Types of International Money Transfer Services

Find out more about the different types of international money transfer services and compare your options with Savvy.

Last updated on August 12th, 2022 at 11:36 am by Cate Cook

Compare international money transfer service types with Savvy

There are many different reasons for wanting to send money overseas, ranging from international business transactions to students and overseas workers sending money home to their families.  For this reason, there’s a range of different types of international money transfer services to cater for diverse needs.  Take a look at the different services offered by a variety of transfer providers with Savvy to give you the comparison information you need to start your transfer today.

site-logos Xe
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From $0 100
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Xe is a 2021 Canstar Award Winner and offers the best exchange rates, low to no fees so customers save the most money

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site-logos OFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $250 1-3 days $0 50+
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OFX offers speed, security and simplicity with no hidden fees, total transparency and real people support 24/7

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site-logos Wise Money Transfer
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From 0.41% 53
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Send money cheaper and easier with Wise with no hidden fees.

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site-logos TorFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $200 0-2 days $0 35
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Excellent exchange rates with no transfer fees. Trusted by over 55,000 customers. Awarded Canstar’s 5 star rating 2018-2021.

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site-logos SingX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 30
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SingX offers live exchange rates with no mark ups and only charge a nominal fee shown to you upfront

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site-logos Remitly
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 21
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Remitly offers fast, safe and secure money transfers with excellent rates to over 100 countries

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More information on the different types of international money transfers

What different types of international money transfer services are available?

Before specialist international money transfer (IMT) companies entered the market, virtually the only way to send money abroad was through a bank transfer. These days, though, you can choose from a multitude of transfer providers who offer the fastest and most cost-effective way to transfer money internationally. Some of the ways to send your money overseas include:

Specialist international money transfer providers

International money transfer services move funds from your bank account to another account overseas without bank involvement and the money going through the international SWIFT payment system. Money transfer service companies transfer money faster and more cheaply than the banks can, with lower fees and markups on exchange rates, with the funds available at your destination possibly seconds after you send them and within two days in most cases.

Make sure you fund your transfer through a direct debit, rather than use your credit card, to avoid being charged additional fees by your credit card provider (which could be up to 3% of your transfer amount). Savvy has partnered with a trusted range of international money transfer providers offering you the most reliable way to transfer money overseas

Cash transfers

Some providers can send cash overseas almost instantly for it to be collected by someone on the other end.  This can be a very useful service if a family member has an emergency overseas and needs help.  However, instant cash transfers and same-day transfers aren’t available with all providers, to all countries or destinations and they aren’t the cheapest way to send money overseas.  Often higher fees are charged for cash transfers and the exchange rate you’ll be given may not be the most competitive.

Peer-to-peer transfers

Other companies offer another type of money transfer known as peer-to-peer transfers (P2P).  Fundamentally, your currency needs are matched with those of another person in the receiving country, so the transfer is done without the banking system being involved. Often, P2P companies charge a small percentage fee but offer the mid-market exchange rate, so they don’t add on any commission to the deal. 

International accounts

Having an international account, which is another type of international money transfer method, can offer you the opportunity to exchange your money when rates are strong and store it in your preferred currency until you want to send it overseas.  This could save you hundreds of dollars in an environment where the exchange rate is moving against you.

Bank transfers

You could also use your usual bank to send money overseas.  However, the fees charged for this service range from $6 up to $30 or more and there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the best exchange rate.  Additionally, it may take from three to five days for your money to arrive at the destination bank account.  In most cases, international money transfer services will get your money overseas more quickly and at a lower cost than your bank can. Get a quote and compare rates before booking your transfer through Savvy today.

How do I compare different types of international money transfer services?

