If you find yourself in the position of wanting to send money to another country, you are probably wondering what the best way to do this is. In some cases, this is a relatively simple process – for instance, if the receiving party takes credit cards, then this is no different than making a transaction in the United States. However, at other times this is not an option, and you have to find another way of getting cash to a foreign destination. There are in fact a number of different ways of doing this, but the one that you should choose depends on a number of factors such as how quickly you want the money to get there, and whether the person at the other end has a bank account.
If the person does have a bank account and they can wait for a week or so for the money to show up, then setting up an international bank transfer is a good option. This is when the money is transferred directly from your bank to the bank in the other country. You should be able to do this using your online banking facility, but you can always do this by going into your bank if they do not offer an online option. You will need the recipient’s account number, as well as their SWIFT number. You will also need their IBAN if they are located in Europe. Aside from that, you just need sufficient money in your account to cover the amount plus any transaction fees.
If the person does not have a bank account, then another option is to use an international wire transfer service. This should allow the recipient to pick up the cash at a wire transfer office in their country, provided that they have appropriate identification. In some cases, they can even pick up money without identification if you set a password on the transfer and the amount is not too large. As with any transfer, you will have to pay fees, although some wire transfer companies waive these for certain charitable donations – for example, you can donate to the Philippines through TransFast.com if you want to help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
Another way of sending cash overseas is to use PayPal. Some overseas merchants accept PayPal, so this will work in much the same way as if you use a credit card – and they will pay the transaction fees, not you. You can also send money to family and friends abroad if they have a PayPal account – if you do this, it’s a good idea to choose to pay the transaction fees at your end, since the amount charged is less than if the fees are paid by the recipient directly. The money should arrive in minutes in their PayPal account, but withdrawal times vary. However, if they want to use the money to make online purchases using PayPal, they should be able to do this right away.