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.

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.

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.

Apr 282014

By Mohammed Waseem

Foreign Exchange companies operating money transfer services is not something new, we have learnt about some of them; few of them running quite successfully. There is one company that facilitates money transfers between the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Canada, UK and the rest of Europe; it is Tranzfers, which is owned and operated by the Sydney based OzForex.

The sender has to sign up for an account with Tranzfers, book the amount and transfer it to their account. A confirmation may be received by email and a phone call maybe received from a Tranzfers team member. The money is then converted / exchanged at a great rate and deposited into the recipient’s account. It is as simple as it sounds.

Tranzfer MoneyOnce logged in, the sender has to enter their currency, amount to transfer and the recipient’s currency to book a rate by choosing automatic conversion or by manually choosing the best rate from live market. Transfers can be made to more than one person at a time as well. Once submitted, the sender is given instructions to deposit the money into their account, which happens electronically.

They compare charges with banks and claim that their charges are much lower. They charge £7 for transfers from the UK, $5 for the US, A$15 for Australia, CA$15 for Canada, NZ$15 for New Zealand and SG$15 for Singapore. Due to the fact that they are foreign exchange operators, they have a close look at market rates and guarantee huge savings which may go to hundreds or even thousands in some cases. They have no working times; money can be booked at any time on any day. The minimum transfer amount is A$100, NZ$100 and £50. Interestingly, referring users can earn the senders free iPods.

They are a good service for transfers between the UK, Australia and the US, the fact that they can provide good rates and low fees makes this even true.

Apr 092014

By Mohammed Waseem

TransferMate –  a UK based company with offices in North America and Australasia – offers international money transfer services to individuals and businesses, saving them huge amount of money in the process. They offer foreign exchange and money transfer services. They guarantee better exchange rates, lower fees, faster payments and good customer service.

Using their global network of bank accounts, TransferMate follows the ‘receive local’ rule, making it easier for the recipients to collect money. Their business is not operated by agents, but their own employees, which means that every transaction is in control of their employees from beginning to end. Their clients include financial institutions, universities, businesses and individuals who send and receive money internationally.

TransferMate Money TransfersTransferMate’s service is being used by over 12000 companies worldwide. When a sender enters bank account information in the online form, most money transfer companies take that to be correct and in case the information was wrong, the transactions get declined. TransferMate has a unique bank account number verifier called Automated Bank Verifier, which verifies bank account details entered by the sender.

In order to send money, users have to enter the amount online and view live rates to lock in at the best rate. Users can also send a batch transfer, which refers to multiple transfers in one payment. The funds have to be then transferred to them by depositing it in one of their accounts. Alternatively, it is automatically debited if a bank account is linked to the TransferMate account. After this, funds are transferred to the recipient; it usually takes 2 working days for the transfer to complete.

TransferMate’s service is a good alternative to wire transfers from banks as it will result in huge amount of savings. Users can apply for an account from this link and can send money using the Money Transfer Application Form.

Mar 042014

By Mohammed Waseem

It’s a small world, they say. There is actually a company which has named itself after this phrase, emphasizing on the small world concept. The company is called Small World, which offers a wide range of financial services including money transfer.

Small World is a global international payments operator, offering secure, fast and inexpensive way to send and receive money to anywhere in the world (Just over 160 countries to be specific). They suggest that sending money to any part of the world should be as easy as sending it locally. They offer products and services to individuals as well as businesses through their worldwide network of branches, their agents as well as over the phone, on the internet and on mobile devices.

Small World Financial ServicesThey operate in different countries under different brand names such as UNO, Express Funds, LLC and Choice, but all under the global ‘Small World’ marque, combining the operating history of the local brands and their experience with the technology platform of Small World. To date, they have transferred over €30 billion across the globe.

They enable customers to send money to any country in any currency, in person at their agent locations or branches, online or by mobile. Payment can be delivered to be collected in person at the agent locations, credited in bank accounts, delivered in person, credited to a mobile wallet or credited to mobile phones as top up credit.

In order to send money, customers need to register online, through their call center, at their agent locations or at their branches. Then the customer has to check the fees and choose the country to transfer the money and make payment. When Small World receives the money, they process the transaction and the customer is given a confirmation code (Money Transfer Number) which has to be communicated to the receiver.

They have not specified fees for the transactions on their website; instead, they suggest the customers to contact them for transaction-specific rates. There is no limit to the amount of transfer, as long as the sender is able to prove the source of funds. Pick up locations number to over 150,000 around the world, which suggests a strong global reach.

They are using the collaboration route to grow their business and reach every country, in order to offer best possible services by combining the expertise of both brands.

Mar 012014

By Mohammed Waseem

UK has been home to many start-up money transfer companies with innovative offerings and strong global reach. There is one company which is aiming at redefining convenience in speed, security and innovation. Launched in 2004, the company has operations in over 95 countries and a strong network base of over 60000 payment points.

