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Transfer money abroad safely

By Sainsbury's Bank on 14 May, 2019

Whether you’re buying a property overseas, topping up a foreign bank account, sending money to a family member abroad, or making regular transfers for a pension or mortgage, making international payments can be a stress-inducing task.

From fluctuating exchange rates and added fees to ensuring your payment transfer is secure - there are several factors to consider to ensure you choose the best method for your needs. Multiple payment options are available, including international online payments through provider Moneycorp, high-street transfer companies such as Western Union, as well as banks, PayPal and Transferwise. It’s important to do your research before deciding what method to use, as you want to find a reasonable rate without jeopardising the security of your cash.

Sending money online is often the cheapest way to send money overseas. However, it doesn’t come without some element of risk. It’s worth noting that if something happens during the transfer, or if the company goes out of business, you could lose your money. This is because the Financial Services Compensation Scheme doesn't cover international money transfers. All UK-based services must be “registered” or “authorised” by the FCA - knowing the difference is essential. Authorised firms are required to keep your cash separate from the company’s accounts, meaning your money should be recoverable. In comparison, a registered firm, cannot guarantee that your money will be kept separate from the organisation's funds - which lessens your protection.

Like with any online payment, scams can take many forms, and criminals are constantly changing their tactics. Read our advice on common money transfer scams and how to avoid them. Check out this guide by Sainsbury’s Bank for more information on transferring money abroad,  which includes the pros and cons of different transfer providers, information about incurring fees, as well as security tips to ensure your money arrives safely.