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How To Make an International Money Transfer

by Brent May

Sending money internationally is a lot easier these days than when we could only rely on our bank. No matter where you are in the world, you will find that sending money to Mexico is a straightforward process. You have several options for getting your funds to Mexico, getting a good deal on the money exchange and transfer and getting the money there quickly and safely. Our team of experts is always here to help.

Here, we’ll cover how you can do just that and the information you’ll need to get started.


Banks vs. money transfer services

With international wire transfers, when relying on your bank only, most bank tellers do not have much or any experience in doing international wire transfers. It is a process involving many details, it can be a long process and mistakes can be made. Often these small mistakes can result in money being lost in cyberspace and then the bank having to make a recall to get the money back. The money can be traced and found, but this stressful process could easily take a couple of weeks.

In addition, if your bank does not have an established relationship with the receiving bank in Mexico, the wire will pass through an intermediary bank which will slow down the process. Other factors that make wire transfers slower can include your payment method, weekends and holidays, cut-off times and time zones.

In a best-case scenario, international wire transfers through the bank take 3-5 business days. However, in some cases, funds may not actually clear for a couple of weeks.  After the transfer is made at your bank, as seller representatives, we check the bank accounts every day to see if the funds were received. It’s a stressful process for the buyer and the seller, the agent and the team.


Benefits of using money transfer services

Our recommendation is to always use a money exchange transfer service. There are a couple of big benefits to using one of these services.

  1. The day the transfer happens, it is instantly posted in our escrow account. We know immediately that the transfer was successful the same day it was made or at the latest, the next morning. The funds won’t be available for a couple more days while they’re cleared, but we know the funds are there and the buyer, the seller and our team doesn’t have any stress.
  2. When exchange is involved, often Canadian dollars to US dollars or Canadian dollars or US dollars to Mexican pesos, the money transfer exchange service will typically give better exchange rates than the banks. Banks also charge higher fixed fees for a wire transfer. When transferring a large amount, this is a big factor to consider.

Overall, these money exchange transfer services provide better quality service. We’ve had success every time using a transfer service. Read below to get started on the best ways to send money to Mexico with a money transfer service.


How to Send Money to Mexico

If you’re looking to send money to Mexico for payment of your new ocean view home, for example, the steps are simple and easy.

Read more: How Many Paths Lead to Huatulco: One Expat’s Perspective

International Money Transfer

Choosing a money transfer service

First, you will choose the best money transfer service for your circumstances. To choose a provider, look at transfer fees, exchange rates, payment methods, transfer times and anything else you need. Using these parameters, you will be able to choose a service that supports exchange and transfer among the currencies you are using and that provides the best deal.

Most of the services will provide exchange and transfer between Canadian and US dollars and Mexican pesos. Then, the services differ in how they collect their fees. Usually, either they charge a fee for providing the transfer or they do not charge a separate fee but provide a lower exchange rate. This is a calculation you can check out by looking at comparison tables online. If you type “money transfer to Mexico” into your search browser, you will find several sites providing comparisons between providers. This may help you in your research for making your choice of a service that is right for you.


Registering with your chosen international money transfer service

This is the nuts-and-bolts part of the process. It is typically easy and does not take much time. Have your basic documents on hand: photo id, proof of address, email. Most of the services require your name and email only. Others may verify your identity and address.

You can sign up on the website or through a mobile app. You can also do the money transfers on the website or app.  


Starting your transfer

You will first add funds to your new money transfer service account usually through a local bank transfer. Then you will need your recipient’s name as it appears on their government-issued id, their contact info and their bank account information. For Mexico, you will provide the beneficiary bank, the CLABE (Clave Bancaria Estandarizada) which is an 18-digit code with the bank code, branch office, account number and control digit. Your recipient will send you all of this. You will enter the sum you are transferring, the currencies you are transferring from and to, and your payment details. You will be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take.


In sum, using banks can work but we have had issues where money has been lost and the bank has had to trace money for up to 2 weeks which delays the transaction and could even result in breach of contract. Typically, everyone is understanding in these situations, but it is an experience that can be avoided.

Our clients have used different money exchange transfer services. We can recommend Firmafx.ca, OFX, XE.com, Wise (formerly TransferWise), and KnightsbridgeFX out of Toronto. There are many others. Do a little research before deciding on a provider to compare their rates, currency exchange, speed of transfer, transfer limits and convenience. This will ensure your money gets moving quickly and smoothly.

As always, reach out to us at Mexico Living when you have questions about purchasing your dream home in Mexico. Also, check out our blog with our “How To” articles to help you in your process of moving to Mexico.

Read more:

 How To Open a Bank Account in Mexico

How To Get a Permanent Resident Permit in Mexico

How to Buy a Car in Mexico

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