Money Transfer Comparison’s FX Transfer FAQ

Matt Di Vincere (Chief Editor)
Last Edited May 06, 2022

Editor’s Notes:

This is your chance to get an overview of what FX transfer is understand how international money transfers, denominated in foreign currency, work, how much do they cost and how to improve the outcome of foreign exchange transfers. If you want know how forex transfers work, what are the alternatives to traditional bank for businesses and individuals, how much can you save using them, how to obtain the best FX money transfer rates and the like – this FAQ section is just for you.

This resource was written, re-rewritten, and continues to be periodically updated by multiple industry experts with specific experience in FX.

With Respect, Matt Di Vincere, Editor

Money Transfer Comparison Home

What  is a foreign currency transfer? (FX Transfer)

A transfer of money usually from one country to another, with an exchange of currencies at an agreed rate. When you transact such transfers via your bank, there are a lot of hidden fees involved and it is difficult to understand how much money you’re paying for the service, and how much the recipient will eventually receive.

The process to move your money from one country to another is often a lot more than you think, and for that reason we have created this money transfer FAQ.


FAQ: Table of Contents

What are money transfer companies? How to use them for FX transfers?

Money transfer companies are non-bank entities that specialise in money and currency transfers for individuals and businesses (businesses often use the term forex transfers). They are essentially an intermediary service that buys currency at wholesale rates from big liquidity providers, such as Tier 1 banks, and sells it to customers at a discounted rate.

You can find our best money transfer companies selection below if you want to try and see how the process look like.

Sign up is likely to take only 1-2 minutes 

Currencies Direct
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
  • Currencies Supported: 39
  • Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
  • Our Rating : 97.8%
  • Most Global Offices and Reach

    No Fees from Anywhere and Competitive Rates

    96% Client Satisfaction
  • Min Transfer: £/€ 100
  • Currencies Supported: 40
  • Offices : UK, EU, Singapore, and Australia.
  • Our Rating : 93.4%
  • High Quality Bespoke Service

    MoneyFact's Best Provider Award

    Over 100 Years of FX Experience Across Its Trading Desk
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
  • Currencies Supported: 120
  • Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
  • Our Rating : 92.8%
  • Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers

    Industry Veteran since 1979

    Diverse Hedging Options and Excellent Guidance


What are some of the advantages of these FX companies over banks?

Below, we have listed some of the advantages we commonly see in FX companies over banks. Whilst these would be impossible to be true for every money transfer provider and every bank in the world, we use some  generalisations here which are built on a sound knowledge of the FX market and will help you digest the content in the simplest manner possible.

List of advantages:

  1. Almost always cheaper than banks for private clients and SMEs
  2. Straightforward and transparent fee structure
  3. Can offer premium added-value services, such as a dedicated account manager.
  4. Personalised service, even for private clients
  5. Central point of contact for multiple currencies and several types of FX contracts
  6. Better online platforms for FX transfers than bank platforms
  7. Can be an invaluable and business-critical tool for some businesses – especially import-export sensitive firms
FX CompanyBanks
Tested in this comparison:World First, Moneycorp, Currencies Direct, XE, SendFXLloyds bank, HSBC, Barclays (UK)
FeesNo Fixed transfer fees with any of those to any destinationWire fees of £4 – £25 per transfer. HSBC wire transfer fees were the most competitive.
RatesRanging from markup of 0.15% above mid-market rate to 1% markup.Ranged between 2%-3% markup for all currencies we tested. Please note we have used standard bank accounts to make this comparison.
User Friendliness and PlatformLarge FX companies usually boast a fully functional online money website, and a fully functional mobile money transfer app to match. On the platform you can watch  rates and set up reminders, choose a recipient you have already used, make payments, and track the status of your fx transfers.Banks normally offer a fully functional online system to do everything required in one’s account but international fx transfers aren’t necessarily enabled or very user friendly.
Customer SupportDedicated dealer who is readily available on the telephone for transfers above £5,000. Normal transfer support for transfers below this value.No access to anyone besides your banker, if you don’t have a corporate or a premium account with your bank.
User SatisfactionVast majority of positive rating by clients on client review platforms. For example, Currencies Direct has 95% general user satisfaction, and Moneycorp has more than 90% (aggregated across the internet).General mistrust by the public and highly negative reviews of leading banks on client review platforms. On average, banks get a rating of less than 2/5 stars. Involvement in many scandals.
Security of FundsClient accounts are segregated for any company approved by the FCA as an authorised payment provider.Protected by the PRA up to GBP 75,000. Other protective measurements are in place outside the UK.
Nationalities AcceptedClients from UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the EU are always accepted. Larger companies will accept USA clients, South African clients, UAE clients, and others. All clients have access to all foreign currencies.Each domestic bank accepts clients from its destination locale. Few banks like HSBC will allow clients to interlink international accounts.
Type of PaymentsMost FX companies are offering a variety of transactions available – while Spot FX is the most popular, Forward FX Contract can also prove useful as well as do options and other forms of hedging.Only Spot FX Transactions, unless you have a large corporate account and direct access to the trading room.

