Moving Money Abroad into Foreign Currency Accounts
Moving money abroad can be a challenge if you are a foreigner living in another country. Whether you are trying to transfer funds for living expenses, sending funds to children studying overseas, or simply trying to add a deposit to a foreign currency account for investment advantages, the process for sending overseas funds can be very daunting. Below are a few options to send money fast overseas.
Option #1: Wire Transfer Bank to Bank
This option is ideal if you prefer to setup wire transfer instructions well in advance with the bank. Most banks require you to sign wire transfer authorization forms in person to enable wire transfer for your account. Additional, banks generally require you to call in person to initiate wire transfer instructions. Very few banks allow international bank transfers through online interaction. Beware that wire transfers (especially international wire transfers) usually have large fees associated with both the transfer fee and the exchange rate fee. Be advised to check the exchange rate for the bank to bank transfer as you may not always get a competitive exchange rate.
Option #2: Bring Cash with You
This option is rather self explanatory, however there are some cautionary items worth mentioning. When you travel or visit your home country, withdraw funds and bring cash with you to deposit in your foreign currency account abroad. You should not deposit directly your home country’s currency type, but instead find local money changers to change over the currency into the local currency. This will save on currency exchange rates and also get you the best exchange rate possible. You will need to also check import rules for the amount of cash allowed into a country without declaring on the customs form. If you don’t mind declaring the cash with customs, you can bring it as much as you desire. Obviously another downside is that you have to travel back and forth to your home country and host country in order to transfer money, however if the trips are timed with vacation or family visits, this options is most ideal.
Option #3: Use your PayPal Account
If you already have an online PayPal account, you could open another PayPal account in the country your are residing. PayPal offers both currency exchange options, as well as withdrawal of funds from PayPal accounts to local banks. For example, if your home country is the U.S. and you are currently residing in Malaysia. You can open a PayPal Malaysia account that accepts both Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and US Dollars (USD). You can then either use your U.S. PayPal account to send USD to your Malaysian PayPal account, or exchange over to MYR and deposit directly in MRY currency. From your Malaysian PayPal account, you withdraw funds in either MRY or USD to your local Malaysian bank account. There are fees to be aware of with PayPal, however these fees are comparable or lower than bank to bank wire transfer fees, and money is transfered instantly between the two PayPal accounts. It is also worth noting that the currency exchange rates offered through PayPal are slightly lower compared to market rates.
An innovative solutions PayPal now offers is the ability to deposit checks directly into your paypal account remotely. This is done through the PayPal iPhone app, which allows you to take a picture of the front and back of a check, which will then get deposited into your account within 3 – 6 days.
Whether you use bank to bank wire transfer, cash deposited or online account funds transfers such as PayPal, you will have research fees and determine which options is the cheapest and most timely for your specific situation.