Did you just get paid and want to send money home? Maybe you are looking to transfer money to the Philippines for a sick family member? The good news is that you aren’t short of options. The bad news is that with all the options out there, it can be difficult to decide which is the best choice for your specific situation.
With hidden fees and fluctuating exchange rates, you want an online money transfer service you can trust. The following are a couple ways you can spot a winner from a dud.
- Read reviews.
As with any other purchase or service that you are considering online, read reviews first. Often others’ experience can shed light on what type of experience awaits you. While reviews can be skewed by the competition in order to gain traction toward their business, a majority of bad reviews should be a warning sign. Use a review site that requires reviewers to register before making their review. This can help to cull the fakes from the bona fide reviews. Where your money is concerned, you want to go with an operation that inspires your trust—not your doubt.
- Compare transfer fees.
Once you have selected a few service options that appear to be safe and trustworthy, compare transfer fees. How much will each service charge you to make a transfer to the country you want to send your money to? Often, money transfer services will have different rates for sending to different countries. Rates may also differ depending on the amount being sent. So find out which service will give you the best deal for the amount and country in question. Comparing transfer fees is a smart way to save money.
- Compare exchange rate fees and conversion amounts.
At first glance, a money transfer service’s fee may seem low, but the real money the firm makes is hidden in currency conversion fees. It’s not that their intention is to trick you. It’s simply that consumers fail to ask about this aspect. Find out how much you will be paying in currency conversion fees, as well as what their policy is for currency exchange rates. Some services take a couple of percentage points off the current exchange rate when doing transfers.
- Evaluate customer service.
Money transfer services are primarily online services. So it can be difficult to get timely help if something should go wrong. If you want the security of knowing you will get a person on the other end of the phone in case of an emergency, look for a service that has great customer care. Try out their call in line before opening an account. Evaluate how quickly you were able to get an actual person on the phone, and rate your overall customer service experience. Finding a company that will go the extra mile for their customers is worth the extra effort.
- Consider security factors.
Hacks can happen to any institution. So evaluate what kind of operations are in place to protect your account in the case of a hack. First, does the service you are considering utilize industry-leading security systems? Second, what kind of protections do they offer users in case of a hack? Is the institution insured? What happens in a worse-case scenario? These questions can often be difficult to find the answer for online, so get a customer service rep on the phone and ask about them. Your diligence may feel a little extreme, but you will be thankful for having covered all your bases if something does go wrong.
The above are the basic areas to evaluate when considering what service to use to transfer money internationally. The points are not listed in order of priority. And your case may require you to place emphasis on one aspect over another. Do what you feel most comfortable with. Your hard-earned money deserves to be treated with care. Always do your research before entrusting your money to others.