Compare the best ways
to transfer money overseas

Compare the best ways
to transfer money overseas

News

02.12.2017

The 4 Best Ways to Save on International Moving and Immigration Costs

If you move from a very wealthy country to a less prosperous one, you can easily cut your expenses. You can live a better life while spending far less. However, the costs of moving country and immigrating can be quite high – so it is important for you to be savvy about your move. We have put together the four most important ways on how you can save money when emigrating to another country. 

 

  • Moving and transportation cost

One of the major and immediate expense when relocating to another country you face is paying an international moving company to move your belongings from your home to another country.  In principal the costs depend on the following factors: the amount of luggage you move, the distance between the places your belongings are moved in-between and the means of transport you are choosing. Air freight will arrive within a couple of days while moving your items by ship or long freight can take weeks.

 

The main way you can save here is by deciding on what is most important for you and where you can make compromises: do you need you items to arrive quickly (expensive) or can you allow some time for them to arrive (cheaper option). Also, there can be big differences between what companies are charging for the very same service.

 

Once you have started packing your belongings and identified the exact quantity of the items (e.g. 20 moving boxes sized 18" x 18" x 24", 1 bed, 1 chest of drawers,…) the best way to compare costs is to google for moving companies and obtain a definitive quote for the move by mail by at least five companies. You will be surprised about the differences between the cheapest and most expensive option: out of personal experience the most expensive company would charge up to 5-times as much as the cheapest one!

  • Housing fees

If you are planning your arrival carefully, there are additional tricks how you can save money: most of us will not be able to find a good permanent and cheap rental property from a distance. House hunting takes time and effort. So in order to find the most suitable and cheap place to stay permanently, you might want to try to stay at a temporary place upon your initial arrival:

  • Airbnb: this widely known service allows you to rent a room or apartment from a day to many month and is used by many expats to bridge a few days or weeks for house-hunting 
  • Renting a short let: there are many options of renting a fully furnished flat for a shorter period of time (generally between 1 and 3 months) in any major city. Just google it. 

Once you have found a permanent place to stay, you will need to be aware of how the local  housing market works and what taxes and fees are involved to get settled (e.g. estate agent fees, taxes, council fees,.. which can vary widely from country to country). Make sure you understand all fees, charges and taxes you will be liable for in advance of signing a contract for the housing you will be using.

  • Visa fees

Moving to another country to work or study can mean that you need to apply for a visa, unless you’re moving within the EU, which allows you to move between countries visa-free. Obtaining a visa usually involves a significant amount of paper work and the payment of sometimes quite substantial fees.

Visa fees also normally fall due every time you need to renew your visa. Depending on your nationality, visas to stay in e.g. in the UK can cost over £1,000. 

The solution here is to thoroughly study the visa condition for the country you’re considering to move to at the very beginning of you moving plans and try obtain information based on people’s personal experience rather than relying on embassy information only. 

We recommend to check online message boards and forums where people share experience and visa agents they have been successfully using. There will be unfortunately not a lot of options to lower the costs for visas as they are fixed by the relevant governments.  

  • Journey and flight comparison

Once you have budgeted your visa requirements, the transportation of your belongings and any temporary housing, it is time to look for the most efficient way to travel. To compare various means of transport by time and costs you can use the website www.rome2rio.com : simply type in your current location, your destination and the date of travel and Rome2Rio will display time and costs for bus journeys, train journeys, plane and car travel.

In case you only would like to compare flights, www.skyscanner.net Is the most comprehensive flight comparison portal.

By planning the means of transport and comparing them well ahead of your departure, you will be able to save a significant amount of money which you can use upon your arrival.

Enjoy your trip!

22.09.2017

Basics of peer-to-peer foreign currency exchange

Peer-to-peer foreign exchange mechanisms are rapidly gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why. The foreign exchange market even as of 2014 had surpassed a daily trading volume of $5.5 billion.

