Money transfers between planets, is it possible?

I hear laughing in the room, I can feel you smiling behind your desk , reading my words who could sound insane to a highly secured and closed brain. This question is not from me, I would have liked to wonder such specials questions, but no It’s really not from me. The first time I read this title was about Blockchain technology and how the technology would react if we were colonizing another planet and transferring information between the 2 planets. This is not as easy as it sounds.

 

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  1. Communication

Until now, we didn’t find any way of going faster than the light speed and because of the distance between The Earth and Mars, the fastest the information could be transferred between the planet is 3 minutes if the planets where as the closest they can get. 3 minutes appears to be nothing but when it comes to Money it’s a real mess. Let’s take the example that all the information about my money are stored on Earth but I’m on Mars. I have 10 000 USD on my bank account and I send 10 000 USD to a friend. During the 3 minutes between my transaction and the reception of the information, I could actually pay several services and my bank account would still think I’m positive. According to the blockchain experts, we would need either to wait for the confirmation of the transaction or have one blockchain on each planet who can interact between themselves with a longer confirmation time.

 

  1. Longer Distance

Now, what happens if the planet you want to send money to is 10 000 light years away? We can’t do faster than this, you would have to wait these years to confirm that the payment was received. But seriously why would you need to transfer this amount of money over there? If you are moving from Earth to this planet, the money will arrive before you for sure (if the light doesn’t get lost or distorted).

  1. IOU and money transfer

IOU is almost an acronym, but it’s not, but I don’t know the term to say it, which means “I owe you”, it’s pretty useful when you want to transfer money as you don’t have to send the real bills or the gold to make the transfer, you just transfer an IOU of 10 000USD and the transfer is considered done. It’s a system as the base of SWIFT, Ripple or Western Union. On far distance it doesn’t make sense anymore as an IOU is a trust based token. The person or entity that owe you the money could be dead or bankrupt before reimbursing you. This is why Public Blockchain can be the solution as the token really travels with the information.

How will we send money in 3 centuries?

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A lot can happen between now and 3 centuries from now. If we think about it, 3 centuries ago you could not send money across the ocean without physically moving the money. It would take months, you didn’t know if the money arrived and it was highly unpractical.

Will we continue to use currencies in the future? Will we trade something else? This is what we are going to see.

 

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Can we avoid to use currencies?

Centuries ago, most of what people had were not in the form of currencies but food, furnitures and a roof. When you had to cross the ocean, you would take your furnitures with you and that’s how you transferred your wealth. Now, 99% of our wealth can be expressed in a number which can be expressed in a dollar value. Your house, 980 000USD, your furnitures if listed on craigslist : 10 000USD, your dog : no I can’t go this far, this is the 1% of things you don’t want to express with a figure value. Being able to express wealth with a number makes it really easy every time you want to transfer your wealth from one place to another. Should we avoid to use currencies to transfer money overseas, no.

 

Technical way of sending money in 3 centuries

If I’m thinking at this moment of the easiest way my mind can conceive to send money abroad, it would be using my phone, entering the email of a friend and typing an amount. The amount would be converted in the destination currencies, I would be ripped off by hidden fees but still the money would be transferred as an IOU in minutes. We know though then in 40 years, we won’t be using the same technology to interact, I can’t believe that we will still use a phone for example. In 3 centuries this will be even more true. So let’s think out of the box about this. Should I talk to my watch to tell it to transfer the money ? Should I just think about it and my mind would pay the person? What I’m thinking is that money will be something used in the background. You won’t have a wallet, you won’t have a credit card, though every time you use a service, the service knows you and debit you. It will be super easy.

 

Cross currencies

When you change currencies, an exchange rate is applied and most of the time, it can be highly different from what is a good exchange rate. The ones that decide the exchange rate are most of the time the one who sell you the service, you don’t even notice it. What happens in the facts is that some service charge you up to 10% to transfer your money without you realizing it.

The future of money transfers

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This is the first article of a serie I wanted to build for a long time. I will think and brainstorm about the future of currencies and money transfer. My idea is to state the universe and the different ideas I have about this in a first article before starting to explore in more details all these subjects.

 

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Limit of money transfer

One of the first subject will be about what is the limit of money transfer. Can money transfers be free? If not, what could be the price? Are the technologies ready for this and can we hope new technology to rise up on this matter? We will also dive into the limit of speed of money transfers, how fast they can be, will they be able to be instant and so on.

Worldwide currencies

The second subject we will explore is about worldwide currencies. And many questions rise on the subjects such as if we already have one working, what will it implies and how this would work. Currency is often considered as something economical when in the end it’s highly political. We will see how a worldwide currency could limit the effect of politics in this matter.

