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Aaron+

Nov 3, 2015, 9:55 AM

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Sending money: new peer-peer services

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There are some new entries in the last few years in the money transfer world that proclaim that their rates of exchange are much closer to the wholesale or midpoint rate than the major currency exchange houses. (The latter, in turn, claim rates far better than most if not all banks.)

I've been particularly intrigued by TransferWise. However, it does not yet provide for USD to MXN transfers.

WorldRemit is a newer firm which has obtained licenses to operate for clients in most U.S. states. It does provide for USD to MXN transfers, but so far it is only able to transfer, in Mexico, to Bancomer and oddball dept.-store limited bank BanCoppel. It can also send, at a higher charge, to various pickup locations, including those two banks.

Just mentioning these as new options to watch. If interested, you can find many references on the web, including articles in Forbes. You can also find various complaint sites -- since one has no way of knowing the volume of unsatisfied to satisfied customer, I take such sites with a grain of salt.



Aaron+

Nov 9, 2015, 6:58 PM

Post #2 of 20 (9975 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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Received today an email from TransferWise that announces:

"Sending US dollars to Mexican pesos just got a whole lot easier. TransferWise now supports transfers to Mexico.

"How does it work? Just visit TransferWise.com or download our iPhone app or Android app to get started. You'll get the real exchange rate, and pay just 32 Mexican pesos plus 1.5% of the transfer amount."

However, you cannot set up a withdrawal authority for them to fund your orders by directly debiting your bank account. You have to fund your order by sending a PopMoney transfer, so that adds at least a $US 1 charge to the process. (Many U.S. banks offer PopMoney as a Money Transfer service.) I suspect folks would find it safer to transfer from their account on their own rather than have a 3rd party, us as Western Union, dip into your account.

Have not tried their service yet. Started, opened an account, but then got bogged down in TransferWise's verification process. Uploaded a US drivers license and a passport in lieu of turning over my SSN. Then their website or my ISP froze. Whatever.


rzlo

Nov 14, 2015, 8:33 PM

Post #3 of 20 (9599 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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Xe.com gives good rates, charges no fees, and permits direct ACH transactions. They do charge for wire transfers but I believe it is still very competitive. Permitted amounts are much higher than with xoom.com for example, and xoom charges a fee.


chicois8

Nov 15, 2015, 12:53 PM

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Re: [rzlo] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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since my 3 accounts with Citibank, Schwab Bank and Capitol 360 are fee free and in combination I can withdrawal a total of $5,000 USD a day I really do not see the need for transfer services that charge fees.....
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


joaquinx


Nov 16, 2015, 8:06 AM

Post #5 of 20 (9453 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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since my 3 accounts with Citibank, Schwab Bank and Capitol 360 are fee free and in combination I can withdrawal a total of $5,000 USD a day I really do not see the need for transfer services that charge fees.....


Is having accounts at three banks similar to wearing a belt and suspenders?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


RickS


Nov 16, 2015, 8:24 AM

Post #6 of 20 (9444 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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One can never tell when that belt may break.... and then what!?!


joaquinx


Nov 16, 2015, 8:40 AM

Post #7 of 20 (9436 views)

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Re: [RickS] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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Overexposure. Suspenders just aren't snappy enough.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


chicois8

Nov 16, 2015, 1:29 PM

Post #8 of 20 (9388 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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I was pointing out to the previous poster that wiring money with fees is not the only way withdrawal large sums free..
If one of my cards is compromised I have backups available, plus all I can deposit under FDIC rules is $250,000 per bank......
maybe you keep yours in a garter......lol
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


joaquinx


Nov 16, 2015, 1:33 PM

Post #9 of 20 (9385 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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maybe you keep yours in a garter......lol


Excellent supporting argument.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


chicois8

Nov 16, 2015, 1:39 PM

Post #10 of 20 (9381 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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I am not into arguing but you seem to start flinging crap around...is it your hobby?or the heat of Veracruz....
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


rzlo

Nov 17, 2015, 4:47 PM

Post #11 of 20 (9300 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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My daily ACH limit with Xe.com is US10,000. No fees. YMMV.


joaquinx


Nov 18, 2015, 6:54 AM

Post #12 of 20 (9235 views)

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Re: [rzlo] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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My daily ACH limit with Xe.com is US10,000. No fees. YMMV.


