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

Do you know Vivo Transfer?

Vivo Transfer is registered in the UK and offers convenient money transfer facilities from the UK. The company has been in business since 2010 and has offices in the UK, United States and Brazil. Vivo Transfer is part of the Cambio Real Inc. group.

What is the best way to exchange your money

As there are different options for exchanging your money, you need to think about various factors, including:

  • the value of what you are sending
  • costs for sending
  • the frequency
  • the method you are using to send it
  • is it urgent?

These steps should allow you to find the best option to suit your needs.

Step 1 – What options are available to you.

These are the main options you have when you are sending money.

  • You can send it via your bank or building society.
  • There are dedicated foreign exchange (FX) brokers (including Vivo Transfer)
  • You can use high street firms (such as Western Union).

If you are making regular payments, your bank or building society may be the most efficient option to use.

If you are sending large sums of money, you may want to use FX brokers, especially if the value if over £3,000.

Money transfer can be much quicker than the other options, but they can have higher charges, especially for smaller amounts.

Step 2 – What is the cost?

With Vivo Transfer there are fees and exchange rates to take into account when sending money.

It is not just as simple as looking at the exchange rates, there are several factors to take into account.

Three main areas to look at:

  • Foreign exchange rates – the exchange rates change on a daily basis, so make sure you keep an eye on this before making a decision.
  • Sending fees – what is the charge for sending the money?
  • Receiving fees – there may be charges for receiving the money. You can cover these costs if need be.

The fees often depend on how much you are sending. They can be lower the more you send.

Get started by getting quotes from the FX brokers sites like FX Compared and from your bank/building society. This will give you a better understanding of the option which is most suited to you.

Step 3 – Get confirmation

Ask the company you are using to send you confirmation of the exchange, including the value and any associated fees, as well as when the money will be sent and arrive.

It is a good idea to get this in writing.

Keep all associated paperwork relating to the transaction so you can refer to this if need be.

Is it safe to send money overseas with Vivo Transfer?

When you have money in a savings account, it is covered and protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)  This is not the case with foreign exchange money transfer firms, as they don’t have a compensation scheme if a transfer firm goes bust.

When the Money transfer firms or FX brokers like Vivo Transfer are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised, they have to follow regulations so it is easier to get your money back, should the firm face problems.

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

You should use an FCA authorised firm if you are planning to send money.

Benefits of bank or building society

Using your bank or building society can be a safe, convenient way of sending money. These are some of the benefits.

Benefits

  • Simple process – it is usually simple and hassle-free to send money via your bank or building society. You can even do it via your mobile in most cases.
  • Convenience – you can find banks and building societies on the high street, so it can be much more convenient to send money this way.
  • Protection – you have much more protection when using a bank or building society, than you would with the other transfer options.

Are there any downsides?

  • Exchange rates may be lower – if you are sending large sums of money, foreign exchange brokers can be a better option.
  • Slower transfer – it can often take 4-6 business days for the transfer, unless you pay a bit more. Foreign exchange brokers tend to be much quicker, in general.

Do you want to make regular payments?

UK high street banks often have their own branches overseas or special arrangements with overseas banks.

This can allow you to benefit from lower exchange rates.

If you plan to make regular payments, for example, sending money to family or paying bills on an overseas home, you may be eligible to receive lower exchange rates.

In order to get the reduced fees, you may need to have an account which is in the same name in both countries.

What you’ll need

  • You will need the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) of the recipients account. The recipient of the money will be able to get them for you.
  • You will need the IBAN and BIC from your own account too, though this may not be necessary if it’s the same bank, but a different branch.

Online and high street money transfer firms

If you can find a money transfer firm in your local area, this can be an easy way to send money overseas.

Western Union and some others have branches on the high street, and MoneyGram in Post Office branches. They also offer online services in most cases.

What are the advantages?

  • Variety of services – you have the option instant cash for the recipient, or money transferred into a bank account.
  • Simple set-up– you may not need an account. If the value is small, you may not require identification.
  • Quick transfer – You can transfer the money in a few minutes. If you send from a bank account, it may take a few days.

What are the downsides?

  • Wide range of fees – the fees may be different, depending on the service you choose, and they may be high for smaller amounts. it could cost you as much as £10 to transfer £50. You should know this before you do the transfer.
  • Exchange rates vary – compare costs on the day you are sending, as these may vary from day to day.
  • Not the safest option– the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will not provide cover if they go bust, which is in contrast to the protection you get from banks.

