Jul 212014

By Mohammed Waseem

Amidst the arguments on whether Bitcoin will replace the paper currency or not and amidst the fluctuations in value of a Bitcoin, small companies and coffee shops had begun accepting Bitcoin. Now, larger organizations have started to accept the virtual currency, probably seeing the potential it has. It has seen a high of over $1000 and a low below $200. At this moment, it is fluctuating between $621 and $622.

Multinationals including Dell, have started accepting Bitcoin for their products. With this, Dell has become the world’s largest ecommerce acceptor of Bitcoin. In addition, New York has proposed Bitcoin trading, called BitLicence, according to which, companies would require license to trade in Bitcoin. This is how they intend to regulate the virtual currency, which is otherwise unregulated.

Rebit.PhIt is not surprising to know that money transfer companies have begun offering Bitcoin transfers, in fact, few companies have begun offering “Bitcoin transfers only”. Rebit is one such company which allows people from around the world to transfer money to the Philippines through their Bitcoin wallets.

To send money, senders have to logon to Rebit.Ph, define the amount to be sent in ? (Philippine Pesos) and select the delivery option. After this, recipient’s details have to be provided along with the details of the sender. Delivery options available are in-person pickup (charged between ?5 and ?8), bank account transfer (free of cost), home delivery (between ?59 and ?120) or pickup at Rebit.Ph headquarters (free of cost). These are the third party fees charged.

Rebit charges 1% of the transfer amount as the fee. So, if one wants to send money to the recipient’s bank account, they are only charged 1% of the amount, but if they want it delivered to their home, they are charged 1% of the amount, plus a charge between ?59 and ?120. The maximum amount senders can send in ?50000 and minimum they can send is ?1000.

Once the sender completes the transaction, the recipient receives a text message about the transfer. The next day, they can collect the money or has it deposited into the bank account.

Although Bitcoin is gaining popularity and adaptability, it is not yet stable. Fluctuations and crises are common in the Bitcoin market; even experts make losses and wrong assumptions. This is mostly true due to the fat that the virtual currency is not regulated. New York has taken a step to regulate it, let us see who joins them and how far the virtual currency goes.

0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
Jul 132014

By Mohammed Waseem

Ecobank, the Pan African bank that serves the residents of Africa, was founded in 1985 and has over 1300 branches across Africa. They have over 2400 ATMs and 13800 POS machines serving over 10 million customers. They were also the largest employer in Middle Africa with over 19500 employees, as in March 2014.

Ecobank has an excellent money transfer service which enables residents of 36 countries in East, West and Central Africa to transfer money. It is called Rapidtransfer. The service is available in all the countries where Ecobank operates. The service is fast, convenient, reliable and accessible. It is available to both account holders and non-account holders.

RapidtransferIn order to send money, the sender has to visit an Ecobank branch and fill the send form and submit a valid means of identification. After that, the amount has to be handed over to the clerk along with the applicable fee. A reference number is then generated for the sender to communicate with the receiver.

The receiver can collect the amount by visiting any of the Ecobank branches and present the reference number along with a form of identification. After verification, the amount is handed over to the receiver, without any charge.

This works like Western Union or any other international money transfer service. For money transfer to any country that is not supported by Rapidtransfer, Ecobank has partnered with Western Union to offer the service. Senders can use both the online money transfer service, as well as in-person service and even at Ecobank ATMs.

The online transfer happens through Ecobank Internet Banking and is available to Ecobank customers only. If the receiver holds an account at Ecobank, they can access the funds by logging into the website and transferring the funds to their account.

It is good to have a service similar to the leading players in money transfer industry, though it is meant for only 36 countries within Africa. Ecobank’s partnership with Western Union fills the gap that exists between Rapidtransfer and other countries where the senders might want to send money to.

0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
Jul 062014

By Mohammed Waseem

If you live in Malaysia and want to send money internationally, POS Malaysia Berhad is a very good option. They are the premier postal service provider for Malaysia and have a wide range of services offered, including international money transfer. They have over 1000 touch points across the country, which enables senders to use any of them to send money quickly.

