Exchange rates quoted by banks often have fees hidden in them. The "mid-market rate" or "real exchange rate" is the actual exchange rate without extra charges. So it is much better for the customer. The mid-market rate is the same rate you will find on Google, XE or Yahoo.
"Forex" is a portmanteau of FOReign currency and EXchange, sometimes known simply as FX. Foreign exchange is the process of converting one currency into another. It is done electronically by traders around the world in a marketplace that never sleeps (during week days). This is why exchange rates change constantly.
What is P2P?
"P2P" stands for "peer-to-peer." P2P transfer companies provide users with an online platform that depends on digital transfers rather than physical transfers. The ideal is that a P2P transfer cuts out commission charges and fees by bypassing brokers, banks and/or forex. Infact no foreign transfer takes place and your money never leaves the country. A P2P transfer company searches for a partner in the country where you want to send money to. This partner will equally be looking to send money to your country. Your money is transfered to your P2P partners recipient in your country, while your P2P partners money is transfered to your recipent in his country.
The downside with P2P is that it can be harder to transfer larger amounts as it depends on finding a partner looking to transfer the same amount. Equally it can be challenging to find a partner in smaller countries/currencies.
Currencies fluctuate and exchange rates change all the time. Obviously this effects your currency exchange.Good money transfer companies search for the best rates available. If your transfer is not urgent some currency transfer companies offer options to wait for and profit from better rates.
All transfers incur a charge by the company managing the transfer and this varies between transfer companies, Dedicated transfer companies are a lot cheaper than banks.
The exchange rate can make a large difference to your financial transfer and your wallet!
The bank is the traditional method of sending money abroad; but banks offer the most expensive exchange rates and have fees and charges you will not find elsewhere..
Probably the slowest method of sending money to another country. You will be charged by your bank or post office for the cheque and the recipient will also have to pay a charge to cash the cheque.
Online Transfer Specialists
Dedicated transfer companies have grown rapidly over the past two decades alongside the digital revolution. They offer quicker transactions with better exchange rates and lower fees than banks. There are two types: traditional FOREX transfers or Peer 2 Peeer transfers. These companies offer the best value for international money transfers. The most common method of payment is into a bank account.
Cash Pickups Abroad
Some online transfer companies will send money abroad to be collected as cash. Useful if the recipient is in another country without a bank account. However, the "pickup point" has to be paid and this tends to become a more expensive option than a transfer direct into a bank account.
With its origins as an online global payment processor Paypal has become increasingly popular for sending money to another country. Its fees are cheaper than a bank but more expensive than the dedicated transfer companies. Paypals downfall is its problem with fraud.
Traditional banks do transfer money to other countries, they are regulated and they are trustworthy. The downside is that international payments and international financial transfers are not their speciality. That's why dedicated companies exist that specialise in money transfers abroad. Such companies offer a much more competitive and quicker service than banks. The companies found on FundsAbroad.com are equally regulated, as the banks.
If you need to transfer a large sum of money abroad then the benefit to your wallet of employing a transfer company is clear as they offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks. Banks have supplementary fees that you would not expect to find with a transfer company, like handling charges and foreign exchange commissions.
Equally if you are regulalry transfering smaller amounts of money a transfer company will save you money. Some transfer companies have specialised staff to help with regular transfers (like pensions). These are employed to get you the best deals possible.
In conlusion you can use a bank to send funds abroad but a dedicated transfer company will charge you a lot less, find the best exchange rates and will be quicker. At the same time reputable, regulated transfer companies offer the same security as a bank.