Email of the day on currency transfers
Comment of the Day

February 07 2020

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on currency transfers

The question about money transfer services was interesting to me because I went through the same investigation back in 20215. My experience may be useful to other subscribers.

Although I was, of course, keen to avoid exorbitant Bank charges, the key issue for me ended up being the ability to do what I wanted. I looked at TransferWise and also tried CurrencyFair, but none quite did the job. I live in the UK but I have financial assets generating annual income in Canada. I have a simple deposit account there with CIBC, where that income is accumulated. From time to time I need to transfer cash from Canada to the UK. My requirement was to initiate from the UK but have the funds deducted automatically from the Canadian CIBC account and transferred to my account in the UK. Once set-up, I wanted this to be automatic from the point where I initiated.

I eventually found a service called OFX https://www.ofx.com/. 

Part of the transfer costs can arise from fees at the receiving bank when funds are from overseas. OFX gets around this by having 115 local bank accounts. There are no fees to retrieve the cash (in Canada) or to deposit in the UK.  Exchange rates are determined by spot prices when you initiate. Rates are locked once initiated and you can do forward pricing. Some other useful  facts about pricing at https://www.ofx.com/en-gb/faqs/whats-the-cheapest-way-to-send-money/

The setup is a bit more stringent and time-consuming because of the need to set up a Direct Debit facility (in Canada, a Pre-Authorised Debit) so OFX can access your account. The security checks are inevitable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_debit#Canada

However, once it's all done, I can say it works very well, and the OFX people are very helpful on the phone if there are questions. They have even been forgiving when I mistakenly tried to send more than the $50K per-transaction amount.

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for this informative email. 

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