Bank transfers throughout Europe use the SEPA network. These transactions are very often free (and by law, may not cost more than making a national bank transfer). For example, if you make a bank transfer from Germany to France – EUR to EUR – neither the sender nor the recipient will usually have to pay a fee.
However, it's often different if a currency exchange is involved (for example, sending from EUR to SEK in Sweden or GBP in the UK). While the transfer may appear free or low cost, banks and payment firms have various methods to charge extra fees - often hidden from their customers. Here's a few examples:
Fixed percentage: Your bank may charge a percentage fee of, for example, 1.5% of the total amount for transfers into a foreign currency, even within the SEPA area. If you want to transfer €1.000 to SEK in Sweden, you will have to pay €15.
- Fixed fee + percentage: Your bank may charge a fixed fee of, for example, €5 and an additional percentage fee of 0.5%. For a transfer of €1000, you pay €10.
Exchange rate markup: Your bank may not charge a fee at all, but will offer you a worse exchange rate than what you see online. The difference between the exchange rate banks charge customers and the live exchange rate represents a fee for the customer and profit for the bank. These deals are often called 'commission free'.
These examples are simplified and show the combinations of fees that customers sometimes have to deal with. These fee structures are often complicated and result in customers being unaware of what they are paying to transfer money abroad.
Atlantic Money is unique because we allow you to transfer and convert your money for a fixed fee of just €3. So whether you're sending €1.000 or €50.000, the fee remains the same.
Also, we'll always give you the live exchange rate (we don't make any money from marking up our rates).