The touch points include POS outlets, POS Minis, POS24 self-service-terminals, Post-on-Wheels mobile outlets and postal and stamp agents. They are a trusted way to send money order to 21 countries at only RM 4 per transaction. The supported countries include India, Canada, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and few other Asian countries.

POS MalaysiaMoney can also be received at POS from any of the supported countries. In most cases, the service is offered in partnership with Western Union. Western Union can be used to send money to any part of the world, but money order can be sent only to the 21 supported countries; and here, the limits are set by POS themselves.

In order to send money using Western Union, one has to visit a post office and complete the ‘send money’ form available there. After this, a money transfer control number is given to the sender which has to be communicated to the recipient. To receive money, one can provide the money transfer control number at the post office for confirmation and collect the cash without any deduction or charge.

Maximum amount that can be sent by money order has been limited based on the recipient’s country. To quote a few examples, senders can send a maximum of USD 2000 to Bangladesh, CAD 2000 to Canada, USD 1000 to Turkey, USD 1500 to Indonesia and PKR 50000 to Pakistan. To check the limits for other countries, this link can be followed.

Domestic Money Order can be used to send money locally within Malaysia. The limit applicable here, is RM 10000 and the fee chargeable is RM 2. Express Money service is also available for a fee of RM 6 per transaction.

1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (90% score)
Jun 232014

By Mohammed Waseem

In my last article, I had discussed about a money remittance service offered by Shinsei Bank called GoRemit. The bank has another money remittance service for international money transfer, which is called PowerFlex. Like GoRemit, this service also offers remittance is 12 different currencies, but different. Both differ by the way they work and who can use the service.

Unlike GoRemit, PowerFlex can not be used by any Shinsei Bank customer who registers for GoRemit. PowerFlex is available to customers who have a PowerFlex account with the bank, which is a bank account with special features including zero ATM fee, zero fund transfer fee for one transfer per month, handling fees waived for one domestic banks transfers a month to accounts at other banks over the Internet and so on.


PowerFlex Account Welcome Kit

With PowerFlex, the account holder can register only one recipient and can not send money to anyone else with this service. Registration can be done in person by visiting a branch or by phone. Remittances also have to be initiated at the branch or by phone if the recipient is pre-registered. The funds are processed on the next working day after confirmation of availability of sufficient funds.

The fee charged is ¥4000 for every transaction after the first one, which is free of cost. This is unlike GoRemit, which has a ¥2000 fee for every remittance. However, fees charged by intermediary banks and beneficiary banks may still apply. Customers can also get a better exchange rate, depending on their level with the bank.

PowerFlex is best for individuals sending money to their families. They usually send money once every month, which makes this service ideal for them. This is true if they send it to one person only. It is expensive for sending more than once in a month, but for the fact that the first transaction is free, senders can save some money. In order to apply for a PowerFlex account at Shinsei Bank, residents of Japan can use this form.

1 vote, 3.00 avg. rating (70% score)
Jun 212014

By Mohammed Waseem

Japan is well known in the world for quality electronics. It is also home to expatriates from many parts of the world, perhaps over 2 million in number. They have an excellent remittance service that allows residents to send money to over 177 countries in 12 currencies. It is called GoRemit; the service is operated by Shinsei Bank which is one of the largest Japanese banks.

To send money, remitters need to register with GoRemit, after which they are given a B-Link number which is used for sending money. Once registered, remitters can use any ATM (of any bank) to transfer money to Shinsei Bank from a Japanese domestic bank. They can also do this via internet banking. Once instructions to transfer are given and money is deposited, GoRemit begins the transfer. A fee of ¥2000 is applicable, which is converted into the currency being paid in (one of the 12 currencies). The funds are sent to the recipient by telegraphic transfer. Recipients need to be pre-registered by the sender on GoRemit’s website.

