How do I send money to a foreign bank account?

There are several options available to transfer money to a foreign bank account. Some important factors should be considered while choosing a particular service. The factors include the amount of transfer, how often you send money to India or your home country, the receiver’s preference and ease, and how swiftly the money can be transferred. There are three mainstream channels to move money abroad into a foreign bank account, i.e. using the banking channel, forex brokers, and online money transfer firms such as ACE Money Transfers. Let us discuss these channels in detail to make it easy for you to choose the right channel as per your requirements.

Bank to Bank Transfer

A bank to bank transfer is where you directly transfer money from your bank account to the receiver’s bank account. This is considered a comparatively safer way to move money online as the channel is administered by multiple financial institutions. With the evolving technology and modern mobile phones, money transfer to India and between banks is convenient. The process starts with the sender logging into their bank account using the bank’s application, adding a beneficiary, i.e. the recipient, and making the required transfer. An e-receipt is generated automatically once the transfer is done.

It is also understandable that people, such as elders, might not be handy with modern gadgets and may find the online system complex. For such people, the transfer can also be done by visiting the branch in person or arranging the transfer on the phone.

The details that you will need to get the transfer going are:

  • Recipient’s International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and,
  • The Bank Identifier Code (BIC)

The detriments of using the banking channel are that it might be expensive than other options available, and it might not be as swift a transfer channel as you expect it to be. A simple transfer can take up to 4 to 6 working days.

Forex Brokers

Forex brokers are foreign exchange companies that can also be used to transfer money into a foreign bank account. Unlike banks that offer a wide array of services, forex brokers provide specialized currency-related services. They offer tailored services to clients depending on various factors such as the amount of transfer. Forex brokers offer attractive service rates when it comes to big amounts. The prominent forex brokers include OFX, Currency Solutions, etc.

Forex brokers are preferred over conventional banks by people who want to move material amounts. This is because of the better exchange rates and zero service charges that they offer in contrast to the conventional banks.  The speed with which a forex broker can make money available to the receiver is also way better than what the traditional banks offer, i.e. 1-2 working days. This, however, also depends on the country of the transfer.

Forex brokers are used to moving money for multiple reasons, i.e., buying assets abroad to send money back home. This makes them equally popular among people in business and migrant workers.

The money transfer service might be fast, but opening up an account with an FX broker might be time taking. The service might not be the best in town if the amount to be moved small. The service does have its merits and demerits; inspect closely before opting for it.

Online Money Transfer Firms

Online money transfers to India and other parts of the world through any firm have found relevance with a customer in a surprising manner. This happened because of the slow transfer services provided by the conventional banks, and that too unbearable. Businesses and individuals both use online money transfer firms as they offer a viable solution to move money as the world turns into a global village. Businesses that have global supply chains cannot afford to pay a hefty sum to banks per transaction. Similarly, individuals also value whatever amount of money they move to shop or to support their families back home.

It should be noted that this industry is not as regulated as banks, and whatever money transfer service you use should be chosen with caution. There are many trustworthy names in the industry that can be used to avail a cheap and swift money transfer service.

Online money transfer services are faster in every aspect, i.e. you don’t need to have an account with the money transfer firm. You can send money to Indian online, plus the money can reach the receiver in a matter of minutes. Nevertheless, some demerits of using online money transfer firms, such as fees charged, can be high for smaller amounts. Also, the currency exchange rates change instantaneously, and the sender has to be mindful of the rate applicable on the day he wants to initiate the transfer.


Each of the services, as mentioned earlier, has its pros and cons. It is upon the discretion of the customer to choose a service that best fits their circumstances. It should be kept in mind that scammers are everywhere, and proper licensing should be inspected before selecting the service provider.