Paysera is a company who offer a money exchange service, which allows you to send money overseas. The full range of money exchange services includes banks, building societies, money transfer firms and foreign exchange (FX) brokers. Read this article to find out whether Paysera is the right option for you.

Who are Paysera Money Transfer?

Paysera money transfers are available in 50 different currencies. Money transfers are usually available the same day and the company offers an online currency exchange calculator. The company was founded in 2004 and handles transfers every year in excess of €3.9 billion.

Factors to consider when exchanging money

When sending money overseas, there are various factors to take into account:

  • How much you plan to send
  • The total cost, including exchange rates and fees
  • The frequency of the payments
  • The way in which the person wants to receive it at the other end
  • How urgent the payment is – is it required on the same day, or can it wait?

Take a look at these steps so that you find the best deal to suit your situation.

Step 1 – Find out more about your options

If you are planning to send money overseas, there are three options you might want to consider:

  • Bank or building society – a better option if you want to ensure your money is safe, but you may not get the best exchange rate.
  • Foreign exchange (FX) brokers – Paysera are one of these, and one of the benefits is a better exchange rate.
  • High street firms – easily accessible and better for in-person transaction.

Banks are the safest and most convenient option.

FX brokers are the best option for sending larger amounts, such as those payments over £3,000.

Money transfer firms are fast but can be expensive if you are planning to send smaller amounts.

Step 2 – How to calculate the total cost

With Paysera the fees and exchange rates can differ greatly, day upon day, so it is can be difficult to understand the total costs.

The first thing to do is consider how much foreign currency you will get for your pounds. You can use this figure to compare to other offers.

The costs are made up of free charges:

  • Foreign exchange rates – as these change throughout the day, you should aim to snap up a great deal, as soon as it appears.
  • Sending fees – there is the cost of sending the money to take into consideration.
  • Receiving fees – there may be a charge to receive the money too, but you can take care of this.

The fees are variable and will depend on the value of the money you are sending. You will usually get better exchange rates and lower fees, if you are sending large sums, such as over £5,000

You can get a quote from your bank which you can compare with the other options, including quotes from FX brokers sites like FX Compared.

Step 3 – Confirm details

You should select the best deal to suit your needs, and when you have done this, you will need to contact the company who are dealing with your transfer to get confirmation. Make sure they can deliver the transfer in the timeframe you have requested.

You should ask them to confirm all details in writing, either by email or letter. Always keep hold of any paperwork, as you never know when you might need it.

Is it safe to send my money overseas with Paysera?

There is nothing to say that sending money via Paysera is unsafe, however, as they are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which you get with your UK bank or building society, it is not the safest option. This means that if the transfer firm goes bust, you will not receive any compensation.

If Paysera or any other money transfer firms are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised, they will need to follow specific rules, which means you will have a better chance of getting your money back, if the worst happens.

Why not read our page to find out more on checking the authorisation of a firm and what to do if something goes wrong.

It is important to check that the transfer firm you use is FCA authorised firm. This will give you greater protection, especially if you are sending large sums of money.

The pros and cons of using your bank or building society

If safety and convenience is your top priority when sending money overseas, your bank or building society would be the most appropriate choices. These are some of the pros and cons of using your bank or building society.

Pros

  • Easy set up – you can set it up easily via your bank, and they will usually be able to talk you through the process and explain everything to you.
  • Convenience – you can set up payments via online banking or you will find banks and buildings societies on your high street. It is convenient to make payments via your bank.
  • Safety and Security – one of the main benefits is that you have protected when you send money overseas. If the worst happens, you will be able to receive compensation. Something that isn’t prevalent with the other options.

Cons

  • Lower exchange rates – you will usually get better exchange rates via a foreign exchange broker than you will through the bank.
  • Slower transaction – it can take as long as 6 days just to make the transfer, or you can pay extra to do it via the express service. You may also have fees for receiving the transfer.

Can you benefit from making regular payments?

If you are making regular payments, you may be able to benefit from lower fees and better exchange rates through the bank or building society. This is because UK high street banks often have arrangements with overseas banks, or they have branches overseas.

If you are paying for a holiday home for instance, you will need to make regular payments to pay bills and you could benefit from reduced fees through your bank.

You would need to have an account in your name in both countries to be able to benefit from this.

Sending money via your bank account

This is what you will need if you are sending money overseas via your bank account or building society:

  • The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) will be required for the account you are paying the sum of money into. This can be easily located on the bank statement or checking on online banking.
  • You may need these details for your own account too unless it is the same branch but in another country. You can find out what is required when you contact the bank to make the transaction.

Why you might want to use an online or high street money transfer firm

If you want to send money abroad, you may want to use a money or online high street money transfer firm. There are options like Western Union, which you can find on the high street, and others like MoneyGram, which are available in Post Offices. You might also find that they offer online services in some cases.

These are some of the pros and cons of using money transfer firms.

Pros:

  • Varied services – money can be transferred into a bank account, or via instant payment, depending on the needs of the recipient.
  • Quick set up – you may not need to set up an account to transfer the funds, and in many cases, you won’t require identification either. The quick set up can make money transfer firms appealing.
  • Instant payments – you can transfer the money in minutes. If you use a bank account, it is safer, but it is also a much slower process.