In other words, you opt for a money transfer company if you want to slash fees and get better FX rates on international money transfers, and you want a better level of service than you do with your bank. Please note FX companies are not able to perform activities your bank doesn’t such as cashing a foreign cheque with no clearing.


What are some of the disadvantages of an FX service over bank?

Nothing in life is all roses and no thorns. Obviously, banks have their own advantages against money transfer companies as well. Similar to the last question, this is a rough generalisation which has been simplified in order to help you gain a quick understanding of why to choose a broker over a bank (or vice versa).

List of disadvantages:

  1. Several steps required to open an account. Compliance can be difficult in some cases, and as such – annoying.
  2. Can be hazardous picking an foreign currency broker (choose the wrong one, and you will enter a world of pain).
  3. Greater risk of financial insolvency compared to a large bank – although this is largely a perception.
  4. Lack of regulation has meant a comparatively low standard in the FX industry compared to other asset classes such as equity/bond/derivative niches. Therefore some FX brokers can exhibit repeated poor quality service, low attention to detail, provide incorrect information and use persistent upselling techniques not in the best interests of clients.

We obviously think the advantages overcloud the disadvantages in this field and you can mitigate a lot of the disadvantages by choosing the right FX broker.To us, the answer to “how to transfer money internationally” is undeniably “use a money transfer company”.

You just have to pick the right FX company – take your time and conduct all the research you need.


If I sign up with a money transfer company, can I access Premium features as a private client?

Most added-value features can be accessed by individuals, although it may depend on the level of business being done. FX companies are under no obligation to offer anything extra besides the transfer of funds and the currency exchange. They often do so to encourage more business and generally try to offer better quality services as an incentive to obtain greater trading volumes.

What may these premium features be?

  1. Access to a dedicated account manager with expertise in foreign currency that will guide you through your transaction, including when and how to transact the funds to get the best rates, including free market commentary, forecasts and analysis.
  2. Access to an online system and app designated only to transfer money abroad.
  3. Hedging tools, mostly Forward Contracts and FX options
  4. Better-than-default exchange rates (and/or discounts, rebates etc.)
  5. Bespoke currency strategy (particularly beneficial for import/export companies).


How do currency transfer companies differ from high street banks?

Banks have banking licenses which allow them to keep money on deposit and to pay interest on deposits. They can then use this money to lend to others. Currency transfer companies don’t do this and are essentially payment vendors that can only receive and distribute your money in accordance with strict guidelines.

As a result, banks are the ‘default option’ when it comes to making currency transfers abroad. Banks give their customers an All-in-One service that allows his/her bank account in one country to automatically receive funds sent from another bank account in another country.

The rates at which these currency transfer are exchanged can sometimes be termed extortionate because they are done as a last resort and the client accepts the payment having paid over 6% on spread and a further fee on commissions and sometimes even another fee applied by the banks taking receipt/sending the money.

