Tips How To Send Money To Family In The Old Country

Sunday, May 17, 2009, 6:13 AM | Leave Comment

As immigrants, we all have sent money to families in the old country where we were born and raised. These days, with the advent of freely available technology, the process of sending money has never been so easy.

There is a process or a system called SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is used by most banks for money transfers as well as for many other financial transactions.

SWIFT is a data carrier and as such it does not hold funds nor does it manage accounts.

There are different ways to send money – domestic and international – and for your convenience, the most frequently used are described below:

  • Bank wire

    Sometimes called telegraphic transfer, is one of the most secure methods of money transfers overseas. With this method, you can send your money to almost any country in the world.

    Usually banks charge a flat fee for telegraphic transfers, which vary in the range of $30-$40 (USD) irrespective of your money amount. Check with your bank for details.

  • Online Transfers

    That’s what we sometimes use. Online transfers have become quite popular because of its convenience.

    Usually online money transferring companies can either transfer your money from your credit or debit cards, or from your bank account. Check with your financial institution for details.

  • Bank Drafts

    These are checks issued by banks against cash funds in your bank. After you send the Bank Draft to the recipient s/he will be able to present it to any bank for cashing it.

    Registered courier such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. are strongly recommended to ensure the fast and secure delivery.

  • Checks

    There are different kinds of checks that you can transfer money with. Some of which are described below:

    • Cashier Checks
      These are checks issued by banks against cash or debiting funds from your bank account, similar to Bank Drafts. You will need to send the check to the recipient. Cashier Checks are hard to be replaced.
    • Traveler’s checks
      Traveler’s checks are for fixed amounts which you can buy from financial institutions and will allow you to make an unconditional payment to anyone. Traveler’s checks can be replaced if they are stolen or lost.
    • Certified Check
      Certified Checks are checks for which the bank verifies that sufficient funds exist in the account to cover the check at the time the check is written.
    • Money Order
      Money order is a payment order for particular amount of money which has been prepaid by the purchaser.
    • Personal Checks
      These are checks you write as an order to the bank to debit your account and pay to the payee specified in the check by you. If you send your personal check overseas the recipient will not get the funds until your checks are cleared with your bank.
  • Credit or Debit Cards

    • Debit Card
      Another alternative for money transfers is that you open a separate checking account with ATM debit card in your neighborhood bank.

      Send the card to your recipient with the PIN information.

      You will then need to credit the checking account every time you want to make a transfer with the amount needed.

      The recipient will be able to take cash from ATMs in his/her country.

      The recipient must use the ATMs that support the card type you have sent (VISA, Master, etc.).

    • Credit Card
      If you have a credit card with your bank, you may order an additional card assigning a sub-limit and send the card to your recipient with the PIN codes.

      The recipient will be able to take cash just like in case of debit cards described above.

      He/she will be able also to make payments by that card where accepted.

    • These two methods are great only when you have kids living or studying in another country.

      But you must sit down with them and tell them to use the cards responsibly.

In a Nutshell
Whatever method you use to send money overseas, make sure that you understand what’s involved in it.

Always ask your bank for advice.

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