It has long been common knowledge that relying on the banks to handle and process international money transfers can prove regretfully expensive. Not only do banks levy some high money transfer fees, but they also fail to offer anything like the best foreign exchange rates. In this post we will look at how money transfer and foreign exchange companies in Canada can help Canadian consumers to make an international money transfer from Canada for less.
Money transfer companies are financial services providers who specialise in international payments and transfers. They attract customers by essentially undercutting the banks, offering lower fees and better foreign exchange rates.
In the intro we touched upon the high costs of using the banks to process a money transfer. Firstly, banks charge a flat transaction for each and every international transfer and in the case of the ‘Big 5’ Banks in Canada, these transaction fees range between C$15 to C$40.
However, when we rely on the banks they also get to set the foreign exchange rate and typically apply a “markup” which is anywhere from 3% – 5% above (or below) the market rate – note that the markup always goes in the banks favour meaning that customers can expect to be 3-5% out of pocket on every transaction.
Money Transfer companies in Canada on the other hand, offer much lower translation fees (sometimes as little as C$0) and then apply foreign exchange mark-ups of 1 – 2%.
There are now well over 500 different money transfer companies working internationally, many of whom are licensed to serve Canadian customers. That is rather a long list to whittle down. However, according to this recent article on MDJ, these are the leading money transfer and foreign exchange companies in Canada.
OFX was originally formed in Sydney back in 1998. They have since risen to become one of the world’s leading money transfer and fpreog exchange companies. They are a leading B2B transfer provider who help their customers send $20 billion each. OFX’s customers rate their account management service standard as well as hedging tools.
Moneycorp was established in London in 1979 as a foreign exchange currency exchange kiosk. They are now one of the world’s leading international money transfer and foreign exchange companies. MoneyCorp is able to help customers with international transfers and payments in over 120 currencies and help their clients to move £36 billion annually.
Another UK based provider, Currencies Direct, is not yet as established as some of the larger firms listed here. However they offer low fees and excellent rates on over 40 global currencies. During their last trading year, Currencies Direct helped their clients to move £7.5 billion across the world.
While the name suggests another British firm, Knightsbridge FX are actually based in Toronto. While growing fast, Knightsbridge is certainly one of the smaller firms in this list and have helped their 96,000 clients to transfer C$14 billion since formation in 2009.
XE began life in 1993 as a real-time online tool for comparing foreign exchange rates – to this day they remain synonymous with rate checking. They have since evolved into a transfer provider and now offer transfers to over 130 countries and help to move $10 billion each year.
London’s Global Reach was initially founded in 2001 as Corporate FX. Global Reach now boasts a 99% satisfaction rating and a 2018 Best Forex Solution Award under their belt. Global Reach does have a £10k minimum for their services making them more suited to high net worth individuals and corporate clients.
In order to make a money transfer using a money transfer service, a customer firstly needs to open an account with their chosen provider. They then need to fund the account by transferring the funds (in CAD) from their regular bank account, to their chosen money transfer providers’ account. As this will only be a domestic transfer, the transaction should not carry any fees or charges.
Once the money transfer account is funded, a customer simply needs to enter the recipient’s account details along with the amount they wish to send in order to complete the transaction.
As we have shown, using a bank to handle an international money transfer carries unnecessary money transfer fees and mark up costs which hit consumers in their pockets. However, in order to reduce fees and obtain the best possible best foreign exchange rates, Canadians now have the option of using one of the many money transfer services in Canada. Whether making an international money transfer from Canada, or sending a payment to Canada, these companies can easily help their clients save at least 2%.