How to send money from Germany

More and more financial services are popping up everywhere. But especially when sending money abroad, you should use a service you trust.

When you send money abroad from Germany, you must distinguish between euro and non-euro countries. It is cheap and easy to send money to another country within the Eurozone. So, for example, send money from Germany to France, Spain, or Poland. For this, you can use a German bank account.

But when it comes to sending money to a country outside the European Economic Area or with a different currency, financial services like Wise or PayPal are cheaper and faster. However, there are also renowned money transfer services, such as Western Union, which has been sending money abroad since 1851.

International money transfer from Germany

International money transfers are a hot topic for people who need to make regular transfers abroad. Generally, this article can also help you understand how transferring money within Germany, the EEA, and abroad works and what options you have.

There are several reasons why expats or German expatriates are looking for a practical way to make their international money transfers cheap, secure, and quick:

  • You are moving abroad and want to take your assets with you to your new home country
  • You need to regularly pay business expenses in a currency other than your own
  • You need to make a payment outside your country
  • You want to finance a real estate purchase abroad
  • You regularly transfer money abroad for your pension

When it comes to money transfers, it’s essential to meet your needs for speed, simplicity, and low cost. Choose a sending method that helps you send money with ease. In the following section, we will introduce how you can send money within Germany and how to transfer money abroad.

International money transfer
The most common instrument in cashless transaction processing is a bank transfer

Methods to transfer money within Germany

Paying bills is not a particularly popular activity for most people. Nevertheless, we have to repeat this activity again and again in our daily lives. The most common instrument in cashless transaction processing is a bank transfer.

To begin with: You have several options to transfer money, whether it is sent within Germany or abroad:

  • Classically in paper form via transfer form.
  • By online transfer
  • Via mobile banking, including photo transfer
  • At the service terminal in a branch

With a wire transfer, you instruct your bank to transfer a certain amount of money from your checking account to another. The recipient account does not have to be at the same financial institution. Fill out a request form for each transfer. Either in paper form or digitally. You can make transfers worldwide.

The Standing Orders

A standing order is an order for a transfer that sends money to the same recipient regularly and in the same amount. The bank is liable for the timely fulfillment of the standing order. The transfer is always made automatically on a fixed date from the ordering party’s current account to the recipient’s account. The following applies: standing orders can be set up on any date monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually and are executed on the due date. You can change the date and the amount if necessary.

Direct debit authorization

A direct debit authorization allows a company to debit a preset amount of money from your bank account at a specified time. The date on which the transaction is executed is determined by the company or you. Before the money is debited, you must be notified. Direct debits are particularly suitable for recurring payments. 

Direct debit is the most widely used method. It is also considered when a customer pays with his EC/Maestro card. The customer’s signature authorizes the payee to have due amounts collected from the customer’s account. Unlike a standing order, a direct debit authorization does not allow you to specify the date or the amount.

Transfers within the European Economic Area (EEA)

sending Money from Germany abroad
SEPA is short for the Single Euro Payments Area

What is the SEPA Transfer?

It is easier and faster to transfer money between countries within the European Economic Area. Especially transfers made in Euros can be transmitted very quickly since, on 01.01 2012, the SEPA Transfer was introduced in the EEA.

SEPA is short for the Single Euro Payments Area. This transfer form is used within the European Economic Area (EEA) and six other countries. Transfers are made in euros, and these countries include all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

How long does a transfer take within the European Economic Area (EEA)?

In the past, transfers often took a very long time. With the introduction of the SEPA credit transfer, banks were encouraged to guarantee money within the EEA faster. Here, the following deadlines for transfers have applied since 2012:

  • One banking day for transfers in euros within the EEA
  • Four banking days for transfers in foreign currencies
  • Two banking days for transfers in euros made using a paper transfer form
  • Five bank business days for transfers in foreign currencies

In the SEPA payment area, it is often possible to make real-time transfers. It is best to determine whether your bank and the payee’s bank support this process in advance.

Transferring money abroad from Germany

For transfers in foreign currencies and transfers to third countries, use the foreign transfer. However, unlike EEA transfers, foreign transfers can take a little longer (up to 14 days), as the speed is not set by law.

How much does an international bank transfer cost?

