Sending money home? Choose the transfer service that’s right for you

28 May 2020 - Category: Blog /
send money

If you’re looking to transfer money home, perhaps for the first time or are simply reviewing the best way to deliver it, getting the best deal is crucial. It could help your money go much further.

Transfer fees and exchange rates are important factors to consider when making your choice as they have a direct impact on the amount of cash your recipient eventually receives. So should you choose a bank, or a money transfer business? And, how do you know you’re making a good decision?

Banks vs money transfer sites: which one is best?

Understandably, sending money abroad can seem like a challenge at first, so it might be tempting to do so via your bank without really looking into other options.

However, as we explained in a recent Small World blog post, it pays to explore your options. According to a 2019 report from The World Bank, banks are the most expensive channel for those sending money home.

How secure is my money?

A legitimate concern for people deciding between banks and money transfer sites is safety: how secure is my money? Money sent using money transfer businesses, such as Small World, is often protected if the company is registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Look out for payment service providers that offer advanced technology to ensure money is protected and arrives safely every time. Small World, for instance, is regulated by government authorities around the world, and we only work with official financial partners to meet the right standards for customers.

We’re not on our own here. TransferWise has a section on its website dedicated to explaining how it is regulated in each country it operates in, while WorldRemit has the technology that “protects your money and guarantees it arrives safely every time”.

However, when making an international money transfer, it’s always important to be vigilant so you can avoid scams and any fraudulent activity.

  • Never send money to someone you do not personally know
  • Never send money first in order to get something in return later on
  • Do not believe an emergency story from someone who claims to be a relative without verification
  • Do not believe in offers that state a money transfer is the only possible way of payment
  • Think before you act, an offer that sounds too good to be true usually is

Flexible transfer options

Money transfer sites offer a number of different ways to send, and some — including cash or ATM pick-up, don’t require the recipient to have their own bank account. This can be a perk in countries where opening your own bank account can be a challenge and those receiving money are more comfortable with cash.

Additionally, money can be transferred: from bank account to bank account, using apps, using your smartphone’s Money Wallet and often as a phone network top-up too. Many of these options mean social distancing regulations can be observed: an additional layer of safety in an uncertain time.

Options vary between countries, but check the Small World website to see which options are available to you.

Speed of delivery

Many of the digital services offered by transfer sites are instant or same day, meaning your recipient will have the money with them as soon as they need it. Here at Small World we offer money transfer services to over 90 countries worldwide and, again, options vary from country to country.

Customer service

Another hugely valuable factor when it comes to sending money home is whether the provider you use has dedicated customer service. It can be an anxious time, setting up payment services for the first time and sending hard earned money home to relatives, for instance. However, knowing that there is dedicated support should there be any concerns, is important.

To reassure you, Small World offer real time payment tracking and local support when you — or your recipient — need it. They handle more than 1 million transactions a month and are trusted by over 15 million customers worldwide.


When choosing a money transfer service, it is always worth looking at the reviews left by their existing customers.

Small World actively seeks feedback from their customers. They are currently rated with 4 (from a possible 5) stars on Trust Pilot.

The latest review, at time of writing: “Excellent service, good rate and fast delivery especially at time of pandemic. Keep the good service up.”

Take in some of the reviews and ensure that the service you decide to use, works best for you and has a solid track record that is backed up by other customers.

While fees related to sending money abroad are always fluctuating, money transfer sites, like Small World, pay close attention to the charges levied by the banks and constantly adapt to ensure they are offering the very best value when it comes to both exchange rates and transfer fees. And now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure your money goes further. 

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