What’s the Difference Between Sending Money with a Bank and Sending Money with Xe?

We've told you before that we're better than the banks. Now we're going to show you, step by step.

Xe Consumer

September 3, 2020 5 min read

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If you’ve perused our blog before, you’ve probably seen us mention a few times that it’s better to take your money transfers to an online money transfer provider—such as Xe—than your local bank.

If you’ve never used a money transfer provider before, it’s understandable that you’d be more comfortable going with the reliable, tried-and-true bank that’s had your back so many times. But while banks can facilitate international money transfers, it’s not their specialty: and taking your transfer to a specialty provider will ensure that you’re getting the best for your money.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a walk through the money transfer process and see how Xe stacks up to the bank.

Initiating the transfer

Some banks may allow you to take care of wire transfers online. However, due to the sensitive nature of these transactions, most banks require you to come in person to initiate international transfers. In addition to requiring you to find the time to travel to the bank during their business hours (and wait in line), you’ll also need to bring quite a bit with you. Even if you’ve sent money with the bank previously, you’ll need to fill out the forms and provide your identification each time.

On the other hand, you can initiate a money transfer on Xe.com and in the Xe app 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without getting off the couch. Xe will also securely keep your information, so if you’ve sent money before, it’s a quick process to send it again. Even if you’re new to Xe, it’s a quick, easy process to master.


When you transfer money with your bank, they typically expect you to provide the money from your bank account. And depending on your bank and what type of payment they’re sending (ACH, for example), they may have minimum and maximum amounts for each transfer, which could result in you needing to separate your transfer into multiple transactions (which willquickly cause the fees to add up) or seek another provider.

At Xe, we have several options to provide the money for your transfer—ACH
direct debit, wire transfer, and card payment
. Each of these options differs in things such as transfer speed and fees, so you can pick the option that best suits your transfer needs. Xe has no transfer minimum, and if you’re sending a larger amount, you can speak with one of our expert consultants on the phone to work out how to best send your money.

Additionally, we don’t just offer spot transfers—we also offer forward
and market orders that might suit your needs better. There are many different reasons why you might want to send money, and we want to be sure that you have the best options available.

Exchange rates

This is often the make-or-break for people looking to make a money transfer. Not all providers have the same rate: if you spend just a few minutes shopping around at the bank and some online providers, you’ll likely see several different exchange rates.

You can expect the banks’ exchange rates to be about 4-6% above
the mid-market rate
, on average. If you haven’t checked the rates with other providers, you may not know just how much extra you’ll be paying if you transfer with the bank.

When you check the Xe Currency Converter, you’ll get the real rate of exchange, informed by the live currency markets, with no hidden margins. You can also set up Rate Alerts for us to notify you when your ideal rate has been reached.


Hidden margins in the exchange rate aren’t the only costs you’ll incur if you transfer with the bank. They’ll likely also charge you multiple service and transaction fees. Depending on where your recipient is located, these fees could get pricey

At Xe, we aim to be transparent with our fees. We will charge a transaction fee, but that’s it: no hidden margins, and no intermediary fees throughout the process.

Transfer speed

When you send money with the bank, they’ll likely send it through the SWIFT system. Not only does that mean additional fees, but it also means that the money will be traveling through several intermediaries, adding time to your transfer.

At Xe, our transfers will complete within 1-4 business days, but most of them clear sooner, with recipients receiving the transfer within the day. And depending on where you’re sending money, this could be even quicker—take a look at our ongoing list of countries we can send money to in minutes.


Show of hands: upon receiving a shipping confirmation email for an item you’ve ordered online, how many of you instantly visit the order tracking page (even though the email says it’ll take 24 hours for tracking to activate)? It’s okay, us too. It’s natural to want to know the
status of your order, particularly when you’ve sent something as sensitive as your own money.

We’re pleased to say that you can track the status of your money transfer with Xe, so you won’t need to wonder where your money is. You’ll know.

In short…

When you make an online money transfer with Xe, you can count on:

  • 24/7 availability to initiate your

  • Multiple payment and transfer options

  • The real rate of exchange

  • No hidden fees

  • Fast transfer speed

  • Easy transfer tracking

We think that list sounds pretty good. How about you?

Sign in to your account or create an account to get started.

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