 

In this arena, many peer-to-peer companies usually claim 75-90% savings on the typical fees associated with foreign exchange and the percentage taken from the total transaction by brokers and banks. In addition, peer-to-peer exchanges are almost always completed more quickly.

 

This is achieved by converting all international exchanges into simple domestic ones. Rather than moving currencies across borders, peer-to-peer firms allow clients to find other users matching their exchange needs and complete the transactions domestically within only a few days. Because this mechanism for foreign exchange is still gaining traction, on occasion it can difficult to find a suitable partner for exchanging less common currencies.

 

How does regulation work?

 

Building trust with clients is one of the most important aspects of developing traction for any peer-to-peer network. As a result, many such firms have taken steps toward being registered with regulatory bodies. Though this does not completely protect prospective clients, it can signal that the firm intends to deal in good faith.

 

One technique for ensuring honest dealing in foreign exchange is known as ring-fencing. This means simply that all funds belonging to clients must be segregated by the firm’s own accounts at the end of each working day, protecting clients from loss in the event that the firm falls into financial hardship.

 

How do I choose a good peer-to-peer firm?

 

It’s important to always fully understand the risks associated with peer-to-peer exchange. Having said this, there are some basic guidelines that can be followed to choose the right service for your situation.

 

A good first step is to check the regulation status with relevant agencies, and whether or not client funds are segregated from the firm’s. These are always great indicators of the trustworthiness of a firm. Another good sign is the volume of transactions being handled. Make sure that the firm deals with your specific currency. This is especially important for smaller currencies.

 

We make sure to partner only with regulated, trusted and top-rated companies.

15.06.2017

Comey firing on currency exchange

Comey firing on currency exchange

The most pressing news in US politics this week is President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey. The justification Trump provided for this action pointed back to Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time in office. However, the firing has raised controversy from Democrats and Republicans alike as it has taken place during an ongoing investigation into Trump’s suspected ties with the Russian government.

The effects of this firing have been wide ranging, affecting many different nations across the globe.

Surveying global effects

Not all nations were hurt or benefited similarly or proportionally by the recent news. While the US economy is losing ground in comparison to the euro, the yen seems to be doing even worse, falling at a faster rate than the USD. Here is a quick survey of some initial results:

• As of May 10th, the ICE dollar index was at 99.44, compared to 99.39 on Tuesday.
• Euro and British pound crosses constituted the most major losses to the US dollar, as the pound gained ground, rising from $1.2977 to $1.2935 and the euro picked up from $1.0889 from $1.0872.
• The dollar gained lost ground against the ten, showing a small increase in the two days following.

Speculating on long-term effects

Many have compared the recent political controversy to the Watergate scandal of 1974. Whether this is an accurate characterization or not, we may be able to find clues to the potential lasting effects of the current circumstances in the economic aftermath of the Nixon resignation.

Like most political scandals in this country, Watergate has a profoundly negative effect on the US economy, continuing to fall lower and lower as the news continued to grow in importance. However, this trend quickly reversed itself immediately after Nixon’s resignation, in a sharp upswing that would continue for the next year. Whether the current issues surrounding James Comey’s firing will have a similar impact rests largely on the continuing importance of the news, as well as the results of the investigation into Russian ties on the part of Trump.

In the next days

The true effects of the firing are just beginning to be uncovered as the ongoing investigation into illicit presidential ties with Russia hastens. Financial speculators remark that that the ultimate impact of the Comey firing is simply to exaggerate the effects of a Trump presidency of global currency exchange. Other factors include the president’s pending nomination of a successor to Comey, as well as the continuing reaction of the media to the events.

15.06.2017

Greek Bailout and the Global Economy

Greek Bailout and the Global Economy

Many agree that Greece has taken the brunt of the impact from the Great Recession’s effects in Europe, still recoiling from the sharp economic downturn even today. With a national debt currently measured in the hundreds of thousands, speculators have theorized widely-varying effects for both the short and long term. Some predict an oncoming Grexit, while others, noting Macron’s recent win in France, believe that Greece’s prospects are looking up.

