Money transfer services
Using money transfer companies is a convenient method for expats who don’t have a bank account set up yet or if money needs to be transferred urgently. These services allow you to send and receive your money on the same day.
If the person you are sending money to doesn’t have a bank account, the money can be picked up in cash. Transfer companies such as MoneyGram, offer these services in Finland and allow you to prepare your transfer online. Then all you have to do is go and complete your transfer in a participating R-kioski location. The sender receives a reference number. As soon as the sender has given this number to the receiver, they are able to collect the money in any MoneyGram agent location in the respective country.
If an account is already set up, bank to bank transfer is usually the first method that springs to mind as it is generally regarded as the safest option.
Depending on the destination and the transfer amount, fees on international bank transfers can vary, so you should check the terms of the respective bank to avoid any surprises.
Same goes for the process time: within Europe the recipient might receive the payment in their bank account on the same day, but payment time might take over a week for overseas transfers.
Taking care of it yourself
Wanting to avoid fees and carrying money yourself on the next journey home can quickly become a stressful experience. In some cases, it can ultimately end in the loss of money.
The other complication is that you don’t want to break the law by carrying too much money in and out of countries. For example, there are certain restrictions regarding the amount of cash you can carry across EU countries.
Better safe than sorry
Do your research in order to avoid unnecessary fees and long transfer times. Whichever way you choose, you should check the company’s terms and conditions and ensure the company is established, licensed and legitimate.
Note that money transfer companies are obliged by law to ask you for details like profession, origin of funds, etc. You will also need to show a valid photo ID to complete your transaction.