What follows is a comparison of just a few of the major money transfer companies operating today.
The comparison has been compiled assuming you are sending $1000 dollars cash from the United States, New York to an overseas recipient in the Philippines.
All prices are correct at time of publishing.
Money Transfer Fee: $15
Total Amount: $1015
Exchange rate 1 US Dollar = 43.0868732 Philippine Peso
Local currency pay out = 43086.87 Philippine Peso
One of the largest and most reputable money transfer service providers in the market place with over 150 years experience. They provide on and offline money transfer services with over 310,000 agent locations around the world in over 200 countries.
Money transfers via Western Union are possible both physically at a agent location or in minutes using their online service. Money is transferred virtually immediately. A phone call confirming the money transfer is sometimes required to confirm the transaction aswell. The recipient needs to supply their passport and also the money transfer control number (MTCN) in order to pick-up their cash.
Pros: Instant money transfers, large global network of agents (collection/sending points), there is no need for anyone to provide bank account details, local currency payouts, messaging services and a safe and secure transaction guaranteed.
Main Advantages: funds transferred within minutes, transfers can be made online or offline, receiver will collect the money inn local currency, there is a huge network of agent locations around the world, receiver does not need a bank account to receive funds and there are other message services available as well.
Main Disadvantages: Generally this is one of the most costly money transfer providers; you may be required to make a phone call from your home address to confirm a transfer.
Money Transfer Fee: $5
Total Amount: $1005
Exchange rate 1 US Dollar = 44.31 Philippine Peso
Local currency pay out = 4431.50 Philippine Peso
This system utilizes the worldwide network of Visa ATM machines worldwide to transfer money overseas. Firstly you need to sign up for an account online then arrange for a special re-loadable visa card to be sent via FEDEX to your intended recipient of money. You are able to upload money onto the card online which then becomes immediately available to the person holding the Visa card in whatever country they happen to be in.
Pros: low fees charged for re-loading the card online, anyone can have a ikobo card assigned to them, very few credit checks are required, reduces the need for someone to have to take large amounts of money around with them.
Cons: Cards may only be used with Visa ATM’s which despite being part of a huge network may on on occasion be limiting factor although this is becoming less and less the case.
Money Transfer Fee: $14.99
Total Amount: $1014.99
Exchange rate 1 US Dollar = 43.210159 Philippine Peso
Local currency pay out = 43.210.16 Philippine Peso
MoneyGram operate in over 180 countries with over 152,000 agent locations for you to collect or send money from. They also have an efficient online service and you are able to pay money directly into US bank accounts and pay utility bill companies also.
Pros: Money is generally available within 10 minutes of money being transferred. Test questions can be used to transfer money if the recipient has no identification. Up to $10,000 can be sent for any single transaction with up to two per day.
Cons: Bad luck for none US citizens.
Money Transfer Fee: $1, fee is 1% of the total money transfer amount.
Total Amount: $1001
Exchange rate 1 US Dollar = Daily European Central Bank Rate
Local currency pay out = Not known, no quote given
Additional fees: 1.75% will also be added to the interbank rate whenever there is an exchange of currency between banks.
Moneybookers allow you to send money worldwide online via an email address. Of course all the registration registration procedures apply. The recipient however doesn’t need an account as other money transfer companies require them to have. The web-site supports 12 different languages and payment is possible to over 30 countries.
Pros: Immediate money transfers with low and highly competitive money transfer charges, high levels of security, extra services such as message sending via SMS and fax are also available.
Cons: Whilst fast and efficient their network of agents and ability to transfer money globally is as yet still quite limited.
Xoom Money Transfer:
Money Transfer Fee: $15.00 for the value service (US account holders only) otherwise it is $43.00!
Total Amount: $1015/$1043
Exchange rate 1 US Dollar = no exchange rate information provided on web-site.
Local currency pay out = no information given.
This service operates online. Simply follow the instructions on the user friendly web-site and you are able to send money very quickly. You may choose for money to be delivered by hand, collected from a location or entered into a bank account or even a Paypal account. You will be issued with a Xoom tracking number which you must forward to the intended recipient.
Pros: The money transfer fees are generally cheaper than Wester Union. Being able to transfer money directly to a US bank account is also seen as a big positive to many people living abroad.
Cons: As yet the scale of their network is not comparable to the other major money transfer countries including only 30 countries. For example as yet it is not possible to transfer money to Bangkok, Thailand a major south east asian city.
Given the information it appears that Ikobo’s offer is the most advantageous with the lowest transfer fees and the best exchange rate! Paypal have not been considered due to the fact that it is very difficult for international users (particularly in asia) to get verified bank accounts where they can have the money deposited from Paypal into. This means money can be in their Paypal account but they simply cannot withdraw it to an account ot physically get their hands on it!
As you can see there are plenty of variables to grade a money transfer companies service by. It is up to you to choose what exactly it is that you require from your money transfer company and then go and find the one that suits your needs most.