If you are a Thai national living in the UK, it is considered an essential part of your everyday business and personal life to send money to Thailand. You need to have a good understanding of the costs involved in transferring money internationally and know how best to minimize them.
Our first piece of advise would be, “Do your research!”. Compare the providers and see which deals they can offer you and choosing the one which best fits your needs.
We have put together some ideas, based on different situations, as to the best ways to transfer money.
The Best Ways to Transfer Thai Baht
Moving to or from the UK
All of the UK banks let you transfer money to Thailand and back and it’s a very easy process to do so. Remember though that not all banks will accept Thai Baht (THB). Also consider that the fees charged by banks for international transfers are high, and you will not be getting the most competitive exchange rate.
To avoid large fees, consider using an online money transfer service. There are also many to choose from giving you a chance to find the method and rates which best suit your needs.
Our Verdict: OFX give you competitive exchange rates for transferring sterling to Thailand. A good choice for payments that are under £10,000.
Business from the UK to Thailand
If the business is sending currency, consider these two important things.
- The Exchange Rate Margin is the difference between the rate you are offered and the wholesale exchange rate published by xe.com.
- The specific business products on offer. These could be forward exchange contracts, limit orders and foreign currency accounts.
Our Verdict: HiFX have great exchange rates and a £0 fee structure which maximizes your overseas payments. You can also set up foreign currency accounts. This lets you keep the funds in your account in a foreign currency, only converting them when the time is right.
Buying a Property
Buying a first home or a property for investment in Thailand? Make sure you employ the services of a provider that is flexible and offers plenty of support. A provider with a network in both the UK and Thailand is vital.
Our Verdict: TorFX is the obvious choice for international property transactions due to its local account managers in each country.
Sending Money Home
Western Union, for example, is the ideal choice for sending small amounts internationally, like gift money for friends or relatives. Other companies may waive transfer fees if you are sending a large amount. Discussing your specific needs with a money transfer specialist is critical to getting the right deal for you.
Payment for tuition can be a big expense. You need to pay tuition fees regularly but there are also multiple other expenses associated with studying such as living expenses and books.
For the tuition fees and other larger payments you need to ensure that you shop around for the best exchange rates. For those smaller transfers make sure you keep a careful eye on the fee you are being charged.
Our Verdict: World First. A great company for students and their fund providers to transfer money with the minimum of cost.
Best Ways to Send Money to Thailand
The Costs of Sending Money between the UK and Thailand
Trying to figure out the complete cost of a money transfer can be difficult. It all depends on the transfer method and the fees involved, the margins aren’t always clear. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common charges you’ll face when sending money from one account to another.
- The Transfer Fee – This is also called a Telegraphic Transfer (TT), a Wire Transfer or a Remittance Fee.
- Exchange Rate Margin – The difference between the rate you are getting and the wholesale rate you see on xe.com.
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fees that your bank charges for guaranteeing your transfer gets to the right account. It is taken out when the funds arrive in the recipient’s account, it’s always very difficult to estimate it and impossible to reverse.
- Receiving Bank Fee – If you’re transferring foreign currency into an overseas bank then that bank will charge you a fee for doing so. In this instance, if you send British pounds to a Thai bank then you will be charged for the receiving bank to convert it.
What are the options?
Banks in the UK have more competitive fees and better exchange rates than most other banks around the world as there is much more competition for this kind of service in the UK. Using a bank is the fastest way to get money between accounts.
If you’re sending less than £1,000 then this is a great option. The fees will be similar to those you’ll find at a bank but the exchange rate will be better. If the person you are sending money to also has a PayPal account then the process is even more convenient.
Money Transfer Company
Money transfer companies such as HiFX and OFX are definitely the cheapest option if you are sending anything over £1,000. They offer low or no fees and the exchange rates are better. The only disadvantage would be that it can take a little longer to make the transfer. You’ll initially have to set up an account with them. This process can be as little as ten minutes or as long as two days depending on the company and what they need to know. When you eventually make the transfer it can also take one day longer than a bank.
How to use a Money Transfer Company (instead of a Bank)
Transferring money in this way is similar to using a bank but with a few distinct differences. Here are the basic online steps.
Setting things up (one off)
- Log in to their website and enter the details required. Make sure you have ID available.
- Wait for account approval, you’ll then receive a login and a password.
- Ensure you have the banking details of where you are sending the money and enter them. The receiver is usually known as the ‘Recipient’ or ‘Beneficiary’.
Transferring the Money
- Advise the amount you want to send and get a quote.
- Reconfirm the details, accept the exchange rate offered to you and confirm the amount in sterling.
- You will receive a confirmation of the deal. You will pay them in sterling before the amount is sent to Thailand.
Information You’ll Need Before Making Your Transfer
When sending funds overseas you will need the following information about the account you are sending to.
- Account name of the recipient
- Their address
- The SWIFT code of the bank
Banks can be picky. Ensure that all details are correct before proceeding to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Here are a list of SWIFT codes for the larger Thai banks.
- Rabobank : RABONL2U
- ING Bank : INGBNL2A
- Deutsche Bank Nederland : DEUTNL2N
- Amsterdam Trade Bank : ATBANL2A
How Long Does it Take to Send Money to Thailand?
If you’re looking for speed then ICICI Bank, Western Union and PayPal are your best options. Transfers take a matter of minutes. If you’re sending money to a bank account using a bank then the process will take 1-2 days. If you’re using a money transfer specialist that could increase to 2-3 days.
Is There a Minimum Transfer Amount?
Banks and PayPal do not have a minimum limit but some money transfer specialists do. Before using them make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.
To minimize the fees he is paying on every transaction he uses HiFX. Robert pays no fees on his transactions and HiFX ensure that he is getting the best exchange rate every time.
His business is growing and HiFX are now guiding him through the process of setting up an account in Thailand to hold Thai Baht. If any of the currency needs to come back to the UK it can be converted as and when it is needed.