Europe has many countries but not all are members of the Eurozone which is currently a collection of eighteen countries sharing a currency and economic policy. Britain and Denmark are members of Europe but have opted not to join the Eurozone, while other countries that have been accepted into the European Union, such as Bulgaria and Romania, do not yet meet the criteria for joining the Euro. A country such as Switzerland is geographically European but retains an independent currency and economic policy. The economic freedoms enjoyed by European countries that have not adopted the Euro increases demand for money exchange services which involve making payments in Euros from a different base currency.
The European banking industry is dominated by banks based in the largest European financial centres, Britain, France and Germany. The largest European bank is Deutsche Bank which is only marginally larger than HSBC. The French banks BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole have a dominance in the French domestic market and the largest Dutch bank is ING. A bank rapidly increasing its European operations is the Spanish bank Santander.
The expanding Eurozone has increased the demand for money transfer services to facilitate transactions that involve converting currencies into Euros. Freedom of movement within Europe for individuals to work means that many people work in Britain, which has retained the pound (GBP), and need to be sending money to Europe for their families. Other people may be purchasing properties in emerging areas of Europe where they can take advantage of lower property prices to speculate on the future value of homes. Europe is a large centre for trade and many countries such as Britain and America have strong dealings with businesses that trade in Euros.
When looking to make international payments it can be advantageous to use the services of a foreign exchange broker. Their services are often cheaper than similar services offered by traditional banks and the same end result, a payment made in a foreign currency, can be achieved for less cost. The cost of sending money is driven by two factors, the competitiveness of the exchange rate and the transaction fees associated with the payment. Banks offer a wide range of services and, because they do not specialise in money transfers, it is often the case that their price menu for foreign exchange services is uncompetitive. Specialist foreign exchange brokers can offer lower transaction fees and often have a tighter spread meaning that the difference between their buying and selling rates is less marked. This results in a more competitive exchange rate which ultimately lowers the cost of any international payment.
The typical time taken for a money transfer to be made in Euros is two working days. Whilst the use of a specialist foreign exchange broker may not reduce the time taken for a transaction to clear, the chance to reduce transaction costs means that they can provide a great benefit to many clients.
Best ways to send money to Europe?
The best payment method when sending money to Europe will depend on your scenario. If you are sending money to top up the same bank account in Europe, a transfer app or foreign exchange broker platform could be ideal. Their online trading solutions will allow you to send regular small amounts at your convenience, achieve a competitive exchange rate and transfer your money to Europe quickly. If however you are looking at a more significant longer term transfer, the consultancy offered by a foreign exchange broker can be invaluable. Foreign exchange brokers can keep you up to speed with significant exchange rate changes and provide a number of currency exchange solutions to maximise your money transfer to Europe. They are also up to speed with critical financial data which could impact your exchange rate. Foreign exchange brokers offer even more advanced solutions for businesses who regularly send money to Europe and need to mitigate risk and protect their bottom lines.
What bank details are needed to transfer money to Europe?
If you have already set up an account with a money transfer application or foreign exchange broker you will only require your Europe beneficiary details of your bank account or the person or company you are transferring money to. If you haven’t as yet opened an account with a foreign exchange broker or transfer app to send money to Europe, don’t worry, the process should only take 5-10 minutes and once approved will allow you to transfer money to Europe immediately. In many cases you will require little or no paperwork to get you foreign exchange broker account set up. If you do however require paperwork, the foreign exchange broker will typically request the following: 1 – Valid passport or photo Identification (drivers license or ID card are typically accepted). 2 – Recent utility bill or bank statement (must be at most 3 months old). Larger money transfers of £500,000 or more may require supporting documentation e.g property purchase contract or commercial invoice. Once the account is set up you will then just need the IBAN number or swift code to transfer money to Europe.
How long does a money transfer take to Europe?
The time taken for your foreign exchange to process, convert funds and funds to clear in an international bank account will depend on whether you use a bank or a specialist foreign exchange broker. A broker will typically be able to complete the process in a maximum of 2 days. If however you have already credited your foreign exchange account, funds can clear in Europe on the same day. If for some reason your funds are delayed, a foreign exchange broker can create a trace and provide a document to prove when funds left the brokerage. You can then forward this on to the beneficiary bank to locate funds if they’re unable to. If you decide to transfer your money to Europe via your bank rather than a foreign exchange broker or money transfer app, expect the transfer to take a while longer, sometimes up to 4 working days.
What are the cost of transferring money to Europe?
The money transfer cost or fee when sending money to Europe will vary from bank to bank or foreign exchange broker to another. Banks will typically charge between £10 to 30 to transfer money to Europe, however transfers within the EU using the SEPA system should not incur a reception fee. Those outside of Europe could be liable, however many foreign exchange brokers will kindly absorb the charge. The vast majority of foreign exchange brokers wont charge a money transfer fee and generate their profit between the buy and sell rate. The foreign exchange brokers featured on this site don’t charge a fee to transfer money to Europe. If you are charged a reception fee by your Europe bank, you should quiz why a charge has been taken. The SEPA payments system should ensure that reception fees are avoided.