Speed Remit is a global money transfer service which enables expatriates to send money back home. They are registered in the UK and have their marketing base in the UAE, which helps the company grow and reach out easily to the world, due to the country’s strategic position on the map.

Speed RemitSpeed Remit offers a wide range of options to transfer money which include bank to bank, door to door, over the counter and card to bank. Money sent to bank accounts is usually available in 24-48 hours.

Bank to bank transfers are done through the correspondent banks in the recipient’s country or from a correspondent in another country if the recipient’s country does not have a bank representing Speed Remit. On demand payments are also offered by the company, apart from door to door delivery service and advice & pay, in which, the agent informing the recipient about the receipt of money.

In India, both Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) services are supported for convenience of the customers and this means that the recipients have access to over 100000 bank branches across India. Instant transfers are supported in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and inside the UAE. In Philippines, mobile transfer is supported through text messaging. They also have an e-transfer service for pre-registered users.

In order to send money, the sender has to visit a Speed Remit agent and fill the ‘send’ form and hand it over to the agent along with the money intended to be sent. After the transaction has been processed a reference number is generated, which has to be communicated with the recipient. The money can be collected within 10 minutes after the generation of the reference number.

Speed Remit is a good option for transferring money, but I found that their website lacks important information such as the list of countries supported, exchange rate and fee details, etc. which they must include, in order to provide clarity and attract customers.

Feb 122014

By Mohammed Waseem

While discussing about European money transfer services, we must not leave out one of the best money transfer companies in the continent, which has been awarded Best Money Transfer Company for Europe in 2012 by the International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN). The company in question is World Remit which is based in the UK and has reach in over 100 countries across the globe.

World Remit is among the world’s largest dedicated money transfer companies with over 30 send countries and over 100 receiving countries. They offer a variety of payment options such as debit cards, credit cards and other local payment methods. The pay-out options include instant cash pick up, bank deposits, transfer to mobile wallets and international airtime top-up.

World Remit money is transferIn order to send money, a user is supposed to register and login to the World Remit website, enter the recipient details including the name, city and mobile number and then make payment in of the ways including debit card, credit card and bank account. As soon as the transaction is complete, the recipient is notified by SMS. Delivery depends on the option chosen. If bank deposit is chosen, the recipient is informed about the deposit, if cash payment is chosen, the recipient is notified with the tracking number and asked to collect the money and if transfer to mobile wallets or transfer as airtime are selected, money is sent accordingly and the recipient is notified. Once the recipient collects or receives the money, the sender is notified by SMS.

Cash is available almost immediately, while bank deposits take 1-3 working days. There are limits to maximum transaction amounts which depend on the laws and regulations of the countries. They charge a nominal fee, compared to many other money transfer services. As an example, I compared their fees and exchange rate with that of Western Union for sending 200 GBP from the UK to France. Their fee is 2.99 GBP and the recipient gets 238.94 EUR. On the other hand, Western Union charge 4.90 GBP for payment with bank account and 3.9 GBP to 19.60 GBP for payment with debit card or credit card and the recipient gets 228.92 EUR to 236.73, depending upon the services chosen.

World Remit also offers services based on local market needs. To name a few, Interac Online payment option in Canada and Send Money to Yourself service in Somaliland have been launched by the company to cater to local needs.

Cash transfer or bank transfer is not available in all supported countries while mobile airtime top-up option is available in most supported countries. If you are going to use this service, don’t forget to take advantage of the “0% fees on the first money transfer to all countries” offer.

Jan 292014

By Mohammed Waseem

Asia has many local money transfer services which work on a small level, mostly for transfers to limited destinations. Most of them are unable to match the efficiency and convenience provided by the world leaders in the industry. This makes them remain small scale and some of them partner with the leaders.

I spoke about Hafiz Bros in my previous article, in this article I will discuss about a Nepalese money transfer service called Prabhu Money Transfer. They are quite well known among Nepalese people residing in Nepal and elsewhere. They specialize in sending money to Nepal and have operations in a few other countries, too. They have partnerships with banks, exchange houses and agents in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and a few other countries and they are working hard to grow this reach. They reach thousands of locations in these countries and also in a few European countries. They aim to be the most preferred money transfer service in Asia.

Prabhu Money TransferThe ways to compete in the money transfer market include speedy transfers, low fees, good exchange rates, good customer service and good overall customer experience. Prabhu Money Transfer has two types of services; they have instant transfer in one minute and they have direct bank account transfer at various locations which generally takes 3-4 days.

Prabhu Money Transfer also supports online money transfer from the USA to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam; and for this, payments are accepted only by check or e-check at present. They charge a fee which is almost half of what Western Union charges. They charge no fee for transfers over $1000 from the US, except for Pakistan, where this limit is $100. Additionally, when I compared their exchange rate with that of Western Union, they had a better rate.

In addition to these, they have a transaction tracker, a fee calculator, agent locator, etc. which help in enhancing customer experience, though improvements are possible and required in this. With all these efforts, they are working on expanding their network in their goal to be the best in Asia.