Frequently asked Questions
How does the price comparison work?
Please click on the link for an explanation on the price comparison data or check the legend below each price comparison table.
How can I save money?
By comparing prices. The service on this website offers you an outstanding opportunity to compare prices. If the fees are too high, change your provider. Forget about expensive services and reward providers offering their customers fast and cheap transfers. Any customer can do this.
What do I do if the recipients don’t have a bank account?
For people receiving payments regularly, it’s particularly worthwhile opening an account, which also gives them access to other financial products, like saving for their children’s education, insurance against harvest failure or illness, loans and so on.
‘Internet banking, credit cards, mobile phone transfer – I don’t understand all this!’
But you can! Sending transfer data by internet is generally much cheaper, saving you up to 70%. This makes learning about online banking worthwhile.
Be creative and open to new ideas. Have you ever asked yourself whether the recipient might have an ATM nearby, instead of a bank? You can often save substantial costs by using an EC, credit or debit card. Don’t hesitate to talk to your bank customer service representative and ask how to save on regular payments – it’s their job to help you cut costs.
What are the advantages of formal transfer channels?
What happens if someone steals my wallet? Can I really trust the bus driver or courier? Will the total amount arrive? These worries plague many migrants who take large amounts of their hard-earned money with them when they go home, or send it by personal courier. But there are other options for sending remittances. Your money can be sent via banks, the post office, specialist transfer service providers or online payment systems. These financial institutions must be licenced by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). They are regularly inspected by the financial market authority (FMA).
Informal routes, e.g. friends or unlicensed service providers, are not subject to any statutory regulation, so they are often less secure than money transfers carried out by formal service providers. Unless you trust the person carrying the money completely, it is always better to use formal service providers.
Something very few people know is that formal transfer systems offer other advantages. They provide not only security, but also - under certain circumstances - tax advantages. Check with your tax advisor or income tax advisory association for more information.
What are the conditions for a foreign transfer?
With foreign transfers between banks there are three different options for splitting the costs.
- A SHARE transfer: With the standard option ‘Shared Costs’, the sender and recipient of the money split the costs. The sender pays the fees of the bank sending the money, and the recipient pays all other fees, which are automatically deducted from the amount received. Remember that you may accrue additional costs if other banks are involved as intermediaries.
- An OUR transfer: With the option ‘OUR Costs’, you as the sender pay all the costs of the transfer.
- A BENEFICIARY transfer: With the ‘Beneficiary’ option, the recipient of the money pays all the costs, which are automatically deducted from the amount sent.
In the case of remittances through banks and savings banks, generally both the sender and the recipient need an account with the specific bank. In addition, the following information is usually required:
- name and address of the recipient
- the international account number (IBAN) of the recipient
- bank identification code (BIC) of the recipient bank
- name and address of the recipient bank
- target country
- amount to be transferred
- name and IBAN of the sender
- date and signature, and ID or passport for electronic transfers.
When filling in the transfer form, it is in your own interests to make sure that the information you provide is complete and accurate. Incomplete transfer forms often slow down transfers, and in the worst case scenario the money may never arrive. When transferring cash through financial institutions like Western Union or MoneyGram, the sender and recipient only have to present ID or passport. Customers may have to meet additional requirements, depending on the institution and type of transaction. When transferring cash online, for example, several institutions require a credit card issued by a German bank.
What will a foreign transfer cost me, and how long does it usually take?
Generally, transfers through financial institutions like Western Union and MoneyGram are faster. Often, the recipient can collect the money within a few minutes. Another advantage, besides the speed of transfer, is that that the fees charged by these financial institutions are set in advance. Even so, the recipient may face additional costs as a result of non-transparent exchange rates applied by the provider.
Banks and savings institutions require cooperation from banks in the recipient country for foreign transfers. For this reason, they are often unable to specify the exact time a transfer will take, or the total fees charged, or the exact exchange rate for the transaction.