It's not that easy to get clear information from big financial institutions like Nationwide.
I’ve put together this page to give you a clear understanding of how to make an international payment with Nationwide, how long it takes and the charges to look out for.
Nationwide international transfer fee
Nationwide charges no fees for a Euro payment to a European country. All other international money transfers incur a flat fee of £20. The fee is the same, whether you go online or use a branch.
The £20 transfer fee is at the higher end of what the UK’s big banks charge.
It may not seem a lot, but nobody likes paying fees.
Some money transfer companies will also charge you fees on international transfers.
But others, such as ourselves, charge no fees whatsoever.
Nationwide International Payments
Euro payment (SEPA)
All other international payments (SWIFT)
As a quick heads-up, you may also be charged for intermediary bank fees.
These are fees collected by other banks that Nationwide use in facilitating international payments.
Unfortunately, Nationwide doesn’t state how much these extra fees may be.
Nationwide exchange rates (very important)
Many customers focus on the fees and forget the exchange rate.
This can be a costly mistake.
For most international transfers, the exchange rate is much more important than the transfer fee.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realise that.
They think Nationwide literally charge £20 to send money abroad!
But the exchange rate charged by Nationwide has a profit margin added to it.
Like the big banks, Nationwide sets their own exchange rates.
Nationwide even provide a page with their current exchange rates.
I’ve gone through the exchange rates on offer and have calculated that Nationwide adds a 2.3% margin.
That might not seem like much, but let me show you how much that works out at using some examples below:
- £5,000 transfer = £115 in exchange rate costs
- £20,000 transfer = £460 in exchange rate costs
- £50,000 amount = £1,150 in exchange rate costs
- £100,000 amount = £2,300 in exchange rate costs
Obviously, the more you send, the greater the exchange rate costs.
You can clearly see from the examples above that the £20 fee is just a tiny part of the true cost.
In fact, on a £100,000 transfer, the transfer fee charged by Nationwide is less than 1% of the total charges.
I'm not sure many people appreciate that.
The point is if you just automatically use Nationwide to make an international money transfer, you may end up paying a lot more than you need to.
Small differences in the exchange rate can make a big financial difference.
My advice is to always get a quote from an alternative provider.
There’s no harm in shopping around.
As a tip, when you carry out a comparison, do it at roughly the same time because exchange rates move throughout the day.
How long does Nationwide international payment take?
The time taken depends whether it is a payment to a European country or somewhere else.
For transfers in euros to a European country (known as a SEPA payment), your money should be delivered within 1 working day. If you do it before 11.30 am, it will be the same day.
For all other international transfers (known as SWIFT payments), it may take up to 4 working days.
The information you will need
To send money overseas with Nationwide, you need the following information:
- The recipient’s name and address.
- The recipient’s IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
- The name, address and BIC (Bank Identifier Code) of the bank receiving your money.
You may not be familiar with terms IBAN and BIC.
An IBAN identifies an individual account, and a BIC identifies a specific bank.
International money transfers work using these two bits of code.
To make matters confusing, they consist of both letters and numbers, and there is no standard length for either – it varies from country to country.
If you are sending money to an overseas bank account in your name, the easiest way to get these bits of code is to log in to your account. It is normally shown on the screen somewhere once logged in.
You can also search up an IBAN and BIC online, but I’m not sure how safe or secure that is.
If you go into a Nationwide branch, they should (hopefully) be able to assist you.
Alternatively, a money transfer company is used to dealing with international payments and will be able to help you put all the details together.
How to make an international payment with Nationwide
You can send money abroad either using Internet Bank or within a branch.
At present, Nationwide does not allow international payments through its Banking App.
You also need to have the funds in your current account, as Nationwide does not allow international payments from a savings account.
Below is a quick overview of how the process works.
Making an international payment using Internet Bank:
- Log in as normal
- Select the Move Money tab
- Select Other Payments (at the bottom)
- Follow the on-screen prompts
Essentially you need to enter the recipient details, choose the amount of pounds (GBP) you need to send and the currency needed.
Before any transaction goes ahead, you will be asked to check and confirm all the details.
The process is longer than a typical domestic bank transfer as there’s a lot more information needed.
Nationwide will provide their latest exchange rate at the time of confirmation.
This rate cannot be held indefinitely, so you can’t go make a cup of tea and come back in 5 minutes as the rate will then be invalid and need to be requoted.
Making an international payment within a Branch:
Remember to bring your ID!
Nationwide states you need to bring the following:
- Your Nationwide current account card
- A valid passport OR drivers licence
- Some form of proof of address less than 3 months old (bank or credit card statement, utility bill, council tax, rental agreement).
Within a branch, they will guide you through the process. It may take a while, so leave sufficient time.
Also, don’t forget to bring all the details of the recipient (as listed above).
A trusted and helpful alternative: Key Currency
You bank with Nationwide, so you might feel obliged to use them for your international transfers.
But the reality is, you the customer, have a choice.
A bank, building society, or money transfer specialist can execute international money transfers.
So why should you consider another option?
There are two main differences: cost and service.
I’ve mentioned above how the true cost of an international transfer is made up of the exchange rate and the transfer fee.
Once both are taken into account, you may find the savings elsewhere are significant.
It depends on how much you’re planning to send.
Obviously, for larger transfers, the savings can be far greater.
It’s best to get an alternative quote – without committing to anything – and see if it’s worth your while.
Shopping around is the best weapon a consumer has.
It can also be easier using a money transfer specialist.
The reason is that banks and building societies offer a multitude of different products.
You may well find the staff in Nationwide branches have that look of dread when you ask to do an international payment.
It’s not an area they are that overly familiar with.
As a money transfer specialist is focused on international payments, you should find the process easier.
Not all money transfer companies are the same.
In fact, most are really just ‘apps’.
You may have noticed there’s a big push these days to make customers do everything online.
These lazy companies want you to do all the work and take all the responsibility.
In short, they are trying to get rid of all human contact (otherwise known as customer service).
However, when it comes to sending your money overseas, a lot of customers would rather speak to someone.
It’s understandable – it’s not something people do every day.
No one wants to make a mistake with the payment details or choose a terrible time to exchange their money.
At Key Currency, we don't make you download an app or send you into battle with your computer.
All our customers have an account manager who’s on the other end of the phone.
Our account managers will help you with the entire process and keep you informed at all stages of your transfer.
It takes away any stress or worry.
What’s more, we can also monitor the currency markets on your behalf and work with you to get the best rates and reduce costs.
As a company, we are open and transparent.
The names, faces and backgrounds of all our team of people are shown on our website.
We have a 5-star “excellent” customer rating on the review website Trustpilot; it's the highest rating available.
You also have the peace of mind knowing that all money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts, and Key Currency is an FCA regulated Authorised Payment Institution (No. 753989).
To make a no-obligation enquiry, please request a quote below.