It can therefore pay to spend a little time doing some research and a bit of legwork, to save yourself a packet in the long run. Read a side by side fx company / bank comparison here.


How do fx money transfers work?

Nowadays, money transfers have become incredibly simple.

Step 1: Choose an FX company

Step 2: Complete a routine application  including name, address and provide an ID check. Several checks are made during the application including anti-money laundering and some companies reserve the right to conduct a credit check.

Step 3: Either via phone/internet/mobile app, select the amount of money you would like to exchange for the currency you need. For example, if you have British pounds and would like US dollars, you would choose to send in British pounds, and receive US dollars. In other words, you will be selling British pounds, and buying US dollars.

How long will it take? read our detailed guide on how long does it take an international money transfer to go through.



What do I need to make the transfer?

To make an overseas payment, you will need:

Your bank details: Recipient’s details – name, address, name and address of bank, country they hold the account in. You will also need their International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC).

Step 4: Your chosen FX company will provide payment details for you to send money to. You will need to instruct your bank or send the funds via online banking to the FX company for them to process the international payment.

Step 5: Your chosen FX company will send you your desired buy currency usually within 1-3 business days (sometimes longer depending on the country).

Note: All money and currency transfer firms require the funds to be either sent or received by the same named person who opened an account with the firm, in line with anti-money laundering regulations.


How safe is my money? How reliable are money transfer companies such as Transferwise, Moneycorp or World First?

All legitimate FX companies in the UK must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), previously named the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Note: Regulatory guidelines and operational conditions relating to FX transactions, trading and all other financial services — can differ greatly from those imposed by the FCA.

Therefore, it is essential to check the regulatory framework that is in effect within your country of residence before conducting an overseas currency transfer, or any money transfer for that matter.

The best companies to choose from have an established trading history, and hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of positive reviews online that you can read.

But remember, the FCA is not a policeman that is called when you think something untoward has happened. The FCA operates a self-regulatory model whereby all financial market participants under its supervision are required to regulate themselves in accordance to agreed guidelines and requisites.

Individual clients have the option of complaining to the UK’s Financial Ombudsman for restitution if they believe they have been treated unfairly. The Financial Ombudsman is not designated for large companies or institutions so if a large business has a grievance towards an FX company, it must seek restitution via the civil or criminal courts.



Do FX companies accept international clients?

All companies accept clients from the UK, and the majority of them accept UK citizens who reside outside the UK as well. As far as other locations go, the largest companies would usually accept clients from financially sound countries such as (but not limited to): USA, Canada, Australia, all EU countries, Scandinavian countries, South Africa, New Zealand, UAE, and Singapore.

However, it is important to stress three important points:

  1. Each FX company is given some degree of freedom and commercial choice as to who and how they accept clients. It is therefore essential for all clients (individuals and firms) to conduct appropriate due diligence regarding their rights and limitations with respects to conducting international financial services. Also check out our Send Money Abroad page which can help users find appropriate companies for them.
  2. International agencies such as Interpol, government security agencies and legislators will often issue various changes to current legislation and change how some clients are able to operate. Recent examples include sanctions imposed on Iran, Russia and Syria which have greatly reduced the extent to which Iranian, Russian and Syrian citizens/firms can participate in financial services such as money transfers.
  3. Also, recent changes to which countries are deemed ‘high-risk’ as opposed to ‘low-risk’ have meant some customers have been required to provide several more copies of identification documents, extended address and background checks, as well as deeper checks into past financial dealings including credit checks.


Can I open an FX account anywhere in the world?

Generally speaking, the major developed countries such as the UK, US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand as well as other highly developed countries such as Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa etc. are all deemed low-risk countries which means fairly simple account opening requirements and dealing conditions.

Aside from proof of ID and address, there is almost no other prerequisite.

There are however some regions that are currently deemed high-risk (Nigeria and other parts of Africa, as well parts of Latin America and the Caribbean) or have existing economic sanctions imposed on trade including banking services (Iran, Russia, North Korea, Syria).

