Ifyou are considering using Lebara Money Transfer for your transfer needs, this article could be just what you need.
Who are Lebara Money Transfer?
Lebara has become an official partner of WorldRemit, offering customers a very convenient way to send money order around the world. The company allows customers to send and receive money to over 145 countries and new customers will get the first two money transfers free of charge.
Sending Money Overseas
There are several reasons you might want to transfer money overseas. You may have family who are living abroad and need access to funds, or you might have a child who might be travelling and needs access to funds. Another reason is that you may have a holiday home and need to send money to cover your bills.
When you are transferring money overseas, there are plenty of companies who are vying for your business, including money transfer firms like Lebara Money Transfer, banks and building societies.
With so many options available to you, it is no wonder that the whole process can seem confusing and it can be difficult to know where to start.
Every individual company has different deals to offer, and before giving you a quote, they will want to know the total value of what you are sending, the frequency of the exchanges and how quickly the recipient will require it.
This article will discuss Lebara Money Transfer and the other options available for money transfer, so you can make the right choice to suit your needs and circumstances.
What are the options for money transfer?
When you are doing a money transfer, there are three options available to you. You can send via your own bank or building society, use a foreign exchange broker or there is also the option of a high street transfer firm.
There are pros and cons to each of the options, but before you decide, there are some things to consider. You should consider how quickly the recipient needs the funds (not every option will be able to send the money instantly), the volume of money you want to send, and your budget, as all options will have different fees and charges.
If you are looking for the safest option, your bank or building society will be the best option, and it is definitely worth considering if you want to make regular payments.
Lebara Money Transfer and the Potential Costs
There are a range of fees to take into account when looking at the most suitable option, as well as interest and of course, the exchange rates. The whole thing can seem like a bit of a minefield so you should get all the facts in place before deciding what to do.
In the first instance, work out what amount of currency you can get for your pounds. This will give you a starting point which you can use to look at the other deals and offers available. You will then need to take into consideration any fees which will be added on top of this, and this will give you your total cost.
It is then worth looking around to see what options there are available, and which will be the most cost effective.
Lebara Money Transfer’s foreign exchange rates may change even day to day.
This is why you shouldn’t leave it too long if you are comparing offers. Try to compare the deals on the same day, as some of them are shape shifting, and may not be available if you hang around too long.
There will be sending fees associated with your money exchange through Lebara Money Transfer, as well as potentially fees for the receiver at the end of the process.
It is important to find out whether there will be receiver fees, and how much these will be, as you don’t want any unexpected costs that the recipient can’t afford. The good thing is that you can cover the cost, so that the recipient isn’t left with it.
Get it all in writing
After you have weighed up all the offers, it is time to take the next step and get your money transfer in place, but always make sure you get confirmation in writing.
When you have made your decision, you can advise the bank, broker or exchange firm of your decision and inform them they will be able to deal with your personal details.
You will have a specific amount you are looking to send, as well as expectations of the timeframe, and a clear destination for where the funds will be received.
With this in mind, it is important to have confirmation from the exchange firm you are using, as if anything is incorrect, you will have proof to back up any claims.
Hold on to any receipts you have received, as these will contain the specific information you need, including the amount you are sending and the destination. The receipt will be unique to you, and should be retained for the future.
Is It Safe to Use Lebara Money Transfer
When we are just using our everyday banking, we have the safety and security of knowing that our money will be protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This means that we will be compensated, if anything happens to the bank, i.e. they go bust!
When you use foreign exchange firms for your transfer needs, such as Lebara Money Transfer, you won’t have this level of security. If the money transfer firm happens to go bust, your money will, unfortunately, go with it.
There is some peace of mind though, in the form of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.) If the transfer firm is approved by the FCA, it means there are certain guidelines the company must adhere to. This means your money benefits from greater security, and if the worst happens, you will have a better chance of getting your money back.
The best tip before using any foreign exchange firm such as Lebara Money Transfer, is to ensure the company has FCA approval. This is particularly important if you are intending to send large volumes of money, and you are concerned about the safety of it.
Lebara Money Transfer alternative: using your own bank account!
You already have a bank account, so why do you need to use a foreign exchange from to send money overseas? The answer is you don’t, really!
Your bank or building society can offer the exact same service as a foreign exchange firm, and if you contact them, they will discuss the options you have and help you with the process.
It is safer to use your bank or building society, and as you already have an account, it is much safer too. If it is your first time sending money overseas, it can offer that additional peace of mind that your money will be safe.
There are many advantages to using your bank account for your money transfer. It is easy to arrange, as you already have an account, you will have help and guidance throughout and it is safer. You may even be able to do the whole process online!
With the good, must come the bad though. There are also some downsides to using your bank. You won’t benefit from the best exchange rates, as they tend to be much lower, and the process can also be on the slow side.
