HiFX, the foreign exchange specialist, has launched an innovative Online International Money Transfer service which could save the five and a half million Brits living or working abroad over £1.65bn a year on their international money transfers.
The service allows customers to quickly and securely transfer money at rates which beat both the high street banks and other international money transfer specialists such as PayPal and Western Union. The service is the first to show real time, moving exchange rates. Customers can watch the live rate and choose when to make the transfer themselves and unlike other online transfer methods, there are no hidden charges.
An estimated 5.5 million Brits live or work abroad and over one million people own property overseas. With the recent poor performance of sterling and banks increasing their margins on international money transfers due to the dramatic fluctuations in exchange rates around the world, Brits with financial interests abroad are now more than ever looking for ways to save money when sending money from the UK.
According to HiFX, overseas homeowners, expats and pensioners living abroad typically each transfer a series of small payments totalling between £5,000 and £10,000 a year, to pay bills, top up a bank account or send money to family and friends. In the past, people had to rely on their banks or smaller money transfer companies to send money and, unless transferring in bulk, were unable to cash in on the great exchange rates offered by currency specialists who traditionally can only help people transfer large amounts of money.
The new HiFX Online International Money Transfer service is available to anyone transferring between £250 and £10,000 and offers on average savings of 3% of the amount transferred when compared to high street banks and other international transfer providers.
Traditionally the cost of sending money abroad can be broken down into two parts: the exchange rate offered plus any additional costs such as commission and transfer or receiving fees.
Whilst a company may claim to not charge commission, they may then offer a poor exchange rate - making it very difficult for custotomers to determine the actual end cost of transferring money. The HiFX Online International Money Transfer service offers 'live' prices made up of both a discounted exchange rate and inclusive of all charges so the rate offered is the price paid. The live price moves in line with exchange rate fluctuations. By watching the live price, users choose the exact point and rate at which they want to make the transfer.
Mark Bodega, Director at HiFX explains "With sterling having recently touched record lows, every penny counts when it comes to transferring money overseas. Previously, if you needed to transfer anything from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds into a foreign currency, then your options were limited to using your bank which, depending on the account you hold, leaves you open to poor exchange rates and additional bank charges. Alternatively, people could use a money transfer company whose rates are also less competitive than those offered by our online service.
"In developing an online money transfer service we are able to offer people a convenient way of accessing the same discounted online rates as we are able to offer for larger sums over the phone. Our research shows that people love watching the changing rates and being able to act when they feel it moves in their favour. With HiFX Online people can do exactly that and the rate they see is the rate they actually pay."
The HiFX Online International Money Transfer service can be used to transfer sterling into overseas' accounts in most major currencies (euro, US dollar, AUS dollar, NZ dollar and CAN dollar) and users can specify either the amount they want to send in sterling or the amount that must be received overseas.
Bodega continues "This eliminates any confusion when paying a bill overseas. Often people are unsure exactly how much sterling to send to pay a fixed amount in another currency as exchange rate fluctuation and unforeseen charges can eat into the amount sent, leaving people to discover that they have actually overpaid or underpaid the amount due."