How to transfer money overseas from Canada

With a vast majority of Canadians travelling, working or going to school abroad and keeping in touch with family and friends from other countries, the need for safe and reliable methods to transfer money overseas has never been greater.

The process of transferring funds from an individual in one country to another is known as a remittance and this can be accomplished in many different ways. Online transfers are a fast and popular method as are money transfers.

What is a Money Transfer?


A money transfer is an easy way to send money from an individual in one country to someone in another, using a money transfer business or a financial institution in Canada who will safely send the funds to an agent at a business or bank in another country. They will then safely pass these funds onto the intended recipient by giving them cash, a cheque, depositing the money into a specified bank account or placing the money onto a specified credit card.

These financial institutions or businesses usually charge a fee for their money transfer services, however they offer a safe, reliable and quick way to send money to any country in the world and ensure that it makes it into the hands of the person who requires it.

How can I send money abroad?


There are many different options to send money overseas. The fastest and easiest method is to transfer funds online using online banking. Most financial institutions will allow you to transfer money via e-transfer, directly from your online bank to someone else’s. Some banks will charge a small fee for this, however many offer this service for free. It can be done quickly, from the comfort of your own home and all that is required is the recipient’s email address.

Another popular option for sending money abroad is using a money transfer service. These are especially useful when transferring large sums of money. You can find this service available at your local bank or credit union or at a specialized money transfer business. Some of the most popular money transfer services available in Canada are:

  • WorldRemit
  • OFX
  • Veem
  • MoneyGram
  • CurrencyFair
  • TransferWise
  • Western Union
  • E-transfer via your online bank account
  • Paypal
  • Google Pay

Many of these services will offer online transfers via their website or app, or you can visit one of their establishments. Money transfer services may also have smaller outlets located in your neighborhood pharmacy, grocery store, corner store or at the post office.

What information will I need to send a money transfer?


When sending a remittance overseas, you should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • The amount of money being transferred
  • The name and address of the recipient’s bank
  • The recipient’s bank account number
  • The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) code for the recipient’s bank
  • The reason for the transfer
  • The currency that they funds should be received in
  • Who will be paying the transfer fees (the sender, the receiver, or will the fees be split between the two)

How do I know which method of transfer is right for me?


When trying to decide how to send money overseas, it is best to invest some time and research all of the different services available to you. Be diligent to look into the following things:

  • The length of time the money transfer will take
  • The exchange rate being offered
  • The money transfer fee being charged
  • The reputation of the money transferring service that you are using

Frequently asked questions about how to transfer money overseas from Canada


How long will it take for my money to reach its intended recipient?

There are many different factors that may affect the time it takes for your money to reach its final destination. Sending money through your online bank account via e-transfer is usually one of the fastest methods and should only take as long as it takes to send an email. Using a financial institution or money transfer service may take longer depending upon the amount of money being transferred, the individual policies at the institution you have chosen, your bank’s cutoff time, differences in time zones and international holidays. Generally speaking, a money transfer can take anywhere from one to four business days to arrive.

Is it safe to transfer money overseas?

Transferring money online from your bank account to another is a safe way to send funds and can be one of the fastest methods available. If you choose to use a money transfer service, do your due-diligence and research their reputation by asking family members and friends about their experiences, researching reviews online or looking into the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) status. It is also important to ask for a receipt once your money has been transferred. Keep this receipt for your records in the unlikely event that there is an issue with your funds being sent or received.

What are the usual fees for transferring money?

The fees for sending a remittance overseas can vary greatly depending on the business or financial institution that you choose to use. Some money transfer services may also charge more for faster service. Depending on the service that you choose, you may pay a flat rate for your transaction or it may be a percentage of the total dollar amount being transferred. As a general guideline, be prepared to pay anywhere between approximately $5 to over $100. Also be sure to find out which currency the fees are being charged in and to take the exchange rate into account when calculating your transfer costs. Many institutions will also allow you the option to pay the fees yourself, have the receiver pay the fees or have the fees split equally between both parties involved.

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Amanda Leach

Author

Fifteen years can be a long time to work in one industry, but not when you are doing something that you love. Amanda has enjoyed the freedom of working as a freelance writer for the majority of her career. She has successfully combined her passion and skill for writing while still enjoying a life filled with travel, learning and exciting new experiences. While she loves exploring all different types of writing, her PhD in Consumer Psychology has made her a sought after writer for marketing, business and technology fields. Amanda is a regular contributor to Smarter Loans.

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