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How to use peer-to-peer money transfer services

Save money and enjoy fast processing times when you send money overseas using a peer-to-peer money transfer service.

Peer-to-peer money transfers match people who are trading 2 specific currencies with each other, generating savings by cutting out the middleman.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Within minutes
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
You can use the table above to compare peer-to-peer money transfer services based on fees, minimum transfer amounts and transfer speed. If you're interested in finding out more about a transfer service, click "More", or if you'd like to open an account, click "Go to Site".
Optimized-How peer-to-peer international money transfers work

Although international money transfers are traditionally conducted via banks, it’s now possible to take advantage of peer-to-peer banking services for money transfers. These services provide networks where people can share access to currencies without the need for a central server, allowing you to cut out the middleman. As a result, the money transfer process is simplified and you can save money.

How do peer-to-peer money transfers work?

First, you need to select how much money you wish to transfer and where you’re sending it. You can then upload your funds to your money transfer provider, which will then convert your money at the mid-market rate and match you with a person sending funds in the opposite direction.

For example, if you’re sending money from Australia to the United States, you’ll be matched with someone sending funds from the United States to Australia. This allows customers to cut out the banks and enjoy better exchange rates and lower transaction fees.

Example: Peer-to-peer vs bank

Lauren wants to send $1,000 to her mother in the UK. In order to find the best possible money transfer deal, she compares the services offered by her Big Four bank with a peer-to-peer money transfer service like Wise or CurrencyFair. The results can be seen in the table below.

BankPeer-to-peer money transfer service
Amount transferred$1,000$1,000
Exchange rate£0.52£0.55
Fee charged$25$2
Amount received£507£548.90

As you can see in the example above, if Lauren sends her funds using a peer-to-peer service, she will be sending an extra £41.90.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

Finder survey: What is the main reason Australians send money internationally?

Sending to family/friends64.44%
Paying bills21.11%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1110 Australians, December 2023

How do I compare peer-to-peer money transfer services?

You’ll need to take the following features into account when comparing peer-to-peer money transfer services.

  • Exchange rates. The exchange rate is a very important factor when determining how much money you can save, so look for the company that offers the best rates. However, keep an eye out for companies that suck you in with great rates, but then slug you with high fees.
  • Fees. Make sure you’re aware of all the fees attached to your transaction. Does the company charge a flat fee or is it a percentage based on the amount you’re transferring? Is the fee waived entirely if you transfer more than a certain amount?
  • Minimum and maximum transfer amounts. You’ll need to check how much a company will allow you to transfer since minimum limits might be too high for some and maximum limits may be too little for others.
  • Transfer methods. Compare whether you can only lodge your transfer online or whether there are phone and in-person options available as well.
  • Other extras. Compare whether providers allow you to lodge forward contracts, meaning you lock in an exchange rate for a transaction that will occur at a later date, or limit orders, which is where you lock in a minimum exchange rate and the transaction is not completed until the market fluctuates and your chosen rate is available.
  • Customer service. Is the company known for providing excellent customer assistance? Is there an online help centre and live chat available? Can you email or phone for support and what are the hours that each provider’s support centre is open?
  • What currencies are available? You’ll need to compare which currencies each provider offers and which destinations you can send money to.

Compare peer-to-peer money transfer services

What are the pros and cons of using a peer-to-peer money transfer service?


  • Better rates. Peer-to-peer services usually offer better exchange rates than banks. Banks typically charge 5% while P2P services charge commissions ranging from 0.5% to 1.5%.
  • Lower fees. You’ll typically pay less to transfer money via one of these providers than you would through a bank.
  • Fast. Peer-to-peer providers regularly offer faster processing times than banks, with transfers often completed within one business day.


  • Supported currencies. While more supported currencies are added all the time, as peer-to-peer providers are relatively new, they do not yet offer the same number of exotic currencies and transfer destinations as major money transfer services.
  • Delayed processing. Currencies can go through periods of volatility and during this time, your transaction might be paused if the price has moved 3% since making the transaction.

Are there any risks?

When you’re making an international money transfer, it’s important to keep an eye out for exchange rates and fees. Poor exchange rates can eat up a big chunk of your money if you’re not careful, while hidden fees can be a nasty surprise if you don’t read the fine print before lodging a transfer. It’s also essential that you ensure you are dealing with a reputable company. Do your research before you commit yourself so that you don’t end up the victim of a dishonest provider.


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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    mickApril 12, 2016

    I am going to Europe in February 2017 which is 9 months away and I want to buy euros when the AUD is at its highest. If this were to happen in 4 weeks time and I entered into a peer to peer transaction then,

    1. how and where do I collect my funds?
    2. is it possible to have a forward contract like this or not?

    If this sort of transaction requires a bank account then it would be possible to use a low cost forex company and park the funds. The real issue is that it is nigh well impossible to open a banking account in Europe unless you reside there. I have tried. Hence the interest in peer to peer transactions.

    If all else fails meeting the counterpart when one half or the other arrives overseas seems like an option, where a physical exchange of funds is possible.

    Getting rather messy!

      Default Gravatar
      HarryApril 13, 2016

      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately you cannot use a peer-to-peer currency exchange service to pick up money in Europe unless you have a bank account there.

      Peer-to-peer international money transfer services like Transferwise and Currency Fair don’t offer limit orders as well, so it’s generally not possible to conduct these.

      Alternatively, you may want to consider bringing a debit card overseas for your travel. we have a dedicated page for you to compare Australian debit cards for overseas travel or overseas shopping online.

      I hope this helps,


    Default Gravatar
    NevilleDecember 12, 2015

    My recipient in Chiang Rai Thailand does not have a bank account, is there any other provider besides Western Union that will be able to facilitate a cash transfer?

      ShirleyDecember 14, 2015Finder

      Hi Neville,

      Thanks for your question.

      Moneygram and Worldremit also offer cash pick up options. Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you initiate money transfer.


    Default Gravatar
    CyprienFebruary 10, 2015

    I am in Rwanda,I would like to use World Remit and i realise that rwanda is not eligible in your to do?

      ShirleyFebruary 11, 2015Finder

      Hi Cyprien,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are number of organisations that may be able to assist: MTN Mobile Money Online, Ria Financial Services and I&M Bank.

      Your local bank may also be able to assist with this transaction.


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