Sending Money Home: How to Send Money to Family Securely and Efficiently

As the world becomes more diverse and people spread out farther than ever before in pursuit of work, you would have thought that remitting salaries back home would be simple. After all, banks are highly interconnected, and most people get paid electronically nowadays. But the simple act of sending money back to your family in another country can often be far more convoluted than you might think.

creative illustration of online transaction via smartphones

Photo by Monstera Production

Fortunately, you have various options to sidestep these issues and get more of your hard-earned money into the pockets of your loved ones to ensure they can live a more comfortable life and also benefit from your overseas success.

Understand remittance rules for both sending and receiving countries

One of the crucial first steps in the remittance process is to understand the rules and regulations governing both the sending and receiving countries. This knowledge will help you navigate the process more effectively and avoid any potential pitfalls. Remitting salaries is a well-used form of foreign currency for many nationals. This includes many developing countries that rely on citizens working and earning abroad. But this doesn’t mean that all nations make it easy to do. This can be for various reasons, including current geopolitical events, sanctions, or simply a poorly run banking sector. For instance, if you are looking to send money to Dominican Republic, you should have far less of an issue than if you are attempting to send money to Russia right now. Nonetheless, for those with well-run economies and who aren’t under a sanction program, it should be relatively straightforward. Just double-check that you won’t get robbed on the exchange rate, which leads to our next point.

Research exchange rates and fees

Even if you live in a stable country, free from any issues connected to the sending country and well-connected to the global banking system, you may still fall prey to the dreaded exchange rate problem that can dramatically eat into your remittance. While there isn’t anything you can do about this directly, you can reduce the hit by opting for services that either take a relatively minor amount off the top or send based on the day’s rate but charge a small fee to cover their costs and keep them running. Both are perfectly acceptable as most money-sending services are for profit and have overheads to pay and money to make. But it’s when they dramatically charge over the odds that you should look elsewhere. Luckily, because these kinds of services are so common, you shouldn’t have too many issues finding one that has a fair and transparent approach to how they operate. This should include indicating how much you will receive in your home country, along with any requisite fees they charge. 

Consider using a dedicated money transfer service

It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that the only way to send money is via a direct bank transfer. While this may be suitable for certain transitions, it can be a pain to navigate the various rules and fill in the numerous fields each time you simply want to send money home (which is likely to be every month). Instead, you should research the different money transfer services that purely exist for no other reason than to assist you with the task at hand. These operations should show you exactly the cost of sending your money to each country and allow you to set up regular payment options. The best part is that you can usually connect your bank/s to the service to make the process even more seamless.

Look for secure payment methods

The world is full of crime, particularly when it comes to pretty much anything online. It is relatively easy for almost anyone with enough skill to observe your movements on the internet and come up with a plan to intercept your transfers. This may sound shocking but is only possible when not using the latest secure transfer protocols. If you use a bank or transfer service, they should already have robust security measures set up, helping you to avoid the fate of seeing your money fall into the wrong hands. However, it is always wise to double-check that you have entered everything correctly and that the connection you are using is secure before hitting the “Go” button.

Set up automatic recurring payments for convenience

As alluded to, most remittances tend to involve sending a paycheck or part of a salary at regular intervals. While some people will wait until they have built up a certain amount, others will need to send their cash as soon as they receive it. In these cases and others that may be time-sensitive, it might be a good idea to set up a recurring automation that acts as soon as you allow it to. This should involve setting up a direct debit from your bank to the transfer service at specific times (e.g., the date you get paid each day/week/ month, etc). Once the transfer service receives the money, it, too, should send it directly to the recipient without the need to reenter the same details repeatedly. This can not only save time but also allow you to go about your life without worrying about the need to spend time performing the same action.

Keep track of transfer limits

In some instances, you could find yourself going over already specified transfer limits, causing unintended consequences. In the best-case scenario, this could involve refusing to send your money and delaying the action. In the worst case, it may result in additional fees that are taken out as soon as you deposit the following amount into the account. Either option is not particularly desirable, so to avoid them, make sure you know the limits and stick to them.

Always track your transfer

Every reputable transfer service should provide you with the ability to track your transfer, and if so, you should make use of this option. It allows you to stay updated on the journey of your money so that you know if anything has gone awry and to inform those at the receiving destination it has arrived. It’s not merely a valuable feature to use but one that could protect you if the recipient is saying they didn’t get the cash.

Sending money these days is far simpler than it used to be. Nevertheless, there are certain things you need to be aware of before you commit to sending large sums of money overseas, which, hopefully, this post has provided.

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