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Are money transfer apps safe?

Are you hesitant about using international money transfer apps, as you don’t know how safe they are? Read our guide on the safety of these apps.

The level of safety can vary when using international money transfer apps. There are certain things to consider, such as money protection and data storage. If you’re at all wary about transferring funds through a money transfer app there are a few golden rules that you can follow that will ensure you can use the app with confidence. 

By 2024, it is estimated that 71% of UK customers will be using a mobile banking app*, while 96 million people use peer-to-peer payment services (which allows people to split bills) on their mobile. With so many people sending money through their phones, it is important to know how to stay safe. 

Check that the app has FCA authorisation 

One of the easiest ways to verify that you’re using a safe money transfer app is to check that it has the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) authorisation. The FCA is the regulatory body, based in the UK, who make sure that all financial institutions adhere to the rules, obligations and regulations that they set. It’s a requirement that all financial institutions and services registered in the UK adhere to their guidelines – giving you an extra level of protection. 

The FCA offers either registration or authorisation. These offer varying levels of security, so it is important to check which one your service has. You can verify the FCA status of financial services using this portal

Make sure you will be compensated if the worst should happen 

If your app is backed by a highly trusted bank, then you can be confident that the platform is a secure international money transfer app and you’re entitled to compensation. PagoFX by Santander, for example, has gone through extensive and thorough bank-grade validation process and is authorised by the FCA. The low-cost money transfer app is also open to any UK resident with a debit card, regardless of the bank they use. 

Know your rights on data storage 

It is important to read the terms and conditions to how your app stores data, and if it shares it with anyone. PagoFX has undergone the same product validation process as any Santander Group product, meaning it meets the same level of cyber security, financial crime and risk requirements as any service provided by the global bank. 

All regulated apps have to store your data for a set period of time, and if you’re in any doubt about the security of your money transfer app, then read the frequently answered questions (FAQs) section of the company website, its privacy policy as well as the terms and conditions. It’s important to choose a service that values data and money protection. Transparency is in everyone’s best interests. 

As long as you use a trusted supplier, then your money transfer app will be secure. Just ensure that you’re doing your bit to keep your phone and your information safe.  

*Source: The growth of digital banking report, CACI, 2019