Local currencies

In the third subject we will consider the importance of local currencies. A local currency is a currency which can only be used in a specific geo localised space. As of today, some local currencies exist such as in Paris or Berlin, but national currencies are often also local currencies.  In the end will we need national currencies?

Time currencies

And I can hear you thinking “what does this guys is saying”, yes this sounds different, but the concept goes back a long time in the economist minds. After all, we work to be able to afford free time, leisure time.

Transfer between planets

The last subject is about the future of humanity, when we start colonising other worlds. What will happen when people start to travel between these countries and if we will be able to transfer wealth from one world to another.

 

I asked 237 people living abroad how they send money back home

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I took time to ask 237 people how they send money abroad. Here is what I learned, and what could be useful to you.

Ok, we’ll dive into statistics in this article. It is very interesting to see how people deal with money transfers.

People profiles

You have different kind of people who needs to send money abroad: expatriates, students abroad, migrants, travelers, traders.

My panel:

  • Expatriates : 49%
  • Students abroad: 28%
  • Other: 14%
  • Traveler: 6%
  • Trader: 3%

The most important criteria

I asked them which criteria was the most important to them.

  • Savings: 90%
  • Speed: 5%
  • Easiness: 5%

The way to send money abroad

Which service to they use to send money abroad?

  • The bank: 49%
  • An online money transfer service: 31%
  • A FX broker: 9%
  • A traditional money transfer service: 7%
  • Other: 4%
  • A Blockchain network: 0,2%

The amount sent

Which amount are they used to transfer every month? (based on the dollar reference)

  • 500 to 1000$: 19%
  • 1500 to 2500$: 16%
  • 2500 to 5000$: 15%
  • 1000 to 1500$: 14%
  • More than 5000$: 14%
  • Don’t want to say: 12%
  • Less than 500$: 10%

How they prefer receive money

It’s not about how they receive money, but how they PREFER it.

  • By bank account: 85%
  • It depends: 11%
  • To an agent to withdraw cash: 2%
  • Other: 1%

Is the payment method important?

  • Not really, I want the fastest and the cheapest: 61%
  • I prefer to send to my bank account: 35%
  • I prefer to use my credit card: 4%
  • Other: 0,2%

It is very interesting to see how 85% of them want to receive money on a bank account and no other way. It’s not a surprise, but it is a very high percentage.

And most of them don’t care about the payment method. They mostly want to get the cheapest and fastest.

Another great learning is the amount sent by each one of them. The balance is very strong.

I will deeper analyze all those results later, I just wanted to quickly share it with you guys. And you, which kind of money transferrer are you?

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New ideas to send money abroad safety and at the best cost

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A few months ago, I got the job of my dream in Geneva, Switzerland. Like many others French citizen working in Geneva, I decided to live in France (which is only 15 minutes car from my job). At this time I didn’t a thing about how to send my money abroad and afters making all the mistakes that is possible to do, I decided to investigate to find the best options to send my money safely and at the best cost.

Here are a few ideas for you to start sending money overseas.

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The perfect money transfer company doesn’t exist

As I quickly understood that bank are not the best options to send money abroad ( they take a lot of fees + aren’t rapid) and kept asking to my colleagues about the perfect money company. And you know what? The more I asked, the more I was confused. Until the day where one of my colleague sent me the link to an online comparison called moneytis. I felt a bit ashamed to not looking enough to discover it by myself before. Thanks to this platform, I found out that the best money transfer company wasn’t the same from one moment to another. The first time I tried their comparison platform, I found 3 interesting companies. The day after I did the same research and I noticed that the ranking was entirely different !!

And again I felt confused. How can rates can change from one day to another? How to choose the best time to send money?

I asked for a chat with one of the experts of the platform and found out that fluctuations are entirely normal and change according to the exchange rates as well as external factors and companies methods to promote their services.

You need to stay updated to make your best move

If I couldn’t change external factors or internal strategies to get the best option to send money abroad, I could verify the exchange rates and wait for the perfect time to make my transfer. By doing so, I increased my salary up to 30% for some months. And that is my best piece of advice: if you want to send money abroad at the best fee, be patient. Check the currency rate every day and transfer your money when is the best for you !

Hope my bits of advice will help you to find the best way to send money abroad and don’t forget, the best tool doesn’t exists, you need to create it !

You also can have more tips thanks to lifehacker money transfer articles

What to compare when transferring money abroad?

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Are you planning to travel or to move abroad? are you used to do international money transfers? how do you do it? Many options options exist to send money abroad: banks, brokers, traditional money transfer operators (such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria money transfer) and online money transfer companies. Here is an overview of what to compare when transferring money abroad.

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Look at the RATE before transferring money abroad

Each bank, each broker and each money transfer company apply its own rates. And each one apply its own rates depending on the countries between which the transfer should be made, depending on the amount to be sent, on the payment and delivery  methods, and on the speed of transfer.

