International Money Transfer Apps: How to Choose the Best One in 2023
When you need to send money abroad, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the dozens of available money transfer options. One may provide really low fees, another one might offer better exchange rates or cover more international locations.
So when faced with the choice, you need to make sure you select the best one for your wants and needs.
Continue reading to learn how some of the most popular money transfer solutions compare and how to choose the best cross-border money transfer app for you.
1. Transfer speed
Next to fees, transfer time is the most important aspect to consider when transferring money abroad. Due to their complexity (currency exchange, bank agreements, etc), international transfers often take longer to settle than domestic transfers.
Many people perform international payments using their bank’s mobile app as they are already familiar with the process. But international bank transfers (also referred to as SWIFT transfers) are one of the slowest means of sending money overseas.
They typically take 1-3 business days, with national holidays, weekends, and currency conversion adding to that time and extending a transfer to 5-7 days in certain cases.
Fin.do card-to-card money transfers are delivered in minutes anywhere across 150 international destinations. Fin.do is a very intuitive, easy-to-use platform where it takes minutes to set up and settle a cross-border payment. Recipients can instantly access the funds they receive to their Mastercard or Visa card.
2. Transfer limits
While unpleasant, you can think of transfer limits as a ‘necessary evil’ required for compliance or anti-fraud reasons. The majority of money transfer providers have some sort of sending limits in place.
Sometimes, you may find these limits either too low for your transfer needs, or they may apply to regions where you wish to make a transfer.
Wise, for example, is available for international transfers in 50+ countries, and has a limit of (the equivalent of) $120 per transaction for Pakistani customers.
With Paysend, you may only transfer up to 15,000 TJS (around €1,500 EUR) over 3 months to Tajikistan.
Fin.do has a transfer limit of $2,500 per month which applies across all our 150 supported countries. This means that you may transfer any amount of money you need to and from any card - including Pakistani and Tajik cards.
3. Currency limitations
Other types of limitations include the availability of currencies you can send or receive. That’s to say, depending on your location or transfer destination, you may only be allowed to send a certain choice of currencies.
Paysend, for example, allows you to make a transfer in your national currency and, in some cases, in international currencies like the euro. But typically you can only send UAH to Ukraine, RON to Romania, and so on.
With Wise, you cannot send USD to USD internationally (or any other same-currency combination), while in certain countries only USD, EUR or GBP transfers are allowed.
With Fin.do, you can send any currency anywhere and from any card. This means you may send USD from a GBP card, or EUR from a UAH card, and so on, regardless of where the card is issued. You can read more about our same currency transfer option here.
4. Balance vs no balance apps
The way most money transfer providers work, you must deposit money to an account which you then use to make payments. This balance system has several implications.
First, it extends the time it takes for your transfer to get to your recipient because after you’ve confirmed your transfer, you must wait for the provider to release those funds.
Second, it makes the sending process inconvenient because you need to constantly make sure your account has enough money to make a certain payment. Topping up your account via your bank account or card is also subject to bank fees.
Revolut is just one example where you need to top up your account before you can transfer money - and while Revolut money transfers are not subject to limits, top-ups are (minimum transfer amounts which can often be inconvenient).
Fin.do, on the other hand, doesn’t hold a balance which makes it possible for your transfer to be processed instantly. This is convenient both for you, because you never need to add money to an account, and for your recipient who gets instant access to the funds.
While many apps display the fees and exchange rates at the time of your transfer, the final amount your recipient gets usually remains a mystery.
This is important because exchange rates may fluctuate between the time you initiate the transaction and the time the transfer is completed, so your recipient might receive a different amount than planned.
This is the most common scenario even with popular money transfer platforms such as Wise.
With Fin.do, you always see the exact amount you are sending and the exact amount of money your recipient receives, every step of the way. Because Fin.do transfers are settled instantly, there is no risk of currency fluctuation so both you and your recipient always know what to expect.
Regardless which app you prefer for your international transfers, just make sure it ticks all your boxes, whether that’s fees, speed, convenience, or flexibility!
This concludes our guide to the best international money transfer apps in 2023. We hope it will be useful for your next cross-border transfer.