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What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?

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Photo: Philip Brewer/Flickr
09:02 CET+01:00
There's a lot you need to figure out when you move abroad. Sure, there are the big things like finding a home, getting a job, and locating a good school.

And then there are those little things that still make a huge difference in the long run – like how to send money back home, or from home to your new location.

A recent analysis by consumer research organization Which? found that expats transferring money overseas can lose out on massive sums of money depending on what service they use.

Make the wrong choice and you could lose hundreds of euros.

Which? examined 16 different providers including big banks and other international payment providers, testing how much bang customers get for sending their bucks abroad.

Transfer service CurrencyFair – founded by expats, for expats – came out on top.

In comparison to bank Santander, which came in last place, CurrencyFair offered users €400 more on a payment of £10,000, even beating out competitors like TransferWise and HiFx.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, the banks were bottom of our rankings," the report states.

So what exactly is CurrencyFair, and how do they give expats such good deals?

“CurrencyFair is a way of transferring money internationally without involving international transfers," cofounder Brett Meyers explains.

The Australian expat found he was losing hundreds on poor exchange rates when he moved to Ireland, and decided to solve the problem on his own, launching CurrencyFair in 2010 with several colleagues.

“It works on the principle that I might be sending euros back home to Australia for Christmas, at the same time there's plenty of people with Aussie dollars that want euros,” Meyers says. “For example, a person who emigrated there needs to send money back to pay the mortgage.”

The service charges just a €3 fee per transaction, cutting out the middleman present in a bank transfer - and saving customers money.

With 18 currencies offered, the service has quickly become a natural choice for expats, and since its launch users have used CurrencyFair to transfer more than €3 billion.

“CurrencyFair's online platform makes exchanging and sending currency around the world simple," one reviewer writes of the service.

"Rates are transparent, each transaction status is regularly updated and the platform is very easy to use and user friendly. Most importantly, for regular users, the savings can be substantial.”

Click here to try CurrencyFair today

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by CurrencyFair.

 

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