International money transfers is a hot topic in a country like Singapore where more than 20% of it inhabitants are expatriates. These expatriates, as well as foreign investors in Singapore, constantly seek for the best way to transfer money abroad. The biggest concern with using non-bank services is trust.
Trustworthiness and the Money Transfer Industry
Their concern is reasonable – nobody wants to feel like something potentially unsavory is happening with their money, especially if it’s being transferred to loved ones overseas or to an international account for travel or international living purposes.
However, the money transfer industry is changing. The increasing amount of digital-first money transfer companies that are being used over brick-and-mortar transfer services are promoting transparency and security.
How the Money Transfer Industry Works
Money transfers are surprisingly straightforward, especially with the increase of transparent money transfer service companies. It’s also much more convenient than slow money mailing or wire transfers which can take several days to process. Online money transfers are almost instant, often taking 24 hours to deposit in an international account.
The process goes something like this: you use a money transfer service, whether a newly established startup such as Transferwise or CurrencyFair, to fund a transfer. Once you’ve selected your money transfer service, you book a trade. The trade is then funded, and the money moves through a third party into your desired account. Before your trade is processed, digital-first money transfer companies will confirm all fees with you upfront so that you can approve them and have full control over your finances. These companies also use up to date, accurate exchange rates with a guarantee – ensuring that you won’t get cheated out of your funds due to an inflated exchange rate.
In most cases, the problem people have with money transfers is the fact that the funds are processed and moved through a third party. Nobody likes the idea of a stranger or an unverified source having access to their funds, especially in the case of a transfer. This discomfort stems from the unreliable transfer practices of old – often used by brick-and-mortar establishments. Before the digital age, transfers were fraught with undisclosed fees, incomplete transfers due to high risk areas being shut down, and poor communication from the bank or financial services company completing the transfer.
With these negative emotions and experiences tied to money transfers, it’s no wonder people are hesitant. However, the digital age has increased transparency, and has made digital-first money transfer organizations a safe, trustworthy option for people all over the world.
Money transfer operations go the extra mile to ensure a client’s funds are completely safe. To begin, the companies take the pains to set up segregated, individual accounts in the client’s name. This ensures protection of personal financial information. It also makes sure that the client is entitled to a full refund of their funds should anything go awry with the transfer – whether the company goes bust or the transfer can’t be completed for another reason, such as the recipient account being shut off due to being set up in a high-risk area.
Additionally, fees are broken down in clear terms for the client to understand. There will never be a surprise fee, and the recipient account will never be shocked to find the transfer as less than originally promised. This takes the stress and pressure off clients so that they always know their funds will only be used for their intended purpose.
Still feeling unsure?
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many facts and statistics are given, or how many testimonials of happy clients are provided. The money transfer industry hasn’t always had a spotless past, and there are some companies out there looking to fleece clients for all they’re worth and run with the funds they’re “transferring.” However, don’t let your own psychological block get in the way of accessing these amazing, low-fee money transfer options.
To make sure that the service you are thinking of using is reputable and trustworthy, don’t just believe their website. Do some research. For example, Money Transfer Comparison allows users to view different money transfer service providers and weigh the pros and cons of working with each. Besides just reviewing if a company is trustworthy, you should also carefully evaluate whether their services fit your money transfer needs. Not all companies transfer money to all countries, and not all money transfer services accept all currencies. Think through the different transactions you need now, or may need in the future, and find the company that best fits those specifications.
Taking the time to research the money transfer industry, as well as individual services or companies is always the right choice. Making an informed decision about money transfers is the first step to protecting yourself against any perceived threat or money fraud, and will help you save money safely in the long run by working with reputable money transfer operations.