Money Transfers: three alternatives to banks
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When moving to a different country, finding the cheapest way to transfer money often becomes an unexpected priority.

Banks can charge extortionate rates to send money abroad so it is good to inform yourself on other quick, secure and reliable options that are available in Germany. 

Transferwise, PayPal and Western Union are some of the trusted alternatives to banks.


Transferwise is a money transfer system initiated by the makers of Skype and Paypal. The company is now three years old and offers significantly reduced rates on international money transfers.

Where banks charge up to 5% on money transfers, Transferwise has the budget friendly rate of 0.5%. The site also cuts down on long wait periods with quick account to account transfers.

Over €1,000,000,000 has already been transferred internationally by the company.
Supporters and investors include the likes of Sir Richard Branson who backed the company with an investment of £25,000,000.

The video below instructs users how to transfer money through the Transferwise iOS app.



Before Transferwise existed international transfers were simplified by Paypal. It is the safe money transfer system that can be implemented with only a few clicks.

With PayPal’s money transfer system all you need is a recipient’s email address or mobile phone number and they will receive their funds in a secure way.

PayPal fees depend on the method of payment or transfer you select. The fee is either paid by the recipient or the sender but never both. Charges depend on whether you send the money to a bank account within the one country or if it is being sent abroad.

For PayPal’s rates of transfer in Germany, scroll to the bottom of their German user agreement.


Western Union

Western Union is another tried and tested alternative for sending money abroad. Western Union allows you to send money to a verified Western Union agent within minutes, where the reciepient can collect the money. In certain countries money can also be directly transferred to bank accounts.

If you are collecting funds from a Western Union agent you will need to have a valid government issued ID. In Germany money can be collected at any post office.

Fees and charges depend on the amount being sent and where it is being sent to. 


Feature image: KIEV, UKRAINE – JUNE 27, 2014: Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone 5S with PayPal logo on a screen. PayPal is the worldwide e-commerce business service allowing payments and money transfers via Shutterstock. Copyright: Bloom Design

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