While the broad strokes of the bailout’s effects on the euro remain hazy, the immediate aftermath of a recent decision has been able to offer some clarity to investors.

Euro on the Upturn?

In reality, the Greek GDP fell by .5% year-on-year in 2017’s first quarter, as told by government statisticians. Although, what seems to be having a greater effect on the euro itself is the new resolution between Greece and its creditors to unlock the next tranche of relief money. Late Monday, shortly after the agreement, the euro rose to 1.0911 from 1.0900, trading at its highest rate in five months. It is a continuation of the general upward swing of the euro, USD, and other global currencies in the wake of the French Election.

Last week, one of Greece’s primary creditors, the IMF announced that they would need more time to agree on a debt relief plan for the ailing country. Meanwhile, Greece was still struggling to make payments on bonds which are scheduled to mature this summer. However, the recent decision to continue the EURO86bn bailout program has instilled renewed confidence in the European economy, as the likelihood of the government defaulting has dropped drastically. Greek bond prices are on the rise, and finance experts expect the upward trend to continue into the near future.

Global Effects

The effect on other global currencies has been mixed. The ICE dollar traded slightly lower at 99.119, while the central bank is set to announce its decision this Wednesday. The Yen however experienced growth, to Yen112.11 from Yen111.84 in the span of a week, while the pound reached an intraday high at $1.2913. However, it is not clear in all cases whether these turns have more to do with the Greek bailout, the French Election, or American politics.

The Greek people continue to suffer from a general unemployment rate at 23.3 percent, and a skyrocketed youth unemployment rate which just rose to over 48%. The possibility of returning to a rate of growth seen prior to the global debt crisis seems slim, at least in the foreseeable future. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continues to rally creditors to follow through on their commitments, so that his country can begin to regain stability.

14.06.2017

Macron's win and the global economy

Macron's win and the global economy

As one of the strongest economic powers in the EU, France’s recent election outcome is sure to have a dramatic impact on global currency exchange. The euro itself has been on the decline for years, and whether the new appointment of Macron will reverse this trend or exacerbate it is currently up for debate. Much still relies on Macron himself, and the ultimate effect he will have on the world economy depends largely on upcoming political appointments, as well as his initial success in office.

The short term

The few days immediately after the election indicated a stronger EU economy under Macron. Even before his victory was officially announced, the euro rose to 1.1023. This marked the first increase since the day following Donald Trump’s election in November 2016. As of May 11th, the euro closed at just over 1.09.

While the initial jump immediately after the election appears to be temporary, with rates returning to their usual low shortly after, the surge may forecast a long-term rise. There is still much speculation about euro prices to be had, as Macron has yet to prove his effectiveness in office. The next major step expected to affect currency prices will be the appointment of his prime minister, parliamentary candidates, as well as other important positions.

Looking forward

Although the euro remains low, it may be wise to remember that it remains a full 20% to 25% up from where it was at its introduction at the beginning of 1999. Keeping this in mind, we can recognize that Macron’s victory will play a small but important role in the overall picture of the European and global economy.

From one perspective, the election results seem to have stemmed the tide of what some were calling a worldwide wave of right-wing nationalism. Having beaten the notably conservative Marine Le Pen, Macron espouses centrist politics but has been described as a social democrat. And while he has a history of being involved with his country’s socialist party for years, he is a strong advocate of the free market, which some speculate could lead to a more substantial boost to the Euro’s value.

Global effects

The effect of the Macron win in France’s general election is still too small to feel on a global level. The pound still reels in the wake of Brexit, while the USD continues to fluctuate under the leadership of Trump. However as the new president-elect continues to appoint new members of the French government, France’s position in the global economy will begin to solidify. Supporters of Macron are optimistic that their candidate’s centrist politics will be a boon to global currency exchange.