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Are bank telegraphic transfers the best way to send money overseas? | BigPay


Is your money a frequent flyer out of Malaysia?


Whether it’s for your family abroad or for your child’s education, sending money overseas can get costly if you’re not doing it optimally.


And, chances are, you’ve heard of bank telegraphic transfers as a popular way of sending money internationally. You might even be using it regularly!


But are telegraphic transfers offered by banks the best way to transfer money internationally, or is there a better alternative out there?


In this article, we’ll cover what exactly is a bank telegraphic transfer (otherwise known as foreign telegraphic transfer or just “tt transfer”), its various fees as well as what’s a great alternative you should consider using to send money overseas.

What exactly is a bank foreign telegraphic transfer?

In the past, sending money internationally from Malaysia means a long and tedious process of visiting banks to request for a foreign telegraphic transfer.

The term “telegraphic transfer” can be traced to dated way banks used to send your money overseas to another bank. They were done via a network of teleprinters, also known as Telex, that sends simplistic messages which arrange the transfer of funds from one bank to another.


While this technology predates even the fax machine and has been replaced by electronic means of transferring money, the term “telegraphic transfer” has remained in use, and nowadays simply refers to a wire transfer or a SWIFT transfer by a local bank to another bank overseas.


Bank telegraphic transfers are known for charging fees


If you’ve performed telegraphic transfers on a regular basis, you’ll know fees are widely accepted as a necessary evil even though they can add up significantly.


Here are some common fees that banks charge:


  • Sender’s bank fees These are fees determined and charged to you by the bank you’re sending the money from. In Malaysia, they’re likely to vary between RM5 all the way to RM50.

  • Exchange rates and their margins While not exactly a fee per se, it’s an open secret that banks charge you an extra markup as a way to earn profit from your transfers. While the rates and margins will vary according to the bank, you’ll more often than not get on the worse-end of the exchange rate!

  • Recipient’s bank fees (also known as beneficiary fees) This is likely the most significant fee that you’ll be charged when you send money overseas via bank telegraphic transfers. The recipient’s bank fees are charged to the amount you send by the bank receiving your money. This is often an amount that is not disclosed by the sender bank and is charged at the convenience of the recipient bank.


This means more fees you’ll pay, and less money you’ll receive on the recipient end!



What’s the better alternative to bank telegraphic transfers?


If you're going to send large amounts of money overseas regularly, it’s good to get a clear picture of the different charges, fees, and exchange rates that will affect the final amount on the recipient end.


While there’s no “best” bank out there for telegraphic transfers, why not give BigPay a try?

Here are just a few reasons why we think you’ll love BigPay if you’re planning to send money overseas:


1. BigPay charges flat fees versus unknown beneficiary fees


As mentioned, banks charge transfer fees that are in the range of RM 5 to RM 30. BigPay charges this too - and we know it could even be slightly higher than banks. (For example, BigPay charges RM15 to transfer to Australia vs Maybank’s RM10)


But here’s the catch - with banks, you can rarely be sure of the beneficiary fees you’ll be charged at the end. If you’ve sent money overseas before, you’ll know that it’s definitely much higher than the RM5 difference above!


BigPay does not charge beneficiary fees. You’ll be guaranteed the peace of mind of flat and transparent fees. This simply means you’ll definitely pay less in charges, and send more to your recipient!



2. Sending money with BigPay is an easy, intuitive experience

Since day one at BigPay, we believe that transferring money internationally should be as easy as sending money to a friend after a meal.


However, many banks out there are yet to offer mobile-first international transfers. Take Maybank’s Foreign Telegraphic Transfer for example - it’s only available via Maybank2u on a web browser. That means for every transfer, you’ll have to:


  • Access a web browser via mobile or desktop

  • Visit the Maybank2u website

  • Key in your user ID, wait, then key in your password

  • Navigate to Maybank’s Foreign Telegraphic Transfer


Instead, with BigPay, your international transfers can be easily done on a mobile app in a few simple steps within a matter of minutes!



3. You can save money with one of the best rates in town


Many remittances or international money transfer service providers out there will often tout low rates or even the lowest-in-market rates to get you to send money with them.


However, more often than not, it’ll be a mid-market rate with a hidden, hefty fee applied on top of the total amount. This adds up significantly if you’re sending money regularly.


At BigPay, there are no hidden fees applied to our international bank transfer exchange rates. It’ll be a fixed fee regardless of how much you decide to send. Transparency is the name of our game!


You’ll often find BigPay’s rates competitively priced or best in the market, and we deliver your money to Singapore, India, or China in as fast as 5 minutes!


That’s why you’ll often find that sending money with BigPay is cheaper or just as competitive in terms of rates with many of the big banks’ telegraphic transfers out there.


In fact, we update our exchange rates daily at 11 AM on Mondays to Fridays. Simply join our Telegram group here to get daily updates!



4. Your money is in safe hands with BigPay You can be 100% assured that your money is totally safe and secured when you’re using BigPay.


Here are some rock-solid reasons why:


  • BigPay is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as well as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

  • BigPay is part of the AirAsia Group of companies, and we’re just as trusted by the public as our iconic airline family

  • A BigPay account and card is free to get and free to keep, with no annual or monthly fees charged

  • The initial required top-up (RM20 or SGD $20) isn’t a fee: you can spend it after getting your card


BigPay International Bank Transfers: cheaper, faster, better than bank telegraphic transfers


If you’re looking for an alternative way to send money overseas while enjoying less charges and more convenience, we believe BigPay is the way to go.


Whether it’s for a one-time basis or periodically sending money, try BigPay. We think you’ll love it!


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