There are what we called the fix fees which are determined depending on the amount to be sent. These fees are announced before the transfer so it is easily comparable between two money transfer companies. But then there are what we called the ’hidden fees’ which are the fees charged on the exchange rate used. And these fees are really difficult to see. That’s why what you have to compare is the TOTAL AMOUNT RECEIVED. This way you don’t care about comparing both the fix fees and the fees on exchange rate but you simply look at which operator gives you the most of money.

Take care of the EASINESS of the solution

If you need to transfer money abroad you’re maybe in a hurry to do it or you simply don’t want to lose time with that. This is why it’s important to look at a cheap solution but also at an easy solution. Some money transfer services offer you good rates but can be really complicated to use. What we consider a simple service is a service with which all can be made online: no need for a call, no need for too much documents, instant account validation.

A comparison platform for money transfers provide all that information. And checking the exchange rates too.

Three things to know to buy a house abroad in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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Buying a house in Rio de Janeiro has always be my dream. Nothing could have prevented me to do it. Though when I went through the process, I send through unexpected adventures and discoveries. Legally, physically and on a financial point of view. A quick example, my bank tried to make me pay $12,000 additional fees hidden in the exchange rate when I was transfering the money from abroad. Must read before you buy.

Bureaucracy nightmare

Ever heard about the bureaucracy nightmare in Brazil ?

You will have to provide a ludicrous number of documents to buy an apartment. Even your police folder will be screened. If you come from another country, you will have to translate every document with an official translator (i.e. not cheap).

They went to a point, so far, that they created a new concept which is the “Despachante”, someone who will go through collecting all the needed documentation with the government agencies and respective institutions

If you are sending the money overseas and making a large amount of transfer you will also have to register with the local bank.

After reading this, if you are still willing to go through the bureaucracy to buy it you should be aware of two things:

Scams

Not all the cariocas are scammers, most of the one I know are perfectly fine, and the majority is honest. But some can be dishonest when when it’s related to one of these 3 branches : Scamming foreigners, Politics, and Drugs. So please, research the seller ang go through the details.

Security

Always verify what are the risk areas around. Not every favela is dangerous but some people sleep better when there is no risk to receive a bullet by mistake in the middle of the night directly in your apartment. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying you should live at a distance from the poors, or any elitist thing but the risk of gunfire is actually pretty high in some places. If you really care about security, you can also check Monte Carlo, but that won’t be the same life.

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Orientation

The 3 firsts points where the most important, I’ll just give an extra advice about the orientation of the sun. When buying a house in a country as wet as Brazil, the morning sun means mold and the afternoon sun means being toasted. It’s up to you after that. It is true for other cities where it’s humid like Rio De Janeiro, but worth mentioning if you come from a dry country.

Transferring the money abroad to buy the house

Now, if you are not living or paid in Brazil, you will have to pay the apartment from a foreign account. Be aware of the high fees your bank will take to buy your house. You MUST go through a broker to understand what you are in for if you want to save $10,000 to $20,000. Though it’s a burden and you will hate it, the best you could do is to compare in a minute the best brokers you can find depending on which apartment you will buy. I don’t know most of the broker.

Cheers and see you in Brazil!

How to send money abroad: a guide for beginners

how to send money abroad

Today, in our globalized world, it is more and more common to send money abroad and for many different reasons: as an expat you send money on a saving account back home, as a student your parents send you money each month or you might be retiring away from home and need to receive your pension.

There are basically 2 ways to send money abroad: the traditional way and the new one. Let’s see the differences.

how to send money abroad

How to send money abroad traditionally?

I’m using here the word traditionally in the sense of old fashioned and I am referring to banks or money transfer operators like Western Union or Moneygram. Why is that? Well, it is simple, these actors have been dominating the market for decades and nothing has changed in the way they send money for you. In 2016, it still costs a way too much to make an international transfer.

Take the banks for example: you need to send £1000 from the UK to France. You’ll be paying around 10% in fees, i.e. £100. There are fixed fees, variable ones and last but not least hidden ones. The hidden fees are traditionally hidden in the exchange rate. An easy way for bank to make even more money out of your transfer is to use a poorer exchange rate than the real one at the time of the transfer. Easy money isn’t it?

These fees are also applied by Western Union and Moneygram, which makes them the most expensive solutions to send money abroad. However, they are the most famous and probably the most used worldwide, which is a totally nonsense to me. This comes from the fact that they have agencies in many countries around the world.

How to send money abroad in 2016?

