutions and facilitate fast and reliable international money transfer services. We guarantee: 

Great exchange rates 

Quick and simple international money transfers 

Safe and secure payments 

FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorised company 

Specialist advice from our currency experts 

Award-winning customer service 


Whether you’re emigrating, studying abroad, or making business payments, we’re here to help you mitigate currency risk when you send money abroad. Register for a free account with us today to get started with making online money transfers that achieve more. 

Best Ways to Send Money Abroad – FAQs

A foreign exchange specialist will be able to use specialist techniques and currency strategies such as forward contracts, spot rates, and automated orders to make your money go further in the exchange market. This means you’re guaranteed to secure the best exchange rate for your money transfer. 

Using your bank to send money overseas will not necessarily mean that your transfer is safer and it could cost you a lot more. To ensure that your money transfer is being sent abroad securely, check whether the company is authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). 

To secure the best exchange rate whilst mitigating currency risk, you should make your money transfer through a currency specialist. Start making smarter international money transfers that achieve more in the exchange market by registering for free with Halo Financial today.