International money transfer: the cheapest, quickest and most practical solutions

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  • Means of international money transfer are not created equal.
  • Emirates NBD offers the quickest bank-to-bank transfer platform.
  • International money transfer through an agent has proven to be the most effective and practical option.

We all have dealt with international money transfer, but many aspects of it remain ambiguous at times. How does it really work? How is it safe? And finally, what is the cheapest way to send cash across the globe?

Internationally, the easiest, safest and cheapest way to transfer money has been through international agents such as Western Union, MoneyGram, UAE Exchange, and banks.

According to Gulf News, remittances sum up to AED 43 billion in the UAE in 2018. That is a significant number of money sent in payment or gifts, which makes the UAE one of the top 10 leading countries in remittances sums.

Money transfer services UAE

Now, of course, sending money via bank accounts can sound safer and maybe simpler but here are:

The differences between different money transfer services:

Money transfers through a bank is a time-saving and efficient way to move your money from your bank account to another. It is facilitated by an online request or even phone call to make it easier for you.

Most banks offer free transactions locally while it becomes the most expensive way to transfer money internationally. The charge varies between AED 92 ($25) and AED 313 ($85) or more depending on the details of your transfer, according to

Adding to the high fees, money transfer through bank accounts not only naturally requires you to have a bank account but may also take up to at least a week worth of time for the transaction to be complete.

Although bank transfers are recommended for big sums, the more significant the amount means, the bigger the fee and the longer the time for transaction completion.

Transferring money through agents such as Western Union is the cheapest and quickest way, as it does not require you to have a bank account and is almost instant!

This comparison gives an easy win to secure international money transfer through agents.

In the UAE, the quickest bank-to-bank transfer platform is Emirates NBD. According to Gulf News, Emirates NBD helps you transfer to “3 of the largest remittance corridors from the UAE (India, Pakistan, and the Philippines) through DirectRemit — a 60-second fund transfer at zero transaction cost and competitive exchange rates.” And this information is confirmed on the official Emirates NBD website.

Now with the advancement of technology, money transfer apps make it a lot easier for our busy daily lives. Think PayPal, UAE Exchange, and Western Union.

At the end of the day, we all want our money to be transferred in the safest way possible. If you have a bank account as well as the time and enough trust in your bank, then opt for money transfer through a bank. It is the oldest advanced way of transferring your money. However, if you are in a rush and need to get the money through in the fastest way possible, then head to your nearest money transfer agent and get it done within minutes and at the lowest fee.

The key takeaway is that whatever the money transfer medium you decide to go for, there will be pros and cons to weigh. The clear winner, however, is money transfer through agent only because of its time-saving advantage and fee efficiency.


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Aqeed is on a mission to help you become better at everything related to insurance. The articles are meant to enrich your knowledge about insurance so that you make the right choices. From the decisions you make to the options you take, you are In Sure Hands.

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