Wednesday, October 28, 2015, AM | Leave Comment
There used to be a time when sending money from one country to another was a complex and expensive affair. In the 21st century, we tend to take for granted the ease of sending money via the Internet and even from our smartphones; this was not so easy in the past.
The History of International Wire Transfers
Electronic funds transfers were not always electronic. In the 19th century, people used the telegraph to arrange for money to be picked up at a remote location, hence the term “wire transfer.”
This system was perfected decades later with the arrival of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and the implementation of international standards.
Bank Wire Transfers
The access to technological tools such as SWIFT empowered banks around the world to control the wire transfer market for a good portion of the 20th century.
To compete against money transmitters, banks boasted about their liquidity and security, which came at a significant cost to individuals.
Expensive wire transfer fees and bureaucracy used to dissuade many people from using banks to send money overseas.
Rise of the Money Transmitters
Globalization and the advent of Internet technologies gave rise to an alternative for sending money to other countries without having to depend on banks and their excessive international wire transfer fees.
Money transmitters are licensed providers of financial services that offer individuals around the world the ability to send money to each other.
Although money transmitters have been around for many decades, they really came of age along with email and other Internet communication protocols.
In the mid-1990s, the idea of instant money transfers at very low costs was cemented by the growth of the World Wide Web.
Once money transmitters realized that information sharing is at the heart of every wire transfer transaction, they took to the Web to share that information with everyone who needed to send money overseas, particularly with foreign workers whose families depend on remittances.
Modern Wire Transfers: Fast, Convenient and Affordable
The market leaders in the wire transfer industry offer convenience at low costs.
One example is ShareMoney.com, a money transmitter that offers door-to-door delivery in certain countries.
Most transmitters require recipients to appear at a physical locations to pick up their cash; with companies like ShareMoney, a remittance can be sent from the United States to the Philippines and delivered to homes in Manila in less than six hours.
Money transmitters are also exploring new features such as enabling SMS transfers between mobile phones and issuing prepaid debit cards for small amounts that need to be sent frequently.
In the end, the wire transfer industry has truly come of age.
Anica Oaks is a Freelance writer and web enthusiast. Read some of her published work on her Google+ page.