Have you ever used a bank or expensive online payments service for an international currency transfer? If so, there is a good chance that you or your business could be saving thousands each year.

What’s wrong with the way I do it now?

Many banks and online services will communicate a set fee in your transfer. Now while they are advertising a transaction fee, they are actually hiding most of the true cost in the poor exchange rate being offered to you.

This works by the bank buying the currency in bulk at an exchange rate known as the “mid-market rate”, they then sell the currency at an exaggerated rate, taking a percent of the profit. This is commonly known as the “spread” or “margin” on an FX transfer.

Most providers offer a spread that is unreasonably high, and when this is paired with transaction fees, it can mean that you’re more than likely losing a fair chunk of your money.

So the true cost of an international money transfer is your fee plus the spread charged by your provider.

How should I be sending it overseas then?

Investigate all hidden costs (like wire transfer fees and currency conversion fees) before choosing your provider. Next, consider the spread or margin quoted to you by the provider.

WorldFirst offers exchange rates that are up to 3 times cheaper than the banks and charge less fees. All clients also receive service from a dedicated relationship manager located in Singapore, with the option to also make transfers online 24/7.

Who can save with WorldFirst?

WorldFirst can help businesses, individuals and online sellers save money on money transfers over S$2,000. Reasons for transfer may include:

  • Buying or selling a property overseas
  • Moving abroad
  • Earning a salary in foreign currency
  • Repatriating a foreign pension
  • Sending money to family or friend living overseas
  • Selling internationally through a marketplace or storefront (like Amazon, eBay, Shopify)
  • Receiving funds from global clients*
  • Supplier payments for your business*

*Business transfers will include a standard S$10 transfer fee 

So, when making a money transfer, don’t make the mistake by just looking at the fee your provider is charging. Analyze the exchange rate as well to ensure you understand the real cost of your money transfer.

Disclaimer: These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits. We have no commercial affiliation with any organisation or commercial interest regarding the venues mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.