Dec 062014
 

Becky KASPICK wrote:

I recently sent money online thru Ria Money Transfer to Ghana because there is no close agent available in my area. My transfer went under review because it was being sent to Ghana. I had a very close friend who traveled to Ghana and in the need of money so I thought this was the best way to go.

After Ria reviewed my transfer, it was declined and I had to wait 3 business days for the return of my money which caused me a great inconvenience. I also helped a friend of mine that her sister in Spain wanted her to send some money for Xmas by using Ria. My friend does not have a computer and did not understand how to send the money so I helped her. The transfer went under review and again was denied. She has to wait 3-5 business days for the return of her money.

Ria Customer ServiceThis is totally inappropriate. Not only did they make a poor decision to decline this, but it is again very inconvenient to tie up the return of her money. If they advertise to send money all over the world, then why do they deny all transactions and what gives them the right to decide to whom I can send money to. I knew thes people and I was declined.

I know many people in Ghana and Ria has blocked me from never sending money to Ghana again. I feel this is discrimination against me and them. What gives them this right to make a decision like this?

Answer:

Dear Becky, thanks for writing to us.

I won’t advocate for them, nor would I say they are completely wrong. But I was surprised to hear that they blocked a transfer to Spain. When we speak about Ghana and money transfer, it is understood, because many scams have been traced back to Ghana and other African nations. One should always be careful while dealing with an unknown party in such countries. The decision to block maybe for security and to avoid scams, but I agree, they should not be blocking money transfers totally.

I am not sure why the transaction was declined for transfer to Spain, you should probably find that out by contacting the customer service team at +1-562-345-2100 or by filling the form here. You should ask for the specific reason for the decline of money transfer to Spain. I am sure they must have blocked/declined the transaction for some reason/misunderstanding. Finding that out would make things clear; whether it was a misunderstanding or they are actually discriminating.

And if they still block transfers to Ghana, you have many other money transfer services that transfer money to Ghana, you can choose one of them.

Sep 232014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Payroll cards provider Brightwell Payments has a product line called OceanPay, which is a service to cater to payroll needs of businesses. It involves products offered in partnership with Visa and MasterCard for the users to benefit from various services available. This includes cash withdrawal, online account access, etc.

One of the services available is the facility to send money back home. As it is called, it is a service that enables users to send money home in minutes, without leaving the ship. The ways available to send money include wire and draft.

OceanPayAll the users have to do is login and select the Global Currencies option. The web address for logging in is mentioned on the back of every card. Once logged in, the above mentioned option has to be selected for making money transfer. A beneficiary has to be added then, from the Manage tab by selecting the Manage Beneficiary option from the drop-down menu.

The currency has to be selected then, having filled the form and before selecting Create New Beneficiary. The information required for adding a beneficiary is their mailing address, the receiving bank’s name, bank code, IBAN and the SWIFT Code, and the receiving bank’s address.

After the beneficiary has been added, payment details have to be entered in screen after selecting Order Wire/Draft from the Quote & Order menu. After adding the payment, ‘Send Wire/Draft’ has to be chosen to initiate the payment. The acknowledgement can then be printed for reference. The fees applicable maybe between $7 and $15.

Western Union transfers are available through OceanPay, as well. Users can alternatively choose this to send money to any corner of the world and avoid complicated procedures. The wire transfer is safe, but it is complicated compared to the simple processes many competitors have been offering and to the demands of modern customers.

This service is only available to OceanPay card holders; and the cards are provided by their employers. So it is not available for everyone.

Sep 232014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Foreign currency transfers is a natural expansion option for foreign exchange houses and companies that work with them. Many companies have come up with this kind of service and are successfully running money transfer services from one part of the world to another. The benefit they focus on is better rates than a bank.

While this is common for almost all companies in this league, they have distinct USP that helps them attract new customers and that also retains old customers. However, as it is difficult to differentiate between various services offered and the factors involved in each of the services, having a distinct USP is very difficult. For this reason, they provide a guarantee or challenge other service providers.