What are the rates from XE? How do they compare to ATM rates? I've been using XOOM and their rates are similar to ATM ones.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


YucaLandia


Nov 18, 2015, 8:43 AM

Post #13 of 20 (9223 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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My daily ACH limit with Xe.com is US10,000. No fees. YMMV.


What are the rates from XE? How do they compare to ATM rates? I've been using XOOM and their rates are similar to ATM ones.


This question has been mostly-answered on another current Mexconnect thread: BofA alternative?

There really are at least 4 different answers to joaquinx's question:
~ There are XE.com 's spot rates - as the latest mid-market price of individual current trades. When we use the "currency converter" on XE.com ... these spot rates change just like stock-ticker prices on actively-traded equities - sometimes changing second by second.

~ There are XE.com's special quoted rates that they offer to current account holders ... where you specify an amount you want to trade/exchange, and XE.com gives you a special one-time quoted rate ... and you have a short amount of time to accept that quoted exchange rate, and authorize/execute the exchange.

~ XE.com also has the daily "mid-market" rates that they report for yesterday ... and the past ... for tracking historical "average" daily rates. ... THIS rate used to be important to Americans, because it was this 3'rd type of XE.com exchange rate that was ACCEPTED by the IRS for tax purposes...

~ and the other "rates" included in Joaqunx's question tie back into the mini-labyrinth of all the different flavors of "ATM" rates.

===========
Next: "ATM rates" can mean various things...

"ATM rates" can mean the spot rate given for that exact time&date of a debit-card transaction.

or the "ATM rate" can be the clearing-house's end-of-the-day (typically Midnight) "daily rate" for that day - a single rate based on the $$ milllions of Visa or Mastercard transactions processed for that day ... where the "ATM" user piggy-backs onto the near-market best rate given for huge $$ transactions.

Aside: This is important, because when exchanging money, in general, bigger transactions get more favorable exchange rates, and LOWER bank/exchange fees for doing the exchange. ... and yes, your bank may claim they have "no fees", but the brokerage-houses/exchange-houses definitely charge fees for handling every transaction ... which creates the very-real daily differences between "sell-rates" and "buy-rates".

or
The "ATM rate" may be individually determined by the bank's ATM exchange rate policy for that morning or afternoon... e.g. HSBC ATM exchange-rates change a few times during the day, depending on whether HSBC wants ... more $MXN pesos ... or wants more $USD dollars ...

so individual banks do tweak their ATM rates, sometimes multiple times a day (or not), based on if they think the $MXN peso is going up ... or down, to try to either build-up their USDollar reserves ... or to build-up MXN peso reserves.


Plus ... individual bank's ATMs can add their own processing-fee/handling-fee "rates" on top of the bank's basic exchange rate.

and our home banks can tack on their own ATM "rate" fees ... or not.


All this stuff ... and more ...is discussed in an old but-still-valid article at: Banking, Exchanging Currency, & Using Credit Cards & ATMs in Mexico

Happy Trails,
steve

-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Nov 18, 2015, 9:04 AM)


Aaron+

Nov 19, 2015, 12:55 PM

Post #14 of 20 (9141 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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TransferWise -- forget it!

I have given up on TransferWise, will stick with reliance on Xe.com. (By the way, one poster noted a $US10,000 transaction limit on his Xe.com account. You can request a higher limit, just give a reason for the request.)

I believed I had gone through all the requirements to activate a TransferWise account, though the company does not provide a step by step listing of their requirements. So I had provided a scanned passport, scanned U.S. driver's license, and finally gave in and provided, very reluctantly, my U.S. SSN. This all was one step at a time, not knowing what was next, sort of like the way it used to be at Mexican Immigration. Oh, I see I neglected to mention that they had asked for a picture each of my passport and driver's license, in lieu of scanning either, and that I declined to do, as the 600 dpi scans I had sent showed full detail

Ok, so I had emails noting approvals at the various steps. So I proceeded to attempt a transfer. I thought, per TW instructions, that I would have to use PopMoney to fund the transfer from my bank, only to discover that they could debit my account. A few more steps involved here. Oh and since my bank is a small community bank, it would take them longer to do the ACH debit. Huh?

