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What Are the Safest Ways to Send Money Internationally?

What Are the Safest Ways to Send Money Internationally?

July 2, 2024 9 min read

Woman at the bank sending money.

Sending money to someone in another country has never been easier — and it has a ton of benefits. The ability to send money overseas makes it easier to help loved ones living abroad pay for education, health care, or everyday expenses. You can also use it to pay for goods and services you can’t find where you live. Transferring money overseas is even a great way to prepare for a move to a new country or invest in global opportunities.

Whatever your reasons for sending money internationally, you have to make sure you’re using a service you can trust. Fraud, identity theft, and scammers are all problems to worry about. Luckily, there are plenty of safe ways to send money to someone. We’ve curated the safest ways to transfer money internationally to put you at ease during your next transaction. 

Safety Concerns With International Money Transfers

Here’s the thing: International money transfers are typically safe. In fact, people safely made over $836 billion in international money transfers in 2022 alone. Still, there are certain safety concerns you need to be aware of before you make an international money transfer.

  • Fake and fraudulent transfers: One of the biggest concerns when sending money abroad is choosing a safe and reliable provider. If a service seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some scammers pose as legitimate companies, only to steal your money when you give them your bank information.
  • Hackers: Even with a reputable transfer partner, your money may be at risk if you’re not using a secure network to send your information. For example, if you’re entering your bank account information on an unsecured Wi-Fi network, a hacker could steal that information and use it to redirect the transfer to their account.
  • Identity theft: Another issue with hackers and fake transfers is the risk of identity theft. Your bank account numbers and personal information might be enough for someone to steal your identity. They might create additional fake wire transfers, open up new lines of credit, or even take out loans, all in your name.
  • Sending money to the wrong person: While this isn’t as scary as some of the other concerns on this list, it can still be a problem. If you make a small typo on your transfer, you may end up sending the money to the wrong person. In most cases, you can’t reverse a transfer once the recipient receives the money, so you’d be out of luck.

Safest Options for Sending Money Overseas

Don’t let the above threats scare you — there are plenty of ways to send a safe international money transfer. Here are a few of the safest ways to send money overseas to get you started.

Wire Transfers

Wire transfers are a way to electronically send money to a recipient in another country. Typically, they’re completed from bank to bank and take a few days from start to finish.

To complete a wire transfer, you’ll need to have the recipient’s personal information, including their name, address, and bank account number. You’ll also need to know their bank’s specific address and routing number. After providing this information, you’ll pay an international outgoing wire transfer fee, which varies depending on the bank. The person you’re sending money to may also need to pay an incoming wire transfer fee. On average, bank fees are 11.48% of the total transfer amount.

Once you pay the fee, the bank will begin the transfer using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messaging network. Most international financial institutions use SWIFT, and every institution has a unique ID code to identify itself. This secure system is the main way banks make sure wire transfers are completed safely. 

The United States has additional wire transfer safety protocols defined in the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. This piece of legislation has a few components, including setting liability limits for any unauthorized transfers. So if someone does hack your account and perform an unauthorized transaction, you might not be liable if you report the incident within two days.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also regulates international money transfers to make them safer for consumers — including a 2012 rule that requires transfer providers to disclose all exchange rates and fees ahead of time.

Digital Wallets

If you don’t want to use a wire transfer, then a digital wallet is another safe way to send money overseas. A digital wallet is a peer-to-peer app that allows you to send money directly to your international recipient.

The exact process varies depending on the wallet you use, but typically, wallets partner with an international money transfer service to move your dollars across borders. Some let you specifically send cash directly to your recipient’s wallet, while others will allow you to make a transfer into their bank account or a Visa debit card.

This process is likely easier and cheaper than sending a wire transfer, but it poses slightly more risks. Because you’ll be conducting your transfer in an app, you need to assess the app’s security first. At a minimum, you want the app to be encrypted and have 24/7 fraud monitoring to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your information.

Crypto Transfer

Another option for sending money internationally is a crypto transfer. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized, digital currencies not attached to any one country — so they’re actually an optimal choice for sending abroad because you won’t pay exchange fees.

Cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy crypto using your local currency. Once you purchase crypto, you store it in a crypto wallet. Everyone’s crypto wallet has a unique address that allows them to send and receive crypto.

To send crypto to someone, you’ll need to get their wallet address. These are long strings of characters, so many crypto wallets have QR codes that you can scan instead — just have your recipient send you theirs. Then, choose how much you want to send and confirm the transaction. It should take just a few minutes for the crypto to transfer to the recipient, making this one of the fastest ways to send money internationally. Once your recipient has the crypto, they can convert it to their local currency and transfer it to their bank account.

