The last two years have seen the world being affected by the worst humanitarian crisis of all time- the COVID-19 Pandemic. Apart from it being a health and medical disaster of great proportions, the pandemic was witnessed economic stagnation, social unrest, and more.
Financial experts point out that one of the major fallouts of the COVID-19 Pandemic could be felt in the area of international money transfers. With an ever-increasingly globalized world, new fintech companies, and currency exchanges, this was an area that saw braked being applied.
According to experts, the following were some of the major reasons why international money transfers took a hit-
- People were cautious of investing in new property in overseas markets. For wealthy residents in the UK, buying property in Europe was a favourite investment. The pandemic halted that for the last two years.
- The global travel and tourism industry also took a major hit. With quarantine restrictions, countries restricting travel and fears of different variants, people did not travel as much as they had hoped to. This limited international money transfers.
- International trade and commerce were severely hit with global supply chains and logistics faltering. Nationwide lockdowns meant that uncertainties in export and import of goods resulted in abysmally low levels of global money transfers.
In this resource article, we are going to explore some important aspects of international money transfers. Specifically, we are going to look at why 2022 is expected to be the year when we experience rising demand.
Will 2022 see an Increased Demand for International Money Transfers to and from the UK?
There is no denying the fact that as compared to 2020 and 2021, the world’s preparedness for dealing with the pandemic is better. With global vaccine rollouts in almost all parts of the world, the fear of rising hospitalization rates and deaths has subsided.
Additionally, the medical protocols of responding to an infected individual have become far more defined. Growing awareness, better experience, and higher levels of preparedness mean that we have left the worst behind us.
This means that parts of the world can now start focussing on economic recovery plans. Specifically, this means seeing a turnaround of SMEs and MSMEs businesses that were worst hit by the effects of the pandemic. Governments all over the world are incentivizing these businesses with financial relief and recovery packages.
In the UK, the economy is slowly picking up steam. Small and medium enterprises are leading the way and have started to see an increase in sales and revenues. The following are some reasons why experts predict international money transfers to rise to and from the UK in 2022-
- British nationals are increasingly looking to explore the overseas property markets, most notably in Europe. This has been something that has always been preferred. Countries like Spain, France, and Italy see an interest in British nationals.
- The UK is slowly emerging from the aftermath of Brexit. With defined and sustainable policies on the horizon, the Pound Sterling is set to experience a rise in valuation. Both in terms of spending externally, as well as in receiving domestically.
- The NHS has done a fantastic job of handling the medical crisis in the UK. Everyone from the first responders to the hospitals has performed brilliantly. This means that the fears and uncertainties of the pandemic are behind us.
In the following sections, we are going to be discovering more about international money transfers. We are going to look at some tips that can help you save money on foreign transfers, we well as look at the top ten money transfer services in the UK.
How to Save Money on International Money Transfers: A Guide by Financial Experts
In this section, we are going to look at some of the best tips offered by financial experts to help you save money on international money transfers-
- Firstly, when you are looking to send or receive money through international money transfers, make sure that you are doing a comparative analysis of all the providers in the market. This will help you understand the commissions, transfer fees, and more.
- Secondly, always try to opt for the most reputed and credible international money transfer company. Reading the reviews, doing your research, and looking at online forums will help you understand the market leaders.
- Thirdly, avoid doing small transactions multiple times. This is because fees and commissions are added on a per-transaction basis. If you can do one large transaction, you will be saving a lot of money in commissions and fees.
- Fourthly, make sure that you are aware of how much you can send or whether there is a limit to the transfer amount. If you are not aware of this, it can lead to problems, especially in business dealings or property purchases.
- Fifthly, you should use a simple wire transfer for international money transfers. Do not use Credit Cards, as the same become an expensive proposition and can hurt you financially in the short as well as the long run.
- Bonus Tip- Make sure to keep an eye on the international currency valuations. If there are periods of massive fluctuations, it can cost you on the currency exchange front. Try to ensure that whenever you are engaging with money transfer, the currency is stable.
List of 5 Popular Money Transfer Services in the UK
In this section, we are going to briefly list down five of the most popular money transfer services in the UK-
Wise (Formerly TransferWise)-
Wise came into existence nearly a decade back in 2011 when two Eastern European nationals found it tough to send money back home to Estonia. The premise is simple, that you send and receive money in a world that practically exists without any borders. Wise essentially does not send money abroad. It has major stacks of currency in each country. In other words, domestic transfers take place every time you send or receive money through international transfers.
Founded by Dr. Ismail Ahmed in 2010, World Remit has slowly grown into becoming one of the major international money transfer players in the underdeveloped world. The platform also offers cash deliveries at home, however, this service is currently just limited to Vietnam. You can transfer 50,000 GBP as a maximum limit, and work with over 90 currencies that are supported by the platform. World Remit exists in over 150 countries of the world.
PayPal acquired Xoom in 2015 for over a billion dollars. Xoom has been a popular international money transfer platform for nationals that send and receive money between the US and UK. Its major limitations come in the form of a maximum transfer cap of just 25,000 GBP. Additionally, the transfer might not be immediate and can take a few days. This is why Xoom has been losing out to other players like Wise and World Remit in the last few years.
While Xenon Laboratories was set up in 1993, XE entered the foreign currency transfer market only in 2001. Ever since then it has made a name for itself in the Foreign Contracts markets. Why do you ask? Simply because it allows you to agree on a Fixed Exchange Rate for a period of Three Years! That is impressive if you are an EXIM-related business organization. Additionally, you get a maximum transfer fee of a whopping $500,000.
The Sydney headquartered company has become quite famous in the UK thanks to some features that help it stand apart from its competitors. For starters, there is no maximum transfer fee. You can send money to over 197 countries and work with more than 55 different types of currencies. Transfers, especially the bigger ones can take anywhere between one to four days. You also get a 24×7 customer support and phone helpline number for all your queries.
How to use a Virtual Foreign Currency Account to Receive Payments?
In the past few years, virtual banking has left traditional banking far behind. Virtual banking offers speed, safety, and tons of convenience. A virtual foreign currency account functions in the same way as any other normal or traditional bank account.
As a user, you can access the same through your computer or a banking app on your smartphone. The technology organization or the fintech company that operates in the background helps you with all the transactions and other functions.
The major benefit of using a virtual foreign currency account is that it enables you to transact with multiple different currencies without having to worry about different conversion fees and exchange rates. This is great for international travelers and businessmen who are always on the go and are getting deals done in different countries and continents.
The Bottom Line
The past few years have seen technology play a major role in the evolution of the banking industry. International money transfers have helped in accelerating the speed of business, aided in the development of the travel and tourism industry, and brought safety to banking operations. If you have any other doubts or queries on the subject that you would like us to address, please let us know in the comments below. We will try our best to help you out with anything related to overseas payments, or the best banks for international money transfers.