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3 things to remember when sending a smaller payment.

The first thing we should say is that when it comes to someone's money, no amount is a small amount.

Consumers hunt around to save and get the best deal on insurance, utilities and bank accounts; the savings you can get on an exchange of currency should be viewed in exactly the same way and the company that overlooks the needs of someone converting what they (the company or the customer) consider a 'small amount' is limiting customer choice, pigeon holing the consumer and deviating from the very reason why challenger companies came in to being in this sector.

We will look at the costs of sending a payment, the ways you can send a payment, the reasons you might send a payment and how you can approach all of the above in pursuit of the best value for money

1. How much should it cost to send and receive your money?

It always costs something to send a payment.

You may have noticed your bank charges anywhere between £3 and £35.

Your bank may offer you a couple of different ways to send a payment too.

You can call them and ask for a CHAPS payments which, provided you request it before 14:00 should arrive at it's destination the same day.

Most 'online' domestic payments can be sent by FPS (Faster payment system). The cost for this is usually covered in the account fee you pay monthly. Faster payments incur no up front cost, but that doesn't mean they are free.

An international transfer can cost more.

This is because international payments cannot be sent using the FPS network. FPS only

exists within the UK domestic banking network. Other countries may have similar domestic settlement formats, but these tend not to extend to international payments.

Currency companies will also charge you for sending a payment. They do this because they rely on the UK banking system to send and receive money.

Therefore, the currency company does incur a cost.

This cost can vary depending on the format in which the currency company sends your payment and also depending on the amount of payments the currency company makes collectively.

If the currency company makes a lot of payments then they can usually get a discount on that cost from their bank.

However, the currency company does not necessarily pass on the saving to you.

So, if currency companies suggest they do not charge you for sending payments, this can mean a couple of different things.

Some companies use the domestic banking networks of the country you're sending the payment to in order to avoid any international payment costs.

This is very clever, but it does rely on that company having a presence in the country you're sending funds to and it invariably means you cannot send one currency to a country that does not deal in that currency as it's domestic tender.

Hence, you would not be able to use these sorts of companies to send euros to the United States.

You can only send those euros to a country whose domestic tender is euros because that is the only way these companies can ensure there is no domestic transfer costs arise.

They basically transmit your euros domestically from their euro located entity; they are not making an international payment at all.


Currency companies like Prime Cap rely on the relationship their bank has globally with banking institutions in the countries we are sending to.

If our bank is big enough then they will likely have a branch, license or presence in the country you are sending to, and we can make use of that network.

This enables us to keep costs to a minimum.

When you are sending to rare and wonderful countries with unusual or restricted currencies the costs climb.

At most we will charge £10 for an international payment, however, wherever possible we will pay for this cost ourselves from the margin we apply to the rate of exchange we offer you.

So, in theory, we are paying for the cost of the transfer for you. You have no upfront costs added to the amount you are exchanging or deducted from the amounts you are sending.

We prefer it this way because it means what you see is what you get and, in the case of smaller payments, where the difference in price can be fractional, we know that the only thing we have to get right is the rate and the additional service.