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Methods to transfer money within Germany

For expatriates or international students living, studying, or working abroad in Germany, the time may indeed come when they need to transfer money to or from German bank account with a bank account in their home country. There are quite a few options to do this.

Standing Orders

People typically use these instruments to pay rent, mortgage or other types of fixed and regular payments. Hence, standing orders are unsuitable for paying variable bills, such as credit cards or electricity bills. It is an instruction that authorizes your bank to automatically pay a certain amount of money to another bank account. You can change specifications, such as the amount of money, settlement date, etc.

Direct debit authorization

A direct debit authorization is a permission you give to a company to debit money from your bank account. You specify the amount and date when the money may be taken by the intended person or organization. To avail this, you should sign a Direct Debit Mandate form with the firm. Then, you can set up a direct debit arranged between you and the counterparty. You can set it up for payment on particular dates, every month, quarter or year.

Methods to transfer money abroad

Transferring money within your country, in this case – within Germany, is quite fast and direct. But, it is not the same for international transfers as these may take weeks. This process could take longer if the involved banks are non-affiliated.

SWIFT transfers

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is an internationally recognized code comprised of 8 or 11 alphanumerical characters and is most often used by banks for international wire transfers. The SWIFT is a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to securely send and receive information on financial transactions. However, it cannot hold member’s accounts or to perform clearing or settlement activities. It also does not facilitate fund transfers. SWIFT only sends payment orders to be settled by the corresponding accounts.

Bank Drafts

Drafts are commonly used by banks when dealing with other banks. They are also used when creditors or sellers do not accept ordinary checks from counter-parties in another city or country. In addition, your bank may charge a fee for the transaction. In normal circumstances, banks usually settle (pay) the drafts. Therefore, traders accept bank drafts as cash equivalents.

Money Transfer Agencies

Another way of transferring money abroad is through international money transfer agents. Originally, these agencies served people who did not own bank accounts. The transfers are generally faster and more reliable than the traditional bank transfers. However, commissions are quite high, usually around 7 to 10% of the transfer amount. Completing this transaction is very easy. You pay your money in cash to the agency office and give the details of the receiver. The receiver then goes to the same agency’s office in their country with their identification. There, they receive the money in cash.


Is the second largest provider of money transfers in the world. The company operates with individuals and businesses by a network of agents and financial institution customers.

Western Union

Western union is a company that has been around for a while. It delivers financial and communications services around the world. Western Union provides products, such as person-to-person money transfer, money orders, business payments and commercial services. You can deposit money at one of Western Union’s kiosks and then the receiver can pick that amount of money up from Western Union’s kiosk in their country.


Is an electronic commerce company facilitating payments between parties through online transfers. You, as a customer are allowed to establish an account on PayPal’s website which is connected to your credit card or checking account, and in this way you begin sending or receiving payments to and from other PayPal accounts. By not having to disclose credit card or bank account numbers, PayPal makes online purchases safer.


Is the best and newest option out there for money transfers – based on their transparency and small conversion fees. Their costs at up to 10 times less than what banks charge. For amounts up to £200, TransferWise charge £1. For amounts over £200, the fee is 0.5% of the total. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority regulates this company and verifies the transactions to protect users from unnecessary fraud.

TransferWise’ business model relies on a peer-to-peer system with technology possibilities. The technology helps find individuals who want to convert their pounds to euros and vice versa. This gives access to real mid-market exchange rates and helps avoid traditional banking fees. Another nice feature about TransferWise is allowing customers to send proof of other companies’ charges. If another company charges less than them, they will want to beat their price.


This British company offers quick, secure money transfer services to nearly 200 countries around the world. With rates far below the industry standard and the ability to send money through social media networks like Facebook, Azimo is on the cutting edge of convenience and technology.


CurrencyFair began life with a mission to create a world of fair, transparent financial services for everyone. This Dublin-based company handles funds in US dollars, euros, GBP, and a total of 18 currencies around the globe. CurrencyFair assigns you a personal consultant. These consultants work with you to ensure that you achieve the best exchange rate possible within a certain time frame. There are CurrencyFair mobile apps for iOS and Android as well, if you prefer that.

Importing and exporting money

You care allowed to import and export money, but regulations exist. You are obliged to report to the Bundesbank for transfers over 12,500€, only. Learn about the country of destination and origin before initiating transfers and any applicable restrictions before you engage in this activity.