Cheapest alternatives to bank transfers

For the longest time, banks have been the most common way to transfer money, especially internationally. Cross-border payment methods like local bank transfers are usually used when someone needs to make a deposit to a foreign bank account. However, due to multiple factors (such as expensive wiring fees and the gradual popularity of online transactions) transferring money via banks is now outdated, and is contested by the sudden surge in popularity of other alternatives. These services are oftentimes better, offering better exchange rates, cheaper fees, and faster transfer times, so it’s best to consider these options when sending money, especially overseas.

Online Mobile Payment Services

The online world has several money transfer options that provide fast and secure ways to send money overseas. Certain mobile payment services such as Venmo and Paxum offer quick and accessible money transferring services, even allowing the users to send money without the need of a bank account. All of these services are accessible via mobile apps, and so you can send money on the fly, whenever and wherever. Additionally, sending money internationally to another account has an extra charge that only costs a small percentage of the amount sent; as low as 5% depending on where you’re sending it. 

Atm machine and dollars.


PayPal in particular is the most popular of these online services, with over 392 million active users over 200 countries and supporting 25 currencies. PayPal not only allows you to shop and pay bills online easily via the app, you can also use it to send and receive money instantly. Except for certain transactions, PayPal has no extra charges or fees for their services, so it’s a great cheap alternative to bank transfers.


WesternUnion is another especially great service that allows for money transfer to different cities, states, or even countries. They charge a flat rate for their services, depending on the amount of money being sent, the location you plan to send the money to, and how fast you want the transaction to be. With over 42,000 branches all over the world, WesternUnion is an easily accessible and generally cheaper way to send money overseas.

Cash Transfer

A simple and rather “old-fashioned” way, using cash can be the better choice in some circumstances. If you’re not pressed for time, simply withdrawing your money from one bank account, and depositing it into another bank account is completely free of charge; and depending on the bank, you may be able to withdraw that cash immediately, no questions asked.

In Conclusion

Bank transfers, while usually reliable, can also be costly depending on where you send money. Luckily, however, there are in fact multiple ways you can send money without the need to pay exorbitant shipping rates. Transfer funds internationally with the best payment solution. Especially since online services have become the norm of money transferring transactions, certain mobile payment service apps are notably fast and inexpensive alternatives to bank transfers. So next time you plan to send money either to friends or family members, consider the examples above; be smart when remitting your cash, and don’t get overly encumbered by expensive fees.