GoRemit, JapanIn addition, intermediary banks and beneficiary banks may also apply charges before clearing the funds. For the sake of transferring money, senders should be familiar with few Japanese terms, which can be known here. The fee for Yen transfers is slightly higher; in addition to the usual ¥2000, 0.1% of the amount is also chargeable, which is minimum ¥1500, so the fee is minimum ¥3500. Remittances in Indian Rupee (INR) have some special conditions including intermediary bank charges of 0.35%, which is minimum INR 350 and maximum INR 5000.

Money can only be sent from Japan, but not received through GoRemit. Additionally, at the time of sending money, users have to be in Japan. The remittance limits are set at ¥300000 per transfer, ¥300000 a month and ¥3600000 a year.

Due to the earthquake, there was a problem in GoRemit’s systems, which was restored successfully by Shinsei Bank. They keep close track of the systems and inform customers about outages due to natural disasters and other local problems, when they occur.

In order to register online, Japanese residents can use this link. And in order to register offline, instructions can be accessed here.

2 votes, 3.50 avg. rating (73% score)
Jun 182014

By Mohammed Waseem

New Zealand based money transfer operator Orbit Remit allows the residents of New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom to send money to over 33 countries in Europe, Asia and Oceania. They boast of excellent customer service and swift transfers. They also boast of excellent customer reviews.

Orbit Remit allows users to send money to a bank account to all supported countries and to a credit card issued in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The minimum amount for transfer is 50 in the local currency of the sender, which is either AUD or NZD or GBP.

Orbit RemitAll customers are required to verify their identity, before which, they can send a maximum of GBP 800 (from the UK) or ZUD/NZD 2000 (from Australia or New Zealand). After verification, residents of the UK can send a maximum of GBP 9900 and the residents of Australia and New Zealand can send a maximum of AUD/NZD 60000. Verified businesses are allowed to send a maximum of AUD/NZD 100000 from Australia or New Zealand and GBP 50000 from the UK.

Senders are required to transfer money to Orbit Remit via internet banking and they release the payment once funds have been cleared and deposited into their account. This may happen overnight or may take up to 3 days in the UK, depending on the bank. This is a disadvantage, as most money transfer companies accept credits cards and debit cards, which is not true for Orbit Remit. A customer who does not want to use the bank account would switch over to another provider for this reason.

Money is available within 36 hours of receiving it in Orbit Remit’s account. Payment delivered is in the local currency and not in USD or any other foreign currency. Senders can also setup recurring payments via Direct Debit for selected payment types. They are also allowed to send payments to their own credit cards in the countries mentioned above.

The fee charged for transfers from the UK to India is GBP 1.99 and GBP 5.00 for all other countries. From Australia, the fee is AUD 4.00 for transfers to India and AUD 8.00 for transfers to all other countries. From New Zealand, the fee charged is NZD 5.00 for transfers to Australia and NZD 8.00 for transfers to all other countries.

Residents of New Zealand can also make court payments free of cost and same day settlement guarantee and recurring payments option.

Interested users in the UK, Australia and New Zealand can start using their service by registering here.

0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
Jun 122014

By Mohammed Waseem

Lebara Money, a UK based organization offers money transfer services to over 310000 locations around the world. They do this by using the agent network of MoneyGram. Senders can use all the ways of transfer that MoneyGram offers, including online and mobile transfers. They offer three ways to make transfers including MoneyGram, International Airtime transfer and Prepaid Cards.

Transfer through MoneyGram is no different, but their Lebara Prepaid Card transfer is quite interesting. When a user signs up, they are given two cards; one for them and one for a family member or anyone else, intended to send money to. So, any time of the day, money can be transferred from the sender’s card to the family member’s card. The holder of the latter can choose to withdraw this money at any ATM location bearing MasterCard logo or to spend the money for shopping at places around the world where MasterCard is accepted.

Lebara MoneyThe cards can be ordered here and they are delivered within 10 days after ordering. The cards are free of any fee if the sender’s card is loaded with an initial £20 credit. Alternatively, a fee of £14.95 can be paid. Money can be loaded through the Lebara mobile app, via a bank transfer, at a post office or at any PayPoint location. Loading the card with the mobile app is charged £1 and the limit is £250. For bank transfer, the limit is £3000 and it is free of charges. Post offices charge £1 for loading a card and the limit there is £500. At a PayPoint location, the charge applicable is 3% of the amount loaded and the limit is £500. Senders can load their cards maximum twice a day.

