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How To Send Or Transfer Money To Canada

When embarking on your new expat life in Canada you will need to send money to Canada. A great way of getting money to Canada is via a foreign exchange specialist who can help with money transfers big or small.

Canada is one of the most desirable countries for British expats to relocate to. This is due partly because of the English language from previous commonwealth links, liberal & progressive culture, stunning scenery and their equivalent of the NHS meaning no need for the expensive American style private system. Their largest industries are agriculture, water, wood (logging) and their most profitable export but far, oil. Oil (Brent and crude) has the largest impact on the Canadian dollar (CAD) with a strong oil price usually meaning more revenue received per barrel, ultimately making the CAD more valuable. If you pass the lengthy and stringent immigration process to qualify to live and work in Canada, the necessity to send money to Canada and setting up financially won’t be far from your to-do list. See below a very simple and clear guide to help you send money to Canada.

Firstly, open a Canadian bank account

It may seem like a small task but setting up a Canadian bank account well in advance of moving abroad is very important. Like anywhere that isn’t your native country you won’t be surprised to learn that the banking systems in Canada are different from those of Europe.

For example, a European bank may request details like BIC and IBAN numbers, however, these details don’t exist in Canada, where accounts have transit codes, swift numbers, and ABA numbers. We don’t recommend going through your banks for international money transfers to Canada, although when compared to other countries national banks Canada does have a more competitive rate but nowhere near what a broker can offer.

The top banks in Canada

Despite Canada being one of the largest countries by physical mass, it is actually a relatively small nation with a population of only around 37 million people. What this means in relation to the banking industry is there isn’t the wealth of choice on offer when compared to Spain for example.

The largest and generally most credible banks in Canada are:

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Toronto – Dominion Bank (TD)
  • Bank of Novia Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Documentation required to open a Canadian bank account

As always regarding the country you are attempting to open a bank with the necessary documentation is required to complement and complete the account set up. Typically for a North American bank account to be set up the below is needed:

  • An up to date and valid proof of Identification. This can be a driver’s license, passport or national identity card (This may take time to be issued in Canada).
  • Proof of address. Usually, a utility bill or employment contract linking you to your new residence is required. This may be needed more than one.
  • Canada is notoriously very strict on immigration and a variety of immigration-related documents with being needed such as employment status, type of job and what industry and tax number/code if known is not unheard of to be requested

Once your account is approved you can begin to transfer money to Canada to credit your account. When you send money to Canada it will typically take 1-3 days to arrive in your Canadian bank account.

Foreign exchange broker account –  send money to Canada

The process to open your foreign exchange broker account can be done within minutes. The first step is to apply online giving basic personal details and a brief overview of transfer needs. As part of KYC (know your customer) and compliance regulations, a copy of photographic ID (usually your passport or driver license) and proof of residential address via a utility bill is required to open an account.

Those currently residing in the US will have to use a US regulated foreign exchange Broker in order to transfer money to Canada.

Find the right broker to transfer money to Canada

Specialists such as Moneycorp and Rational FX have decades of experience in advising and assisting thousands of clients all over the globe and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.

Top tip: Canadian banks, for large transfers, have been known to call customers to confirm you are expecting the amount if you don’t have a phone plan in accordance with a bank account set up this can cause significant delays and problem to receiving funds.

Canadian banks relatively speaking, do have a respectable reputation in the currency exchange sector but still compared to a specialist international payment provider  or foreign exchange broker will deliver several benefits below you won’t have considered. Ensuring all goes smoothly when you transfer money to Canada.

Consistent and quality customer service

One of the main reasons for using a dedicated foreign exchange broker over a bank is the unrivalled and direct customer care you’ll receive when you transfer money to Canada. Banks are large, slow and harder to contact whereas an app such as TransferWise, although convenient for smaller payments, does not have an obvious channel for customer support if and when an issue arises.

Currencies Direct offer modern and easy to use online platforms, app’s and extended telephone dealing hours allowing you to trade at your convenience. The fundamental difference is all clients will receive a dedicated, personalised account manager with a direct email address for a phone number to enable swift and efficient contact and customer service if required.

Safety and security of your money at all times

It is a given that all top foreign exchange brokers will hold client funds in segregated accounts. All transactions are conducted in accordance with the FCA regulations and guidelines but we strongly advise you check with your broker on the exact details.

Send money to Canada – No expensive fees or charges

A bank will try to profit on a currency transaction by a wide spread, the difference in the buy and sell of a currency and via a fee for the privilege of the transaction. Depending on the bank exactly, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from £4 to £4o making it very expensive. A specialist will process your transfer to Canada with no transfer fees and narrow margin (or spread). For some North American transfers, they may re-route your money through several cities and accounts encountering more cost on the way. A reputable broker will have a segregated account network reducing these fees and every stage.

Bank beating rates and the simple, quick process

It should be a given that a foreign exchange broker will offer a more competitive rate than a bank but it’s worth re affirming. A bank will, as a rule, be offering a spread of between 2-6% whereas the rates on offer from leading providers  will be under 1%. The result is simply; a very significant saving. Once your trade is executed, you will be provided with a deal notification showing clearly the base currency amount and the amount of Canadian dollars purchased. Once the deal is agreed and completed, funds can arrive in the account on the same day and usually no longer than 48 hours.


We cover foreign exchange, currency and cryptocurrency news and guides. Our readers can find currency-specific foreign exchange news, political updates affecting currency and insight into where foreign exchange trends may go, as well as the latest cryptocurrency analyses and trends.
Foreign Exchange Live

Foreign Exchange Live

We cover foreign exchange, currency and cryptocurrency news and guides. Our readers can find currency-specific foreign exchange news, political updates affecting currency and insight into where foreign exchange trends may go, as well as the latest cryptocurrency analyses and trends.