Check with your bank to determine how much a foreign money transfer costs. Depending on your account model, transfer fees may vary from bank to bank. You can find information on the costs of international transfers in your bank’s list of prices and services.

What data do I need for a foreign transfer outside the EEA?

  • First name and last name of the payee (address, if applicable)
  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN) or account number of the payee
  • International Bank Identifier Code (BIC)/ SWIFT-Code of the beneficiary’s bank
  • Your IBAN or account number

What are SWIFT codes?

SWIFT codes (also known as BIC codes) enable secure and fast international payments via SWIFT, a secure banking system. For international transactions, SWIFT is a system that uses SWIFT codes to verify a bank’s or financial institution’s identity. The use of this code is secure because it guarantees that any payment received or sent will be credited to the correct account.

More than 200 countries and over 11,000 institutions worldwide use the SWIFT BIC system – it is the largest international payment network in the world. The system recognizes where to send direct debits by processing the transfer codes by comparing the characters in a transfer with the global database. If you want to use your bank to send money abroad, you may be asked for a SWIFT or BIC code.

The best providers for international online money transfer 

There are different ways to send money online between Germany and the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries. The most conventional method to send money abroad is by bank transfer, and I am sure you are aware of that. Bank transfers may use the fairest currency exchange rate. However, they often charge enormous fees, especially if you transfer money between banks that operate different currencies.

That’s why we have created a list of alternative solutions for how you can transfer your money abroad cheaply, fast, securely, and effectively.

#1 – Online money transfer with Wise

Do you want to transfer money from abroad to your German bank account? Or from your German bank account to your bank account at home? Then you may want to choose Wise.

Wise allows you to transfer money between your bank accounts in Germany and abroad extremely cheaply and quickly. For example, sending money between accounts in the UK and Germany usually takes one business day.

Wise is an online bank you can use in Germany or other countries, regardless of nationality. The bank account is quick and easy to open and offers many benefits. For example, it is perfect if you need to manage multiple currencies simultaneously.

Within minutes, you can set up an account online that you can use for personal or business purposes to receive and send euros and other currencies at a fraction of the cost of traditional banking institutions.

Since the bank always converts your funds at an average exchange rate, it is about eight times better with Wise than with traditional banks. In addition, Wise matches you with someone transferring money in the other direction, saving up to 90% of the charges you would usually pay. Another advantage is holding other currencies in your account for free until you need them.

Advantages of Wise

  • Create a free account
  • Money transfer is less expensive and more straightforward than with a conventional bank
  • Easy international banking
  • Pay abroad without any hidden fees
  • Get a bank card for 8 euros
  • Add the card to Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Get your IBAN and account number
  • Hold up to 40 currencies in over 150 countries in your account and exchange between them
  • Send money to over 160 countries

Conclusion international transfers with Wise

Wise is the best option for transferring money abroad – it’s cheaper and faster than common bank transfers or money transfer services.

Do you want to get the first international money transfer for free?

  1. Enter money sum and destination.
  2. Get free first transfer.
  3. TransferWise matches you with people sending you in the other direction.
  4. Money arrives in 1-2 days.

#2 – Transfer Money with PayPal

PayPal is an online payment service that is very easy to use. Transactions are made quickly, and payment information is not shared with third parties. Moreover, it offers its users much security when they shop online because PayPal has automatically integrated buyer protection.

How much does it cost to transfer money abroad with PayPal?

Transferring money abroad can be difficult, especially if the amount is substantial. Some people are happy to pay an increased price and ensure the money arrives. When it comes to money transfers, trust is an important detail.

Paypal is an international money transfer company that allows people to send money to anyone worldwide using their email address or mobile phone number. In a few simple steps, you can make transfers on a global scale without having to exchange any currency. It is one of the most popular and trusted ways to send and receive money.

It is free when the sender and recipient have the same currency and are located within Europe

How much does it cost to transfer money abroad with Paypal?

For some time now, Paypal has been using its service to transfer money abroad, Xoom. How much it costs to transfer money abroad with PayPal depends on several factors. For example, the country of the recipient, the payment method (cash or bank transfer), and the currency play a role.