Money can be sent using the sender’s card by calling the IVRS at 0123 525 2000 or by logging onto the Lebara website. The money is available in the family member’s card within seconds. A charge of £1.50 is applible for withdrawal from most UK ATMs, restaurants and other retail merchants may also charge an additional amount over the money spent, if applicable. Charges at international ATMs are £2.

The family member’s card can be used in the 210 countries and territories around the world, where MasterCard is accepted. Additionally, the sender’s card can also be used for withdrawal at ATMs and for spending at retail locations. The charges towards foreign exchange fees are 2% of the transaction amount in currencies other than GBP. £1 per month is also applicable if a card is inactive for over 90 days.

I will discuss about the international airtime transfer in a different article on SafeCashTransfer.com. To sign up for an account with Lebara for instant online transfers, this link can be followed.

1 vote, 4.00 avg. rating (80% score)
Jun 082014

By Mohammed Waseem

Switzerland has a money transfer service that operates in many other countries as well. It is called Aws 24 and it operates in all countries, which means that money can be sent from almost anwhere. Money can be received in only 69 countries, at over 54000 locations.

The minimum money transfer amount is
€/$50 ans the maximum is €/$1200. The fee for the transfers can be anywhere between €/$5 and €/$30 based on the amount and the receiving country. Aws 24 has partnered with over 16000 banks across the world for direct bank deposits. In addition, home delivery is available, but only for transfers to the Dominican Republic.

Aws24In order to send money, senders need to visit the Aws 24 website and complete the procedure. They can simultaneously check the fees involved for the transaction. The approximate time taken for bank deposits is 72 hours and for cash pick up it is 24 hours. For sending money, users need to register on the website and use the above link to know the steps. Users who have not registered are guided to registration during the transfer process. Payment can be made using major debit and credit cards.

They have customer service in 4 different languages, which are English, Spanish, Dutch and French. They also offer customer service over Skype, which is quite interesting. Those who can’t access or don’t want to use email or Skype can call their customer service number. Referring others can earn the users a $/€20 discount on fees.

Senders who intend to use Aws 24′s service are advised to check the video tutorial before proceeding.

0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
Jun 012014

By Mohammed Waseem

Apart from the popular players like Western Union and MoneyGram in money transfer, we have Xpress Money, which operates on a global level. They operate in most countries and have agents spread across major countries. They have over 170000 agents in around 150 countries and they are working on including more locations.

Xpress Money targets expatriates living abroad, who send money back home. They promise simple, fast and safe service that is dependable and affordable as well. In addition, they promise competitive exchange rates and full refund on cancellation. They also have a fraud helpline in many countries, which serves as a point of contact in case of suspected fraud or scam.

Xpress MoneyServices offered by Xpress Money include cash to cash, cash to bank account, door to door, mobile money transfer, online money transfer and cash to card transfers. For cash to cash transfers, it is the traditional agent route, where the sender visits an agent and hands over the amount along with a fee and is provided a 16 digit X-PIN which has to be communicated with the recipient. The recipient then visits an agent and collects the cash. Cash to bank account requires the sender to hand over the cash and the fee to the agent, after which, the money is deposited into the recipient’s account.

Mobile money transfer and online money transfer are the on-the-go transfer services where the sender does not have to visit an agent. The door to door service is not offered by many money transfer operators; Xpress Money is one of the few operators supporting this service. Cash to card transfer is one of the most convenient services, where sender can send money directly to the recipient’s debit card.

They have an easy to use fee calculator on their website, which helps the sender estimate the total charges applicable to send money. Recipient pays no fee to collect the cash. For the recipient, they have the agent locator, which helps them find the closest agent to collect cash from.

Though not as popular as the leading players, their service is quite good and dependable. For a few countries, they require the sender to specify where the recipient should collect cash from, in other words, anywhere payment is not available there. This page has the list of countries where anywhere payment is available.

0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)