How to Securely Transfer Large Sums of Money Internationally

Whether you are travelling to another country or making a costly purchase international purchase, you’ll need to ensure your funds are safely transferred internationally. The amount involved would be high in case you are buying a property overseas or making a large purchase in another country. For many, even handling the local financial transactions is a daunting task. They would not particularly like the idea of international transactions.

However, even if you are a novice, international money transfers need not be a terrifying subject anymore. There are many ways you can transfer larger sums of money internationally. Several agencies such as your bank, specialist currency broker and foreign exchange agencies can help you conduct the transaction smoothly. Nevertheless, you have to consider a few things before you go ahead and do the actual transfer.

Here we try to explain the transfer process so you can understand it better. You’ll also learn why is it important to keep a close watch on the exchange rates and transfer fees.

The process

For the secure transfer of a large sum of money internationally, you’ll need the services of a bank or a foreign exchange dealer. The bank or the currency broker will arrange the transfer to the beneficiary account on your behalf.



The amount to be paid by you in local currency will depend on the exchange rates applicable at the time of transfer and the fee, if any. You should compare the exchange rates offered by the various agencies and go for the one that offers best exchange rates. Always remember that when the transfer amount is huge, even a small change in the exchange rate percentages can have a big impact on your cash outflow.

While you choose the bank or currency broker for international money transfer, make sure you know the transfer fees charged by them. These fees can impact your total outlay. It is generally seen that banks charge higher fees than the specialist currency brokers do. However, banks might offer competitive rates for their customers, especially when the amount is large. In certain cases, they can be fee-free as well.

Secure ways to transfer large sums

There are several ways to transfer money internationally. Discussed below are some of the most popular and safe methods of international money transfer.

Bank-to-Bank Transfers


Most banks offer transfer of money internationally. This means the customers can transfer money directly from their bank account to the recipient’s bank account. You can do an online transaction, or use a mobile app for transferring the funds. The banks may charge a fee depending on the transaction type. You’ll need to provide the bank account details of the beneficiary.

Certain banks offer special remittance programs for transferring money. They could also offer certain schemes where funds can be sent free of cost to certain locations. However, in such cases, it is prudent to check the exchange rates, as the bank might use it to make up the transaction fee waiver.

Compare the exchange rates of all major banks. If you are transferring to or from Australia, the Commonwealth Bank is a good one to start with. Cba exchange rates and services for foreign exchange are compared in greater detail in this article. Proper research should be conducted, though as a general rule, most major banks tend to offer the most valuable and competitive rates and deals on foreign exchange.

Wire transfers


Wire transfers are the best options if you need to transfer the amount fast. The transfers are initiated through bank officers at the delivering bank by filling the requisite forms. These transfers carry a fee. However, the upside is that wire transfers offer protection from both banks (delivering and receiving).

Automated clearing house transactions

Popularly known as ACH transactions, the Automated Clearing House transactions are similar to wire transfers and bank-to-bank transfers. The difference here is that an automated clearing house act as the intermediary to process the transaction.  

No transaction fee is charged for ACH transactions. However, it will take some time to process the exchange transaction through ACH as there are specific instructions and timelines to follow. Moreover, it requires both the banks to be linked together.

Cash-to-cash transfers


If you have a large sum of money in cash that you wish to send overseas, walk into any domestic money transfer centre to transfer that money internationally. Organisations such as the Western Union and MoneyGram offer cash-to-cash transfer service.

You can deposit physical cash in these centres. The local currency is converted to the foreign currency as per the prevailing exchange rates, sent across to the participating money transfer centre overseas. The beneficiary can pick up the money from the transfer centre. Some countries offer delivery to the residential address of the beneficiary.

Prepaid debit cards

Some services send funds via a prepaid debit card. In this method, the sender loads a prepaid debit card with cash funds. The receiver can then withdraw the money using the prepaid debit card. In certain cases, you can even make purchases using this prepaid debit card as you would do with a normal debit card. However, the catch is, there would be an activation fee or a monthly fee attached to this type of cards.

As you can see, it is easy to transfer large sums of money overseas securely. The main factor you have to remember is to look for the best exchange rates. Also, keep an eye on the fees charged by your service provider. Often a small change in the fee charged can make a lot of difference to the amount of money you have to dish out of your pocket.

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