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Best International Money Transfer Companies in Canada 2020
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Sending money internationally has never been easier. Through the rise in technology, many developments have been made in terms of online banking, including money transfer services. As a result, the number of channels through which you can send money from Canada to other international countries has grown substantially. While in the past you could only send money through cheques or money orders, now you can wire money electronically.
Whether you’re an immigrant or a Canadian born citizen, there are several reasons you may need to send money internationally, from helping a loved one living overseas to managing your investments abroad. Depending on the situation one financial service may work better for you than another.
Transferring Money From Canada to Another Country
When you transfer money to another person who resides outside of Canada it’s known as sending a remittance. Depending on the money transfer service channel you choose, you will be able to set up a money transfer in person, online, email, or by phone. In general, you’ll need the recipient’s details such as their whole name, address, and contact information.
Available Money Transfer Services
There are a number of channels you can send money overseas.
Money Transfer Businesses
Money transfer businesses have been growing in popularity due to their low fees and competitive exchange rates. Moreover, like a bank, they offer their services online and through physical outlets which are secure, convenient, and fast. Depending on how you’d like your recipient to receive the funds, you’ll have to provide certain information such as the recipient’s name, address, bank account details and more. If you send money through their website, you’ll have to create an account, where you may have to provide ID to verify your identity.
Banks – Traditional Financial Institution
Transferring money overseas through your bank works about the same way as sending money through a money transfer business. It’s a safe and convenient way of sending money as you just have to log into your bank account and go to the money transfer section to start the process. All you’ll have to do from there is enter the information regarding the amount you want to send along with details regarding the recipient. The main drawback to banks are the high fees and high exchange rate markups.
Online Payment Sites
Online payment sites like Paypal offer money transfer services. Through Paypal, you can send money to any Paypal account around the world. You can also opt for a cash pick-up or send money directly to someone’s bank account through Paypal’s partnership with Xoom. Fees are based on your method of payment, the country you’re sending money to and how much you’re sending.
Check out what is a wire transfer.
Forms You Can Send and Receive Money
Depending on your money transfer service provider, you’ll not only be able to select the form you’d send the money, but you’ll also be able to pick how your recipient will receive the money.
- Prepaid card
- Money order
- Bank account
- Credit card
- Prepaid card
Interested in other forms of payment? Check Google Pay.
What Information Do You Need to Set Up an Online Money Transfer?
When sending money internationally through an online payment site, a bank or a money transfer company, the information required will usually be the same. In most cases, you will need to provide:
- The amount you’d like to transfer and in which currency
- Which country you’re sending the money to
- For what purpose you’re sending the money
- Details regarding the receiver including name, address, account name and account number.
Moreover, you’ll need to provide any of the following depending on where you’re sending the money. For example, if you’d like to send money anywhere in Europe, you’ll likely need to provide your receiver’s IBAN and/or SWIFT.
- Bank and branch number
- American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number
- Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
- International bank account number (IBAN)
- Indian Financial System Code (IFSC)
Costs Involved With Money Transfers
Fees are usually charged to continue operations, pay employees, grow products, and maintain bank relations to offer you money transfer services. The fees involved with money transfers can make them expensive.
Fees to Send Money
Depending on your situation one fee structure may be better than the other. While some financial institutions or money transfer companies charge a flat fee, others may charge based on how much you send or your method of payment. Be sure to evaluate your options before making a choice.
Tip: If you’re sending money to a financial institution that exists both in Canada and the country of interest, they may offer lower fees.
Fees to Receive Money
When sending money you should also be aware of the cost to receive money. When your recipient goes to retrieve the money, they may have to pay a fee or tax as well, which will reduce the amount of money they receive.
In addition to the fees charged, you also need to consider the exchange rate. Many businesses will charge an exchange rate that is higher than what it currently is, in order to make a profit. Moreover, money transfer companies often display mid-market exchange rates which are different from what they actually charge.
How do You Get the Best Exchange Rate
In order to ensure you get the best exchange rate, you can:
- Ask your provider for a free quote – With a quote in hand, you can take your time to compare the rates between providers and choose a deal that is best for you.
- Secure a forward contract – A forward contract allows you to lock in a rate today for a future transfer (usually valid for 12 months).
- Find price matching companies – Some money service providers offer price matching services. This will guarantee you control over who you want your services with and at what cost.
Benefits of Online Money Transfer Companies
Money transfer companies are extremely popular compared to banks due to the benefits it provides.
- Better Value – Unlike banks, online money transfer companies have much lower fees and competitive exchange rates which leads to your recipient collecting more money.
- Security – Online money transfer companies also provide the same security as a bank.
- Electronic – Many money transfer companies provide accounts that you can access and manage your transfers online or through an app. Moreover, if you have family or friends you send money to regularly, you can automate your transfers for extra convenience.
- Fast – Money transfer companies are often preferred over banks as they are able to process and send money within a couple of hours to a few business days.
- Tons of Options – No matter what currency or country you need to send money too, there’s often many money transfer service providers who’d be available.
Features to Compare
No matter which money transfer provider you choose, there are a number of features to compare when deciding who to go with. Depending on your needs some features will be more important than others. For example, If you’d like to send a big sum of money abroad, a provider with a flat fee would be much better than a provider who charges based on how much you send. Or if your recipient needs money immediately, a provider who can have your money sent in a day would be more preferable than another who takes 3- 5 business days.