The extent to which these political changes affect you will be individual to you or your firm, the best course of action is to contact several FX companies for clarification, your locaregulator where you are based, or seek independent financial advice from a licensed professional.

Some regions are deemed to pose a high-risk to financial institutions including countries such as Russia, China, Venezuela, and other parts of Asia and South America. This Compliance aspect of financial services is constantly changing and we recommend visiting the FCA’s website for more information on how it could apply to where you are based.

View our list of recommended services for sending money abroad here.


Which money transfer company is right for me?

This is probably THE most frequently asked question — and already in the question lies a clue to the answer.

Depending on the definition of the word ‘right’, choosing the most SUITABLE FX company can be broken down into three simple things:

  1. Access (Online/offline/mobile)
  2. Price
  3. Service

From the myriad of online currency services available to individuals (and companies), there are always cornerstone differences that set one company from another.

In currency exchange, a few major points of difference stand as the major differentiators for customers.

Any currency provider, offering any specific type of exchange will typically differentiate and compete on access, price and service.

Depending on what type of customer you are, or what type of activity your company does — will usually decide which feature is most important.

Here are some questions that should be frequently asked of oneself before signing up with any FX company:

1. Access

Do you need to have access to your currency transfer service quickly? Do you need access to spot FX? Or forwards? Or options? Is it important to access local settlement  in certain countries around the world?

Do you want that access via phone or online? Do you want access to be for you or for multiple people? Do you want one account or several? Do you have a business account? Do you have a residency in several countries to facilitate a greater degree of flexibility towards the provider you would like to access??

Depending on your answers to these questions, it will decide which FX broker (or multiple brokers) will service you best for the ACCESS you require.


2. Price

Do you need razor thin spreads when conducting a forex transfer? Or are you willing to give up ultra-competitive pricing in exchange for something else? Do you have intentions of doing several transactions? Do you intend to use forwards or options, especially if operating as a firm?

Every FX company likes to claim they always have the most competitive pricing when it comes to currency transfers; but this plainly cannot be true. In truth, each FX company will try to generate the maximum amount of commission and revenue for itself, in exchange for a happy client getting what he/she expects.

The key for clients to remember, is they must learn what is OK to expect, and what isn’t. It is important for clients to study the Terms and Conditions of their commercial agreement in detail, to ensure they understand what rights and limitations they have.

Over 99% of the time there are no complications or issues with the $6.6 trillion daily FX transfers that occur across the globe. However, due to the fact FX is not regulated to the same degree as other financial instruments such as stocks or financial derivatives for example; the amount of malpractice and outright fraud is proportionately higher in FX compared to other financial niches.

This aspect should not deter, but must be understood for clients to make correct choices when choosing their FX broker and when making decisions in their financial affairs generally.

Depending on the answers to these questions, it will decide which type of FX broker will best service the PRICE component.


3. Service

This is 80% of the battleground for FX companies. Price and access account for just 20% because financial technology progression allows most brokers to offer very competitive pricing and sophisticated online/mobile functionality almost as standard in 2020 — the other 80% is how that pricing is delivered and how the customer feels about it.

FX companies will offer a huge array of bells and whistles to make the process of currency transfers seamless for individuals and firms.

We would recommend browsing our broker comparison page to see the variety of additional services that are available. In some way or another, each customer service element is designed to make the process smoother, cheaper, less daunting, more secure or just more fun!

FX companies tend to provide dedicated account managers for certain clients depending on volume traded, location, account size, or — just because the client  asked for something. This brings us to our most sacred tip here at It never hurts to ask questions!

Clients are always encouraged to engage with their FX broker with direct questions in order to both understand the process of currency dealing better, and enjoy a better overall service.

  • Some of the additional perks brokers tend to offer upon kind request:
  • Regular account reporting emailed in addition to online login system
  • Regular calls, webinars or events with market updates including historical pricing assessments and charting analysis.
  • -Free FX research usually reserved for professionals. Currency forecasts, FX outlook, economic calendars, and independent analysis from FX dealers and economists.
  • Discounts and promotions only offered to new clients. Insiders tip: If an existing client asks to participate in a current promotion aimed at new clients only; brokers struggle to say no.
  • All information an FX broker has about you including all telephone recordings, can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act.



