When it comes to transferring money abroad, it can be nerve-wracking to send a large sum to or from a bank that you’re not familiar with. How do you know you can trust them with your money and that the funds will reach the right person? If you know what signs to look for, you’ll be able to decide whether a foreign bank can be trusted or not.
What Makes a Foreign Bank Trustworthy?
For starters, what is it about banks that makes us trust them more or less? Most banks will project an image of grandeur to make themselves seem trustworthy, but you need to look at a few details to decide for yourself whether or not to continue transferring money to a foreign bank account with them. Here are a few details to look out for.
Find out how much the foreign bank charges for an overseas bank transfer. Most banks charge around 5%, so if a bank is charging a fee that’s much higher or lower, that should be the first red flag.
What information are they asking for to complete an international bank transfer? Generally, you might be asked for any of the following:
- IBAN or account number
- Name of the recipient
- SWIFT or BIC code
- Receiving bank name and address
If they ask you for other details, like a social insurance number, your account PIN number, or anything else that seems off, then you might want to work with a different bank.
Before you begin the global money transfer process, try and reach out to the foreign bank’s customer service to see what they’re like. Are they responsive and available, or are they difficult to reach? If you get a good feeling from chatting with a bank’s customer service team, you know you can trust them to help you out if you run into any issues with your international bank transfer.
Wire Transfer Security
Does the bank offer any sort of extra security for overseas bank transfers? For example, they might first want to confirm the exact account name of the payee before authorizing the transfer to ensure the money is going to the right person.
Alternatives to Transferring Money With a Foreign Bank
If you want to save yourself the headache of figuring out whether a foreign bank is trustworthy or not, there are other ways for you to send money overseas. For example, there are online services that allow you to send money to family or friends around the world safely, quickly, and often have better rates than traditional banks. Some of these digital services can even be accessed on your phone through an app, so you can send money anytime from anywhere without having to visit a bank.
Most of the time, banks are trustworthy institutions, but if you’re working with a foreign bank that you are unfamiliar with, it can take a while for you to trust them completely. Make sure to do your research on a foreign bank before you use them to send or receive a wire transfer, and if you’re ever unsure whether or not a bank can be trusted, it’s best to go with what your gut tells you. In that case, you can always look into secure online bank transfer services as another option.