In a global economy, sending money abroad should be low cost, high speed, simple and safe. However, many banks continue to charge a flat fee of £25 for an international transfer, regardless of the amount being transferred, or hide fees by including them in poor exchange rates. UK consumers lost £5.6 billion in hidden foreign currency fees in 2015 alone, according to Capital Economics.
For years, consumers have had little choice when it comes to sending money abroad – but that's recently been changing. UK challenger banks such as Starling Bank have entered the market, determined to provide a faster, fairer service. Starling’s mobile-only current accounts can be applied for in minutes and once approved customers can send money abroad directly from the app. So who’s it for? Starling’s international payments feature is especially useful for expats living in the UK remitting payments to their home country, homeowners of property abroad, business owners paying suppliers, those making regular international payments for a pension or mortgage in another country, people working abroad for a defined period or individuals who simply want to send money as a gift to family and friends living overseas. Starling account holders can send money to 38 countries in 20 currencies.
Unlike many banks, Starling does not add markups to the exchange rate and provides the real market exchange rate which is the midpoint between the buy and sell rate on the global currency market. Starling applies a simple 0.4% fee to the transaction which means that for a £100 transaction, it will cost 40p. For both personal and business accounts, customers can transfer up to £10,000 a day. Starling’s customers also have protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme on eligible deposits of up to £85,000.
Customers of Starling Bank not only have access to quick and easy international transfers, they gain a banking app full of features to ease money management such as real time transaction notifications, breakdown of daily and monthly spend and the ability to lock the MasterCard debit card if lost or stolen, straight from the app. For more information on Starling Bank, visit www.starlingbank.com/send-.