How to make an international bank transfer: some saving tips

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How to make an international bank transfer: some saving tips


That the hyper-connected globality in which we live has succeeded in changing certain aspects of our daily lives more and more rapidly is a truth that is quite easy to admit. These changes have also closely affected the financial sector, allowing the free flow of money to take place in new ways specifically designed to promote operational speed and user-friendliness, among which the international bank transfer. But what exactly is an international bank transfer? How it works? How much does it cost and, above all, is it possible to save on its disbursements?

What is an international bank transfer

Before discussing in detail its operational and functional dynamics, it is necessary to understand what it is about. An international bank transfer is the system that allows the transfer of funds in foreign currencies or on a current account located in a non-SEPA country. In itself, the concept is not that difficult, but it is more important to note how the operation of the international bank transfer is determined, controlled and granted by the international and European banking system. More specifically, it is possible to discover how there are two types of international bank transfer: SEPA and SWIFT. Let’s see what they are.

Transfer methodologies


The term SEPA is an acronym which stands for Unique airline payments in Europe. It is a system that allows users to make transfers in the euro zone using the same operating methods found in traditional national transfers. We therefore understand that its purpose is to facilitate the circulation of money thanks to an operation already known to the greatest number. It is characterized by quite affordable costs to incur.


SWIFT is an acronym that stands for Society for Global Interbank Financial Telecommunications. It is a real telecommunications system, as one can easily guess from its name, capable of connecting banking institutions around the world, guaranteeing the free exchange of banking information. in the greatest transparency and security. On the user side, this system offers the possibility of carrying out international bank transfers with great simplicity and speed.

how to make an international transfer
How to make an international transfer

How to make an international transfer

First of all it is good to specify how the methods of operation of an international bank transfer are practically similar to those of a traditional national bank transfera detail that helps support the usability of the former.

If you want it’s possible visit a branch in person of your banking institution and formulate the transaction at the counter, however the increase in the services of home banking has made everything easier for the user who can now carry out his international bank transfer in complete safety while remaining comfortably seated in his armchair at home. Considering the two types of bank transfers given above, we will analyze the methodology individually.

To make a SEPA transfer, all you have to do is connect to the home banking service provided by your bank, select the reference transaction and complete the form relating to the sender by entering the required data, in particular surname, first name, tax code, VAT number or company name, SWIFT code, IBAN code, reason and of course the relative desired amount. The surname, first name, VAT number or even the company name, the BIC code and the IBAN code will rather be the data to be entered in the field concerning the recipient.

The procedure it’s analogous regarding the transfer SWIFT or EXTRA SEPA.

In this case, in fact, the data requested from the sender to complete the reference form are: surname, first name, tax code, VAT number or company name, BIC code, IBAN code, reason and relative amount. With regard to the recipient, however, it is necessary to bear in mind that the SWIFT transfer can also be made in currencies other than the euro, therefore the data requested will include: indication of the currency , its amount, BIC codethe account number as well as of course the surname, first name, tax code, intra-community VAT number or company name.

How much does an international transfer cost?

In general, it can be said that the costs associated with international transfers they don’t have as much impact as you might think and, indeed, there are also several ways to reduce them as we will see in the dedicated paragraph. SEPA transfers present zero fees for sender and receiver, after deduction of certain commissions that may be applied by banks to facilitate their realization. However, we are talking about very small numbers.

Different discourse regarding ADDITIONAL SEPA transfers. They have a fixed commission between 10 and 15 euros applied by the sender’s bank and a variable taking into account the size of the amount intended for the transfer.

How to save

If you want to reduce the costs of international bank transfers, the first thing to do is certainly to turn to the home banking service and carry out the operation in question. in line without paying any ancillary amount, contrary to what happens at the counter. Second, you can use a special service developed by TransferWise, a multinational operating in the online bank transfer sector. It is an English company whose transfer operations are controlled and guaranteed by the FCA, which is the financial regulator of the United Kingdom. By relying on TransferWise, in addition to enjoying significantly faster processing times for international transfers, you can benefit from lower payouts up to a maximum of 1/8 on traditional.

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