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How to make international money transfers

Believe it or not, international money transfers can actually be fast and quite simple to complete! Whether you need to make a foreign payment, transfer money to a friend or family member overseas, or move money between your own accounts held different countries, there are a number of different transfer methods to consider.

Western Union and Moneygram

These international companies allow you to transfer money to almost anywhere in the world. It takes just minutes and you'll find over 350,000 agents in 200 countries. You can do it in person, over the phone and online - although security checks mean that you'll have to register with the website five days before transferring money abroad.

To pay in person, visit an agent, pay the money (cash or credit/debit card) and you'll be given an identification number. Pass this code onto the recipient, who will use it (along with their ID) to collect the transfer.

Banks

Most high street banks offer international money transfer services. Charges vary according to the bank, where you are sending money, how much you are sending and how quickly you would like it to arrive.

Most - but not all - major banks will also offer online money transfers. If you're registered for online banking, log in to your accounts and check to see if you have the option. You will usually be charged high street rates, but it can be a lot more convenient than having to visit a branch to make international money transfers.

You'll need the recipient's BIC number (Bank Identifier Code) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number).

Online payment services

There are a number of websites that allow you to send cash across the world. Most charge a percentage of your transfer, while others charge a flat fee for all international money transfers.

Moneybrookers and Paypal are two of the best known and most reliable services - and under many circumstances, you can transfer money for free or for a very small charge.

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