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Transferring large sums of money internationally

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Last editedOct 20222 min read

Transferring large sums of money can be a stressful experience even if you’re dealing with a familiar currency. You might assume that sending a large amount of money overseas is an even more complicated and daunting experience, but that doesn’t have to be so.

Whether you’re looking to transfer money online for personal or business reasons, cross-border payments can be secure and simple if you know what you’re doing. Let’s go over the available options.

Using a money transfer service

When making any large transfer through your own online banking app, there is often a fee to consider, that could end up being prohibitively more expensive than using a dedicated money transfer service. This kind of company always offers a better rate than your high street bank as buying foreign currency is their area of expertise and they have fewer physical overheads to maintain.

Bank to bank

You might feel safer using a simple bank to bank transfer if you really trust your bank, but these always charge higher fees and you must cover overseas delivery charges too if they apply. Ask yourself why you’d use a service that could cost you a major percentage of your transfer amount. This might be fine when transferring minimal amounts but not when you’re sending multiple thousands.

Peer to peer (P2P)

Rather than wiring money through a bank, P2P transfer matches people buying currency in one country with people selling it in another. This means there are fewer links in the chain and everything happens a lot faster. There are also typically fewer fees associated with P2P, but there is a singular percentage-based fee to consider.


Remittance is when money is sent as a gift, generally used for smaller sums when expatriates wish to send money home to their families. These often have maximum transfer limits but offer better exchange rates than most retail banks.


A relatively new method of sending large money is by converting your funds to a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. This is a quick and convenient method but it’s also potentially fraught with risk, and your recipient might not be comfortable using a digital currency.

How do you transfer large sums of money?

Once you understand which method to use, transferring your funds should be relatively simple from a UK bank account.

1.       Register your details with your preferred money transfer or remittance service.

2.       Tell the service how much you want to send and its destination. This can be by direct bank transfer, credit or debit card.

3.       Choose your method of paying for the transfer if the company in question requires a fee.

4.       Your chosen company converts your money for you and informs you when it arrives at its destination.

Collecting and sending large sums overseas

For small businesses owners looking to expand overseas, those selling high ticket price items need to consider how they accept payment. GoCardless allows businesses to collect payment from customers across more than 30 countries and works by direct bank transfer, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to security and speed.

This not only cuts down significantly on the administrative work often required when accepting payments from new markets, but it also boasts extremely competitive transfer rates and collects payment in a customer’s local currency. No foreign bank account is required, and the transfer is made reliably and expediently.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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