Frequently Asked Questions about Money Transfers

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using is here to help you find the best and most efficient way to transfer your money. We offer lower cost and higher service alternatives to your bank with a comparison of money transfer providers from around the world. The main benefits are as follows:

Safe, trustworthy and secure alternative to using your bank: We have a detailed review process to ensure that all the providers are only listed on fxcompared if they meet stringent financial and regulatory requirements. Each provider is regulated by the required financial authorities, for example the FCA in the UK and FinCEN in the USA. All client funds must always be kept in segregated accounts at a broker so that the funds are safe and protected.

Best prices and low or no-fee options: The money transfer providers on our site all offer prices that are cheaper than standard bank money transfer rates. Above minimum transfer levels, most providers offer no fee options.

Specialist service: The providers on fxcompared offer dedicated service compared to a typical bank call center. The providers can provide advice on money transfer and additional products such as forward contracts or hedging. Each provider may also offer additional local market and local language support for key currencies and countries.

How do I use is here to help you find the best alternative money transfer option to using your bank. You can follow the simple steps below:

Step 1: In our search box found at the top of the page, select the country you want to send funds from, the country you are sending funds to and the amount you want to send. Note that the higher the amount you send, the better the exchange rate offered will be. Then press the “Compare Now” button.

Step 2: Review the comparison table for the money transfer provider that best suits your needs. Then press the “Click/Apply” button to take you to a page which you can submit your information directly to the provider.

Step 3: Fill out your details on the page dedicated to the provider you have chosen and press “Submit”. Your details will be passed on directly to the team at the provider and they will be in touch with you directly. Note that on weekends or non-work hours, you may not always receive an instant response. If you do not hear from a broker within 24 hours during Monday to Friday or on a Monday after a weekend, please contact us at and we will assist you. You also have the option to “Apply Online” directly with some of the providers by clicking this button on their dedicated page.

Step 4: Register and then trade with your chosen money transfer provider!

As part of the registration process, both private individuals and businesses will be reviewed by the money transfer provider to ensure all money transfer regulations are adhered to.

Does submitting my details to a money transfer provider through mean I have to make a trade?

No. Submitting your details does not commit you to take any actions with any provider. It simply begins the process that allows you to make a trade if you want to.

What’s the difference between interbank rates, rates you see in bureaus de change, smaller payment companies and foreign exchange specialists?

When you search online for exchange rate of various currency pairs or refer to business publications like FT, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Yahoo Finance etc. you will often be presented with interbank rates, which are based on large volumes of foreign currency sold between banks.

Rates in the foreign exchange bureaus in the high street and airports are the exchange rates for smaller volumes and mainly associated with travel requirements. As the amount is smaller and involves physically handling money, the rates are priced accordingly.

Foreign exchange specialist brokers such as those listed on will typically be a cheaper alternative than using your bank or a high street or airport provider.

What is an exchange rate margin?

Exchange rate margin is the amount the bank, broker, provider or exchange bureau adds onto the interbank exchange rate when they quote the rate to the consumer. The bigger the margin, the more each money exchange or money transfer will cost you. Typically, these margins will decline as the amount of money being exchanged is increased.

Why and for how long should you keep receipts relating to your money transfer transaction?

It is prudent to keep your receipts in case something does go wrong and then you have proof of the funds sent to the broker, the exchange rate they quoted and the amount of funds being sent on and to whom they were being sent. The broker will provide you with a confirmation once the funds have been sent which will detail every element of the transaction.

What identification is needed when transferring money abroad?

Basic customer identification is a key element in ensuring that a money transaction is secure, and that it is delivered to its intended recipient. It is also a legal obligation for banks and money transfer operators to accurately identify their new customers to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The person receiving the money may also need to show ID to be able to prove they are the intended recipient.

Most forms of standard photographic ID and official documents proving your address are accepted by banks and money transfer operators, and with many providers you may only need to show your ID on your first visit if you register with them (unless you are sending large sums of money). If you are having problems producing this kind of ID, some organisations may accept a letter of reference from a professional person known to you personally, such as a doctor, solicitor, policeman or woman, judge, counsellor, politician etc.

After the money has been sent, how long does it usually take to arrive?

This can be from 10 minutes/instant (often for smaller or online transactions), between 1 and 3 days using foreign currency specialists compared on fxcompared and up to 7 days for electronic transfers from banks.

If you send a money order it is then dependent on the postal service you use to send it. The person sending the money should always ask the provider they are using how long they expect the transfer to take. It is advisable to always ask the company transferring the funds how long it should take for the funds to clear in the recipient’s bank.

What do you do if you do not receive the money?

If you do not receive the money, you need to get in touch with the person who sent it to you and they need to contact the provider they used presenting a receipt for the transaction.

What is an “IBAN” and what are Swift codes, ABA numbers and Sort Codes?

IBAN is an International Bank Account Number, it is there to standardise the identification of bank accounts. It is not a new account number so your existing bank code and account numbers will not be replaced, but additional characters will appear in front of them. The complete identifier will be known as the IBAN. It is intended this will improve the quality of information exchanged between parties involved in European cross border payments and reduce delays that may come from errors.

The SWIFT system is a secure messaging system that allows banks to instruct each other on payments and accounts that they hold with each other. Sometimes it is sufficient to provide a branch code, such as a BSB code in Australia, or Sort code in the UK. In America you require ABA codes, or routing numbers. In Europe you require an IBAN number. These codes allow the FX providers to accurately identify the bank and branch where your money is being sent.

What is a spot contract?

Spot contract is for immediate sale and delivery of a spot currency. If speed is a priority and you need to transfer money fast at the best exchange rates, spot contracts are the right option. Once you verbally or online agree a rate with your chosen currency specialist, your currency can be transferred as soon as you have paid for the contract.

What is a forward contract?

A forward contract is a deal that enables a client to buy foreign currency based on current market rates, for a delivery at a pre-determined date in the future (up to one year ahead).

FX providers offer their clients the ability to take part or full delivery of their currency at an earlier date (Drawdown), or if business circumstances dictate, defer payment and delivery of the currency (Rollover) to a later date. A deposit will be required for each forward deal which acts as security and is deducted from part or full settlement of the trade.

Corporate clients regularly use forward contracts as an important part of hedging their foreign currency needs, protecting their profit margins and identifying cost levels.

What is Peer-to-Peer and what are Peer-to-Peer Money Transfer Providers?

You’ve probably heard the term “peer-to-peer” quite often in the last few years in relation to file sharing and torrent downloading. However, the development of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) has branched into the mainstream, and is today used by many legitimate and legal services and industries.

But what exactly is Peer-to-Peer? At its most basic form, it’s when a system is used to connect consumers directly with the creators of a product or service, or allowing users to connect to each other in a similar fashion. It cuts out the middleman.

Peer to peer has added a new type of company to the world of Foreign Currency Exchange by allowing senders and receivers of different currencies to set their own rates and trade directly with each other, cutting out the banks’ fees and exchange rate margins in the process. Both CurrencyFair and Transferwise are examples of peer-to-peer money transfer providers and can be found on fxcompared comparison listings.

What are the most commonly traded currencies in the Forex market?

The US dollar is the most traded currency, being on one side of 86.3% of all transactions. The Euro's share is second at 37%, while that of the Yen is at 16.5%. The most popular currencies along with their symbols are shown below:

USD - United States Dollar
EUR - Euro Members Euro
JPY - Japan Yen
GBP - Great Britain Pound
CHF - Switzerland Franc
CAD - Canada Dollar
AUD - Australia Dollar
NZD - New Zealand Dollar

If you have any additional questions or need further information, please feel free to contact the team by clicking here