So, let me try again. Set up a transfer, and at the same time "bid" on a real Xe.com account transfer, both for $US 1000 to pesos. While TransferWise indeed did quote me what Xe.com would call the midpoint, or what Visa would cite as the interbank rate, I had to pay a $14.78 fee to TW, so I wound up with an effective rate of 16.444 compared to the 16.442 rate from Xe.com. Not very exciting. Hardly worth doing.

Ah, but my transaction did not go through. It awaited, said one more series of emails from TW, for a picture of me holding up my ID card or passport, and then, allegedly, I would have run the gauntlet.
As someone who has set up all sort of financial institutions transactions, never had met a requirement for a personal photo of me showing off my passport. So, while asking them if they would next want a photo of me in my garden, I instructed them to cancel the transaction and my account. After all they only already had positive ID, address, SSN, and U.S. banking info on me!

In short, I cannot recommend TransferWise. I recall looking at XOOM some while ago, and believe I found that it might be attractive if sending more than $US 5000 at a time. I am usually at the $US1,000 level. So Xe.com, looks like you remain, for me, the better bet, so far.


sbeech

Nov 27, 2016, 7:34 AM

Post #15 of 20 (4393 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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Aaron - I have just done a write-up on my TransferWise experience from a UK - Mexico point of view and posted it in a new thread (my apologies to not spotting your thread beforehand)

My first on-line transaction with TransferWise took only 25 minutes from opening the new account, confirmation e-mail and transferring funds into their account.

Possibly my "test" run of only 100 meant I evaded all the need for ID....they never asked for any!!....now I'm worried about a) will my money turn up and b) will they start asking for ID .....mmmmm

My main reason for trying TransferWise was to avoid bank fees and charges and to try to get closer to the published mid-market exchange rates which seemed far better than other on-line currency exchanges.

Today's mid-market price for GBP, offered by TW was 25.82 minus 2% admin = 25.31. The online comparison site said that XE, Xoom and others were offering between 25 and 25.06.
I have a very old XE account but I didn't actually try to renew it to check.....maybe I should have done before taking a punt on a new TW account at 25.31?

Here is my original post:

As anyone knows, changing foreign money into Pesos leaves you at the mercy of banks and currency traders.

On my first visit, I brought enough GBP cash to last me 6 months, and promptly got "raped" at Mexico Airport by bandits masquerading as currency dealers in those little glass cubicles.

For the next few years in Mexico, I used ATMs....marginally better rates but reviewing my monthly bank charges confirmed that I was effectively employing the local "meeter and greeter" plus paying the CFE bill for all those bright lights at the local branch.

There had to be a better way......so I opened up a Mexican bank account at a different bank (my own branch said I couldn't open a peso account on a tourist visa?).....the 2nd bank wheeled me into the manager's office and filled out all the papers inside 30 minutes....strange.

Now to transfer some money so I did a test run.......my UK branch transferred 100 for a "fee" of 100 pesos, but I also noticed they were keeping 1 peso per GBP in "commission" as well ie my first "test" transfer of 100 gave me 2,467 pesos instead of 2,567 quoted on the on-line mid-market rates (xe.com)......they also took 100 pesos or 4 out of my UK bank as an "admin" charge....mmmmmm.

I did a little research, and the quoted mid-market rate is the mid-point between the day's BUY and SELL prices ie somebody somewhere already made a profit on the 2,567 pesos, then I lost another 100 pesos to the bank's currency department.....then another 100 pesos to the admin department.
Basically I still appeared to be losing 200 pesos................ plus I was keeping a currency trader based in Bermuda in Cuban cigars.

After more research using an on-line currency comparison site, I found 100 would get me a rate of 25 pesos with NO admin fees at 4 different companies XE.com, USForex, Travelex and FX. This sounded promising and I started filling out on-line application forms.
The questions were quite tedious and seemed overly invasive....how long had I lived at my last address?.......occupation?....date of birth etc, one application wouldn't let me past the "give us your mobile phone number" section and advised me to ring the UK for assistance.......another site sent me a log-on reference that didn't work for 3 days ......and when I complained they never replied to my e-mails....grrrr

The one thing that was still bugging me was the gap between 25 and 25.67 (actually now 25.82 some 3 days later)....if someone was making a profit at 25.82 why couldn't I deal direct with them?.....impossible I hear you say.

