The world is shrinking before our very eyes....well, perhaps not in physical terms but certainly if you judge it by the ease in which you can now reach other countries.
Jumping on a plane to Europe can be cheaper than catching a train to another city in the UK and an increasing number of people are opting to have their holiday home not by the British seaside, but in warmer foreign climes.
Even small businesses are getting in on the act, offering their products and services to customers in Europe or even beyond!
Clearly, for many of us it's no longer a big deal to interact with other countries whether that's for business or pleasure.
However, this means using another currency and for the majority of Europe, this is the single currency.
We run through the best way to transfer money in Euros and the factors you should consider.
Shop around for your Euro exchange
If you aren't experienced in transferring money to Europe, you could be forgiven for thinking that popping down to your local bank would be the easiest way to get the job done.
And whilst banks are certainly able to help, you will probably find that this isn't the cheapest way to transfer money to Europe.
The familiarity of using your own bank might make the transaction seem less intimidating but the chances are you won't get the best euro exchange rate and you could also end up paying more in charges as well.
Finding the best Euro rates
If you are looking to transfer money into Euros, you will need to find the GPD to euro exchange rate. This will play a large part in how much the transaction ends up costing you.
The rate which banks lend money to each other is known as the interbank rate but unfortunately, this is not available to the general public. However, by using a currency broker you can get much closer to the interbank rate than you can find elsewhere.
On average you could find that you end up with 1-5% more on your sterling euro exchange rate compared to using a typical high street bank. This could end up saving you a tidy sum, especially if your EU money transfer is for a large purchase such as property – imagine getting an extra 4% on that!
If you compare foreign exchange rates you will be able to see the difference in the rates on offer.
Check the transfer charges
Another factor worth taking into account is the charge your bank will make for sending the money to your chosen destination. In the majority of cases you will have to fork out around £10-25 to send money overseas but you could end up paying as much as £40.
If you use a currency broker, not only will you get a better deal on your euro sterling exchange rate, you will also pay far less in charges. If you are planning on transferring a large sum, you should be able to get the money sent for no charge at all and some brokers don't charge for small transfers either! There is usually a minimum sum but this can be found as low as £100 by comparing brokers.
Of the brokers that do charge a fee, you can expect to pay between £3-£9 on average. Many of these offer their services for transfers from £0.01 upwards so even if you only want to send a small sum, you can still reap the savings.
Look for transfer expertise
If don't know how to make a transfer in Euros or need some expert advice in sending money overseas, you will be able to get answers to all the questions you need from a currency broker. They are experts in the field as their services aren't diluted by offering other products (this is part of the reason why they are able to offer such a good deal in comparison).
You may have a specific question such as 'How long does it take for money to be transferred to Europe?” or you might want to get more general advice about making a transfer at a later date. Currency brokers have probably heard every question you can think of – and more! - and can help set your mind at ease about the process.
Some foreign banks levy a charge for receiving money from overseas and in some cases this can be quite costly. Brokers will be able to advise you on the best way to structure the transfer so you minimize costs. For example, in Europe, sending payments through the SEPA system could mean you pay either no or very low charges. A broker will have access to this kind of knowledge and will be able to suggest the most appropriate route.
You may also want to seek advice if you are considering carrying out a transfer at a later date but particularly like the sterling to euro exchange rate today. If the market has reached a level you would like to keep, you can effectively 'reserve' the rate for use at a later date by taking out a 'forward' contract. This holds the rate for use within a prescribed period of time; however you are obliged to complete the transaction so this option is only appropriate if you are certain you will be going ahead.
Stay safe transferring money to Europe
Almost all currency brokers operate online and handing over a large sum of money to a company should always be treated with caution.
It is therefore sensible to make sure you carry out appropriate checks before you go about transferring euros online.
All reputable currency brokers should be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. To check whether the company you want to use is an Authorized Payment Institution (API), you can check the public register here.