Different Types of International Money Transactions

When moving money across borders, you face a number of limitations. Unless both nations use the same currency, such as in the Eurozone, you will need to pay attention to exchange rates, fees and risk in each transfer.

Major Means Of Transferring Money

One of the most commonly known ways to send money to someone in another country is to use a wire transfer. A wire transfer is a safe way to move money and is available for more than 40 forms of currency.

Be aware that wire transfers can

  • take time
  • require fees
  • require a foreign currency account

Most banks offer the foreign currency account option, but it will take time to set up.

One of the big challenges with cash to cash wire transfer is that you have no way of knowing the security situation at the other end. If you have a loved one who needs access to funds quickly due to an emergency, you may want to cover their needs with a credit card from your end to reduce emergency stress, then arrange for a wire transfer at a secure location. If your cash or their currency are stolen or lost, that money is gone.


NEFT, or National Electronic Fund Transfer and RTGS, or Real Time Gross Settlement, are both bank to bank transfers that can be done during business hours inside a bank. The security of both of these transactions is excellent.

The RTGS process has a time window where the recipient can accept the money. If they don’t make it to the bank in time, it will be credited back to your account minus fees, so make sure they’re close to or at the bank before you transfer.

An IMPS, or Immediate Payment Service, can be done even more quickly, though the transfer limits are very low. All you need are the recipient’s account number and mobile number. Of course, if their mobile is lost or stolen, they may not be able to access the transaction.

Which One to Choose?

The more tech-savvy your recipient, the more options you will have to send them money electronically. Even with the limitations of an IMPS, it’s a 24/7 method of extremely secure transfer. However, for some recipients, particularly older citizens with little trust in electronic banking, cash is king. Do your best to make sure that the recipient of your cash can get the money at a safe location during daylight hours.

Anyone walking up to or away from a cash transfer kiosk is probably known to be planning a transaction of some sort, and this can make them a target for theft. If you can convince the recipient to commit to a bank to bank transfer, they will need to give you their data so you can set up the account connection. However, once the connection is made, the transfers will be quicker and safer than moving cash across borders.

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.