Growing demand for international money transfer |
MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE. This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Published: 24/11/2015

As the world becomes smaller, many people find that their loved ones are overseas – but the connections between them are as strong as ever. In fact, visits abroad to see friends and family are steadily increasing, and as a result, so is demand for international money transfer.

The rise of cross-border trips – and money transfer

Figures from the ONS show that the number of visits abroad to see friends and family grew by 7.8% last year, while visits to the UK for the same reason were up 4.8%. In fact, around 323,000 Brits left the country last year to start a new life abroad, which means that international money transfer is now becoming routine for many.

However, this doesn't mean that banks are the sole providers of such services. The currency exchange sector is thriving in its own right, and many of the biggest players are individual companies, and are often chosen by consumers who are unwilling to tolerate the high fees that are often levied by banks: banks typically charge between 5-8% in remittance fees which can seriously add up, and as a result, many travellers and expats are looking elsewhere.

Reasons to transfer cash

Research from global transfer firm Xpress Money shows that thousands of UK consumers have transferred funds overseas, with some of the top reasons for doing so (and associated points to consider) being:

  • Transfers to family and friends, typically for emergencies, one-off gifts or regular financial support.
  • Property. Buying or selling property abroad can be an expensive business, which means fees and exchange rates are a serious consideration, and is why shopping around for a competitive money transfer service is so important.
  • Paying bills. Whether you've got a property abroad that requires mortgage payments and regular upkeep, or you're travelling and need to make sure your bills at home are taken care of, fixing the exchange rate and setting up a scheduled payment can be an easy way to ensure that all bills are paid on time while you're abroad.
  • Salary transfers, where you'll need a simple way to send money home if you work overseas.
  • Emigration. If you're looking to relocate overseas, ensuring your money travels with you is a priority, which is where the right money transfer service can come in.

Continued innovation

Demand for money transfer may be higher than ever, but so is the level of innovation in the sector, with data from Juniper Research estimating that the number of mobile money transfers is set to increase by 150% in 2015 to total more than 15 billion – and by all accounts, it could increase further in the years to come, with new mobile platforms constantly in development to offer more versatility and ease of transfer than ever before.

"Money transfer is a vital utility for families across the globe, and the banks have failed to keep pace with demand," said Sudhesh Giriyan of Xpress Money, who points out that in many cases the sums transferred are relatively small, particularly for those who are sending money to family members. This is why it's so important to consider alterative money transfer services, rather than sticking to the big banks who often charge far greater fees, so check out our dedicated money transfer section to see how much cheaper it could be.


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

calculator surrounded by money

Cookies will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your device. This includes tracking cookies.

I accept. Read our Cookie Policy