5 Online Money Transfer Options for Digital Nomads

Online Money Transfer Options for Digital Nomads

Online finance is booming, with new mobile banking apps and services and online payment systems making digital nomading and remote life much easier. Gone are the days of travelers checks and wire transfers.

Many digital finance options require residence requirements, signing up for accounts, or mutual account holders. So what if you just need to move some money around?

For some time now, PayPal has been the easy option. When PayPal first hit the scene twenty years ago, it was a game changer. It soon became the household name for online payment, and today it is still used as the payment system for online giants like Airbnb and is an almost universal alternative to paying with your credit card online. But it’s no secret that PayPal’s transfer fees are high, especially for international transfers. Plus, senders and receivers must have an account with PayPal to make it work.

PayPal is so well known that these days, many people use it simply because they don’t know there are other options. But, we’ve got options for remoters who need to move their money online and on the go.

 

1. Transferwise transferwise.com

Special Features:

  • Bank to bank transfer
  • Credit to bank transfer
  • Uses local bank accounts to complete transfers on sender’s behalf.
  • Uses current exchange rate
  • Also offers an online bank account

Fees:

  • Fees depend on sending and receiving country
  • Approximately 1 to 2% of amount transferred
  • Credit card or debit card may charge extra fee
  • Additional fee charged by credit card or debit card

Restrictions:

 

2. Skrill www.skrill.com

Special Features:

  • Account to account transfer for personal use
  • Prepaid credit card attached to account
  • Payment solutions for businesses available

Fees:

  • 1.90% of total spent, capped at €20
  • Currency exchange fee extra
  • No fees on payment received

Restrictions:

  • Sender and receiver need an account for money transfers

 

3. Venmo venmo.com

Special Features:

  • Sign up through Facebook or email
  • Use online account, bank account or debit card to send money
  • Make payments in mobile apps from online account

Fees:

  • Transfers free from Venmo account, bank account, or debit card
  • 3% charged for credit card transfers

Restrictions:

  • Sender and receiver need an account for money transfers
  • Owned by PayPal

 

4. Xend>pay www.xendpay.com

Special Features:

  • Credit/debit card to bank transfers
  • Bank to bank transfers also available
  • Set up account with Facebook or Gmail
  • Created by Indian entrepreneur to help migrant workers sending money home to their families

Fees:

  • No exchange fees
  • No set transfer fees
  • Pay what you want (PWYW) for up to £2000 per year in personal transfers; up to £4000 per year for business clients

Restrictions:

  • Bank account information needed for receiver.
  • Transfers can take several days to complete

 

Special Mention: Western Union

Western Union is the original money transfer business—it started by sending money in the United States via telegram in 1871 (the original wire!)—and it is still the go-to for sending money around the world. Today, using the website and your credit card or Visa debit, you can send money to bank accounts around the world.

But, what makes Western Union special is it’s classic service—sending cash to Western Union locations for pick-up—no banking information or online account required. WU bank transfer fees are competitive with other bank transfer options, but transfers for cash pick up cost significantly more (for example, bank transfers from Canada to India cost CA$5, but cash transfers are CA$35). Bank transfer fees also depend on the receiving country. But if cash is what you need, Western Union is for you.

If you find yourself in a bind (for example, if local ATM machines are broken or empty, or your bank card is gone, or isn’t working), you can send money to yourself via Western Union with a credit card number and a passport. Western Union’s global reach means you can find an outlet almost anywhere—but make sure the location has cash available to distribute before making the transfer!

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