Christmas could bring rise in money transfers
Foreign money transfers are likely to increase in popularity in the run-up to Christmas, following last year's trend.
According to Mark Bodega of HiFX, the number of consumers that sent money transfers increased by almost 30 per cent in the lead up to the festive season in 2010.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Bodega noted that the increase in money transfer transactions was primarily attributed to expatriates sending money to their international bank accounts in preparation for the New Year and people sending Christmas presents to their friends and family.
But he pointed out that sending money abroad without checking on fees and exchange rates, choosing instead to stick with a high street bank, could prove costly. Specialist currency brokers may be able to offer better deals.
"Banks know very few of their customers leave them because of their international payments services," Mr Bodega added. "As a result they take advantage of a captive market."
"We as consumers only have ourselves to blame if we continue our general lethargy around this and other banking services."
A spokesman for PayPal echoed Mr Bodega's sentiments, pointing out that the Christmas period is a very busy time for the company.
As a result of this rise in business, PayPal has now made it easier for people to send money abroad.
PayPal's money transfer service, which operates over the internet, is the ideal option for consumers that only want to transfer a small amount of money.
The service requires users to provide an email address or a mobile phone number for authentication, while the recipient is also required to log into PayPal.
Moneybookers and Travelex also provide money transfer services similar to PayPal's internet-based transfer system.