If you are remitting India Rupees, how do you choose the best money transfer service from the thousands available?
The foreign exchange market is a cutthroat place with competitors jostling for position.
The difference between many of the services is paper thin.
The choice of the best one to use often comes down to nothing more than convenience, but if you have a little time to research the market, four factors stand out:
Good customer service does not necessarily come with the best price. After all someone has to pay for the call centre or plush offices and that someone is likely to be you.
But if you need help to make the best of the firm’s money transfer facilities or find the web site impenetrable, having someone to help is worth the extra cash.
This can be a free for all. Many banks and brokers make their big profits here by adding a top slice to the mid-market rate publicised online for most currencies.
Before committing to a transfer, check the mid-market rate on XE.com or Google to ensure you are getting a fair return on your money
Money transfer charges
Another free for all. Banks and brokers can charge what they like, so get a written quote – and ask for how long the quote stands.
Check the exchange rate if the charges are zero to make sure they have not been shuffled around to somewhere else on the quote.
Speed and security
This depends on when you need the money – or whether you are making regular monthly transfers or one-off payments.
Many banks or brokers offer special fixed rate deals for regular customers.
If you have a quote from a bank, then a broker is a good place to go for a comparison.
TransferWise offers mid-market India Rupee exchange rates and transparent charges. Any amount up to £400 costs £2 to send, while amounts over the limit are charged at 0.5% for each transaction.
“We feel that the banks make too much profit from customers by hiding a mark-up on their exchange rates,” said a TransferWise spokesman.
“We try to bring a breath of fresh air to the market by offering clear rates and charges. Most transfers with us are cheaper than going through a bank.