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Spend & Save

Five Questions About: Sending cash overseas


Can I send cash abroad?

In most cases, there is nothing to stop you putting money in an envelope and sending it overseas. This is the most risky way to send cash abroad. In 42 countries, including Norway, India and Poland, it is illegal to send cash in an envelope. These are listed on the Royal Mail website.

Can I post a cheque abroad?

A cheque from your regular chequebook will be useless overseas, as the recipient's bank won't be able to cash it. You will need to send a foreign currency draft which can be ordered with your bank, for a fee. The recipient is also likely to incur fees for cashing it. It will take some time to clear.

Can I make a transfer via my online banking?

You will not be able to make a payment to an overseas bank account from your UK online banking as the sort code and account numbers are set up differently. Instead you will need to organise an electronic bank transfer – the most popular means of sending money abroad.

How do I make an electronic transfer?

You will need the recipient's full name and bank account details and an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), from their bank or an existing paper statement. You then call your own bank to organise payment. Costs vary according to the country and bank.

What about wire transfers?

They are available from companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram. At a registered location you hand over the cash and you get a reference number. You give this to the recipient and they use it to collect the cash in their own country. You pay a transfer fee and currency exchange fees upfront.

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