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Posted October 27th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Do you know the Top Ten Tips to Making Overseas Payments?

Whether you’re sending currency overseas for a property purchase, pension/savings transfer or to buy or sell goods there are specific things you can do to save money and avoid losses. Listed below are the top ten tips to moving funds abroad: 
  1. Use a currency exchange specialist to make large lump sum transfers (e.g. property payments) and/or regular small payments (e.g. mortgage, pension, savings) – not a bank. By using a specialist rather than a bank you’ll save up to £40 on every £1,000 on better exchange rates and minimise, if not eliminate, bank fees. 
  1. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your currency for an overseas payment. Rather than being forced to take a poor rate at the last minute, discuss your requirements with a specialist and find out what options are available to avoid losses.
  1. Avoid currency exchange companies that pay their traders commission on each transaction. If the person you’re speaking with is earning a commission on your transaction, what do you think their motivation will be?
  1. Make sure that the company you use is FSA authorised and regulated by HM Customs & Excise. Otherwise they’re operating illegally.
  1. Hang up the phone if any currency ‘specialist’ tells you that they know where a particular exchange rate will be in the future. No one can foretell the future. Economists and market experts can study trends, speculate and come up with very good guesses; however it’s impossible to guarantee what a future exchange rate will be.
  1. Understand that exchange rates move every second – the price of a payment now will most likely be different in a few minutes and could be very different in a few days or weeks.
  1. As soon as you know you have to pay for something overseas, start to plan a strategy. Learn what your options are and consider ways to ensure your payment doesn’t drastically increase due to changing exchange rates.
  1. Know your threshold – ask your trader to secure the currency needed at an acceptable exchange rate before it goes past your ‘worst case’ scenario. 
  1. If time is on your side and you have a ‘best case’ scenario, ask your trader to buy currency if and when it goes in your favour so to not miss the excellent rate.

  2. Make a commitment to yourself to avoid watching exchange rates after you’ve booked a transaction – this will only cause undue stress.


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