There are so many companies to choose from — how do I choose one?

Refer to our previously stated simple steps — focus on Access, Price and Service. Pick the combination of the three that suits you best.

When picking a broker with security of funds in mind; focus on reputation, credibility and previous reviews. We would highly recommend doing a small test transaction, or even a few, to start with in order to gauge the efficiency of the entire currency transfer process.

This test-phase could also reveal some of the hidden costs that can lurk behind any enterprise, and give you a better understanding of what level of FX service you are comfortable with.

The most important rule is to Ask Questions of your FX broker and help to foster a strong working relationship by reading all the material provided to you carefully as part of the account opening process.


How good are the exchange rates and fees?

As a rule of thumb, you could say that in every FX transfer you should be able to save at least 50% of your costs compared to a high-street bank. While banks operate on high margins, they often incur additional commissions, and have high fixed fees that bloat the overall cost.

FX companies are typically cheaper but require some additional effort and due diligence to setup initially. Another rule of thumb, is that the more transactions someone expects to do, the more saving they can potentially make.

As a rough example, an individual considering an FX transfer of £10,000 to US dollars is likely to save anywhere between 2%—4% of the total sum, which in this case is £200—£400. Firms can expect to obtain even higher savings due to the larger sums usually involved. For a firm that conducts around £500,000 per year, that amounts to around £10,000—£30,000.

The reason for the large variations, is because of the huge spectrum of variation in the price/service offered by various FX brokers.

Forex transfer companies tend to operate on a low-margin business model, charge little or no commissions, and charge no fixed fees (greatly dependent on which company, of course).

When we do our company comparison, we mainly take into consideration; credibility, reputation, ease of use, and the level of help/support provided. There are many other things we review and take into consideration but these are the main ones.

Of course, an important aspect would be the actual transfer costs, but this is something which is pretty difficult to compare. Each quote is individual in nature, and true for its individual circumstances.



Which companies do you recommend?

These are our top-rated companies. You should feel welcomed to navigate through the site, and discover more companies (there are other good companies that just didn’t make it into our top 3).

Currencies Direct
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
  • Currencies Supported: 39
  • Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
  • Our Rating : 97.8%
  • Most Global Offices and Reach

    No Fees from Anywhere and Competitive Rates

    96% Client Satisfaction
  • Min Transfer: £/€ 100
  • Currencies Supported: 40
  • Offices : UK, EU, Singapore, and Australia.
  • Our Rating : 93.4%
  • High Quality Bespoke Service

    MoneyFact's Best Provider Award

    Over 100 Years of FX Experience Across Its Trading Desk
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
  • Currencies Supported: 120
  • Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
  • Our Rating : 92.8%
  • Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers

    Industry Veteran since 1979

    Diverse Hedging Options and Excellent Guidance




Are there any other differences I should know about before turning away from my bank and trying an FX company for the first time?

The first thing to remember is to not consider working with an FX company as ‘taking the plunge’.

Having chosen a well-respected and established company such as World FirstMoneycorp or Currencies Direct … or alternatively, having chosen a digital disruptor, that’s up-and-coming and earning respect across the world, such as CurrencyFair or Transferwise, you should be in good hands.

So the next step is to consider the small foibles that may or may not be acceptable to you. This could include opening times, what type of communication method the FX company prefers, whether the FX company has staff you can speak with during your operating hours etc.

Bear in mind FX brokers are constantly tweaking their operations, introducing new services, features and promotions, so it is recommended to check this website every once in a while!


How did forex transfer services first come about?

Money transfer companies, also commonly known as Foreign Exchange (FX) brokers, or currency dealers, started popping in the UK in the early-mid 1990’s as a result of widespread financial market deregulation and greater innovation of financial products and services.

