The easiest way to send money to India

International transfers

How to send money abroad

  • If you transfer money outside of Europe, there are usually high fees.
  • In addition to your bank, you can also use other service providers to send money abroad.
  • With some providers, recipients don't need a checking account to get the money. For example, you can collect it in cash.
  • Find out whether the recipient wants to receive the money in cash or in an account.
  • Compare the prices of the different providers. Many of them offer cost calculators on their websites.
  • Report the bank transfer to the Bundesbank if you are sending more than 12,500 euros.

Anyone who wants to transfer money from Germany within Europe can usually do so without any problems since the introduction of the European payment area "Sepa". More than 36 European countries now belong to this "Single Euro Payments Area". The rules for cross-border payments are standardized between these countries, which makes transfers easy.

However, if you want to send money outside of the Sepa area, transferring money becomes more complicated - and more expensive.

How do you transfer money through your own bank?

You don't need a specialist provider to send money abroad. This also works through your own bank. The offers suitable forms for such transfers, in which you have to specify, for example, who will pay the costs for the transfer.

When filling out the transfer order, you usually have to choose one of the following options:

OUR - The transferring customer pays the costs (from the bank's point of view: "our customer charged "). As a rule, he has to pay in advance.

BEN - That stands for "beneficiary pays costs ”, beneficiary pays costs. So the customer who gets the money pays the transfer. The amount that his bank and any other intermediary banks demand will be deducted from the amount transferred.

SHARE - The cost of the transfer will be shared. At the recipient, the money is deducted from the transfer amount.

Many banks use SHARE as a standard transfer method, so the costs are shared. However, the sender can also opt for another variant by selecting the desired type in the transfer forms.

When you transfer money abroad, the following fees can also become important:

Exchange rate - The value of currencies fluctuates. This can lead to you catching an inopportune time and transferring money when the exchange rate is particularly bad. In addition, banks use different courses. So it can happen that you would get away with one bank cheaper than another.

Change costs - The banks often charge a fee for changing money or for buying and selling foreign currency, i.e. money in a currency other than the euro. If you transfer directly in euros, this fee does not apply. However, in such cases the recipient bank may charge fees.

Transfer fees - The banks can charge money for transfers, just as some banks do for transfers in the Sepa room.

Swift Fees - The banks can also charge so-called Swift fees when making transfers. The Belgian cooperative Swift operates the Swiftnet telecommunications network. Thousands of banks process transactions via this network.

Fees for online transfers with currency conversion



Berliner Sparkasse

Amounts up to € 10,000: € 17.50 / above: 1.75 ‰ (max. € 600)

Amounts up to € 10,000: € 17.50 / above: € 1.75 ‰ (max. € 600
+ 20 €)

Deutsche Bank

1.5% (min. € 10) + € 1.55 Swift

1.5% (at least 10 euros) + 1.55 € Swift + 25 € third-party fees


1.5% (at least € 8)

not specified


Amounts up to € 12,500: € 12.50 / above 1% (max. € 150)

not specified

Source: Price and service lists of the providers
As of July 23, 2019

But it is not only in terms of costs that there are differences between Sepa transfers and international payments. The recipients often have to wait longer for their money. A transfer within Germany should be on the recipient's current account within one bank working day; for transfers within the Sepa area, it should be four bank working days. There are no similar deadlines for international transfers. However, that does not mean that they always have to take longer. Some banks already offer real-time transfers; in these cases the transfer takes a few seconds.

Another difference is the data that you have to provide for such a transfer. The account number IBAN and the BIC (a kind of bank code) work internationally, you may have to enter the Swift number of the recipient bank in addition to the BIC.

Legal rules for transferring abroad

For sums of more than 12,500 euros (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you usually have to report the transfer abroad (Section 67 Foreign Trade Ordinance). It doesn't matter whether the money is for the child's studies in the USA, the uncle's operation in India or the repayment of debts with an Australian friend. It doesn't matter whether you transfer or receive the money. You can do this by calling the Bundesbank. This is no longer possible using a paper form.

Anyone who has lived in Germany for more than a year must report. If you forget to report, you may have to pay a fine. This can amount to up to 30,000 euros (Section 19 Foreign Trade Act). The report has statistical purposes for the foreign trade balance of Germany.

However, not every transfer has to be reported, there are exceptions. Paying off and repaying loans and deposits with a term of no more than twelve months is particularly relevant for consumers.

Our tip: Always stay up to date - with our free newsletter!

Our tip: stay on the topic [category] always up to date - with our free newsletter!

Are there cheaper providers for transferring money?