How do you use a high street money transfer service

If you have never used a high street money transfer service, you may not know how they work, here’s what you need to know.

  • Money transfer services are in more places than you think, especially newsagents and Post Offices.
  • You don’t usually need to have an account, you can just give the details of what you want to transfer, and where
  • You should receive a receipt/reference number. If not, ask for this. This is just for the recipient. The recipient can give the reference to the overseas branch or agency.

Important information before you proceed.

  • Make sure you know what the fees are. It’s not as simple as just handing over the money, you need to know the charges.
  • If you are sending ‘instant cash’, you will need to know where this should be collected. Make sure they are able to pick this up or send it to the recipients wallet, if applicabl (using systems such as M-PESA).

How to use an online money transfer service

What you need to know:

  • As the transfers can take a few days, it is better to use this only for non-urgent transfers.
  • You need to register with your bank or credit card details, through the website of the firm you are using. An email address and internet access are essential.

What to do before sending:

  • Make sure you know what is required of the recipient before you send. It may be an email, internet access, bank account. Have this all ready before you get started with the transfer.
  • Protect your money by setting up a password.

Using a foreign exchange broker

If you’re looking to send a large sum of money overseas, you’ll probably get the best deal from a foreign exchange (FX) currency broker.

Pros

  • Low fees – if transferring over £3,000, FX brokers won’t usually charge you fees.
  • Great exchange rate – FX brokers specialise in currency transaction and will likely offer a better exchange rate than a bank or money transfer firm.
  • Fast – money will usually be in the recipient’s bank account the same, or following day.
  • Regular payments – some FX brokers will deal with regular transfers.

Cons

  • Opening an account takes time – to make a transfer with an FX broker, you will need to open and pay into an account. This can take a day or two.
  • Smaller amounts don’t give the best deals – FX brokers are not generally best for sending smaller amounts of money.
  • Not as safe – The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does not cover these firms if they go bust.

Searching for the best deal

It is a good idea to spend some time on price comparison sites, to find the best deal to suit your needs.

You should aim to use several comparison sites, as then you’ll get a better overall understanding of the best offers. You may miss out on some of these if you only use one.

Don’t just take the one which looks like it offers you the best price, as tempting as this may be. It should also suit your needs, including allowing you to send the value of money you want and it should also be FCA authorised.

Make sure there are no filters on your search, which are stopping you from location all the deals on the market.

Watch out for the scams

As with everything in our life nowadays, money transfer is also prone to scammers. Make sure you are using a reputable company to send your money; check reviews and ask around to ensure the company are fit for purpose.

It is always important to be vigilant, especially when sending money.

You can avoid being scammed by doing this:

  • Make sure the deal is legitimate. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Don’t click on any links you receive that are not from companies you recognise.
  • Do not give out any details, unless you know the company you are dealing with are legitimate.

Forward thinking

Although you can send money at the current exchange rate, it is always worth being prepared for any future transfers.

You may want to consider a ‘forward contract’, which allows you to lock the exchange rate for the future. This is particularly useful if you intend on sending large sums in the future.

Forwards are useful if you know you’ll need a large sum of cash at some point in the future.

As an example, you may want to cover a deposit for a holiday home or you may want to send money to a family member in the future, and you may be concerned about weakening of the pound. With a ‘forward contract’ you can ensure that the rate you get now, is the same in the future.

Is it safe to use Vivo Transfer?

There is nothing to suggest that it is unsafe to use Vivo Transfer, however, whether you use this method, or any other, you should keep all your paperwork, for peace of mind incase anything goes wrong.

As mentioned previously, it is not as safe to use money transfer companies and FX brokers, as it is to use your bank, as they are not covered by the compensation scheme.

Vivo Transfer have no responsibility to safeguard your money, as long as they are registered with the FCA. If they are, your money should not be kept together with company funds, so they should be able to refund you, should the worst happen.

If you would like to check Vivo Transfer FCA authorisation, you can do this via the Financial Conduct Authority website which opens in a new window.

When performing searching, including for money transfers agencies like Western Union, you can narrow your search by finding the postcode.

Other options for transferring money

You can make purchases or send payments using your credit or debit card in many cases.

If you are sending money overseas, do not use a foreign bank draft (cheque) overseas. This method is slower, more costly and is also not as safe as other options.

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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