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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The simple guide to international money transfers

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Momodou Camara (Acca)

In 2018 alone, $689 billion was remitted across the globe according to stats from the World Bank. While international payments have become a fact of modern life, it still can be a confusing and frustrating process due to the many ways you can transmit funds.
(Share to Flipboard Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to WhatsApp Share to LinkedIn Share to Email Share to Pocket) A good understanding of how international money transfers work can ensure you don’t lose out because of hidden fees and bad exchange rates.

How international money transfers work
When you need to get your money across the globe quickly and securely, an electronic international money transfer or wire transfer is the way to go. To send money to beneficiaries, you’ll need to convert the money from your currency to that of the beneficiary. This is where foreign exchange rates come in. These determine how much of one currency will give you of the other. Knowing how exchange rates are calculated can help you decide whether you’re getting the best rates and if it’s the best time to do your transfer (in terms of what’s happening in the market).

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How are exchange rates calculated?
The rate you see at the bank or online is called the interbank or mid-market rate. It isn’t the same rate you’ll get when you do your transfer. Only banks can access this rate, which they use when trading large amounts of foreign currencies.
The interbank rate is primarily used as a benchmark to gauge the rate at which currencies are trading at a particular time. When you want to do a transfer, the rate you are offered depends on:

· The amount of money you want to transfer
· When you want to complete the transfer (today or six months from now)
· The currencies you are exchanging and how volatile those currency pairs are
· The exchange rate of the currencies you want to exchange
How to get the best exchange rates
The market is prone to frequent fluctuations, which can have a huge effect on the value of your exchange. Currencies can rise and fall without warning due to many reasons, some including:

· Major news (such as Brexit or the coronavirus outbreak)
· Central bank announcements
· Release of fresh economic data
However, just because you don’t have control over global factors that impact the market, doesn’t mean you have to accept the rates that are available to you. There are ways to ensure you get the most out of your money when making transfers.

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1. Don’t use the bank
When sending money abroad, most people and businesses head straight to their bank because they assume it’s the best option. Most banks offer poor exchange rates and add on a variety of hidden fees that push up the cost of your transfer.

2. Compare rates
Whether it’s your first time transferring money abroad or you do so regularly, it’s good practice to compare the rates you’re being offered against the real rate of exchange. Some unscrupulous brokers tend to offer great rates for the first few transactions and then slowly widen the spread thereafter. Eventually, you end up with bad rates without ever noticing.

3. Make every transfer count
If you regularly make multiple transfers to the same beneficiary, it can be more cost-effective to send a single large amount than make multiple transfers of small amounts. Transfer fees can add up quickly.

Protect your money
Whether you’re sending a large or small amount of money overseas, you want to make sure it’s protected. Currency specialists are required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA ensures your money is protected should anything go wrong, such as your broker going bankrupt. You should also:
· Keep receipts or paperwork regarding your transfer in a safe place
· Double check the recipient’s information and let them know when you have completed the transfer
· Make sure the password you use on the company’s website is complex and unique to that site
Choosing a foreign exchange specialist
There are many currency brokers out there and it can be hard to know whether you’ve chosen the right company to hand over your money to. Here are some important checks to do before making a choice:
Client reviews
Do a quick search online and read what people who’ve used their business have to say. This can help you decide whether their service and security measures are up to standard.


Reputable forex providers should use advanced security such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption to keep your funds as safe as possible. SSL 128-bit encryption secures information between clients and the website they use to transfer money. You can visually verify a site’s use of SSL in two places – the “s” in https in the site’s web address and by the padlock on the left-hand side of the address bar.

Regulatory compliance
Money transfer companies must ensure that they are up to date with all the relevant regulations, requirements and laws. They must also be licensed and registered with the correct regulatory institutions. All UK forex companies must be registered with HM Revenue& Customs (HMRC) and authorised by the FCA as an authorised payment institution.

7 Essential Elements To Running A Business That Puts People First
When you’re starting a company, it’s common to figure things out as you go. But prioritizing your team from the beginning can make or break your business. In less than four years, my co-founder and I bootstrapped our company from an eight-person startup to a multimillion-dollar business with over 20 employees. Along the way, we discovered the importance of leading with your people first and letting profits follow with these seven Cs:

1. Cultural Fit

We always knew we needed the right people. So when several friends and family members got excited about what we were doing, we hired them. Popular advice would have warned against that, but we were open-minded. If someone aligns with your culture, consider how they can fit into the company. For example, I didn’t know we needed a president until we met him and now we couldn’t do without him. Find eager team members who are team players and they will thrive.

2. Common Goals
That said, you still need to hire people for the right roles. Especially in the startup phase, it can be tempting to try to fit a round peg into a square hole because you like someone. Make sure the role is what they need, not just what the company needs. Employees must feel fulfilled or they won’t be happy which means they won’t stay long-term. Have an open conversation about whether the role aligns with their personal goals and what they enjoy not just their skills. Once you hire them, check in regularly to ensure things haven’t changed. Working with friends and family can be sticky, but you can solve most problems by establishing expectations, boundaries and responsibilities, which goes for all employees. Create open lines of communication and create a culture that rewards honesty. Set the example by being open and telling your team to talk to you if they’re unhappy.

4. Check-Ins
If you go too long without checking in with your team, things can start to fall apart. We have team meetings every Tuesday morning after everyone has a chance to catch up for the week. This keeps employees on task and informed so that we’re working together toward a common goal. At my company, we also meet weekly with our direct reports and as a management team to ensure all the balls are in the air. Then, our chief operating officer meets with everyone individually once a month to let them share what’s going on in their lives.
***** to be continued!
*** These are indicative figures as per the 2nd. January, 2020.
1- Money can even corrupt the virtuous.
By: (African Proverb)
2- A fool and his money is one big party.
By: (African Proverb)
3- Knowledge is better than wealth, you have to look after wealth, but knowledge looks after you.
By:(African Proverb)
4- It is no disgrace at all to work for money.
By:(African Proverb)
5- If your brother is rich it doesn’t mean you’re rich.
By:(African Proverb)
6- If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money.
By:(African Proverb)
7- People think that the poor are not as wise as the rich, for if a man be wise, why is he poor?
By:(African Proverb)

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