Home and Away: The Difference Between Sending Money Through the Bank and Online

The discussion about the best way to send money home is a long-standing one. There are various options for transferring money overseas and many people find it confusing as to whether they should use a bank or choose a remittance service provider. 

Which should you choose, a bank transfer or an online wire transfer? And what should you consider when making your choice? Here are a few important aspects to consider before you make your choice:

Can you send money online instantly through a bank?

In a perfect world, we’d be able to magically transfer money from one country to another simply by thinking about it. The reality, however, is a bit more complex. 

When it comes to your finances and sending money internationally, the first option that may come to mind is the bank. Transferring money from a bank account in one country to a bank account in another country feels safer to many people, mostly because it is the more familiar option. Whether it’s instant or not, is another question.

In most cases, sending money online is a faster operation (and equally safe) than transferring it through a bank. Moreover, many service providers offer instant online money transfer options such as cash pick up and sending money to a digital wallet.   

Meet your new best friend: online money transfer services

Fortunately, technology now allows us to transfer money online instantly. Many companies offer cross-border money transfer services without the need to open a bank account. Moreover, much like other online activities (e.g. shopping, paying your bills, etc.), transferring money online is a simple and convenient process.

To transfer money online, all you need to do is create an account with a reliable money transfer service. Once you create an account, you’ll have different options for sending money as a remittance payment. You can opt to send money online to a bank account, cash pick-up, or a digital wallet (depending on the country you want to send money to and the options available there). 

So say goodbye to waiting in line or physically going into a bank as you will not have to do so anymore. In most cases, the process of sending money online can be performed directly from your mobile phone.

The details that matter: rates, fees, and a human connection

While traditional banks generally offer comparatively fair exchange rates, they also usually charge higher wire transfer fees – the lower the transfer amount, the higher the commission percentage (total commission rate). Moreover, when it comes to transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars, fees can exceed 5% of the transferred amount. Alternatively, some online banking services, like Rewire, provide improved rates on your first money transfer in addition to two fee-free money transfers. 

Another important aspect is having someone, a human, to reach out to in case you need help. Online money transfer services also offer direct online support to customers, in case you encounter a particular difficulty.


To sum up, there are many factors to consider when choosing between an online money transfer provider and a traditional bank transfer. The best way to send money overseas is undoubtedly online as it is quick, simple, secure, and will cost you as little as possible, depending on the service provider you choose.