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Last updated: 24th April, 2020

moneytransfer, pagofx

Cheapest and best ways to send money abroad

The growth of international travel and business means that many more of us will have to send money overseas. Whether you’re sending money to Germany to pay a freelancer, buying a house in Poland or funding a university course in the USA, you’ll need to look at your options


Using your high street bank account to transfer money abroad is a secure method. Should you wish to send money from the UK to the USA through a bank, you can often send up to £100,000 in a single transaction. With most banks, you can make an international transaction online, over the phone or in branch. If you’re considering transferring money from the UK to the USA through your bank, there could be a time delay of up to four working days. You may also incur transaction fees and a low rate of exchange for some banks. When exchanging currency, there may also be a fee from the recipient bank. Santander UK, on the other hand, provides quick and affordable money transfers to its customers through its international payments solution One Pay FX.


As high street banks are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the security of your transaction will be ensured.


PagoFX by Santander is a new international money transfer app that offers convenience and security – no matter who you bank with. You are not required to have a Santander bank account to use the mobile app. And considering it is part of Santander Group, you’ll benefit from the security offered by a regulated banking group with high security standards. In the UK, PagoFX is regulated by the FCA as an authorised payment institution, protecting payments that go through the app.

Using this app means that you’ll avoid expensive transaction fees and, as the app operates in real-time, you’ll have access to competitive exchange rates – helpful when looking for the cheapest way to send money abroad. UK residents can now download the mobile app on the App Store and Google Play Store. To find out more about PagoFX, read the FAQs.

FinTech companies

The online offerings of financial technology – or ‘FinTech’ – companies vary. Some offer competitive exchange rates but will charge a transfer fee. Delivery time can also vary, with some taking up to three days for the money to reach the selected account. Times and fees can vary depending on the method of sending – whether you opt for the money to be transferred from your account, or from a debit or credit card.

Money transfer operators

Many high-street money transfer operators will provide ease when sending money abroad. The transactions are often processed in a day or two, and fees can vary depending on the currency, location and method of sending. Some operators, however, may offer less competitive exchange rates. It’s also important to check if they are authorised by the FCA.

Sending cash

The best way to transfer money abroad is to use online services. Cash can be stolen, take time to arrive and you’ll also have to pay insurance in order to guarantee safe delivery. With the easy availability of so many digital services, cash should rarely be sent through the mail.