UKForex is just one of many ways to send money overseas, including banks, money transfer firms and foreign exchange (FX) brokers.

Who are UKForex?

UKForex offers very competitive exchange rates as well as no fees on international money transfers. Money transfers can be done online to more than 190 countries.

Choosing how to exchange your money

The most suitable way to send money overseas depends on a range of factors including:

  • the total value of the money transfer
  • how much it will cost you, including fees
  • the frequency of the payments
  • the way the person at the other end wants to receive it
  • how quickly you want the money to reach them

You can follow these steps to ensure you find the right deal for your own situation.

Step 1 – Work out your options

There are three main options for sending the money overseas, these are:

  • bank or building society
  • foreign exchange (FX) brokers (like UKForex)
  • high street transfer firms (such as Western Union).

Banks are the most safe and convenient for regular payments. If this is your main concern, then you may want to do the transfer via your bank.

FX brokers will usually be the best option if you are sending over £3,000.

Money transfer firms are the fastest option, but they may be more expensive, especially if you are sending smaller amounts.

Step 2 – Find out the cost

With UKForex there are a wide range of possible fees and exchange rates that can make it confusing to work out the total cost.

The first thing to do is to figure out the total amount of foreign currency you can buy from your pounds after all costs are taken into account. This will provide you with a figure, that can be used to compare against the other offers.

The costs are made up of three main parts:

  • Foreign exchange rates – these are likely to fluctuate throughout the day, so keep an eye on them, and snap up a great deal when you see it!
  • Sending fees – find out what the firm will be charging you to send the money, these vary greatly between different companies.
  • Receiving fees – there may be a charge at the end of the transfer, make sure you know what this is.

Fees will vary, depending on how much you are planning to send. For example, some exchanges offer better rates, for transactions of over £5,000.

The best way to start is to ask for a quote from your bank and compare this to the others, include quotes from FX brokers sites like FX Compared.

Step 3 – Ask for confirmation

Once you have selected the most suitable option that works best for your needs, you will also need to confirm that the company will be able to handle the amount you want to transfer and within the timeframe you expect.

If possible, you should ask for this in writing.

You should retain all the confirmation, so that you have it incase it is needed for any reason in the future.

Is it safe to transfer my money overseas with UKForex?

The money you have in your UK savings account is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and if a firm goes bust, you will have protection. With foreign exchange money transfer firms, the money is not protected. This means that if the worst happens, you won’t have the same level of protection.

Money transfer firms or FX brokers like UKForex who are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised will be required to follow certain rules that will increase the chance of getting your money back, if the firm gets into trouble.

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

If you’re planning to send a lot of money, you would be better off trying using an FCA authorised firm, which will offer you greater protection.

Using your bank or building society

Your bank or building society is always able to take care of the transfer, and it is a convenient way to send your money overseas.

Pros

  • Quick and easy– your bank will be able to guide you through the process and you may even be able to make the transaction over the phone.
  • Convenient – you can find banks and building societies everywhere, so even if you are not online, you will still be able to do the transaction without any issues.
  • Safety– you will have greater peace of mind that your money will be safe and secure if you send it via your bank or building society.

Cons

  • Lower exchange rates – if the amount you are sending is over £5,000, you could end up getting a better deal on the exchange rate by using a foreign exchange broker.
  • Slower option – it can take longer to complete the transaction, sometimes as long as 4-6 business days, but you will be able to reduce the time, if you pay a fee. Some foreign banks will also charge a receivers fee at the end of the transaction too. It is important to be aware of this, so there are no surprises at the end.

What to do to make regular payments

Many UK high street banks will also have branches overseas or they make special arrangements with overseas banks.

This may result in lower charges or even no charges when you make overseas payment. You may also get more competitive exchange rates.

This can be particularly useful if you are looking to make frequent payments abroad. For instance, paying bills on a holiday home.

To benefit from from paying reduced fees, you would probably be required to hold an account in your own name in both countries.

What you may need

  • You will need to have details of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for the account of the recipient, and they will be able to retrieve these details from their bank or from a bank statement. They will also be able to get these via online banking.
  • You will also need the IBAN and BIC from your own bank account. If you are transferring to another branch of the same bank, you may not need these details.

Using an online or high street money transfer firm

It is easy to find a money transfer firm to help you transfer money overseas.

Some, like Western Union, have high street branches, and you can find MoneyGram in Post Office branches. Some also offer online services.

Pros

  • Variety of services – some money transfer firms will be able to provide instant cash to your recipient, others will be able to transfer money directly into a bank account.
  • Easy to set-up – you don’t usually won’t be required to set up an account. If you are sending smaller amounts, you may not even need to provide identification.
  • Fast Process – the cash transfer can be completed within a few minutes. If you send from your bank account, it may take a few days.

