Specialized forex brokers help you send money to other countries and charge lower fees for this service than banks. I discussed several of these brokers in my previous article, but there are many more brokers in this market. Many people have heard of the money transfer app Wise. These brokers compete with Wise and may offer better or worse deals than Wise depending on the transaction details. Many of them also offer additional benefits to their customers. But all of them provide cheap ways to send money internationally.
CurrencyFair is an Irish peer-to-peer money transfer service. Many of the fintechs in the money transfer niche were founded as peer-to-peer platforms, including Wise. Like other peer-to-peer services, they were designed to reduce fees by eliminating the middleman. Instead of a bank sending a wire transfer to another bank to move money across borders, CurrencyFair would use its platform to match up customers in each country.
The platform would find one customer who wanted to send GBP to the US, for example, and another customer who wanted to send USD to the UK. Then the user with a British bank account would make a local transfer to the recipient in Britain and the user with a US bank account would send money to the recipient in the US. No money transfers would take place across international borders, just local transactions within each country.
Peer-to-peer money transfer services offer low fees and better exchange rates than banks. But they might not be able to process every money transfer immediately because the platform needs to match transactions between its users. Some platforms will use their own funds to process certain transactions faster but may charge additional fees for this service.
CurrencyFair charges a money transfer fee and collects a margin on each transaction, but the fee and margin are both very low.
Midpoint uses a pricing model similar to Wise. As its name suggests, this forex broker attempts to give its customers the best currency conversion rate and then charges a fee to process each transfer. It doesn’t earn money on the spread, it allows customers to convert currencies at rates similar to what banks charge each other. Trustpoint reviews for Midpoint indicate that Midpoint has great customer service in addition to charging lower fees than banks.
This forex broker is located in London. When customers use it to transfer less than GBP 2,000, it charges a flat rate of GBP 10. That’s a 0.5 percent fee if you’re sending GBP 2,000 but a much higher fee if you’re sending less money. On the other hand, Midpoint only charges 0.3 percent if a customer sends more than GBP 100,000. So this money transfer app is best for customers who want to send lots of money overseas.
TransferMate is an Irish money transfer startup that processes business-to-business payments in addition to personal transfers such as remittances. It’s primarily an international payment processor for businesses and its platform offers a lot of advanced features that other forex brokers don’t offer, such as AR and AP automation. This isn’t just a money transfer service that helps consumers send remittances to family members. It’s a full-fledged business services company that major multinational companies use to manage cross-border payments.
TransferMate does process personal money transfers as well, though. And it offers same-day money transfers, which aren’t always available at other forex brokers. So even though this broker primarily markets itself to B2B customers, it may be worth considering if you’re transferring a lot of money to another country for a large transaction such as buying a house abroad. And if you own a business that frequently sends payments to businesses located outside of the US, this startup may be the best option for that.
Azimo is a Dutch fintech that primarily handles remittances. It also focuses on speed and can deliver payments to many countries instantly or within an hour or less. It’s designed to send payments from developed countries to developing countries and it can send money to most of the countries in the world. This is another great option for customers who want to transfer money to recipients in a country that other forex brokers don’t support.
Azimo also offers the mid-market rate to its users but charges a fee for each transfer. The rates it shows its customers will match the rates displayed by other forex apps. New Azimo personal users get two free transfers. After that, the company says that its fees are about 10 percent of what banks and other remittance processors charge. Customers can fund their accounts using bank transfers or payment cards.
Once again, these money transfer apps each offer specific benefits even though they all provide cheap ways to send money internationally. While most of them process both personal and business transfers and serve a wide variety of customers, there is often one app that’s best suited for each customer. If you’re sending money to family members, Azimo might be your best option. But if you’re a manager at a multinational corporation that’s paying suppliers around the world, TransferMate might be the best choice. Either way, these money transfer apps all offer better deals than banks do.