Sending money abroad is a subject that crops up regularly on many expat forums here in Dubai. Did you know that using a currency broker can save you substantial amounts compared to a bank or foreign exchange and, in some cases, even make you money!
We asked our colleague Ana, account manager at IFX, our preferred international exchange partner, to give us the lowdown on transferring money abroad.
Firstly, please tell us a little about IFX
IFX Payments is foreign exchange and payments remittance provider offering competitive foreign exchange rates and a higher quality, more responsive service. This is a great solution for people moving funds internationally for either personal or business purposes. Our Head Office is based in London and we have a representative office in Dubai in DIFC.
Why should I use a foreign exchange company rather than my own bank?
Foreign exchange is our core business and our service is very personalised, which means that we take the time to understand client’s needs and timescales. We do not have as many overheads as the bank, which enables us to offer more competitive rates over the bank. Apart from providing clients with better exchange rates, we help time transfers by watching the markets and giving market updates and forecasts. Banks rarely go to such lengths when it comes to international money transfers.
What are the associated fees with transferring money and is there a minimum amount required?
We do not have minimum and maximum amount, however, savings are best demonstrated on amounts of AED 40,000 +. The IFX fixed transfer fee is AED 50 and this is a flat fee regardless of the amount.
How long does it take for my money to reach the account I’m transferring to?
It usually takes 1-3 working days depending on the currency pair. For example, transfers within Europe would typically take 1 working day and transfers between UAE and Europe would take 2 working days.
What are the implications of Brexit for the dirham versus the pound?
There’s two angles we need to look at here, sterling and the US Dollar as the Dirham is pegged and moves in the same direction. Brexit uncertainty has caused volatility in the pound and depending on the outcome or a clearer path to Brexit we anticipate that this will continue. The USD dollar has a number of factors that are pointing in the direction that it may weaken. Their interest rate hikes projections are not as aggressive as previous years, the US/China trade disputes will have an impact along with other geo political issues.
The outcome of Brexit is weighing heavily on the pound. As we stand there are three outcomes that will affect the pounds performance:-
1. No Deal Scenario the pound is most likely to weaken
2. A revised deal we may see the pound weaken then strengthen
3. A second referendum could strengthen the pound then leave an uncertain outcome to the pound’s performance
In all cases here the markets are moving politically. In a time of uncertainty having a broker to guide and time the trade will help achieve a more competitive price.