To this day, London remains the epicentre of the FX market in terms of volume traded, people employed and revenues generated.

Specialised FX firms entered the market as an alternative to banks who had a monopoly on all transactions involving FX. Greater competition in financial services provided better prices for clients and more sophisticated financial instruments such as FX forwards, futures and options.


Are Western Union and MoneyGram included in the “FX money transfers” group?

Some large firms including Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria money transfer, Transfast, or Travelex also offer international money transfers, on top of travel money, postal money transfer, traveller’s checks, and high-street exchange services.

However, Travelex does not operate in the same niche as a company like TorFX or Currencies Direct for example. They are focused on small remittances and offer cash withdrawals which the money transfer companies we recommend don’t. You could say they are direct competitors to companies like Azimo or World Remit.

The market positioning of a company can sometimes influence what price, access and service it can offer clients. We still covered them in our reviews for bank-to-bank money transfers and they got terrible ratings – Western Union review and MoneyGram review are available here. This can however change, and we encourage all readers to review any FX company they have dealt with in the past, by visiting our Review page and adding their comment.

Read more about remittances transfer here.


Can I lock the current rate for a future forex transfer?

In technical terms, fixing an exchange rate is known as hedging, and consists of entering into a forward contract transaction. A forward transaction is exactly the same as a spot transaction, only it is agreed at a future date at a pre-agreed exchange rate.

Currency transfer companies have a wide range of products that can enable you to fix the forward rate (up to 2 years) for as many as 60 different currencies. You can read more about it here – Foreign Exchange Hedging.

Most participants in these contracts are small businesses and we have covered the advantages and disadvantages of corporate foreign exchange here.


Can I set periodic or recurring international money transfers?

The simple answer is yes. Not only that, by setting up regular transfers on your online platform, it is possible to automate every step of a currency transaction to the point where you are receiving monthly payments in one currency, and receiving a converted exchanged rate on exactly the same day each month.

You just have to ASK your UK forex company or currency transfer specialist to assist.

The top FX companies will offer you a variety of options enabling you to make regular payments (like payment of mortgage abroad, salary transfer, remittances, and pension transfers).

Beware of “Honeymoon Rates”: When you set up a regular transfer make sure the company will keep offering you the same margin as with your first transfer for future transfers. If you don’t, some companies will widen their spreads over the course of time.



 What changes if I am doing an FX transaction as a business, rather than an individual?

Doing a currency transfer is exactly the same although the required documentation is slightly different. FX companies typically require business accounts to provide a Certificate of Incorporation, registration documents, company accounts and may conduct an independent due diligence assessment through third parties as part of account opening.

As a general rule, the larger a business in term of annual cash flow, the more likely an FX company is to offer ‘zero deposit’ conditions on forward deals, offer lines of credit for pending FX transactions and to cover margin requirements. These types of boutique service options are only open to businesses because there is a lower probability of a company failing to pay its financial obligations, as opposed to an individual.

A large part of these companies’ clientele is businesses, and in particular small businesses. In addition to the aforementioned advantages mentioned in this FAQ page, there are additional considerations detailed on our Business Foreign Exchange Services page.


How Payment Systems Actually Facilitate FX Money Transfers (and Domestic Transfers)

This process involves the use of various systems and networks, such as RTGS, ACH, or SWIFT, to facilitate the secure and efficient movement of funds. When conducting international wire transfers, different types of reporting requirements must be adhered to, such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Suspicious Activity Report / Currency Transaction Report (SAR/CTR), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

SWIFT and Credit-Debit Systems Enable Transfers

SWIFT’s messaging structure consists of a series of standardized messages, each with a specific purpose and format. These messages are used to convey various types of financial information, such as payment instructions, account statements, and confirmations. By adopting a standardized messaging system, SWIFT ensures that all financial institutions speak the same “language,” eliminating potential confusion and miscommunication. The SWIFT network uses a secure and encrypted communication channel to transmit these messages, ensuring that sensitive financial information is protected from unauthorized access or tampering. When banks need to conduct wire transfers with one another, they use SWIFT messages to provide payment instructions and other relevant information. This information is then promptly and securely transmitted to the receiving bank, facilitating the proper execution of the wire transfer.

