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“Why would I need to send money abroad?”
Famous last words. International money transfer is one of those things that we rarely plan for, so when the inevitable happens and we have to make a transfer overseas, we have a tendency to panic, rush the process and end up paying a severe financial penalty.
Perhaps the reason we neglect to think about overseas payments until it’s too late is because, back in the “bad old days”, by which I mean less than a decade ago, we made our international money transfers using either our banks, or an agency such as Western Union, or Ria Money Transfer.
Because neither of these agencies offered us much more than high fees, uncompetitive exchange rates, and a slow service, our expectations had been set so low that it barely seemed to be worth shopping around for a better deal. Where would we find one?
But that is emphatically no longer the case. As we know, this decade has been the decade in which disruptive tech has infiltrated the financial industry, offering services and products that are easy to use, fast, efficient, and cheap – and it has changed the customer / financial firm dynamic forever.
Luckily for us, some great minds – from the Estonian founders of TransferWise, to the ex-UN worker behind payments startup WorldRemit, to the likes of Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal – took the fight to the banks; no more excessive fees, no more delays, and no more poor service; creating disruptive alternatives to make sure the banks really had to act fast to stay relevant. Newsflash, they didn’t act quickly enough.
Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world, so to find the best deal when sending money overseas, we still have to shop around, but at least now it is more than worth our while to do so. By investing just a little time and energy, we can save ourselves a significant chunk of money.
This is what we believe The Money Cloud does so well. We compare exchange rates, in real time and using API driven technology, the fees, and the length of time it takes to complete a transaction, offered by a curated selection of the best brokers and money transfer agencies in the business.
We make it easy for you to compare and contrast, and make the wisest and most educated choice available on the market, or we put you in touch with somebody who will do it for you. We only work with authorised brokers and reputable money transfer agencies – the kind that are eating into the big banks’ and the Western Union’s market share, simply because they are better.
So, here are 5 reasons that you may end up needing to send money abroad next year. Have a read, and don’t dismiss them out of hand. Typically, we tend to budget for all things domestic as if our lives depended on it, and yet when it comes to all things international, we mentally check out.
Not any longer – expect the unexpected, and this year, you will only be pleasantly surprised.
Most people believe they know precisely when they will invest in overseas property, but many are quite wrong. There is no telling when somebody will put the perfect property for you on sale, and you won’t be able to resist investing. There is nothing wrong with that – but why compromise the opportunity you have waited a lifetime for by not doing your money transfer research ahead of time. Building a relationship with a broker now could be the best financial decision you make between now and 2019.
Not necessarily yours, or your children’s. It could be a friend tying the knot overseas. We all know that these can be special occasions, a great chance to celebrate life amongst good friends, but they can come out of the blue. When the time comes, and the scramble for accommodation, venue, transport, food etc. looms large, one call to your broker could save you several hundred calls to local merchants, hotels, rent-a-car and goodness know what else. I don’t know about you, by my knowledge of the French and Italian financial markets, let alone language, is not up to the job. My brokers’, on the other hand…
This year, I spent 6 months abroad, having budgeted for none. I could never have predicted I would up sticks and leave the United Kingdom for such long periods. But it happened and I am grateful for the fact it did.
If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. You may be thinking it already, or it may come as a complete surprise. Moving abroad for work can be key to securing that longed-for promotion, or a last chance to experience a different culture before settling down and starting a family, or a chance to give the family the experience / education of a lifetime. Or the beginning of a severe case of wanderlust.
So best be ready for when the opportunity comes along. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to be chosen, whether its 6 months or a decade abroad, or a few days conference overseas and a chance to meet the big bosses.
4/ Gap year / tuition
Your children are limbering up for the dreaded gap year and, despite their bold claims to the contrary, they will need protecting. Make sure you can help them out without delay when they call you at 3am to inform you they have just fallen out of a tuk tuk, or lost their luggage. It happens to the very best of us, after all. And no, I don’t speak from personal experience.
5/ Speculating / Playing the markets
A relationship with a good broker can be life changing. Many of us are too passive when it comes to managing our money, and especially so when we are dealing with international money transfer. Whilst you do not want a pushy broker chasing their commission, sensibly planning for dealing internationally with somebody who has a decade plus experiences and intimate knowledge of the foreign exchange marketplace is one way to secure a decent ROI in an economic environment that is simply terrible for savers.