As far as safety goes, crypto transfers are in a bit of a gray area. That’s because cryptocurrency is largely unregulated on a federal and international level. If you accidentally send crypto to the wrong person or are a victim of crypto fraud, you likely won’t be able to get any help getting your money back.

Money Transfer Services

Perhaps the safest way to transfer money internationally is through a money transfer service. Unlike banks, which provide dozens of services, these are agencies solely dedicated to completing money transfers between users. Because of that, they’re more likely to be experts in answering your questions and helping you feel secure with your transfer.

Also unlike banks, money transfer services can sometimes finish your transfer in minutes instead of days. This makes them the ideal choice if you need to get money to someone in a hurry.

Again, the process for sending money varies depending on the transfer service you choose. But typically, most require you to have the recipient’s bank account and personal information and pay a small fee.

Money transfer services have to follow the same security protocols as banks when sending money overseas, so you can rest assured they’re a safe pick. But again, you have to make sure you’re choosing a service that has good in-app security, a solid error resolution policy, and fraud prevention protocols. Luckily, we have just the option for you — Ria Money Transfer.

Sending Money Overseas With Ria

Ria is one of the safest — and easiest — ways to send money overseas. You’re able to send money to over 190 countries across the globe in three different ways: online, through the mobile app, and in person.

Sending money through the Ria website is simple — you’ll just create an account, choose the country where you want to send money, and add the payment amount. Then, decide how the recipient will receive the money, enter their data, and confirm the transaction. It works just the same way on the app.

If you want an in-person transaction, Ria money transfer is available at over 500,000 physical locations across the globe, meaning there’s sure to be an option near you. Just bring your valid ID and your recipient’s full name, and the store staff will guide you through the rest of the process.

The fastest way to send money is with a card payment — it takes just 15 minutes to three hours to arrive. Cash deposits are also fast, getting there in just one business day. Bank account transfers can take up to four business days, but as we mentioned above, this is standard for wire transfers.

The best part? Your recipient can also pick up the money you sent at one of our 500,000 locations, giving them fast in-person access to cash. No matter which method you choose, there are no hidden fees.

Throughout the entire money transfer process, Ria keeps you and your money safe with identity verification. We always check to make sure it’s actually you sending money and not an anonymous hacker halfway across the world. If we spot an issue, we have a world-class security team working 24/7 to start troubleshooting. And just as an extra precaution, we never store your payment info on our servers — that way, your data won’t be leaked if there’s ever a breach in our system.

How to Safely Send Money Overseas With Ria

If you’ve decided to use Ria for your international money transfer, you’re in good hands. Even so, we have a few additional tips to make your experience as safe as possible.

  • Make sure you’re on a secure Wi-Fi network or using a virtual private network (VPN). Don’t get us wrong, the Ria app is secure. But even we can’t fight against hackers who gain access to your phone or computer via your internet. Avoid using public, unsecured networks when sending transfers, or consider subscribing to a VPN to mask your internet activity.
  • Double-check all information. We’ll do our part to make sure your recipient is correct, but ultimately, it’s up to you to provide us with the right information. Make sure you have their accurate full name, phone number, and bank account details to avoid delays or money being sent to the wrong person.
  • Verify your bank account. If you plan to send money using a bank account, this step isn’t optional. It’s one of the ways we make sure you own the account you’re using to fund the transaction. Ria uses Plaid’s instant verification technology to quickly and easily confirm you have legitimate access to the account you want to use.
  • Stay aware of common scams. Scammers are creative, and they’re always coming up with new ways to steal your money. For example, many people make fake accounts on dating sites, match with strangers, and then request money for an emergency. Others may claim you won the lottery but just need to send a small deposit to claim your prize. If you’re sending money to someone you don’t know, always do a little research before transferring money with Ria to make sure it’s not a scam.

Ria: The Safe Choice for Your International Money Transfer

Ria has completed over a billion safe transfers — and counting. With our industry-leading security tools, including our 24/7 fraud team and rigorous ID verification protocols, we’re an extremely safe international money transfer option. Whether you want to send money online, in our app, or in person, we’ve got you covered. Get started with your safe international money transfer now.

About the author

Gabriela Solis

Gabriela Solis is Ria's Senior Content Writer. Located in Querétaro, México, she focuses on telling stories that show the myriad human faces of remittances.

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