A Guide to Receiving Money From Abroad 

A Guide to Receiving Money From Abroad 

Are you living in the UK and expecting to receive money from abroad? It can be a tricky process navigating the complexities of international money transfers, but not necessarily. This comprehensive guide to receiving money from abroad to the UK provides you with the information you need to understand the process and receive money from abroad successfully.

Common Reasons for Money From Abroad to the UK 

Family Emergencies 

When a family member has an emergency and needs money fast, sending money from abroad is often the best option. The sender can use a service like Western Union or MoneyGram to send the money quickly, and the recipient can pick it up at a local agent’s location. 

Education Expenses 

Many students who study abroad have parents or relatives who want to help them with expenses. Sending money from abroad is a convenient way to do this, and there are many options for how the student can receive the funds. For example, they could open a local bank account and transfer the money into that account or use a service like PayPal to receive the funds. 

Charity Donations 

People who want to donate to charities in other countries often do so by sending money from abroad. This is because it can be difficult to find charities that operate in other countries, and it is often easier and cheaper to send money than it is to ship goods. 

Business Transactions 

Businesses often need to send or receive payments from partners or customers in other countries. For example, a company in the UK might need to pay for goods that were shipped from China. To do this, they would typically use a bank transfer or a money transfer service.

The Process of Receiving Money From Abroad to the UK

If you want to receive money from abroad, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to have a bank account in the UK. You’ll also need the sender’s name, address, and bank account information. Finally, you’ll need to know the amount of money being sent and the currency it’s being sent in. 

Once you have all of this information, you can start the process of receiving the money. The first step is contacting your bank and informing them you’re expecting a payment from abroad. They’ll likely ask for some or all of the information listed above. Once they have everything they need, they’ll be able to process the payment and deposit the funds into your account. 

It’s important to note that there may be fees associated with receiving money from abroad. These fees will vary depending on your bank and the country the money is coming from. Be sure to ask about any potential fees before initiating the transfer so there are no surprises later on. 

The Benefits of Receiving Money From Abroad to the UK

There are a number of reasons why receiving money from abroad can be beneficial. Firstly, it can be a great way to support friends or family who live overseas. Secondly, it can help you to save money on international transfer fees. Thirdly, it can allow you to access foreign currency at more favourable rates. Finally, it can give you the peace of mind that your loved ones are financially protected in the event of an emergency. 

There are a number of things that you can do with the money you receive from abroad. You could use it to pay for goods or services online, send it as a gift to friends or family, or use it to top up your UK bank account. Alternatively, you could invest the money in a foreign currency account, which could offer higher interest rates than savings accounts in the UK. 

The Risks of Receiving Money From Abroad to the UK

You need to be aware of when receiving money from abroad to avoid any potential risks. Firstly, you need to make sure that the sender is reputable and reliable. Secondly, you need to be aware of any potential fees or charges associated with receiving the money. And finally, you need to make sure that the money is being sent through a secure and regulated channel. 

If you don’t take care when receiving money from abroad, there are a few potential risks that you could face. For example, you could end up losing money if the sender is not reputable or reliable. You could also end up paying hidden fees or charges, which could reduce the amount of money you receive. And finally, if the money is not sent through a secure and regulated channel, there is a risk that it could be lost or stolen en route. 

Best Ways to Receive Money From Abroad to the UK 

Through a Specialist Money Transfer Service 

There are many specialist money transfer services that can be used to receive money from abroad to the UK. There are usually lower fees and better exchange rates with these services than with banks, making them a more cost-effective option for receiving international payments. 

Some of the most popular specialist money transfer services include Wise and WorldRemit.

To use these services, you will simply need to create an account and provide the required details of the recipient (including their name, address, and bank account details). 

Once you have set up an account with a specialist money transfer service, receiving money from abroad is typically quick and easy. In most cases, the funds will be available in the recipient’s UK bank account within 1-2 days. 

An International Money Transfer From Bank

There are a few ways to receive money from abroad to the UK, but one of the most common is through an international money transfer from a sender’s bank. This can be done online, over the phone, or in person at a physical bank branch. The process may vary slightly depending on which method you choose, but overall it is relatively simple. 

One of the benefits of using an international money transfer from a bank is that it can be relatively inexpensive. In addition, many banks offer additional services such as currency conversion, which can be helpful if you are receiving money in a foreign currency. Another benefit is that banks typically have large networks of branches and ATMs, so it may be easier to access your funds once they have been transferred. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing this option: 

  • Make sure you understand any fees that may be attached to the transfer

There may be a difference in these fees depending on the sending and receiving banks, as well as the amount of money being transferred. 

  • Be aware of the exchange rate

If you are receiving foreign currency, make sure you know how much it is worth in pounds sterling before accepting the transfer. Otherwise, you may end up with less money than you were expecting. 

  • Consider setting up account alerts

This can help you track your balance and avoid any surprises later on down the road. 