World FirstThe guarantee may be in the form of better service, fast transfers, lower fees or better rates. This eventually serves as their USP. To quote an example, UK based foreign exchange company, World First offers a great service that guarantees unbeatable exchange rates, exceptional levels of service, fastest available international payments and free transfers for UK based customers making personal transfers.

Having said this, it is questionable as to how fast the transfers can be. They take anywhere between a day and four days to complete a transfer. They cannot compete with leading money transfer operators in claiming that their transfers are the fastest. If they intend to compare themselves with banks and other exchange houses, it is a different point, but I believe it does not make sense.

When we talk about transferring money, we do not ask whether it is an exchange house or a different company. All we want is better rates, lower fees and fast transfers; whether it is World First of Western Union or any other service. It is however possible that they provide a much better service and better rates, but speed can’t be their USP.

World First allows customers to send money to other parts of the world through correspondent banks, such that money is deposited directly into the recipient’s account. The transfers happen through SWIFT as the company is a member of the SWIFT network. Transfers can also be scheduled for a later date with the help of a future contract. This link takes you to the sign up page. If interested, the users can try their service and see how different they are.

Sep 172014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Sending money internationally attracts many things including foreign exchange rates, exchange houses, fees, etc. It is important that there is control over these factors, in order to ensure that a transfer in smooth and costs low. The options that companies have are managing all these on their own or partnering with third parties to provide excellent service.

Money Move IT is a company that is registered in New Zealand and has relationships with several of the world’s leading online FX services to ensure excellent rates, lower fees and more value in foreign currency, unlike many other companies.

Money Move ITMoney Move IT guarantees lower fees, better rates, faster transactions, safety and security along with the ability to send money at any time. The service is used not only by individuals, but also organizations, merchants and developers. For individuals, fees start at $4.99 and they can send small and large amounts with ease. No receiving fees apply in most receiving countries.

Organizations can use the service to pay suppliers and receive from other parties. Small businesses, government departments, NGOs, all companies can sign up to use Money Move IT. Agents can refer customers and earn commission from the transactions referred, thus increasing their profits. Merchants and developers can accept payments on their websites with Money Move IT.

Savings per transaction may range between $40 and $60 and payments can be sent directly to bank accounts. Additional security is ensured through the usage of SWIFT network. Apart from these, great exchange rates are on offer.

To use the service, senders have to register and login, then initiate transfer to any bank account in over 40 countries. Money has to be paid into the company’s local account; they don’t accept cash payments and they don’t directly debit the sender’s account. Senders need to manually transfer the money, which can also be done through internet banking.

Individuals will be able to send up to $200 until they confirm their identity. Receivers in Tonga and Samoa can collect the funds from local agents as well. On the registration page, users can see whether their country is supported to send and receive money.

Sep 052014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Ireland based CurrencyFair lets users send money to approximately 100 countries. They promise best exchange rate and low fees compared to a typical bank transfer. They allow transfers into bank accounts, but confirm the identity of the sender and the purpose of transfer before approving it. Around 16 currencies are available for exchange. Senders can deposit money in these supported currencies and select the recipient’s preferred currency as well. Apart fro Ireland, they have offices in Australia and the UK.

The process of sending money is simple. All the sender has to do is deposit money into CurrencyFair’s account, exchange it between the supported currencies and then transfer the money. The exchange happens in two ways; senders either instruct the best rate to be chosen from the marketplace or choose the rate themselves at the right time. This way, they have more control over the transfer.

CurrencyFairThe fee applicable is almost 10% of typical bank transfers. In addition, they guarantee a lower exchange rate margin, thus saving the sender a lot of money. The exchange fee could be anywhere between 0.15% and 0.5% of the amount exchanged, depending on the situation. On an average, the fee is 0.35% of the amount exchanged plus a fixed fee of €3. This is compared with more than ten times the fee charged by the banks.