Cons

  • Fees may vary – the fees will be different depending on which firm you choose, they may be particularly high if you are sending smaller amounts. The result is that you may pay as much as £10 to transfer just £50. Always stay aware of the fees.
  • Exchange rates can vary on a daily basis and according to currency – you should ensure you compare the costs on the same day, as they may vary from day to day.
  • Less safe and secure – the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does not cover these firms. If they go bust, you can say goodbye to your money!

Using a high street money transfer service

What to do:

  • Money transfer firms can be found through a high street agent, or you may find them in newsagents or at the Post Office.
  • You may not be required to open an account. You can just hand over the funds you want to send and pay any required fees.
  • After paying the money for the transfer, you’ll get a reference number . You should give this to the recipient, and not anyone else. Only the person with the number will be able to pick up the cash. Don’t share it with anyone else!

Do these before handing over the cash:

  • Make sure you check the fees. The service may be quick, but it can also be expensive.
  • If you are sending ‘instant cash’ abroad, find out where the money can will be collected from. Make sure the recipient of the funds will be able to easily get to that branch or agency. There is also the possibility of sending cash to a recipient’s mobile-phone ‘wallet’ if they have one (using systems such as M-PESA).

Using an online money transfer service

What you need to know:

  • Online transfers may take a few days, so you shouldn’t use this service if you the recipient needs it urgently.
  • Online money transfer firms will allow you to make international money transfers through online services, but you may have a small fee.
  • To sign up for this service, you will need to register your bank account or credit card details through the firm’s website. You will need access to the internet, and an email address.

What you need to know before doing the transfer:

  • Find out what the recipient will need to be able to receive the cash. If they need a bank account, internet access or an email address, make sure they have this before you sign up.
  • To ensure your money is protected, make sure you choose a password that is difficult to guess, and don’t share this with anyone.

Using a foreign exchange broker

If you would like to send a large sum of money overseas, you will probably get the best deal by choosing a foreign exchange (FX) currency broker.

Pros

  • Lower fees – if you are transferring large amounts, such as over £3,000, FX brokers will probably not charge you fees.
  • Better exchange rate – As FX brokers specialise in currency transaction you will usually get a better exchange.
  • Quick Service – the recipient will usually receive the money in the same day, or within a few days.
  • Regular payments – some FX brokers will be able to deal with regular transfers.

Cons

  • Takes time to open account – to make a transfer with an FX broker, you will need to open and pay into an account. This may not be immediate, it might take one or two days
  • Not ideal for sending small amounts – FX brokers are not generally the best option for sending smaller amounts.
  • Not as safe – The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does will not cover these firms if they go bust.

Always use a range of comparison sites to find the best deal

If you are searching for the best deal to transfer the money, there are some points to consider.

You should ensure that you use more than one price comparison site. You may end up missing a great deal, if you use only one price comparison sites.

You should ensure the deals suits your needs. There is so much choice out there, that it can be difficult to find the right option Always make sure the deal suits your needs, and is FCA authorised, if you require this.

Make sure you check the filters, as sometimes filters may hide great deals, and if that’s the case, you may end up missing out.

Understanding transfer scams

Unfortunately, there seems to be scams around for everything, and these include people who are targeting people looking to transfer money. This means you should always make sure you look out for scams and be aware of what these scammers try to do.

We don’t believe that UKForex is a scam, but you need to be diligent.

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

  • If the deal looks like it’s too good, it probably is.
  • If you receive unexpected emails or calls, and you don’t recognise the sender, this could be a scam.
  • Do not give out your bank details, unless you trust and know it is a legitimate sender.

Consider future payments

You will be able to send money abroad using the current exchange rate.

If you are concerned about exchange rates changing for a future amount transfer you plan to make, you may wish to consider a ‘forward contract’, whcih will lock in the exchange rate for a future trade.

These are useful if you intend to send a large sum of cash at some point in the future.

For instance, if you know you’ll need to put down a payment on a holiday home in Spain but, you are concerned about the pound weakening or the euro strengthening before you get the chance to send the money, this will allow you to lock in the rate.

What if things don’t go to plan with UKForex

Regardless of the option you choose, you must ensure you retain all receipts and paperwork related to the transaction, as possible.

Money transfer forms and FX brokers will not be covered by the compensation scheme, so they don’t offer as much safety as using a bank.

If UKForex is ‘registered’ with the FCA, they will not need to ensure they safeguard your funds, even if they go bust.

However, if they are ‘authorised’ by the FCA, your money must always be kept separate from company funds.

You can check UKForex FCA authorisation on the Financial Conduct Authority website will open in a new window.

When you are looking for other small firms, including money transfers agencies such as Western Union, you should look for the postcode, to limit your search.

Alternatives to sending money overseas with UKForex

If you are making purchases or payments online, such as for online shopping from overseas stores, a credit or debit card will be a convenient alternative to money transfers.

You should always avoid sending a foreign bank draft (similar to a UK cheque) overseas.

Doing this will be slow and expensive, because you’ll have to pay foreign bank charges (and possibly 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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