The world of business and commerce has existed since the dawn of time. Whilst the currencies may have changed, the principles remain the same. These days computers are very much involved in the process of money transfers, and for this reason people expect them to occur faster and more efficiently. Despite things like cyber theft, phishing scams and viruses, multitudes continue to transfer their funds electronically.
There are a number of different institutions that can help people send their money abroad, and folk do so for a wide variety of reasons. The payee could be an individual or a company, and the transfer could occur as a Swift or Peer-to-Peer payment (P2P). You may have made some foreign transfers already, and be interested to learn more. If that’s the case, you will enjoy this discussion of its most interesting aspects.
The Most Famous Transfer Companies
It’s worth reading this list and seeing if you recognise any of them:
- Currencies Direct
- Wise (previously known as Transferwise)
- XE Money Transfer
All these companies have an online presence. A visit to the Sikhona website shows the typical information people seek online, including how to register or add a new beneficiary. Many of these companies provide handy apps that people can download onto their smartphones for future use.
This remains a highly popular way for people to transfer their money abroad. They either pop into their local branch, use their online banking facilities or use their smartphone apps. When people deal with large banks, they often feel safer than if they use a specialist company.
It’s important to check out the pricing arrangements, however. The fees can range from nothing to high amounts, or contain hidden costs. In comparison with the other options, people don’t always get a competitive exchange rate and they may need to open an account before they can proceed. In some cases people are only able to transfer their money between banks.
Using International Currency Transfer Companies
This can be a safe option and the expertise of the employees can often get you a good deal. If you are transferring a large amount of money, the good exchange rates and low prices can add up to a significant saving.
When there are partnerships and cross-network transfers, this can often speed up the whole process too.
Who People Pay And In What Currency
According to research, most people are sending funds to their friends or family. Next in line comes people paying for goods and services that are provided abroad. The final two categories are people paying foreign bills, and individuals moving money between their accounts.
One study found that the Euro was the most widely used currency in foreign transfers. Next came the US dollar, followed by the Australian dollar, the Indian rupee, the English pound, the Canadian dollar, the Thai Baht and finally the Chinese Yuan.
How People Transfer Their Funds
One review found that 57% of people moved money around using either their laptop or computer. We earlier mentioned people who walked into their banks, and this amounted to 20% of the sample. 12% used their smartphone apps, and 5% used the internet from their phone.
What Customers Need To Look For
The top of the list should be the security aspect. No one wants their funds to be hacked and moved by an imposter before it reaches its correct destination.
We’ve already discussed the value of researching the transfer fees and exchange rates, but the payment speed is also important.This might be particularly crucial in a crisis or when a company is making a business transaction.
Foreign Currency Transfers In The Bible
Perhaps the most famous example occurred when Jesus entered the Jerusalem temple and turned over the money changers’ tables. People were flooding into Jerusalem for the Passover festival, and wanted to pay for the sacrificial offerings.
Because Roman coins included the face of the Emperor, the High Priest insisted people exchanged them for their own Temple coins. Not only was the exchange rate poor, but it had turned the Court of the Gentiles into a market. This is why Jesus overturned the tables and released the animals.
Blockchain And Cryptocurrencies
Most people have heard about Bitcoins, tokens and altcoins which are a digital form of currency . Investors and traders have gained and lost millions this way. There are many adverts proclaiming the simplicity of trading online using phone apps, in order to make an easy fortune.
Fintechs have increasingly used the Blockchain to enable quick money transfers abroad. This can occur because there are digital currencies which can use a peer-to-peer system without the need for an intermediary. The transfers frequently relate to things like education, transport and food, and the Blockchain remittance firms are doing really well at the moment.
The GMTS (Global Money Transfer Summit) is an annual conference attracting representatives from many major financial organisations. Interestingly, both Blockchain and FinTech have been featured there.
More Historical Information
Paypal was the first online money transfer company to be globally recognised. They achieved this by undercutting the larger transfer companies and banks. Their annual payment volume totalled 2017 billion US dollars in 451.257, but these days they have more competition.
If you want to do more research, you could follow the history of finance from the ancient bartering system to the arrival of metal coins. You could also read about the Medici banking family during the 15th century. Why not check out the Western Union? They first launched wire transfers that were achieved electronically. Finally, read about Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) which is a network transmitting messages between banks, and permitting their fund transfers.
Whether it’s a study of history or research into the stock exchange, all are rich pickings for fascinating information. We become increasingly dependent on technology in what has now become a global trading village. International money transfers will no doubt remain at the very heart of things for many years to come.