Cash Pickup 

If you need to receive money from abroad quickly, one option is to arrange a cash pickup. This involves the sender sending money to a designated agent or location, where you can then collect it in person. 

One advantage of this method is that it is often instantaneous – as soon as the sender has sent the money, it will be available for you to collect. This can be important if you are receiving an emergency payment or need the funds urgently. 

Another benefit is that there is usually no limit on the amount of money you can receive – so if you are expecting a large sum, this could be a convenient option. 

There are some downsides to consider, too, however. Firstly, depending on the agent or location chosen, you may have to travel some distance to collect your cash – so this might not be suitable if you are not able to get around easily. Secondly, there is always the risk that something could happen to the money before you collect it – so it’s important to make sure that you trust the sender and that they have used a reputable transfer service.

If you do decide to go ahead with a cash pickup, there are a few things you’ll need to do first. Firstly, you’ll need to provide the sender with your full name and contact details so that they can arrange the transfer. You’ll also need to choose a convenient location for collection – this might be an airport, train station or post office, for example. Once everything is arranged, all you need to do is wait for the funds to arrive and then go and collect them! 

Home Delivery 

There are a few different ways that you can have the money delivered to your home when receiving payments from abroad. The most common method is through a bank draft, which is essentially a cheque that is sent from the sender’s bank to your bank. This can take a few days to clear, so it’s not the fastest option. 

Another option for home delivery is through an international money order. This is similar to a bank draft, but it’s processed by a third party instead of going directly from one bank to another. Money orders can be sent electronically or through the postal service, and they usually clear more quickly than bank drafts. 

Finally, you can also receive cash at home through a cash pickup service. With this option, the sender arranges for someone to come to your house and deliver the cash in person. This is generally the fastest way to get paid, but it may not be available in all areas. 

Mobile Wallets 

A mobile wallet is a digital wallet that stores your money and allows you to make payments using your mobile phone. Mobile wallets come in many forms, but the most popular ones in the UK are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay

To use a mobile wallet, you first need to add your credit or debit card details to the app. Once your card is added, you can then use your mobile phone to tap and pay for goods and services at any contactless payment terminal. You can also use your mobile wallet to make online payments. 

Mobile wallets are a convenient way to pay for things, as you don’t have to carry around cash or cards. They’re also generally very secure, as they use either fingerprint or PIN authentication to prevent unauthorised payments. 

How Long Does It Take to Receive an Overseas Transfer?

It typically takes 3-5 business days for an overseas bank transfer to arrive in a UK bank account. This timing can be affected by weekends and public holidays, as well as the sending and receiving banks’ processes. Some banks may offer a faster service for an additional fee. 

There are a few things that you can do to help ensure that your overseas bank transfer arrives quickly and without any issues: 

  • Check with your sending bank to see if they offer a fast or express service

If so, find out about any associated fees and whether the recipient bank will accept such transfers. 

  • Make sure you have all the necessary information from the sender, including their full name, address, phone number, and the amount of money being sent

You will also need the sender’s bank account details, as well as the name and address of the recipient bank. 

  • Check with your recipient bank to see if they have any special requirements for overseas transfers

For example, some banks may require that the sender’s name is included in the message field of the transfer request form. 

Are There Costs Involved With Receiving Money From Abroad? 

There are a few potential costs involved with receiving money from abroad. First, your bank may charge a fee for processing the international transaction. Second, if the currency you are receiving is different from the currency of your account, you may be charged a currency conversion fee. Finally, depending on how the money is being sent (e.g., via wire transfer), there may also be fees charged by the sending bank or financial institution. 

Assuming the sender charges no fees, you can expect to pay around £5-10 in total to receive an overseas transfer into your UK bank account. 

What Affects the Amount of Money You Receive? 

When you are receiving an overseas transfer, there are a few things that can affect how much money you will actually receive. The first is the currency conversion rate. Depending on when you make the transfer, the exchange rate could be higher or lower than when you originally set up the transfer. This can either increase or decrease the amount of money you receive. 

Another thing that can affect the amount of money you receive is any fees that are taken out by banks or other financial institutions. For example, if your bank charges a fee for receiving an international wire transfer, that will decrease the amount of money you ultimately receive. 

Finally, taxes may also apply to money received from overseas. In some cases, you may have to pay taxes on the income earned from an overseas investment. This would reduce the amount of money you take home from an overseas transfer. 

Are There Limits to How Much Money You Can Receive From Overseas?

Yes, there are limits to how much money you can receive from overseas. The exact limit depends on your bank and the country you’re receiving the money from. For example, banks in the UK have a limit of £50,000 per day for transfers from EU countries. 

There are also limits on how much foreign currency you can bring into the UK. If you’re bringing in more than £10,000 worth of foreign currency, you’ll need to declare it to customs. 

If you’re receiving a large amount of money from abroad, it’s important to check with your bank in advance to make sure there are no limits on the amount you can receive. 

What Information Do You Need to Provide to Receive an International Money Transfer?

