It’s a big moment in a parent’s life when they wave their child off on the adventure of studying abroad. While there is bound to be anxiety, it’s also exciting to know that they’re fulfilling a dream. But life doesn’t always go according to plan, and overseas students can find themselves in urgent need of funds. What’s the best way for a parent to help?
First of all, don’t worry. Nobody likes to get that phone call in the middle of the night or wake up to a string of urgent emails, but it’s never been easier to send money safely and directly to the person who needs it.
Sending Money Using Your Bank
Traditionally, the high street bank has been the first stop for international money transfers: most banks will offer the service to anyone holding an account with them. The bank will guide you through the process.
You’ll need the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identifying Code) of your own account and your child’s. The downside is the fees – it can cost a fair few pounds to send even a small amount of emergency money abroad. You’ll usually need to pay £15-£30, and if you need an express service, the cost could be even higher. It can take up to five days for a transfer to go through. You may also find the foreign bank charges to receive the funds. You won’t lose any money if things go awry, however, as banks are covered by the Financial Conduct Authority.
High Street Money Transfer Services
Another option is the high street money transfer service, such as MoneyGram, often found in the Post Office. These are easy to set up, but again fees can be high, and you won’t get the protection that you do when you use your bank – so there’s no compensation if your money goes astray. You can hand over the funds in whatever form you like, and you’ll get a reference number – this is the key to unlock the funds, so it needs to be given only to your child and no one else. Make sure your child will be able to get to the place where the money will end up.
Using An Online Money Transfer Service
Going online to send urgent funds has never been easier or safer. Money transfer services like Transferwise are made to make the process as simple and quick as possible, and enable you to save on bank transfer fees.
Fees are calculated using the real mid-market rate, and it’s always made clear what you’ll be paying. Transferwise is protected by the FCA and is registered with HMRC. You have the option of paying from your bank, with a debit, credit card or Apple Pay and it works on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Plus, 90% of all transfers are processed in just one day.
So whatever the situation, there’s a way to make sure your child gets the money they need.