Some of the main things to consider when you’re choosing which one of Savvy’s trusted partners you should use for your transfer include:

  • Exchange rate: it’s important to find the best exchange rate possible when transferring money overseas, so look for one that is closest to the mid-market exchange rate as this will be the cheapest exchange rate available. The mid-market rate is halfway between the buy price and the sell price on the international money market and is the accepted standard inter-bank exchange rate. The closer to the mid-market rate, the more you’ll be able to buy in foreign currency to send overseas.
  • Fees charged: some companies charge a set fee (often between $6 and $15) whilst others charge a percentage of the transfer amount (which ranges from 0.4% to 0.5%). Consider which fee structure is best for the transfer you’re looking to make (flat fees are more suitable for larger sums, while percentage fees on smaller amounts work out to be cheaper).
  • Countries and currencies serviced: check that the company you choose can send money to your required destination in the currency you want. Not all providers service all destinations or currencies.
  • Speed of transfer: a bank will take far more time to transfer your money than an international money transfer company on average, but different providers may advertise transfers anywhere between zero and five days. If you need to transfer money fast, it’s worth considering how long it’ll take to be sent to your destination when comparing your options.
  • Transfer limits: Most companies which can get your funds overseas have maximum and minimum limits.  These range from minimum limits of $1 to $250.  Similarly, maximum limits vary widely too, ranging from a maximum limit of $5,000 a day to a transfer daily maximum of $50,000 up to $500,000 or more.  Make sure the company you choose has limits that fit in with your needs.

Who are some of the best international money transfer service providers?

Savvy is partnered with a range of trusted and affordable money transfer services, so it’s important to compare your options. Some of our top picks include:

OFX

OFX is based in Australia and was established in 1998.  Rated by TrustPilot as four out of five stars, they offer transfers directly from a bank account or debit card into the receiver’s bank account. 

  • Offer a lock-in exchange rate feature
  • $250 minimum transfer amount
  • Flat fee of $15 for transfers up to $10,000
  • Free transfers for amounts over $10,000

SingX

Based in Singapore, and offering a comprehensive forex service, SingX offers both retail and business transfers with locked-in exchange rates.

  • Specialises in transfers within Asia, including to China
  • No markups on exchange rate
  • Fast transfers, usually within a day
  • Over 30 currencies offered

TorFX

TorFX offers foreign exchange and international transfers for both individuals and business customers, with account managers ensuring your transfer is executed seamlessly.

  • Percentage-based charging
  • A complete forex service including trading platform
  • Personal account management
  • Award-winning Canstar and TrustPilot 5-star service

Remitly

A mobile app provider of transfer services, specialising in cheap, fast transfers from the USA to South American nations.

  • More than 100 countries and 21 currencies offered
  • Great for sending smaller amounts of money home regularly
  • Low fees and very competitive exchange rates
  • First transfer free

Frequently asked questions about types of international transfer services

Which is the most reliable type of international money transfer?

Specialist providers offer a highly dependable online service when it comes to transferring money overseas. All of Savvy’s international money transfer partners are reliable and have the necessary corporate licencing required in their country of origin, so you can trust your international money transfer to any one of them, knowing it will reliably arrive at its destination as quickly as possible.

Can I send money overseas to someone without a bank account?

Yes – aside from making an instant cash transfer, it’s possible to send a money top-up to some pre-paid SIM cards through various telecommunication companies.  This is a popular way of transferring money internationally to countries where people may not have a bank account or where the banking system isn’t as well developed.

Which type of international transfer is the quickest?

Instant online transfers or cash transfers are the quickest ways to get money overseas if the need is urgent, as they can both be made available to your recipient in a matter of seconds.  If it’s not so urgent, most IMT providers will get your funds overseas within 24 to 48 hours depending on the time difference between Australia and the destination country.

Can I send money internationally using Apple Pay?

Whether you can send money overseas with Apple Pay depends on which cards you have linked to your account.  Some banks and credit cards allow their cards to be linked to Apple Pay and used to fund international transfers, while others do not. Similarly, not all international money transfer services accept payment by Apple Pay. It’s important to note that using your card to pay for a transfer, rather than a direct debit, could leave you open to high transfer fees of up to 3% to 5% of your amount, so you should always check with your card provider before proceeding with an Apple Pay transfer