Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is one of the top Irish banks and they offer several ways for you to make international payments. Here’s our guide to what you need to know if you’re looking to make an international transfer with AIB, including what information you need to provide and what it will cost you. Including how you could likely save with TransferWise. But more on that later.
A quick example before we get started.
A theoretical online bank transfer at standard speed sending €1000 from Ireland to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.
While it may look like you’re just comparing the fees at first glance, it isn’t just the stated fees you need to pay attention to.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|AIB (Ireland)||€15||Exchange rate + markup||€15 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from both intermediary and recipient banks|
|TransferWise||€4.98||The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google||€4.98|
What isn’t often mentioned is that, on average, banks and money transfer providers often mark up an exchange rate by 4-6% to make money on converting your currency. Which means it’s a good idea to compare the exchange rate you’re offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.
In addition, nearly all transfers sent internationally are sent via SWIFT. Which means there are likely 1-3 intermediary banks in addition to the recipient bank that may levy fees of their own. Costing you even more.
The fees below only apply to transfers sent electronically via AIB.
|AIB Transaction||Regular fees for electronic transfers|
|Incoming international euro transfer (InPay Euro)||Euro payments from SEPA zone countries: €0|
|Incoming international non-euro transfer (InPay Global)||Less than €127: €0More than €127: €6.35|
|Outgoing international euro transfer to SEPA zone countries (Paylink Euro)||Standard speed: €0Urgent speed: $12.70|
|Outgoing international non-euro transfer (Paylink)||Standard speed: €15Urgent speed: €22.50|
|Additional fees may apply||See Additional Fees section below|
Those are the fees that AIB currently charges for international payments made online - there’s a different set of fees if you go into a branch and make the transfer. There also may be additional fees charged by other banks involved in the transfer. The details of your particular case might be different, so it’s best to check directly with AIB if you want to be completely sure of what they’ll charge you. For more, take a read of the ‘Additional Fees’ section of this guide.
(Source 17 January 2018)
What you may not realize is that the exchange rate might end up costing you, as well. When banks make international transfers, they’re able to set their own exchange rates, so they won’t be as good value for you as the mid-market rates quoted on Google or XE.
Many times in a non-euro international transfer, it’s actually one of the intermediary banks or even the recipient bank that does the converting. If that’s the case, AIB’s exchange rates won’t help much. However, if AIB is the bank that ends up converting your money, they do list their sell rates, which may be the rate that they will use. However, as AIB notes themselves,
These rates are variable and subject to change and/or withdrawal, without notice, at any time.
So, before you commit, make sure you’re getting a good rate by checking an online currency converter to compare the real exchange rate with the one you’re being offered.
(Source 26 Jan 2018)
There might be costs other than those set by AIB themselves: sometimes, intermediary banks also get involved in the transfer, and they normally charge a fee too.
With AIB, the costs are done on a shared basis if you do the transfer online:
- the sender pays the fees set by AIB
- the recipient pays all the other fees
If you do the transfer by paper in a branch, you have the option to pay all the charges yourself - but that only applies to non-EU payments. Within the EU payment area, intermediary banks can’t charge for a euro payment, although the receiving bank can, and costs have to be shared.
|AIB international transfers||Additional fees|
|Receiving bank fees (EEA payments)||If the receiving bank charges a fee, under EU law this must be paid by the receiver.|
|Intermediary and/or receiving bank fees (non-EEA payments)||AIB notes, “Charges may be deducted or claimed by intermediary and/or receiver banks, for payment routing, transaction handling or where amendments/investigations/cancellations to instructions are requested.” With AIB, costs are shared between sender and receiver if the payment is made online, but if you make a paper transfer you can choose to pay all costs yourself.|
|SWIFT transmission charge||If your transfer is made using SWIFT, there might be a charge up to a maximum of €6.35.|
Take a look at AIB’s schedule of international transaction charges in case any other additional payments might be applicable to you.
TransferWise is an alternative way to send money internationally. They use the same exchange rate you’ll find on Google or XE, which will likely work out far more in your favour than a rate set by a bank. They also only charge one simple fee, stated upfront, based on the amount you want to transfer. You can see the exact exchange rate used before you make the transfer, and there won’t be any charges from intermediary banks.
If you often need access to multiple currencies or money in several countries, a borderless multi-currency account can help you even more. It lets you hold money in up to 27 different currencies, and you can take money out at any time in pounds, euros, Australian dollars or US dollars. It’s as if you have local accounts in multiple countries, so it can really simplify the process of travelling abroad or paying people in other countries. Also, by 2018 Borderless account holders will have access to consumer debit cards.
There are 2 ways you can make an international payment with AIB: you can use their online banking service or go through the branch. AIB recommends the online option as cheaper and easier.
If you want to make the transfer online, you’ll need to be sign up with AIB’s internet banking service. Once you’re registered, make sure you have your login details - when you’re logged in, go to the ‘Transfers and Payments’ section and follow the options. You might need a code card or card reader to verify the transaction. If you go to a branch, there’s a form to fill out which a teller will talk you through.
There are 2 methods for making international payments:
- Paylink Euro, which is for euro payments to countries in the EU
- Paylink, which is for other payments
(Source 24 Jan 2018)
The first thing you’ll need online is your login information, and have your code card or card reader at the ready too. You’ll also need the following details:
- The recipient’s name and address
- The recipient’s IBAN or other account number
- The recipient’s BIC, if the payment is going outside the EU - or the bank branch’s full name and address
- The bank branch’s national bank code if they don’t have an IBAN
To receive an international payment to your AIB account, you should check exactly what information the sender requires. To be safe, you should provide the following information:
- Your name and address
- Your bank’s name and address
- Your IBAN
- Your BIC
AIB offers standard and urgent international payment services, so the speed of the transfer depends on which of those options you choose. A standard SEPA payment, via their Paylink Euro service, takes 1 business day at most, while an urgent one may be done on the same day. Other payments are done by their Paylink service: standard payments take 2-4 business days, while urgent payments might be done on the same day. It often takes longer if you do the request by paper, rather than online.
To ensure the fastest possible transfer, you should meet AIB’s cutoff times - the latest times in the day you can request the payment and expect the turnaround times listed above to be met. AIB has a range of different cutoff times depending on the currency, and also on whether the payment is standard or urgent - take a look at the list of cutoff times by currency on their website.
(Source 17 January 2018)
- AIB’s frequently asked questions about international payments goes into more detail about their system.
- Their phone number for further advice is 0818 724 724, or +353 1 771 2424 from outside the Republic of Ireland.
The most important thing about making an international money transfer is to know how much money will end up in your destination account, compared to how much you send in the first place. Before you make your transfer, make sure you know the full range of costs involved, including what sort of exchange rate you’ll get.
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