How long do international money transfers take?

 How long do international money transfers take?

Are you planning to send money abroad for the first time? If so, you would be happy to know that the process of making an international fund transfer has become seamless, thanks to the internet. You can transfer money from a home account to an overseas account from the comfort of your home. 

Before understanding how an international money transfer works, let us know what it means. Most people confuse outward remittance with international money transfer. Even though they are similar in so many ways, they have noticeable differences. For instance, outward remittance allows you to send low-value money abroad. At the same time, there is no such restriction on international money transfers. It simply refers to the electronic transfer of funds from a home bank account to an overseas bank account.

So,  how does it work?

There are three key players in an international fund transfer, such as: 

  • The sender (you) 
  • The recipient
  • The money transfer service provider

To make an international money transfer, you (the sender) need to initiate a money transfer through a preferred service provider. You can choose to send money abroad in person or through online platforms. You will need to provide the recipient’s details and pay the transfer fees and transfer amount. 

After receiving the necessary details and payment, the money transfer provider will transfer the funds to the recipient’s account. The recipient can receive the money in their account or cash. Generally, it takes about 2 to 4 working days to complete the international fund transfer.

Different ways to send money abroad

There are several ways to send money abroad, such as: 

Bank-to-bank transfer 

It is one of the popular methods to send money abroad. You will need to visit your bank and request an international fund transfer. It is worth pointing out that banks charge slightly higher transfer fees compared to online money transfers. Markup charges also impact the foreign exchange rates. Sometimes, it is hard to know the cost of money transfer in advance. However, the safety of your hard-earned money is guaranteed.  

Online money transfer service 

With the advent of the internet, international fund transfers through online money transfer services have become inexpensive and more transparent. Compared to banks, the transfer fees are low. Also, the process of sending money is simple and easy. All you need to do so to create an online account and get your profile verified. After setting up the account, you can send money abroad with just a few clicks on the computer. 

Cash transfer service 

It is the best way to send money abroad if you do not have a bank account or need to pay the recipient in cash. Unlike other options, you do not need to have a bank account to make an international money transfer or even receive money from abroad.  To send money abroad, you will need to visit a cash transfer service in your locality and fill in the money transfer form. The best part about a cash transfer service is that the recipient can receive the funds almost instantly. The only downside is that you have to visit a physical location which can be time-consuming. 

The costs involved in an international money transfer

It isn’t easy to know how much an international money transfer can cost.  The transfer fees and foreign exchange rates vary across different service providers. It would be wise to compare multiple money transfer services before making an international fund transfer.  

While shopping around and comparing multiple money transfer services, make sure to compare their transfer fees and the foreign exchange rate.

Transfer fee

All money transfer service providers charge a fee for transferring money abroad. Generally, the service provider charges a fixed amount. However, the transfer fee also depends on the transfer amount, destination country, and how you wish to pay.

The Mark-up on the foreign exchange rate

Besides the transfer fee, money transfer services also add a mark-up to the foreign exchange rate while converting your money into a foreign currency. For instance, if you wish to send Rs. 40,000/- to Bhutan, you will have to incur a mark-up of 3% to 5%. It is in addition to the transfer fee.

So,  before making an international fund transfer, it would be wise to be aware of foreign exchange rates to make an informed decision.  


The process of sending money abroad is easy and hassle-free. All you have to do is provide details of the recipient and pay the transfer fee along with the transfer amount. It should not take more than 2 to 4 working days for the transaction to complete.

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