Fastest ways to make an emergency money transfer

If you or a loved one are in an emergency and need cash quickly, here are your best options.

Promoted

WorldRemit

WorldRemit logo
  • Send money online within minutes
  • Large range of destinations
  • Able to send to cash pickup locations
Go to site

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Online money transfer services offer some of the fastest ways to transfer money to someone in cash or for direct deposit in an emergency - but which provider you should use depends on how much you're sending and how quickly you need it to arrive.

Compare the fastest international money transfers

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.691 USD
6,906
Use code Take10AUD to get $10 off when you spend $20. Valid till 31 January 2022. T&Cs apply.
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.692 USD
6,913
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

What is the fastest way to transfer money internationally?

There may be occasions where you need to get money to friends or family in an emergency. In most cases, the fastest way to send money internationally is by using an online money transfer company.

Some money transfer services allow you to send funds almost instantly, with the recipient able to collect in cash or via a bank deposit. Apart from the speed, another advantage of using online transfer services is that you can easily compare fees and exchange rates and choose the most favourable for your transaction. To learn more about how exchange rates are calculated, take a look at exchange rates explained.

Which are the fastest services to use when sending money abroad?

When there is an emergency, getting money out as quickly as possible is key. WorldRemit, MoneyGram and Western Union are the three providers with the fastest money transfer services.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is entirely online, which means you can access it from the convenience of your computer or via its app. Your fastest option would be to use mobile money (if available) or cash pickup at a WorldRemit agent location. If you need to find a cash pickup location for WorldRemit you can check out our locations guide.

WorldRemit money transfers logo
WorldRemit at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: $50,000
  • Minimum transfer: $1
  • Transfer speed: Same day
  • Transaction fee: $3.99
How can I send money quickly?

You'll need to sign up for a free account with WorldRemit. You'll also need to provide your personal information, the transaction details and your payment information.

What happens next?

WorldRemit will confirm the transaction with both you and your recipient by email or text and notify you when the funds are received or picked up. If you have any problems, you can contact customer service 24/7 at 888-772-7771 or online through live chat.

Back to top

MoneyGram

MoneyGram is the second-largest provider of international money transfers in the world. It has an extensive network of 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries. Your fastest option is to pay with a credit or debit card (or with cash at an agent location) and choose the cash pickup option. In some countries, you could even use the mobile wallet option.

MoneyGram International Money Transfers logo
MoneyGram at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: $13,750
  • Minimum transfer: $1
  • Delivery speed: Within an hour
  • Transaction fee: $2.99 plus anywhere between 3% and 7% of the transfer
How can I send money quickly?
  • Head to the MoneyGram site and start a transfer using your bank account, credit card or debit card.
  • Use MoneyGram's online locator tool or call to find a location near you. You'll often find them in a 7-Eleven.
What happens after?

Once the money transfer is complete, the receiver can visit their nearest MoneyGram location to collect it. Remind them to bring along their reference number (which is included in the confirmation emails for online transfer) and ID for pickup. If you have a problem, contact customer service through the site or toll-free at 800-666-3947.

Back to top

Western Union

Western Union has 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries, making it the largest provider of international money transfers in the world. As with MoneyGram, your fastest option is to pay by debit or credit card for cash pickup.

Western Union Money Transfers logo

Western Union at a glance
  • Maximum transfer: $50,000
  • Minimum transfer: $1
  • Transfer speed: In minutes if using a debit or credit card for cash pickup
  • Transaction fee: Typically around 5% of the transfer
How can I send money quickly?
  • Head to Western Union's website. You'll need your personal information, your recipient's details and a valid method of payment to make the transfer.
  • Visit a Western Union location near you with cash or a debit card.
What happens next?

You'll receive a unique Money Transfer Control Number with your confirmation. You can track your transfer online with this number. If you have any problem, contact customer service 24/7 at 800-325-6000 or through the online form on Western Union's site.

Back to top

What factors affect the speed of a money transfer?

There are several factors that can affect how fast your intended recipient receives their transfer, and they are worth keeping in mind if you need to send money in an emergency.

    • Transfer destination. Where you are sending money to will impact the speed of your transfer. It's often faster to send money between countries where financial exchange is commonplace. Just remember that every transfer destination involves specific banking regulations and procedures, which could potentially delay transfers.
    • Payment method. How you choose to pay for your transfer will determine the processing speed. Typically paying by credit or debit card is your fastest option.
    • Receiving method. The form your intended recipient chooses to receive their funds will also affect the transfer time. You will find that a cash pickup can be done almost instantaneously.
    • Signing up to an account. If you are not already registered with a money transfer service, it can take time to apply for an account and provide the required supporting documents.

What do I need to look out for when sending cash quickly?

Fees for emergency transfers will vary among banks and money transfer services. Before you make your transfer, try to compare the following:

      • Exchange rates. Money transfer services make money by skewing exchange rates. You'll want to look for a rate that's as close to the mid-market rate as possible.
      • Transfer fees. Fees can range from flat fees of a few dollars to up to $80 or more, depending on how you're sending it or picking it up.
      • Transfer options. Can your recipient accept a bank account transfer, or do they need to pick up cash right away?
      • Security. For emergencies, you'll appreciate being able to track your transfer through to receipt.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for HSBC International Money Transfers
HSBC International Money Transfers

Transfer money overseas for $0. Valid till 15 February 2022. T&Cs apply.
Use one account to transfer money in up to 10 currencies without transaction or ATM fees.

Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for MasterRemit International Money Transfers
MasterRemit International Money Transfers

New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site