Sending funds overseas

I am a trustee of a UK registered Christian charity, Mercy Mission Welfare Society. Our activities are based in India where we run schools and orphanages. We regularly send funds using our UK high street bank account. The funds are transferred to a charity which is registered in India. 

We are looking for a more cost effective method of sending money to India as we do find our bank to be expensive, and unreliable.

There are several organisations who claim to send money abroad cheaply and effectively.  I was wondering if anyone has used any of them or has any experience of sending funds abroad.

I am grateful for any advice

Many thanks


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  • I feel you Andrew.
    I would check out reviews of the other services, as well, discuss it in the expats fb groups ofr india of whichthere are probably many, addittionally, think in terms of sending hard cash with your next personal going there. Thats what we do for The Gambia. There is usually a std max of 10,000 pounds or soemthing like that.
    Western union normally take 10% as an alternative and they are very safe. We use epxats who we have met through fb to bring hard cash too soemtimes, always safe, even if we are nto dealing with the amount of money u r?
    Finally, have you checked other banks or a community based bank that can do it if they see your charity as a great cause
    Fr Paddy
    A stranded kiwi still awaiting to go home to Africa
  • Andrew guess it will depend on the size of your donation we find World Remit very useful along with Wave as they send funds direct to your mobile phone. And it cost the sender 99p. So I have sent small amounts to Tanzania,Kenya and Uganda..Rwanda has high charges £5.99/transfer. So my experience is with
    sending and receiving via mobile network. To me the advantage is it arrives immediately...its a good exchange rate and the withdrawal rate is not bad eg if you send £218.44 today it will cost you 99p to send and the recipient will receive 1 million less withdrawal charges of 16k [MTN] which is just under £4 . But the advantage here in Uganda is there are mobile money agents everywhere so you have no transport costs to reach the bank..or bank charges to own an account. But if you are needing better accountability for an organisation they also send to bank accounts. But have no experience in this area. Also they are very helpful if one does not arrive. Not my experience but a friend had a transaction that did not land and it was quickly sorted out. Not sure if this helps. MTN allows transfers of up to 7Million.

  • Hi Andrew,

    I use:

    You can exchange at current market rates or set a rate that you're prepared to 'wait for' and accept - the 2nd option often requires a little exchange rate monitoring, but is very fruitful.

    It costs about EUR3 to complete a transaction, irrespective of how much you send.

    I've consistently sent to Europe and Africa.

    Send Money Abroad | Transfer Money Online with CurrencyFair
    Cheap, fast, secure international money transfers - up to 8 times cheaper than a typical bank. Exchange money on your terms with CurrencyFair.
  • We had a huge amount of trouble with Transferwise. After sending three or four gifts to the developing world, our account was suddenly deactivated because their rules and reulations do not allow the risks associated with this particulaarly if they think funds from a charity or mission is involved. No amount of appeals or a formal complaint changed their mind and I suspect the same hard-herated person handled all the correspondence, generally unsigned. The account was deactivated even as I was sending funds to Kenya's General Hospital help sa seriously ill partner with a burst appendix as the hospital would not ttreat him without funds in their hands first. Happily Western Union Online did the job for me, and actually at less cost but with the incovenience of Covid-risky collection of course. I would caution care with Transferwise.
  • I work in Europe and Eastern Europe. I regularly lose 30% of donations made in dollars. if anyone has any suggestions to help with this please share
  • I work for The Leprosy Mission and our finance department regularly sends to India. If you email me ( I can put you in touch with our finance department to find out how they do that.
  • Hi Andrew.

    My wife and I have lived in France for the past 36 years, and we use a Transferwise account to pay bills, draw money from ATMs, and transfer money between multiple currencies (EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, etc) We have found the system much cheaper than "free" bank transfers. The only problem  we have had is to do with receiving transfers from unknown sources, but we can talk about that if you are interested.

    • If they have a Paypal account, the fees I have seen from them are low. $200 to the US was about $3.00. It was definitely a lot cheaper than Western Union. You just link a bank account to your/their Paypal. I believe it works in many countries. 

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