In addition to speed and fees, there are a number of other factors to consider when choosing a provider.
- How much can you send – Some money transfer providers have limits on how much money you can send at a time.
- Processing time – While some money transfer providers are able to send money the same day, others may take 3 – 5 business days. Depending on the urgency of your situation, this may play a factor in your decision.
- In-person collection – If your recipient will be collecting the money in person, you should check to see if your provider has available locations near your recipient.
- Fees – As mentioned above, fees can be a flat price or be based on the amount you send or the payment method you choose. Be sure to compare your options to get the best value.
- Exchange Rate – All money transfer providers use an exchange rate that is marked up by some amount. Do a little digging to see how much it will affect the amount you send.
What to Watch Out For When Sending Money Internationally
Fee-Free Transfer → While some providers may not charge a fee, they often have a larger margin added to the exchange rate to compensate for the no-fee. You can ask your provider for a quote to compare costs.
Mid-market rates → As mentioned, many money transfers companies will display the mid-market exchange rates rather than the actual rate they charge.
Recipient Fees → Each country has its own laws and regulations when it comes to money transfers. It’s important to do your research and see if there are any taxes or fees the recipient will have to pay, as it can affect the amount of money they receive.
Best Money Transfer Providers
|No Fee||Amount Limits||Receival Time|
|World Remit||–||$0.01 – $40,000||0 – 5 days|
|Wester Union||Yes*||$1 – $999||0 -1 day|
|Money Gram||–||$1 – $990||1 day|
|TransferWise||–||$1 – $1,500,000||1 – 2 days|
|Canadian Forex (formerly known as OFX)||–||$150+||1 day|
|XE Money Transfer||Yes||$1 – $500,00||1 day|
|Xoom||–||Up to $75,000*||0 – 4 days|
|Remitly||Yes*||$1 – $20,000||Up to 3 days|
|Remit2India||Yes*||$50 – $50,000||6 or more days|
|Payoneer||–||–||2 – 5 days|
|RIA Money Transfer||Yes*||$1 – $2,999||0 – 4 days|
*certain conditions may apply
World Remit is an international money transfer company that was founded in 2008. You can send money to over 150 countries as a bank transfer, cash pick-up and mobile wallet. If needed you can also use World Remit’s Airtime top-up service to use your funds to pay a phone service provider for phone bills.
World Remit has a range of payment methods including credit cards, debit, prepaid cards, Apple Pay and more. However, depending on the country you’d like to send money to, options may differ. The cost for an online money transfer with World Remit starts with a base cost of $3.99 plus other fees and an exchange rate markup up to 4%.Learn More
MoneyGram is one of the biggest money transfer companies in the world. You can send or receive money in over 200 different countries via bank accounts, mobile wallets, at MoneyGram locations or through its online services.
MoneyGram offers a wide variety of funding options that provide flexibility. Depending on which payment method you choose and how much you send, the amount charged will vary. In general, it costs around $4.99 plus the exchange rate which can have a markup of 3% or more.Learn More
Western Union is a money transfer organization that allows you to send and receive money through Western Union. They offer their services over 500,000 locations in 200 different countries. Through Western Union, you can send money to a bank account, a cash-pick up location or even a mobile wallet. Some locations even offer cash pick-up delivery, where they’ll send the funds to your recipient’s address. The cost of using Western Union will depend on where you send your money, how much you want to send and your method of payment.Learn More
Currency Solutions is an international payments company that was first established in 2003. They are a highly trusted brand with over 150,000 clients. Currently, their services are available in 35 different countries and transfers are typically received in a day. You can send up to $5,000 online or up to $10,000 by calling Currency Solutions without fear of commission or hidden fees.
Currency Solutions is unique as it does not only offer personal international money transfers but international business money transfers. You can use Currency Solutions to manage your international finances by paying your suppliers and clients abroad. Overall, Currency Solutions is a better option than banks as it can save you a few percent on the exchange rates.Learn More
OFX is an international money transfer company that was founded in 1998. Since their establishment, they’ve managed over 1 million transfers and exchanged around $119 billion. Their services support 55 different currencies and transfer funds in as little as 1 day.
OFX International is a great choice for those who want to send a large amount. OFX does not charge any fees and has no maximum transfer limits. You can send money online, by phone or via bank account to bank account transfer. Overall, OFX is a fast and safe money transfer company with a variety of options that are sure to meet your needs.Learn More
TransferWise is a financial transfer service company that was first established in 2011 in London, England. They offer their clients the ability to transfer money to a bank account both domestically and internationally. You can transfer funds up to $20,000 to 43 different countries by creating an account on their website or app.
In-person service is quite limited as they only have 14 offices worldwide, of which only one is in North America. Despite its limited physical presence, they have a very user-friendly interface which makes the whole money transfer process easy. Moreover, they offer low transfer fees and good exchange rates.Learn More
XE Money is a well-established money transfer company that offers around you the ability to transfer money from Canada to over 130 countries in 65 different currencies. You can send money up to $500,000 by creating an account on their website or app.
One of the main benefits of XE Money is that it charges no account fees or transfer fees. As such, if you need to send a large sum of money, XE Money can save you a lot of money. With XE Money you can save even more by locking in a rate today for a future transfer. Overall, XE Money is a safe and cheap option for individuals and businesses looking to transfer large sums of money.Learn More
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