A couple of years ago, new actors arrived on the market such as Transferwise, World Remit, Azimo offering very competitive rates. How is that possible? They simply do not apply outrageous fees and they use opposite routes to send money. To make it short and simple:  someone is sending money from Poland to the UK, they’ll be waiting for someone to send money the opposite way so they do not have to buy foreign currencies. Clever isn’t it?

This is the main reason why they manager to lower their costs. Such actors are called P2P: peer-to-peer.

The emergence of all these new actors made it complicated for people willing to send money abroad to compare them and to make sure they’ve found the best one according to their needs. This is the reason why Moneytis has been created. Moneytis is a comparison platform that allows you to compare all money transfer providers operating in 2 given countries. With 3 clicks you have access to a clear and transparent comparison that will help you find the best way to send money abroad. For each operator you’ll know exactly how long it will take for the transfer to be made, how much money you will receive and how easy their platform is to use.

I hope you learned how to send money abroad. It has never been so easy!

5 tips to send money abroad

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Do you plan to move abroad in the coming days and you have many things to do before leaving? Did you already find a place in your country destination?  What about your money when you send money abroad? Did you already think about how you will transfer your money abroad? Don’t worry you’re in the right place to know what to do. Although we know the world of bank and money transfers is boring and complicated it can be simple if you know what to do. And moreover you will be proud and happy for once to have the feeling that you’re doing the right thing by optimizing your money transfer.

 

Choose the right time to send money abroad

The first thing to think when you send money abroad is WHEN to do it according on the exchange rate between two currencies. Indeed if the rate if high one day it can make a big difference in the amount of money received.

 

Avoid your bank

I personally don’t really care about how to send money abroad because I would use my bank to do so. I didn’t even ask myself the question as the bank is here to take care of my money and all my needs about money transfers, loans, etc. But now after several years as an expatriate abroad I finally understood that it was really a mistake to use my bank to send money abroad because I’ve lost a lot of money. A bank take an average rate of 7% of commission of a money transfer! This means when I send every since years 1’000 CHF into my account in euros, I’ve lost 70 CHF of each transfer!

 

Look at money transfer companies specialized in money transfers

Do you know that some operators are specialized in money transfer and can offer a better rate than your bank. They take fees too but it is between 1% and 4% which is definitely cheaper than a bank. A lot exist. You probably know Western Union or Moneygram. A lot more exist and allow to move money between countries easily and fast.

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Compare your options when sending money abroad

The thing is compare the money transfer companies before your transfer. One operator can offer a good rate in a specific currency but can be not cheap on another currency. For example Western Union can be the cheapest option on a transfer between Switzerland and France but can be the most expensive between France and the United Kingdom. It depends also on the amount you need to send and how fast you need the money to be there. So always compare!

 

Use a comparison service

But how to compare? It’s like booking a hotel abroad. How would you do It? Would you click on every hotels’ website to see if there is a room available and check the prices, the location, the commodities? I don’t think so! We are so used to use a comparison platform such as booking.com or agoda.com in order not to care about nothing but simply see all the hotels available and book a stay in one click. It is exactly the same for money transfers.

Some platforms exist to see all the money transfer operators available in the country you need to send money in. These platforms show you the prices, the speed of transfer but also the payment and delivery options and all the information needed for a transfer!

The good and bad ideas when you need to send a large amount of money abroad

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I’ve been there, I wanted to make an investment and buy a house in Europe. I was asked to transfer from a trusted source within 10 days the whole amount of money. In my case, the hardest part was not the loan but the fact that it was an international money transfer.

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And I never had to send money abroad before, this was new to me, so what did I do?

TL;DR : Everything is clear when you compare, I suggest Moneytis

Send money abroad with Western Union, Moneygram or Ria

This came to mind quickly, but it was wiped off immediately, too expensive and they do not allow large transfer. The maximum you can send is usually around $7000.

Transfer the large amount with a bank : Bank of America, JP Morgan & co,

I went to see my bank manager and went through the whole process. The loan they suggested was good, but the international transfer rate was horrible. They were not taking the real mid market exchange rate, they were fixing once a day their own rate and adding an extra margin.

Transfer using a money transfer operator

My colleagues suggested to have a look at several online money transfer operator such as WorldRemit, Transferwise and XendPay, but either they didn’t accept large amount or the rate was not interesting.

Exchange the currencies with the Brokers

Here we are, brokers are the companies specialized in exchanging large amount of money for you. This seems like the logical choice, though, I had a terrible time trying to find out what were the brokers who could be trusted, to compare their prices and to know which broker was available in which country.

I would recommend a different broker for every specific use, depending on the amount you send, the countries and to always verify if the broker is regulated by the FCA, the Fincen or another state institution. The best for you would be to find which one is the most interesting for your own needs. I recommend to use Moneytis which is a transparent, exact and independent comparator.

By the way, I’m writing this by the fire in a Swiss chalet. I’m just happy.