Global Money Express is one method you can use to send your money overseas. There is also the option of sending your money via your bank and other transfer firms and brokers. Read this article to find out a bit more about whether Global Money Express is the best option or if you should choose an alternative instead.

Who are Global Money Express?

Global Money Express offers money transfers between the UK and Poland. The company was established in 1993 and consists of a young team that wants to excel in customer satisfaction.

What choices do you have for money transfer?

If you are transferring money overseas, there are various options to choose from. You should take the following factors into account when determining what option to choose.

  • the total value of what you are sending
  • the cost of sending the money, i.e. the fees
  • the frequency of the payments. Is it a one off or are you sending money regularly?
  • the way in which the person at the other end wants to receive it
  • the urgency of the payment. Does the recipient need it quickly or can they wait?

These are some steps you can take to find the most viable option to suit your needs.

Step 1 – Understanding your options

You have three options to consider when sending money overseas:

  • bank or building society
  • foreign exchange (FX) brokers, such as Global Money Express
  • high street transfer firms, such as Western Union

If you send money via your bank or building society, this will be the safest and most convenient option, especially for regular payments.

FX brokers may be the most relevant option if you are planning to send large sums of money overseas, such as over £3,000

If you need to transfer the money quickly, money transfer firms may be the best option. Although they can offer a fast service, it could end up being more expensive, especially if are sending small amounts overseas.

Step 2 – What will the total cost be?

When you are trying to work out the total cost, it can seem a bit tricky as there are a wide range of fees and exchange rates to consider.

The first thing to do is to figure out exactly how much foreign currency you will receive for your pounds, when all costs are taken into account. With this figure, you can start to make comparisons with other offers from different companies.

The costs can generally be broken down into three parts:

  • Foreign exchange rates – these are variable and can even change during the day. If you are comparing exchange rates, it is best to do this on the same day .
  • Sending fees – every firm will charge you money for making the exchange, so this is important to understand.
  • Receiving fees – you may have a receiver fee at the end, which is what the recipient will be charged. However, you may be able to pay this fee.

The fees may differ, depending on the amount you are sending. Some firms will give you a better deal if you are sending a large amount, such as over £5,000.

A sensible way to begin the process is to ask from a quote from your bank, and use this to compare with the other offers, including quotes you can receive from FX brokers sites such as FX Compared.

Step 3 – Get confirmation of the details

As soon as you have found the option which offers the best value, you should make sure the firm are able to deal with the amount you want to send. They should also be able to deal with your timeframe. For example, some firms may not be able to do instant transfers.

The confirmation should be provided in writing, either email or post.

You should also make a point of retaining all the paperwork and receipts which are relevant to the transaction. This will give you something to fall back on, should anything go wrong.

Are Global Money Express safe for a money transfer?

The money you hold in a UK savings account will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means that if they end up going bust, your money will stay safe. With foreign exchange money transfer firms, you will not have this peace of mind. There will not be a compensation scheme in place, so if they go bust, your money disappears too.

Some FX brokers or money transfer firms such as Global Money Express may be FCA authorised. This means that they will be required to follow certain regulations. You will have a greater chance of receiving a refund, if they are authorised by the FCA.

Read our page on checking the authorisation of a firm and what to do if something goes wrong.

In case you are planning to send large amounts of money, it is better that you opt for a firm who are FCA authorised. You will have greater peace of mind that should the worst happen, your money will be protected.

Should you use your bank or building society?

One option for sending money overseas is your bank or building society. This is a safe option and it is also convenient as you already have an account set up. These are some pros and cons of this option:

Pros:

  • Easy Set Up – if you are not sure how to transfer money overseas using your bank, they will be able to talk you through the process and help you set it up. You may even be able to do it via your mobile phone.
  • Convenience – we all like convenience in our lives these days, and with this option, you can set it up quickly and easily, even as a regular payment if needed.
  • Security – you can have peace of mind that your money is protected when you send money overseas via your bank.

Cons:

  • Lower exchange rates – banks notoriously offer lower exchange rates than foreign exchange brokers, especially for large amounts.
  • Slower option – if the recipient needs access to the money quickly, this is not the best option. It can often take up to 6 business days, just for a standard transfer. Although there is usually the option of an express service which will only take 1 or 2 days. You may be asked to pay a receiver fee, but you can cover this, rather than the receipient.

How to make regular payments

As there are UK high street banks who also have branches overseas, you may be able to reach a special agreement with your branch.

As a result, you may end up with lower charges, or even no charges on the overseas payments you make, and you may benefit from competitive exchange rates.

If you are planning to send money overseas on a regular basis, this can be particularly beneficial. For example, if you are paying bills on another home you have overseas.

In order to benefit from these reduced fees, you will be required to have an account in your own name in both countries.

Requirements for regular payments

If you wish to send money overseas via your bank or building society, this is the information you will need:

  • The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for the recipients account. This can be easily located by the receiver via their bank statement or by calling up their bank.
  • The IBAN and BIC from your own account, although this may not be necessary if it is the same bank, but different branch.

What you need for an online or high street money transfer firm

If you want to find a money transfer firm for your overseas transfer, it is relatively easy to do so.

Some money transfer firms, such as Western Union, will have branches you can find on the high street, and you can also find MoneyGram in Post Office branches. There are many high street money transfer firms who will also be able to allow you to send the money online.

These are some of the pros and cons of sending money via a money transfer firm.

Pros:

  • Range of options – there are many different ways the recipient can receive the money, such as instant cash or straight into their bank account.
  • Simple set-up – you may not be required to set up an account, and if you are sending small sums of money, it is not always necessary to provide identification.
  • Quick process – the cash transfer may be able to be completed in just minutes. If you send money via your bank, it can take several days.