Cons

  • Varying fees – you might end up paying high fees, especially if you are sending small amount of money.
  • Variable exchange rates – the exchange rates tend to fluctuate throughout the day, if you see a good deal, you will need to lock it down quickly.
  • Less safe than banks – as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does not provide cover to these firms, it is not as safe as if you transfer via your bank account.

Should you use a high street money transfer service?

If you are thinking about using a high street money transfer service, these are some things worth nothing about using this method to transfer money.

How it works:

  • Money transfer services can be found through a high street agent, as well as in newsagents or at the Post Office.
  • It is easy to transfer money, you usually won’t even need to open an account.
  • You will be given a reference number which should be provided to the recipient. This will allow them to collect the money without any hassle.

Before handing over your cash:

  • Make sure you know what the fees are, and that they are within your budget. They may end up being more than you think, depending on the value.
  • Always ensure you know where the money must be collected, and if the recipient is able to get there. In some cases, you can send the money to the mobile phone ‘wallet’ of the person who is receiving it. You may want to check if this is an option.

Is it a good idea to use an online money transfer service?

How it works:

  • You can expect online transfers to take a few days, which is why they may be best for transfers which are not urgent.
  • You can make international money transfers, using online services, for just a small fee.
  • Signing up is easy, but you will need to have a bank account or credit cards. Internet access and an email address are essential.

Before sending money overseas:

  • It is important that you check exactly what the recipient will need to be able to receive the money. For instance, an email address, bank account etc. The more details you have, the easier the transaction will be.
  • Make sure your money is protected by using a strong password, and don’t share this with anyone else.

Information on using a foreign exchange broker

When sending money abroad, you want to get the best possible deal, and with a foreign exchange (FX) currency broker, you usually can, if you are sending large sums of money.

These are some of the pros and cons of using an FX broker.

Pros

  • Lower fees for higher amounts: if you are planning to send over £3,000, FX brokers will usually not charge any fees on top of this.
  • Better exchange rate – FX brokers are specialists in foreign transactions, which means they usually give you one of the best exchange rates.
  • Quick access – the recipient will usually gain access to their money on the same day.
  • Send regular payments – FX brokers may be able to deal with regular payment needs.

Cons

  • Slow process to open account – if you are making a transfer with an FX broker, you will need to open an account, and this can sometimes take a couple of days.
  • Not best for smaller amounts – FX brokers are not the best for small amounts. They are great for larger transactions though.
  • Less safety – As The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does not cover these firms, it is a less safe option than if you use your own bank for the transaction.

How to use price comparison sites to find the best deal

If you are using price comparison websites to get the best deal, you should consider these points first.

Instead of using just one price comparison site, which most people tend to do, why not broaden your search by looking at a few price comparison websites? You may miss out on some great offers if you only use one.

It can be easy to get distracted when you see a great deal, but you should also make sure it ticks all your boxes. For example, will the money be transferred as quickly as you need it to be? What do the total fees amount to? Is the transfer company FCA authorised? These are all things to consider before you snap up a seemingly great deal!

Can you get scammed?

Scammers exist in all walks of life, and it is not different in the money transfer world. You need to be careful when you choose a dealer, so that you can minimise the risks of being scammed.

Although it is doubtful that Paysera is a scam, it is important to be diligent.

These are some actions you can take to prevent this happening to you.

  • Don’t just go with any deal, make sure it is what is makes out to be!
  • Check any contact is authentic before responding or clicking on links. For example, is the email address from a legitimate company? You may even want to do a bit of research yourself to check they have a website etc.
  • Do not give out personal detail unless you know it’s a legitimate company. Scammers will often ask for your bank details.

Preparing to transfer large sums in the future

Exchange rates tend to fluctuate, and sometimes even on a daily basis. If you are sending money abroad and you are worried about the exchange rate changing significantly, you may want to lock it down for the future.

This is called a ‘forward contract’ and it’s useful if you think you’ll want to send a large sum of money in the future. It means that you’ll be more likely to end up with a favourable exchange rate when you do it.

If you are planning to buy a holiday home in the future, for instance, and you will need to pay a down payment, this can be a good way to lock a great rate.

If things go wrong with Paysera

There are several options to choose from, and no matter which one you opt for, you should always ensure you have the receipts and any paperwork you have been given. This is incase, if the worst happens, you have evidence to support your case.

Unlike banks and building societies, money transfer firms and FX brokers are not covered by the compensation scheme, so they are not the safest option.

However, if Paysera is ‘registered’ with the FCA, your money will not be safeguarded, and if they go bust – you lose your money.

If they are FCA ‘authorised’ they must keep your money separate from company funds, which means you have greater protection that you will receive your money back.

If you want to check Paysera FCA authorisation, you can do this via the Financial Conduct Authority website, which will open in a new window.

Alternatives to sending money overseas with Paysera

When making payments and purchases, you can also use your credit or debit card, instead of money transfer firms, and this option can often be more convenient.

You should always think twice before sending a cheque overseas, as this can be slow and often expensive. You have foreign bank charges to deal with, as well as potential UK bank handling charges.

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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