When you receive an international money transfer, you will need to provide the following information: 

  • Your full name and address 
  • The name and address of your bank 
  • Your bank account number 
  • The SWIFT/BIC code for your bank 
  • The amount of money being transferred 

Once this information is provided, the transfer should be processed relatively quickly. However, it is important to note that some banks may charge a fee for processing an international money transfer. Be sure to check with your bank beforehand to avoid any unexpected fees. 

Can an International Transfer Be Cancelled?

It is possible to cancel an international money transfer, but the process can be complicated. The first step is to contact the sender and ask them to cancel the transaction. If the sender agrees, they will need to contact their bank and request a reversal of the transfer.

If the bank agrees to cancel the transaction, they will send a message to the receiving bank instructing them to return the funds. If all goes well, the funds should be returned to the sender within a few days. 

However, there are some situations where it may not be possible to cancel an international money transfer. For example, if the funds have already been transferred out of the sending country, it may not be possible to stop or reverse the transaction. 

Additionally, some banks may charge a fee for cancelling an international money transfer. Therefore, it is important to check with your bank before initiating a transfer to see if they allow cancellations and if there are any associated fees. 

Do You Have to Pay Tax When Receiving Money From Overseas? 

There are a few things to consider when determining if you need to pay taxes on the money you receive from overseas. The first is whether or not the country you are receiving the money from has a tax treaty with the UK. If there is no tax treaty, then you may be subject to paying taxes on the money you receive. 

Secondly, you need to consider the source of the funds. If the funds come from an inheritance or as a gift, they may not be subject to taxation. However, if the funds come from income earned abroad, they may incur taxes. 

Lastly, you need to consider how much money you are receiving. In general, smaller amounts of money are not subject to taxation, while larger amounts may be subject to taxation. Speak with an accountant or tax advisor if you have any questions about whether or not you need to pay taxes on money received from overseas. 

Currencies Direct – Our Top Pick  

With its roots dating back to 1996, Currencies Direct strives to revolutionise money transfers worldwide. It’s easy for many people to transfer money abroad instantly if they speak English, French, Norwegian, or Swedish.  

The company has offices around the globe that can help you transfer or receive money between countries. There is always someone who can assist you since the company has more than 500 employees. Receiving money online is easy for businesses, individuals, and online sellers, thanks to a quick registration process. 

Currencies Direct Individual Services 

When making a claim via the company’s website or over the phone, you can choose from various options.  

You can receive a maximum of 25,000 between currencies. The service also offers alerts, real-time rates, and money that can be purchased to be used later.  

It is the mission of Currencies Direct to simplify the transfer of money abroad. As a first option, a forward contract should be considered. In this case, the sender would determine the exchange rate, make a payment, and you would receive the exact amount several days later. In most cases, these contracts can be purchased in advance for up to a year.  

A limit order follows. In case you prefer a defined boundary, this is the option for you. Before transferring funds, the currency exchange rate must meet a threshold.  

Your stop-loss order will also restrict the transaction by setting a specific threshold for currency exchange. The exchange of currencies takes place only after a specific threshold has been reached.  

Currency Direct allows its customers to combine any type of order. You can benefit from favourable rates when you combine exchange rates with hedges. Furthermore, you can:  

  • Receive money transfers regularly  
  • Get travel money 
  • Explore free resources on the Currencies Direct website

Currencies Direct Business Services 

Customers of Currencies Direct enjoy exclusive benefits. Using bulk and multiple payments, businesses can pay employees and suppliers globally.  

By using smart currency converter tools, you can manage international payments and collections efficiently. Using Currencies Direct’s business account also allows you to manage incoming payments. It is possible to schedule conversions and maintain accounts in more than one country if necessary.  

Support staff can also provide advice on managing risks when transferring funds. Both large and small businesses will receive the same treatment from the representative.  

Competitive Exchange Rates 

By partnering with Barclays Bank, Currencies Direct offers favourable rates of exchange and easy transference.  

Those who are loyal to their bank may continue to use their services. But third-party cash transfer services may be an alternative if your bank charges too much. Country-specific services may differ from one to another.

Adaptable Transfer Dates  

For overseas transfers, Currencies Direct may be a good option if you do not want to be restricted by a schedule. The EMI status allows you to keep e-cash for as long as you wish. In addition, you can use the money however you want.  

Currencies Direct will not charge you extra for holding your funds. It’s common for banks to require funds to be used by a certain date, however, Currencies Direct does not.  


When you receive money from abroad, it’s important to understand the process isn’t exactly the same as receiving money from another British person. There are often different regulations and laws in place when it comes to transferring money between foreign countries. 

The best way to make sure the process goes smoothly is to use a money transfer service to make the transfer. It’s also important to make sure you do everything you can to make the process go smoothly. That means understanding how to make a foreign payment to the UK, understanding exchange rates for international payments, and using a secure international money transfer service when sending money abroad. 

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by Matt Woodley
Matt Woodley is the Founder of Money Transfer Expert and is a recognised expert on international money transfers. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History from the University of Auckland.