Then I stumbled on the site by accident......after 2 hours of research, I found a newish start-up company backed by ex-founders of PayPal, Skype, Facebook and even Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, a decent write-up entry in Wiki and a host of awards and write-ups in the New York Times, Financial Times and several other publications.

I opened an account in under 5 minutes, received a confirmation 5 minutes later.....played around with the site for 20 minutes and decided to book a 100 "test" exchange......bingo......it gave me the proper mid-market rate of 25.82 as of 5am this morning with only a 2% admin fee.....13 minutes later it confirmed they had received my 100 from my UK bank and that 2,582 minus 50 pesos admin (2%) = 2,532 would be in my Mexican bank inside 3 days.

2,367 via my bank compared to 2,532 on-line for 100, may not seem like a lot to some people but if you think how much savings that would be on 1,000, 10,000 or even 50,000, it soon adds up.

I will let you all know the company info, if and when my money turns up.......if not, I will skulk off back to hide in the shadows


sbeech

Nov 27, 2016, 9:05 AM

Post #16 of 20 (4381 views)

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Re: [sbeech] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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One small error that I've just noticed in my original reply to Aaron.....TransferWise only charge 1.5% admin fees, not 2% which makes the service even better.

My "test" run of 100 encountered a minimum fee of 2 per transaction ie 2%......as soon as I keyed in higher amounts it quickly drops to 1.5% or actually slightly lower.

I just tried 1,000....it gave me the mid-market rate of 25.82 minus 1.478% = 25,441 pesos into my account......happy days.

Out of curiosity I keyed in 1,000 USD and it had the same admin fee of 1.478% ie mid-market USD rate of 20.69 on Sunday 27th Nov minus the admin fee took it to 20.386

No idea how that compares to the other trading companies?


Aaron+

Nov 27, 2016, 1:14 PM

Post #17 of 20 (4362 views)

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Re: [sbeech] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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I retried applying to TansferWIse, even got the photo of myself holding my passport with photo etc visible.

Guess what? I tried to send pesos to my wife in Mexico via an ACH debit of my US account, and it failed. Pursued the matter with Transfer wise via telephone and chat. The worthless answer is that the problem was with my recipient, not with her bank or her account. No further explanation provided, despite various attempts. They told me to go ahead and send to anyone else in covered countries, including Mexico. So the only person I need to send funds to cannot be sent funds. Kafkaesque.


sbeech

Nov 27, 2016, 3:21 PM

Post #18 of 20 (4358 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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I am getting slightly worried about my "test" amount now Aaron......I can only assume, at this point, that US to Mexico transactions are more closely monitored than UK to Mexico.....for obvious reasons!!....hence the reason for all the ID checks

My bank accounts, in both Mexico and the UK, were also in my own name......maybe that helped?

I will keep you informed of the progress of my trial transaction.......if it works out ok, then please feel free to use my own personal account in future to transfer your money to your wife.......full details of my bank account are on-line at............................................s.beech.enterprises@OnlySlightlyDodgy.com....hahaha


sbeech

Dec 1, 2016, 4:38 PM

Post #19 of 20 (4257 views)

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Re: [sbeech] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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As promised, a quick update.

Popped into Bancomer today.....the money is there, full mid-market rate minus 2% admin fee....no ID required

I will try a larger sum tonight...possibly 5,000 to see if it triggers a few hurdles.....5,000 also gets me the reduced rate of 1.5 %


sbeech

Dec 2, 2016, 9:31 AM

Post #20 of 20 (4231 views)

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Re: [sbeech] Sending money: new peer-peer services

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OK.....just hit the button to grab the mid-market 4pm rate of 26.12 (I should have gone earlier at 26.30 but I thought it would go higher on the back of GBP having a very good day on the currency markets...c'est la vie)

5,000 gave me a reduced fee of 1% ie 26.12 pesos became 25.86 pesos, no other admin or transfer fees....money is on the way and the whole thing took less than 5 minutes from logging on.

My last 3 trades AFTER all fees were 23.67 from HSBC (1 peso per GBP in fees plus 100 pesos admin fee) , 25.31 (after 2% fees) and now 25.86 (after 1% fees) from Transferwise


(This post was edited by sbeech on Dec 2, 2016, 9:34 AM)
 
 
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