For making the transfer, or for adding the recipient’s account for most countries, CurrencyFair requires IBAN or SWIFT codes. For the US, they require ABA number, New Zealand and Australia a BSB number, Hong Kong and Singapore a clearing code and the UK a sort code.

The transfer times depend on the currency pair and the country where the particular account (or a foreign currency account) is held. For example, the AED account is held in London, so it would require a SWIFT code for transfer and would require 2-4 business days for deposit and a similar time for transfer. If the sender wants to deposit or exchange Polish Zloty, the time taken is not more than 1 business day, or 2 in rare cases.

It is really simple to create an account and use it. So if senders are interested they can begin exchanging and sending money, now.

Aug 222014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

With advancement of technology and the introduction of new products and services in the developed world, the developing nations also start services that help them in keeping up with the pace. Pakistani telecom company, Telenor is among the leading telecom providers in Pakistan, with operations in Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh as well.

Telenor Pakistan partnered with a Pakistani bank, Tameer Micro Finance Bank to introduce branchless banking in Pakistan. This service is called Easypaisa and is available for all Pakistanis to use. Banking transactions are carried out using a mobile phone, whether the user is a Telenor subscriber or not. The service is innovative and has a wide reach.

EasypaisaWith Easypaisa, Telenor reaches thousands of unbanked customers, who reside in Pakistan. The service is only available in Pakistan for customers to take advantage of banking services without visiting any of the bank’s branches.

Easypaisa offers a money transfer service for sending money to and from Pakistani cities. It can be accessed at any Easypaisa shop, Telenor Franchise, Telenor Sales & Service Center or a Tameer Microfinance Bank branch. The service also allows the customers to send money from one Pakistani city to another. The concept also includes mobile money, which enables Pakistanis to take their cash wherever they go, without carrying physical cash or even the plastic money.

Anyone with a Computerized National Identity Card (Nadra CNIC) can use this service to send and receive money across Pakistan. They can use it to send money to family and friends from any Easypaisa shop. It is ideal for people who work in cities and have families in rural villages. The best part of the service is that anyone, including non-Telenor users can use it and no registration is necessary. Inter-Bank fund transfers can also be done using a mobile phone.

To send money, senders need to present their identity card and hand over the money and the fee at the Easypaisa shop, after which, they are provided with a 5-digit money transfer control code which has to be communicated to the recipient. The recipient has to collect the money by visiting an Easypaisa shop and presenting their identity card and the code. A demo can be accessed here for sending from a mobile phone.

The fees for transferring money to a mobile account start at Rs. 30 (inclusive of the 16% Federal Excise Duty) and goes up to Rs. 480. The minimum amount that can be sent is Rs. 1 and the maximum amount is Rs. 15000. The fees for transferring money to a mobile account start at Rs. 15 (inclusive of the Federal Excise Duty) and goes up to Rs. 280. Even here, the minimum amount that can be sent is Rs. 1 and the maximum amount is Rs. 15000.

Recipients in Pakistan can receive money from 80 countries through sending partners of Easypaisa. These partners include Xpress Money, Al Ansari Exchange, MoneyGram, Word Remit and Placid Express.

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.

Aug 062014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Exchange houses and other companies dealing with money start money transfer services as a part of their expansion plans and in order to reach different markets and different segments. And this is expected to be the next step because it is easy for them to start such a service. But how about a retail chain starting a money transfer service?

US retail giant, Walmart has a money transfer service powered by MoneyGram, which allows senders to transfer money around the globe for being collected in just 10 minutes. Walmart has a dedicated page on MoneyGram’s website, from which, senders can directly send money without leaving the website. Senders can also visit a Walmart store in the US or Puerto Rico to transfer money from there. When I checked the fee charged by Walmart and MoneyGram, I was surprised to find that for most transfers were cheaper from Walmart, than MoneyGram, though the provider is the latter.

