Oct 022017

Are you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to send money to a family member or friend in Russia? I have a good tip for you, one based on personal experience. I’ll share it at the end of this article.

First let me tell you what doesn’t work, so I can save you the time of going through what I did.

Among other things, I write novels. I recently completed a novel and hired a young woman in Russia, an illustrator, to design the cover. She lives in St. Petersburg. She gave me an extremely reasonable rate of $175. Her name is Dari.

When the cover was complete, Dari gave me her bank account information so I could send the money by wire transfer. I would have preferred to send it by Paypal, but Paypal does not operate in Russia.

First I tried sending the transfer online, through my online banking website. It failed. I was told that the transfer was rejected for security reasons. So then I went to the actual bank branch. The transfer officer was an old acquaintance. He put the transfer through without charging me a fee, and gave me a receipt. I told Dari to let me know when she received the money.

Three days later, to my embarrassment, the money was refunded to my bank account, minus a $35 handling fee. I was given no reason, except that the transfer could not be completed.

Okay. In the past I might have tried iKobo, but they went out of business a few years back. I had a thought to try Xoom, which I’ve used in the past to send money to Panama. When I went to the website, lo and behold Russia is not one of the 65 countries they send to.

Xoom logo

Xoom Corporation

At this point I was beginning to suspect that, due to the limited economic sanctions in place against Russia by the U.S.A., I was going to have trouble sending this money to Russia.

Next: Sending Money to Russia, Part 2 – What WORKS

Aug 142014

By Mohammed Waseem

London based money transfer service provider, Speed Fast operates in the UK and Switzerland and allows users to send money to over 80 countries at great rates. They have partnered with banks and agents in each of these countries for smooth processing and timely delivery of money. In addition, they have partnered with Western Union and Ria for sending money to all countries supported by them.

Senders can pay in order to send money, by visiting one of Speed Fast shops – in other words, branches – or they can visit their agents or pay using phone or internet. They strive to provide good customer service in the language that the customer prefers, including English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. They also claim to offer rates better than other companies.

Speed FastOther than money transfer, Speed Fast also deals in money exchange without charging any commission and offering better rates than others in the market. They buy and sell USD, EUR, BRL and CHF. In addition, they also provide check cashing services. Launched in 2002, they have been striving to build trust among customers and provide better services.

Speed Fast guarantees delivery of payment within 2 business days. Payment has to be made by transferring the money to Speed Fast’s bank account or by paying in cash. The current exchange rates can be confirmed from here. Based on the country (UK or Switzerland), users can select the country from the bottom.

This link can be used to make transfers online by remitting money into Speed Fast’s bank account. But before doing this, they have to register for the service. I found the registration process to be old fashioned, downloading PDF forms, printing them, filling them manually and sending them by email to register@speedfast.eu or to any of their main offices in the UK and Switzerland, by post.

Apr 022014

By Mohammed Waseem

Europe has many small and large money transfer services for transfers within Europe and outside the region. Belgium has an international money transfer company called Moneytrans, which enables money transfers from Belgium, Bulgaria, Congo, Italy, Spain and Netherlands to approximately 100 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa and they are rapidly adding new destinations.

Moneytrans has branches across Belgium, Bulgaria, Congo, Italy, Spain and Netherlands for the senders to visit and send money to the destination country with ease and the money is transferred in minutes. They also have online transfer service, so if the senders choose not to visit a branch or agent, they can send money online or even by phone.

MoneytransMoneytrans was named the best money transfer company in 2010 by the International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN). They have thousands of agents across the globe and anyone who has a business can apply for agency.

In order to send money, customers are expected to either use online transfer service or call 02 227 18 20 or walk in to any of the offices or agent locations with a valid identification document. At the agent’s place, the sender is supposed to fill the send form and hand it over to the agent along with the money and the fee. A reference number is then generated, which has to be communicated to the recipient. Compared to many other services, their fee is reasonable. For instance, they charge €12 for sending money from Belgium to the UK. They have a dedicated fee calculator on their website which can be accessed here, which also shows the pay-out locations in the city where the money is being sent. Senders can also benefit from various promotions which the company keeps offering from time to time. In order to receive the money, the recipient has to visit a pay-out location with a valid identity document and the reference number.

Moneytrans also has mobile top-up service for most Belgian operators including Mobistar, Base and Ortel. Other than this, they also offer prepaid payphone cards. Overall, they are a good service which is transparent and has extraordinary customer service. They are worth giving a try if you are sending money from Belgium, Bulgaria, Congo, Italy, Spain or Netherlands.

Feb 032014

By Mohammed Waseem

When sending money to another country, we compare rates and charges and choose the service which offers best exchange rates and lowest charges. With increasing competition, many companies are coming up with low fees, good exchange rates, speedy transfers, and so on. TransferGo, a Lithuanian money transfer company is another player competing in the market.

Launched in 2011, the company has expanded to UK and other countries in the next years. Today, they support money transfers to and from 21 different counties within Europe. Their direct competitors are TransferWise and Azimo, while they compare themselves to leading money transfers companies such as PayPal, MoneyGram and Western Union. TransferGo charges a fixed fee of 2.5 GBP or 3.0 EUR for every transfer, regardless of transfer amount. The reason for such low fee is that they use their own infrastructure instead of going through a third party.


Their positioning is the 10 times cheaper transfers with best rates in the market. According to their website, they have approximately 21000 customers to date, with over 10 million Euros transferred.

In order to transfer money with TransferGo, one has to register for an account here and transfer money from their bank to TransferGo bank account. The sender is provided a guarantee that the money will be delivered on the next business day. They also offer services to businesses, in which case they charge 1 GBP, with 1% exchange rate mark up.

The fact that they use their own infrastructure will keep their charges low and will keep them ahead of competition where fees are concerned. They can grow easily within Europe and do much more business. But in order to expand further to other continents, say the Africa and Asia, they will have to deal with regulation issues and may also have to increase their transfer fee. Fixing the fee is another strategy they have made; so fees from small amounts would make up for the larger amount transfers.

TransferGo is meant for bank to bank transfers within Europe and whether they will look into other markets is something that has to be seen in the future.

Jul 132013

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

Dib Eladly wrote:

Dear MoneyGram,

I live in Montenegro republic in Europe. If you have any contact information to your office kindly send it to me.


Podgorica, Montenegro.

Montenegro is a beautiful place to go for holiday – but has no MoneyGram locations. This is the capital, Podgorica.

Dib, I’m not a MoneyGram agent. This is a blog and I write reviews and news about money transfer services, including MoneyGram.

I searched MoneyGram’s online international location finder, but no results came up for Montenegro. With something like 200,000 locations in 200 countries I found that surprising, so I called MoneyGram’s customer service line, and indeed they have no agent locations in Montenegro. Weird, huh?

It occurred to me that since Montenegro only became independent in 2006, maybe the MoneyGram systems still classified it as part of Serbia. So I searched locations in Serbia, but I could not find anything in Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro.

You could try Western Union – they do appear to have agents in Montenegro. See the Western Union location finder results for Podgorica, Montenegro.