It is free when the sender and recipient have the same currency and are located within Europe. For example, PayPal is free if you send money from Germany to France or Spain to Germany. The service costs money if the sender uses a credit card to send the money. Then it costs 1,9% + 0,35 EUR per transfer. You also pay a small fee on money transfers to countries outside Europe or with a different currency, such as Germany and the UK.

In general, the amount is composed of the following two elements:

  • A fixed fee
  • A conversion fee for the conversion of your currency (exchange rate)

One can say that PayPal’s pricing is usually cheaper if you want to make bank transfers. But safe is safe. It’s best to check which fees will apply to your transfer abroad beforehand. Also, check if the amount you’re sending impacts the charge.

How fast does money arrive abroad?

How fast the money sent with PayPal arrives abroad depends on several factors:

  • How long does it take to be authorized by Xoom’s verification system (to fight fraud)?
  • How liquid is the sender’s payment account? Are there enough funds available?
  • The opening hours of the banking institution in the recipient’s country
  • The time difference, bank working hours, and weekends & holidays.
  • Bank opening hours in the recipient country and accessibility of the banking system
  • Opening hours of the receiving institution

For most European countries, regardless of their currency, Xoom states that it will take approximately 1 – 2 days to transfer your money. For transfers to India or China, Xoom will take a few minutes to a few hours.

A transfer to other Asian countries like Singapore or Thailand can take between 2 and 4 days. For other transfers abroad, such as to America, no shipping times are given.

How do I open a PayPal account?

Open this PayPal website and click the Sign-Up button in the upper right corner. In the next window, decide whether you are signing up for a personal or business account – it’s up to you. Then you need to enter your country, first and last name, and email address. Done.

#3 Transfer Money with Western Union

Western Union is a renowned provider of international money transfers. It is trendy when it comes to sending cash. In addition, it is possible to make online transfers through Western Union.

The provider is more expensive than the above competitors BUT: If you want to transfer money extremely fast and safely, you should choose Western Union.

The main advantages:

  • Availability: There are branches all over the world. Really everywhere. You can find several pickup points in big cities like Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow, Munich, etc. But you can also find branches in small towns and remote areas in Africa or South America.
  • Speed: With the cash dispatch the Money arrives within 10 minutes. Really! It is there almost instantaneously. Of course, this means that the service is more expensive than slower transfer methods. So if you want it to be fast, opt for Western Union.
  • Trust: Western Union has been around for decades. Everyone knows it. You can trust it. If something goes wrong, you have customer service all over the world. So you don’t have to worry about anything.

For whom is Western Union suitable?

  • You need the fastest money transfer
  • You need the assurance that your money will arrive 100% safely and quickly
  • You do not care about the cost of transferring money abroad
  • You do not have SWIFT or IBAN code
sending money
Western Union is known for its cash transfer service

Sending money with Western Union – How does it work?

To send money online: Download the Western Union mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit Use the Western Union app to pay the recipient country a specified amount of money. You can pay with your credit card or bank account.

To send cash: Western Union is known for its cash transfer service. This means you don’t even necessarily need a credit card or bank account. You only need to send money is a valid passport or ID card. Simply go to a branch, fill out the form, and give the service representative the amount to be sent plus the designated commission and fee. 

To receive the money, you must also fill out a form at the branch and prove your identity. Once the payment is received, the Western Union branch in the recipient’s country is notified of the receipt. The recipient can collect the money personally or transfer it from there to his bank account.

If you use the services of a non-bank provider such as a money transfer company like Western Union, they will use their internal transaction system to transfer your money.  

How much does a Western Union transfer cost?

The money transfer process is simple: if you want to send cash, you pay the desired amount and the required fee. It varies depending on the type of transfer. If you transfer money to a bank account, the prices start at 0.90 euros. If you transfer cash and the recipient picks it up, a fee of 1.90 euros is charged. In addition, there is a commission fee for the money sent.

How fast is Western Union?

The transfer duration may depend on the payment method (cash transfer, online transfer) and the deposit amount. The time can vary from a few minutes to a few days. However, cash transfer is the fastest method of transferring money from A to B.

Conclusion – International money transferring

In conclusion, there are many ways to send money internationally from Germany. Wise, PayPal, and Western Union are great options, but it ultimately depends on what is best for you. It is essential to research and decide the best option for you. We hope this article helped provide information on how to transfer money internationally.