KYC refers to the identity verification processes banks use to establish the authenticity of their customers. This typically involves obtaining the customer’s name, address, date of birth, and identification documents before conducting any financial transactions. The purpose of KYC is to ensure that financial institutions are not being used for illegal purposes, such as money laundering or financing terrorism.

AML refers to a set of procedures, laws, and regulations implemented to prevent the conversion of illegally obtained funds into legitimate assets. Banks are required to monitor and report suspicious activities, including transactions exceeding a certain monetary threshold, to regulatory agencies. This helps to identify individuals and organizations involved in money laundering or other criminal activities and ultimately protect the integrity of the financial system.

SAR/CTR are two types of reports filed by financial institutions to provide relevant information to authorities in case of suspicious activities.

Nostro Accounts and their Role in International Wire Transfers

Nostro accounts play a crucial role in facilitating international wire transfers, particularly in the correspondent banking process. A nostro account is essentially a bank account that a financial institution holds with another bank in a foreign country, usually denominated in the currency of that country. These accounts enable the banks to carry out transactions involving different currencies and facilitate the settlement and clearing of funds in international wire transfers (Chorafas, 2003).

In the correspondent banking process, when two banks that do not have a direct arrangement need to complete a wire transfer, they utilize the services of an intermediary bank with whom they both have nostro accounts. The intermediary bank, also known as the correspondent bank, helps in transferring funds between the two banks and ensures the completion of the transaction. For instance, if Bank A wants to send money to Bank B, but they do not have a direct arrangement, they would find a common correspondent bank, Bank C, with whom they have nostro accounts. Bank A will transfer the funds to Bank C, who will then transfer the funds to Bank B’s nostro account held with Bank C. This process allows for the efficient and secure transfer of funds between banks located in different countries (Heffernan, 2005).



Can I transfer money to pick up in person?

Clients looking to make a currency transfer to another country, and collect their exchanged currency in person have some options. This refers back to the ACCESS element of choosing an FX broker. Companies like Azimo or World Remit offer that, but most of our top-rated companies don’t. Our focus is on transfers of tens of thousands or more, and picking that amount in cash doesn’t make sense.

If you are looking for cash travel money – that is a whole different thing.

In addition to offering forex money transfers, companies like MoneCorp also allows clients to select to pick up a limited amount of money in person at an airport or one of its kiosks located around the world, including central London locations. Other competitors offering this type of access to FX are Travelex and Western Union.

Read our Holiday Money Rate Comparison page for more information.


Should I use a Peer-to-Peer currency company?

Over recent years, a new breed of currency transfer company has been born.

The premise works like so — instead of clients going to a broker or a bank to conduct their currency transfers, what if they could simply contact each other and deal directly with each other, therefore avoiding the additional fees?

The concept of peer-to-peer services have graced file-sharing and many other digital niches including currency transfers Bitcoin is a crypto-currency that is made possible and maintained through the power of many users working as a single network.

CurrencyFair and Transferwise (not so much these days) are two examples of P2P currency companies and have received good reviews from the majority of users. The main attraction is lower transaction costs and easy online transfers, but this is slightly let down by a lack of premium features such as dedicated account managers and FX instruments such as forwards, futures and options.


Should I use a cryptocurrency for online money transfers?

Blockchain may be the future of money transfers but using crypto currencies is problematic because of their problematically volatile nature. Ripple may bring promise with it but we would not recommend this method for remittances in spite of low fees and flexibility.


How can I predict the exchange rates?

Prediction future foreign exchange rates is impossible. The only practical thing someone can do in this regard is to verify he is getting the best exchange rates prior to conducting FX transfers. Alternatively, one can sign up with a currency broker and set up a rate alert, meaning make a trade once certain exchange rates have been met (but the customer should be aware that these rates may never come).

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