How To Send Money To An Overseas Relative

If you have ever received a cheque from a well-meaning relative in a foreign currency, you’ll know not to count your pennies too closely before you cash it. Fortunately, there’s an easier and cheaper way of doing this.

Here’s how it usually goes:

Nan in the UK sends a cheque for £50, which works out to around $96 (based on March 2018 exchange rates). The problem is, the bank fee for transferring the cheque into Australian dollars will likely take a significant chunk out of the final total. In some cases the fee can even be up to $30.

What a shame for so much of Nan’s money to end up in the bank’s pockets! To add insult to injury, it can often take several days for a cheque in a foreign currency to clear.

Nan may resort to sending a £50 note in an envelope but this is very risky and does not eliminate the cost of making an international currency exchange.

Fortunately there is a better way to send money overseas as a gift. With Western Union’s Direct To Bank service, you can safely and quickly transfer funds to friends and family members around the world.

The straightforward process can be completed either via the Western Union website, from a participating Western Union agent location or via Western Union’s Money Transfer app – which is available for both iPhone and Android.

Sending Money Overseas: How It Works

To transfer cash direct to an overseas bank account, you will first have to create an account with Western Union. Make sure you have your credit card or bank account number to hand so you can make the payment.

Once you have set up an account (a process which only takes a few minutes), you will need the name and address of your friend or family member, as well as a few banking details depending on the country they are in.

For example, to send money to the UK, you will need your recipient’s bank name, the bank’s BIC and their account number. The BIC is an identifying code which your friend or family member can easily find by contacting their bank or conducting an online search (e.g. the BIC for Barclays UK is BARCGB22).

To send money to an account in France, you will need to supply the bank name and the IBAN, which is another identifying code.

When you take the steps to transfer funds with Western Union, you can easily see what account information and bank codes are required. You will also be notified of how long you can expect the process to take.

Transferring Cash Direct To An International Bank Account

Once you have the required information, sending a cash gift overseas is simply a matter of following the prompts and entering the necessary details. The money will arrive in the nominated account in as little as two days.

No more writing out cheques and no more waiting in line at the bank to cash them! With Western Union, the entire process of making an international transfer is simple, straightforward and fast.

Using the Western Union Money Transfer app, you can send money while travelling on the bus or waiting in line for coffee. Alternatively, log in online and make a transfer from your desk during your lunch break.

Prefer to pay in cash? Simply pop into your nearest Western Union branch and complete your transfer.

Send Money Almost Anywhere

When you use your Western Union Money Transfer app, you can get started in seconds with Touch ID and transfer cash to one of hundreds of destinations around the world. The technology also allows for quick and easy resends, storing information so you can make follow up transfers without having to re-enter account details.

For fast, reliable transfers, wherever you are, 24/7, visit the Western Union website or download the Western Union Money Transfer App for iOS or Android.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.