There are providers that specialize in transferring and sending money in different currencies have specialized. The companies advertise their services primarily with their exchange rates. They should be cheaper than the banks' rates. The providers are going different ways.

Some do not change the money into another currency at all, or at least partially not. Instead, they swap the payment with one that comes from the opposite direction. For example, when you send money to the United States, the providers do not change the money into dollars. Instead, they use money that another customer from the USA wants to send to Europe. Other providers have a network of local accounts and use it to pay out the money.

The money ends up either in the recipient's bank account or in his or her user account with the respective provider. The sender usually needs a User account. In addition, some of these companies focus their services heavily on Apps for smartphones. Such providers include relatively young companies such as Transferwise, Currencyfair, World First, but also established providers like OFX or Xe. If you want to use one of these providers, you should compare which one is the cheapest for your transfer.

Who is already a customer of the American group Paypal the money can also be sent across borders using the service. On the one hand, however, fall currency-dependent fees On the other hand, there is a so-called cross-border fee. That is between 1.8 and 3.3 percent. In addition, PayPal now also offers its service Xoom in Germany, through which consumers can send money abroad. Anyone who is already a PayPal customer can access the service directly and calculate the cost of sending money.

Prices may vary between providers

This is because one provider may have the currency in stock or another can offer a good exchange rate at the time of transfer. Companies often post on their websites computer ready so that you can see how much the whole thing will cost before sending the money.

This is how you can find out which provider is strongest in which currency. This is particularly helpful if the recipient has to receive a certain amount, for example for an invoice. Or if the sender wants the recipient to receive as much money as possible in the foreign currency.

Costs when transferring 1,000 euros to the USA



Currency Fair

Xoom (Paypal)



5,14 €4 €

1,99 €



994,86 €996 €

998,01 €

Exchange rate





1.109,57 $1.109,40 $

1.114 $

Source: Provider's calculator
As of July 23, 2019

What to do if the recipient does not have a current account?

You don't necessarily need a checking account to send money abroad. This also works with providers such as Western Union, Moneygram, World Remit and Azimo without an account.

The providers usually offer different ways to deposit the money. So can you transfer and Pay in via girocard or credit card. The choice has an impact on the costs and the duration of the transfer. For example, the money will be with the recipient in a few minutes if you deposit it using a credit card. Transfer the money it takes a couple of days.

The recipients can also receive the money in different ways. Depending on the provider and country, this works, for example, with a bank account or a mobile wallet as well as with services such as Transferwise and OFX.

In many cases, however, it is more important that the money in cash can be paid in and paid out. And this is exactly what these providers enable alongside the traditional routes. Neither the consumer who sends the money needs a checking account nor the recipient. The money can be deposited in one branch of the respective company and in another be collected. Sender and receiver must be identify can.

However, providers do not always have both in their product range. Sometimes they only offer the option to collect the money in cash. Or a provider does not have a branch in certain countries. If this service is important to you, you cannot avoid a comparison between the providers.

Example: Fees for sending 1,000 euros to the US with cash pickup



Bank Transfer


receives on

the account


receives in cash

Western film


14,90 €1.106,52 $

1.059,87 $


3,99 €1.069,60 $

1.069,60 $

World Remit

3,99 €1.102,59 $

no cash pick-up

in the USA


2,99 €1.112,23 $

1.112,23 $

Source: Provider's calculator
As of July 23, 2019

Before sending the money, compare providers. Because not only the costs differ, but also the exchange rate and thus the amount that the recipient receives. Which service provider is best at this point depends on the currency.

Josefine Lietzau

Josefine Lietzau

Josefine Lietzau is an editor in the Bank & Investments team. During her studies in German and English, she worked for the editorial offices of the Green League, the Jüdische Zeitung and the Superillu. After completing her master's degree, Josefine Lietzau completed an internship at the online consumer portals Banktip and Posttip, where she then worked as an editor.

* What the star means:

With our recommendations, we want to help as many people as possible to do their own finances. This is why our content is available online free of charge. We finance our extensive work with so-called affiliate links. We mark these links with an asterisk (*).

At Finanztip, however, we handle affiliate links differently than other websites. We only link to products that were previously recommended by our independent expert editorial team. Only then can the relevant provider set a link to this offer. We get money if you click on such a link or conclude a contract with the provider.

Whether and in what amount a provider pays us has no influence on our recommendations. What our experts recommend to you depends solely on whether an offer is good for consumers.

You can find more information about how we work on our About Us page.


+++ Pssst! Your newsletter full of savings tips +++

  • Lower your expenses for electricity, rent, cell phones, cars, travel and much more.

  • Don't miss any deadlines for filing your tax return or changing your insurance policy.

  • Free in our Newsletter. Register now!