Transfer Money Internationally [An Ultimate Guide]

You can send and receive funds within minutes compared to traditional money transfers such as Money Orders and checks.
transfer money internationally

Money transfer refers to moving funds from one account to the other. The transfer can be domestic or international. Domestic transfer refers to moving funds between accounts within the same country, while international transfer involves transferring funds from one nation to the other. There are various ways one can transfer funds internationally. You will learn about the best way to transfer money internationally.

International money transfers allow people from different countries to send money. If you are working abroad, you can easily send funds home to help your relatives with various financial needs. Therefore, you do not have to travel home to deliver money. Also, sending funds across the borders helps people to purchase goods abroad. If you reside in the US, you can easily buy an item from China and pay for everything and only wait for delivery.

In general international transfers have made the world a global village. We usually talk of the internet as having made the world a global village. Still, the ability to move money from one country to the other has also brought various world people together. The invention of digital money transfers has made sending and receiving money very easy. You can send and receive funds within minutes compared to traditional money transfers such as Money Orders and checks.

Table of Contents

How To Send Money Internationally

There are various ways one can send money internationally. You can use a bank, credit union, or mobile wallet to facilitate transfers. You will also discover the cheapest way to send money internationally shortly. The following are ways you can move funds internationally.

Wire Transfers

One of the ways you can use to move funds internationally is through wire transfers. All kinds of financial companies support the method. If you are transferring large sums of money, using the wire transfer method is the best.

Wire transfers support both domestic and international money transfers. To send funds by wire transfer, you can log in to your bank, mobile wallet, or credit union account online and navigate to the money transfer section.

After that, you will choose international transfers to provide the necessary information. Usually, when using wire transfers, you transfer money using the routing number and account number. Different countries may also require various details, which the recipient should provide you.

When using a bank to send funds via wire transfers, you can carry out the process in the following manner.

  • Log into your bank account online
  • Look for the wire transfer tab on your bank’s website. 
  • Double-check the transfer limit. 
  • Enter the recipient’s bank information.
  • Enter the amount to transfer.
  • Choose the currency to use. 
  • Pay the required processing fee.

The bank details you must have included are the following.

  • The recipient’s name and address of their bank
  • Your recipient’s name, physical address, and the account type in their bank (can be current, checking, savings, money market, etc.)
  • The recipient’s account number or IBAN
  • The recipient’s BIC/SWIFT code for their bank

The sending and receiving financial companies mainly handle wire transfers directly. The officials in the sending institution communicate directly to the recipient’s bank to facilitate the transfer. However, some third-party agents support wire transfers. They include the following:

1. Wise

Wise, formerly TransferWise, allows you to send funds internationally using your bank or credit union account. They also allow you to use debit cards that link to your bank or credit union accounts to fund your transactions.

You must have an account, whereby you log in and choose the currency to send money with, and tap ‘Get Started’ for the others. Wise has low fees compared to direct wire transfers.

2. Western Union

Western Union has been around for many years and operates in various countries of the world, whereby you can either send money at a branch or online. The recipient can also receive funds in a branch or bank account. Western Union allows you to use your bank account or payment cards such as debit cards to fund your transfer.

3. Xoom

Xoom is another international money transfer that tends to be cheaper than bank-to-bank wire transfers. It charges $5.99 for transfers of up to $999 and $9.99 for transactions above that amount.

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ACH Transfers 

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. It is one of the best methods to transfer money to someone else’s bank account and is among the most used international money transfer options. However, it does not allow large sums of money as wire transfer does.

Again it takes longer to transfer funds by ACH compared to wire transfers. It can take up to 24 hours to complete domestic transfers and around two days for international transfers. However, despite taking a long time, they are more secure and cheap than wire transfers.

To make an international ACH transfer, you will need to gather details about the recipient and their receiving account. They include the following:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Routing number or equivalent of a routing number depending on the recipient’s country. 
  • Account number of the receiving bank
  • Type of account
  • Email
  • Recipient’s physical address

Once you have all that, you can then start your transfer. I have mentioned that ACH transfers take longer to complete. However, third-party companies accept ACH payments instantly at some fees. They then wait for the regular delivery of ACH to recover their funds.


You can transfer funds using checks. A check is a written and signed document that directs a bank to pay a particular amount to the addressed person. Checks are not just for domestic money transfers but also to send money internationally.

Even though it is slow, the recipient eventually receives the funds. Checks are among the oldest ways of moving money from one account to the other.


MoneyGram is one of the oldest ways to transfer funds between people of various accounts. Just as you can send money with a check, MoneyGram initially involved a written document that you could send to your recipient.

It included the amount and the recipient details. You had to purchase it directly by paying the amount you wanted the recipient to get. However, MoneyGram has embraced the modern technology of sending funds online.

Digital Wallets

We have various digital wallets that allow you to send funds internationally. They include PayPal, Payoneer, and Skrill, among others. They do not require a lot of details as you only need the recipient’s email or phone number, and you are done.

Digital wallets require you to add a bank account to fund your transactions. And by the way, it is easy to open a free online checking account with no opening deposit or credit check at various banks. You can also use payment cards such as debit, credit, and prepaid cards to fund your transactions.

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Best Way To Transfer Money Internationally

The best way you can transfer funds to international recipients is by using digital wallets. They are fast, cheap and convenient. Users can send and receive funds instantly and use them for various transactions. Let us look at how you can transfer funds internationally using these digital wallets.

1. PayPal

PayPal allows you to send funds to people in various parts of the world. The platform operates online, and you require a smartphone, a computer, or a tablet to open and manage your account. Using your smartphone, you can send funds using PayPal in the following manner.

  • Log into your account online
  • Hit on ‘Payments’, then select ‘Pay’.
  • Enter the email or phone number of the recipient.
  • Enter the amount to send and choose currency. 
  • Add a message (it is optional) and tap ‘Next’.
  • Select ‘How to pay’ and tap ‘Next’.
  • Choose “Friends and Family” or “Goods and Services” 
  • Tap ‘Next’.
  • Confirm the details and tap ‘Send’.

The recipients can receive funds instantly or within a few minutes. PayPal allows one to use their bank account, debit, credit, or prepaid card to fund their transfers. By the way, you can utilize PayPal to transfer money from a prepaid card account to a bank account since PayPal allows you to move funds to a bank account.

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2. Payoneer

Payoneer also operates like PayPal in that you can use a bank account, debit, or credit card to fund your transactions. The platform operates in various countries of the world, and you can find it one of the best ways to send funds internationally. To send money via Payoneer, you can use the following process.

  • Choose the recipient to send money 
  • Enter the Amount to Pay
  • Review your transaction details 
  • Send your payment

Like PayPal, one can instantly send and receive payments using Payoneer.

3.  Skrill

The company headquarters are in England, London. The platform allows you to send money instantly all over the world. You need to open an account, then use it to transfer funds to other Skrill account holders. The platform allows you to use a bank account and debit cards to fund your transfers.

You can send money online using the following steps.

  • Log in to your account and navigate to ‘Send.’
  • Choose the transfer option to send money.
  • Select a country then currency.
  • Enter the amount to send.
  • Choose a payment method.
  • Enter the recipient’s name and phone number.
  • Confirm the details and send.

Final Thoughts

International money transfer involves moving money from one country to the other. You can transfer funds from a bank, credit union, or a digital wallet to similar institutions in other countries. There are various ways you can use it to transfer funds internationally.

They include wire transfer, ACH, MoneyGram, Checks, and the use of digital wallets. Wire transfers allow one to send large amounts of money, although costly.

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