Money from Sweden

Sending money abroad – how does it work?

How do I send money abroad and what is the cheapest option? You who transfer money abroad can learn how to do it and what it can cost here.

How to send money 

Money can be sent abroad via a bank, an agent or a company that transfers money. Some companies only transfer money to certain countries. 

You can pay for the transfer using cash, card or a transfer from your bank account. Some companies only accept certain payment methods. 

Before you transfer any money, you need to decide what is most important for you: is it the cost of the transfer, or how it will take for the money to arrive?  

How much does it cost to send money abroad? 

Companies that transfer money abroad charge for this service. The amount they charge will vary since every company sets its own rates. After the transfer has been made, there will also be a conversion currency fee for the receiving country. These rates can vary a great deal.   

Sending money abroad includes the following costs:  

  • Transfer fee 

  • Currency conversion fee 

  • Receiving fee (sum charged in the receiving country) 

You need to add up all these separate fees for the total cost. The sum of money that the recipient receives is the most important thing. 

What is the cheapest way to send money? 

Companies charge different fees when you transfer money. You can save money by comparing the fees of different companies. Choosing the best alternative will ensure that the recipient receives more money. 

 Some tips for transferring money abroad:  

  • The transfer of one large sum of money is often cheaper than several small transfers. 

  • Don’t leave it to the last minute. A transfer that takes a few hours is normally more expensive than one that takes several days. 

  • Compare different ways of transferring money. 

Compare companies and prices 

It is completely free to compare prices on Money from Sweden. Use our price comparisons to see how much the different transfer options cost. You can also see how much money will be deducted for fees, both in Swedish crowns and as a percentage. We show how much it costs to send 1 000, 3 000 and 5 000 crowns. You cannot chose a different amount. 

Advantages of choosing a formal transfer method 

Banks and agents are formal transfer methods. These are regulated by Swedish law and are inspected by Swedish public authorities. Further legislation regulates international money transfer services. This is why it is a good idea to use formal transfer methods instead of private individuals. Banks and agents are responsible for ensuring the money is transferred. This responsibility is regulated by the conditions of transfer. 

Proving your identity to the bank 

The bank will check your identity when you open a bank account. The bank might also ask you questions. This is to ensure that no illegal activity, like money laundering, is being carried out via the bank. 

The bank uses a two-step identification process:  

  1. First you will give your name. The bank can then check if you are a politically exposed person who could be at risk of abuse, like bribery. The bank will also investigate other potential risk factors. 

  2. The bank will ask for proof that you are who you say you are. There are several ways the bank can do this.  

 These are the approved methods for proving identity in Sweden: 

  • Swedish driving licence 

  • Swedish passport 

  • Swedish identity card that has been issued to the customer by a Swedish public authority 

  • A further recognised Swedish identity card 

 If you do not have a Swedish identification document, the bank will check your foreign identification document, if you have one. For example, this could be: 

  • a foreign passport 

  • another type of identification document. 

 It is important that the passport or identification document includes a photograph of you and your citizenship information. The passport or identification document must be issued by from a public authority or another authorised issuing body.  

If you do not have a valid identity document  

If you do not have a valid identity document, the bank will verify your identity using other reliable documents and checks. The requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis. It depends on how the bank accesses the level of risk you entail for them as a new client.  

The bank can advise you on this issue. If you do not reach an agreement and your request is refused, you have the option of contacting the public authority The National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) who will investigate your claim for free. 

The website of The National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) 

If something goes wrong with the transfer 

Ask the company to find out what went wrong. Also ask what documentation you need to prove you made the transfer. It is important to know what receipts or agreements you need to prove you have transferred the money. 

Remember to:  

  • Always save the agreement and receipt for your transfer until you are sure the recipient has received the correct sum of money. 

  • Ask the recipient to save any receipts. 

  • If there are any problems, it is important that you have all the required paperwork so that you can make a complaint. 

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Source: Konsumentverket

Last reviewed: September 27, 2023

The service is run by the Swedish Consumer Agency and is certified by the World Bank.

Money from Sweden is a publicly funded web service that compares fees and currency exchange rates for transfers abroad. The web service is free and is completely independent of all commercial interests.[MFS] Logo - World bank