It can take up to 6 working days for the transfer to be complete, whereas, if you use an exchange firm, you can often complete the transfer on the same day.
Making Regular Payments
Although the process can be a little slow with UK banks, you will have the option of paying a transfer fee to speed the process up. If you want the safety of using your bank, but need to send the money urgently, this may be a good compromise.
You may even find that your UK bank will have a counterpart overseas, which will allow you to benefit from special rates. You may not need to pay any fees for a quick transfer.
If they do have a counterpart, ask your bank if you can benefit from lower exchange rates or if there is anything they can do to reduce or eradiate the charges.
This will be even more beneficial if you are looking to send regular payments overseas.
If you are paying bills on your family home overseas, or you are making regular payments to family members who reside overseas, special arrangements can be much more cost effective.
You should have an account with your own name in the UK and the country you are making the regular payments to. This may allow you to benefit from lower overall costs, as well as reduced fees.
Lebara Money Transfer Alternative: Use High Street Firms
The other option is to use a high street foreign exchange firm to take care of your money transfer needs.
It is quite easy to set this up, as you will be able to find branches on the high street, where you can go in and discuss your needs with someone in-person. For instance, in the Post Office or you can look on the internet to find the best options, and most attractive deals.
Some of the advantages of using high street firms are that you will benefit from the many options of services they can provide you with, including making instant transfers straight to the receipient.
It is also simple to set up the process, you usually won’t need to have an account with the high street foreign exchange firm, and depending on the amount you are planning to send, you may not require ID.
The other major benefit is that they can complete the process quickly. If your family need money instantly, then this can be hugely beneficial. This one really depends on how urgent it may be.
You need to check what the fees and costs will be though, as these can vary depending on the firm. It may be the case that you will end up with higher fees for sending small amounts.
There are other downsides too, the exchange rate may vary, so if you see a great deal, make sure you take advantage of it, as it might not be the same tomorrow. Always take advantage of great deals, as quickly as possible.
It is also not as safe, as using a bank or building society. The issue is that many firms are not covered by the FSCS, as we discussed earlier in the article.
Lebara Money Transfer
Another alternative is using a broker such as Lebara Money Transfer for sending money overseas. This is a great option if you are planning to send large sums of money, as you can usually benefit from lower fees.
Brokers are also specialists in exchange rates, which is highly beneficial for you, the customer, as they will be able to give you better rates, particularly if you are making regular payments overseas.
Another extremely attractive point about using a broker like Lebara Money Transfer, is that the process can be completed quickly. There is no messing about, and they can usually complete the transfer on the same day, or within 24 hours.
It’s not all good though. It can take time to set up the account with a Broker, even up to two days to get everything tied up; slowing the whole process down.
You should only use a Broker for sending large amounts, as you may end up with larger fees if you send small amounts. This means that the time taken to set up the account, may not be wortwhile.
Brokers are not as safe either, and your money may not be protected if they go bust. Although some may be, not all brokers are covered by the FSCS, so check this first.
Compare the offers
Don’t just take the first offer you see, make sure you compare them, just like you would do with anything. Make sure you have a good grasp of what different firms are offering and how these can benefit you, before making a final decision.
You don’t even need to restrict yourself to one comparison site, as there are many to choose from. Use one or two, or even use them all!
They key to finding the best deal is to ensure your comparison is detailed, put as much information on it as possible. Make sure you utilise the filers, as these will ensure your comparison is as exact to your match as possible.
When you find a good deal that suits your needs, you can then use this data to match up with the other firms, brokers and banks. You should also ensure the deal with be covered, or even better authorised, by the FCA.
Keep your mind open to scams, as these are relatively common in money transfers. Always be aware that not every deal is as clear cut as it may seem.
As a general rule, if the deal looks significantly better than the others, it is probably a scam. Ignore it and go back to looking at the other, more realistic, options.
If you get a deal and it’s asking you to click on links which take you to an external website, or it asks you to make calls, be aware of these, as it could be a scam. If you are asked to send personal details over emails, you should ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company.
Legitimate companies will usually not operate in this way. It may not be the case, but always be on alert.
If you are opening an overseas account, make sure the provider is authorised. Don’t give out your details to anyone who asks. Always ensure everything is as it should be.
Consider other options too, such as using a credit card for your payments and purchases. If you are shopping online, it can be handy to use a credit card. The good thing about credit cards is also that they are convenient, and they offer a great deal of safety and security. If anything goes wrong, you will usually get your money back.
There are also other options for sending money overseas, but you may want to avoid issuing cheques for payment, or foreign bank drafts as they are otherwise known. The issue with these is that they could be intercepted by the wrong people, and in this case, you will be unlikely to see your money again.
The process can also be extremely slow, it offers less safety and you may end up with handling charges, at both the UK side and the receiving end.