Cons:

  • Wide variety of fees – the fees may vary, depending on the service you opt for. They may be particularly high for small amounts. This means you could pay £10 for sending a payment of just £50.
  • Varying exchange rates -as the exchange rates are variable, you should always ensure you compare the costs on the day you are intending to send the money. You may even be able to do this online.
  • Less safety – As the FSCS does not cover these firms, you will not have the same level of protection. If they go bust, you may lose your money too.

What to expect with a high street money transfer service

How they work:

  • It is possible to find money transfer services via a high street agent, or you can also locate these in newsagents or even at the Post Office.
  • It is not always essential to open an account with a money transfer service. You will usually just need to hand the money over, pay any related fees and the process will be taken care of.
  • After the money has been transferred, you will be provided with a reference number. You should give this to the recipient, and no one else. Anyone could pick up the money, if they have the reference number, so make sure you keep this safe and secure.

Things to consider before paying:

  • Make sure you know what the fees will be, it may be fast but could also be expensive.
  • If you are looking to send instant cash abroad, you should make sure you know how the recipient should collect it. Make sure they will be able to reach the branch they need to pick it up from. You may even be able to send cash to the recipient’s mobile-phone ‘wallet’ if they have one (using systems such as M-PESA).

What you need to know about an online money transfer service

What to expect:

  • Online transfers may take up to a few days. If you need to send money urgently, this may not be the best option.
  • You will be able to use the online services for sending money overseas, but there may be a fee attached to this.
  • You will need to register a bank account or credit card via the firm’s website. This will require internet access, as well as an email address. Make sure you have all this to hand before getting started.

What you need to do before sending money overseas:

  • Make sure you understand exactly what the recipient requires before you send the money. If they will require a bank account, or email address, check they have this before you get signed up.
  • Always ensure you keep your money protected by using a password that is difficult to guess. You should not share this with anyone else.

Should you use a foreign exchange broker?

If you are intending to send large sums of money overseas, you will usually get the best deal by using a foreign exchange (FX) currency broker.

These are some of the pros and cons of using a foreign exchange broker.

Pros:

  • Lower fees – if you are transferring large sums of over £3,000. you may not be charged any fees if you use FX brokers.
  • High exchange rate – as FX brokers are specialists in currency exchange, they will usually give you the best offers, as opposed to using a bank or money transfer firm.
  • Quick process – you may find that the recipient will receive the money in their bank account on the same day, or the next day.
  • Regular transfers – you may be able to send regular payments if you use an FX broker.

Cons:

  • Slow process – if you are transferring via an FX broker, it may take some time to complete the process. You will be required to open an account, and this could take one or two days.
  • You may not get the best deal – FX brokers may not be the best option if you are sending small amounts of money.
  • Less safe – The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will not provide cover to these firms. If they go bust, you will likely lose your money.

How to find the best deal using price comparison sites

When looking for the best deal for your money transfer, there are some aspects to take into account and things which will make your search more successful.

Don’t just stick to one price comparison site, make sure you use several as this will help ensure you find the best deal. You could miss out on some great offers if you only use one.

The deal should fit all your needs. There is a lot of choice out there and it can be distracting, and this can lead you to missing out on the best deal. Make sure it fits with your timeframe, and has a branch in the location you desire. It should also be FCA authorised.

Make sure there are no filters on, as these may be hiding some great deals. Your perfect offer could be there, but the filters are stopping you from viewing them.

Transfer scams – what you need to know

There are scams which exist in all sectors, and it is no different with transfer firms. You need to ensure you are careful when handing over money, and check that the deal is legitimate.

We don’t believe that Global Money Express is a scam, but you should still ensure you are careful.

There are ways to ensure you don’t end up getting scammed:

  • If you see a deal which is much better than the others, and it looks too good, it is probably a scam.
  • If you are getting unexpected calls or emails, and you don’t recognise the company or haven’t provided your details to them, this is an indication of a scam.
  • If they are asking for your bank details straight away, or any other personal details, it is probably not a legitimate company.

Preparing for future needs

You should not just think about your current transfer needs, but also prepare for the future.

If you are concerned about the exchange rate changing in the future, you can lock in the current exchange rate through a ‘forward contract.’ This locks it in for your future trade needs.

If you are planning on sending large sums of money, these forwards can be extremely useful for future needs.

You may have a need to put down money on a holiday home in the future, for example, and you might be concerned about the weakening of the pound, or strengthening of the euro. The forward contract can help ensure you benefit from the very best deal.

If things don’t work out with Global Money Express

No matter which option you go for, you should ensure you retain your receipts, as well as any other paperwork, just incase you need it in the future.

As money transfer firms and FX brokers do not have compensation scheme cover, they are not as safe as if you use your own bank.

If Global Money Express has a registration with the FCA, they will not need to keep your money secure, even if they go bust.

On the other hand, if they are authorised with the FCA, this is different as they need to keep the money apart from the company funds.

You will be able to check Global Money Express FCA authorisation on the Financial Conduct Authority website which will open in new window.

If you are searching for other small firms, including money transfers agencies such as Western Union, you should use a postcode search to find the most relevant option to suit your needs.

Other options than sending money overseas with Global Money Express

There are other options available for overseas transactions, such as if you are shopping overseas. You can use a credit or debit card, which is not only convenient, but a safe option too.

You should always refrain from sending a foreign bank draft (similar to a UK cheque) to overseas companies, as this is not the most convenient way to make payment.

It is a slow process and can be quite expensive, as you will have charges and possibly handing charges too.

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About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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