The 5 most common money transfer myths, busted!

02 Sep 2020 - Category:
send money

There can be a lot to consider when you are transferring money to friends, family or loved ones back home. Whether you send money home regularly, or if you’re just getting started, there are some common misconceptions about international money transfer that we want to clear up.

Small World is here to help you get the best deal possible when making an international money transfer, so what are some of the common assumptions that we see and hear from customers?

   1. Banks are always the cheapest way to send money

Many people assume that using a bank to send money home will always work out cheaper. Interestingly, this is often not the case.

According to the World Bank, the average cost of transferring money internationally is around 7%. This means that for every £1,000 you send home, you could lose £70 to fees. While this may not seem a lot, it certainly adds up over time. Last year, banks were in fact the most expensive channel, charging an average remittance fee of 11% (£110 of every £1,000 transferred).

Banks often claim to be ‘commission free’, which sounds like a great deal. Sadly, as well as compensating for this by increasing their fees, they can also load the exchange rate in their favour. It is often hard to compare their exchange rates with other services as banks tend not to update them.

Using a money transfer site like Small World can work out favourably where both fees and exchange rates are concerned. Fees related to sending money abroad are always fluctuating, and Small World is constantly adapting to ensure we are offering the very best value. See our recent articles for more information on exchange rates and transfer fees and how to beat the banks.

    2. Sending for cash pick up means my recipient has to travel for miles to find the nearest bank

Simply put: no.

Furthermore, banks are not the only place for your recipient to access their cash. Our network of locations includes agents as well as banks, and many of these agents are situated in shops that are much more accessible than your recipient’s closest bank branch.

Small World has a global network of over 250,000 locations for cash pick-up and is continuously working to make cash pick-up easier for people around the world, especially those who live in more remote locations. In the countries that rely more heavily on cash pick-up, travelling to the nearest towns and cities to collect cash can be difficult, costly and sometimes even dangerous.

Often, customers who are currently trying to get to larger towns or cities in order to access their money could actually be picking up their cash from locations much nearer to their home.

For example: if you send money to The Philippines there are 12,076 cash pick-up locations across the country; there are 3,557 cash pick-up locations in Bangladesh; and over 1,568 cash pick-up locations across Colombia.

With so many locations available, it's often easier, not to mention safer and more convenient for your recipient to collect cash from somewhere near their home or place of work. See the Small World website to explore the cash pick-up locations available for your loved ones.

Partnerships with local services can help to make this happen. Take The Philippines, for instance. Small World has partnered up with Cebuana to make cash pick-up more accessible. Cebuana often claims to have more branches across The Philippines than McDonalds, so friends and family won’t have to travel far to collect their money.

    3. My recipient needs to have a bank account

While some of our customers prefer to deposit money into a bank account, for many people this is simply not an option. Luckily, there are a number of services that do not require your recipient to have their own bank account.

  • Cash pick-up. Send money to over 250,000 pick-up locations   
  • Mobile top-up. Send money to your recipient as mobile airtime 
  • Mobile wallet. Send money directly to a mobile money account 
  • Cash card reload.Top-up a prepaid cash card
  • ATM pick-up. Your recipient can collect money from an ATM without a bank account
  • Home delivery. In some locations, we’ll even deliver to a home address   

Services do vary from country to country, so to find out your options visit the Small World website.

    4. Money takes days to arrive

While services like cash pick-up can take some time to access, most digital methods of money transfer are instant.

Money can be transferred digitally — quickly and securely — via the Small World app or the Small World website and can be received digitally through a bank account, mobile wallet or as mobile top-up. Your recipient can also choose to pick it up as cash from a local bank, agent, or collect it from an ATM.

Sending money to a bank account or a mobile wallet means your recipient will have instant access to their money and can use it to make online payments, or withdraw it as cash from a local bank branch. Again, services to vary by location but in most instances there are fast or instant options available.

   5. I need to have an online account to send money abroad

While having an online account can make transferring money quicker and easier, there is no obligation to set up one up in order to send money home using Small World.

Small World has an ever-increasing network of agents around the world, that make international money transfer quick, easy and safe.

While some of our agents operate through a Small World branch, many are available through high street shops and bank branches. Use this link to find out where your nearest agent is located.

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