Walmart to Walmart Money TransferTo quote an example, I checked the transfer fees for transferring USD 2000 to the UK. The fee charged by Walmart is $96.90, while MoneyGram charges $100. The exchange rate is the same. However, when I checked the same amount of transfer to India, I saw a difference of $4 due to the exchange rate, though the fee displayed was $1 lesser than what MoneyGram charged. So, for transfers to a few countries, they deduct fees from the amount of transfer, thus charging it to the recipient. Senders can pay in cash or by debit card, credit card or Walmart MoneyCard.

Walmart also has a store to store money transfer service called ‘Walmart-to-Walmart Money Transfer’, which is powered by Ria. The service allows senders to transfer money from one city in the US or Puerto Rico to another; all stores in the US and Puerto Rico provide this service and it can’t be accessed online. Fees start at $4.5 and senders can choose to pay in cash, with a debit card or Walmart MoneyCard. Even this service makes the money available within 10 minutes. This service, they claim, saves the senders up to 50% on transfer fees.

I won’t be surprised to see a money transfer service owned by Walmart after a few years. They have stores in many countries across the globe; they could use this network to act as a money transfer operator.

Aug 032014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

With decades of experience dealing with money, UAE Exchange has grown big and expanded to many countries. They are present in all the continents of the world and operate in over 30 countries. In addition, they have partnered with other companies to expand their reach. They can take the sender’s money anywhere in the world.

They are rapidly growing in the UK and are promoting their business. Last year, they offered gold bars to the winners in monthly draws. They completed 10 years of operation in the UK in 2013. They have been the remitter of choice for many expatriates in the UK and elsewhere, which has made them remain in business for so long and has gained them good experience. They are continuing to explore ways to optimize their operations in all areas of money transfer.

A UAEXCHANGE branch in the UK

A UAEXCHANGE branch in the UK

The flagship product offered by UAE Exchange is bank transfer. It enables senders to transfer money to almost any part of the work, directly into the recipient’s bank account. They have access to places, in which, many other leading money transfer services are unheard of. They have partnered with over 150 banks for this to work; both individual transfers, as well as corporate transfers are supported in this. Senders need to visit one of the UAE Exchange branches to make the transfer.

They offer online money transfer through Money2Anywhere, which is a highly secure way of transferring money online. Apart from this, instant money transfer is also offered in partnership with MoneyGram, XpressMoney and through Associate Bank Transfer (ABT). With the first two, over 250000 agents can be reached in the world, for recipients to collect cash payouts.

ABT allows senders to transfer money instantly to select countries, with option for the recipient to collect cash from any UAE Exchange branch or their associates. Apart from money transfer, UAE Exchange also deals with money exchange and gold loans.

Jul 302014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

For sending money internationally, Money2Anywhere is a very good option. The service is currently available in 10 countries and money can be sent globally, from any device. It is a service from UAE Exchange, which is well known and frequently used exchange house in the Arabian Gulf and many other countries.

Money2Anywhere offers bank level security to ensure safe, fast and secure movement of funds. For sending money, senders have to follow a simple four step process. The first step is sign up, after which, the beneficiary or the recipient has to be added. Once done, mode of payment has to be selected, which is in cash or bank transfer. The final step is approving the transfer.

Money2AnywhereFor cash pickup, Money2Anywhere has over 100000 agent locations and for bank transfer, they have partnered with over 150 banks in more than 30 countries. Websites for each supported country are different. Rates can be confirmed by selecting the country from the bottom left on this page. Transfers to many countries are free of cost and for others, a nominal fee is applicable.

Money2Anywhere claims to offer exchange rates better than banks and exchange houses.   In addition, they have promotional offers round the year and have multiple payment options. Any mobile device can also be used by accessing http://www.money2anywhere.mobi/.

Users can also send mobile top up internationally. This service is presently available in Bahrain only, but maybe introduced in other countries in the near future, in partnership with mobile operators. They boast of personalized customer service and competitive rates. Each customer is provided dedicated support by a Money2Anywhere representative.

They are offering an excellent service, which is safe and secure, with bank level security in place; and are also reliable for the fact that they are affiliated with a company that has over 30 years in experience, dealing with currency exchange, that is UAE Exchange.