Small World Money Transfer: Fees, Rates and Transfer Times


If you need to make an international payment, or get some cash to a friend or relative overseas, you’ll need to find a safe, reliable and low-cost transfer service. There are plenty of choices out there, which offer slightly different services, and pricing structures.

Small World is an international payment company which works through its own offices, and a network of agents throughout the world. There are some 680 employees of Small World¹, and then a network of 5000 agents in different countries who can help arrange and deliver payments².

Doing a bit of research in advance of making your payment is the best way to find a payment provider to suit your needs. You can then compare the costs of international payments with Small World with the exchange rate used and the fees applied by other providers such as Wise before you make a final decision.

A quick comparison between Small World and Wise. Read on after that for the full information.

Service Small World Wise
Fees The fees depend on where you send the money, and how your recipient wants to receive the money. For example, a bank transfer of £1000 to the US will cost £9.90³ From GBP to USD the fee is: 0.4% of the GBP amount + £0.80 = £4.78
Exchange rate Mid-market exchange rate + possible mark-up The mid-market exchange rate
Supported currencies Transfers to almost anywhere in the world Transfers to 48 currenciesTransfers from 22 currenciesMore information on the supported currencies FAQ page

Banks and money transfer providers often give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save up to 8x by using Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.

Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise. And give it a try.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Wise’s borderless multi-currency account. Where you can manage and send dozens of currencies all from the same account.

Now, back to what you came here to read.

Here’s all you need to know about remitting money overseas with Small World

How does an international transfer with Small World work?

With Small World you can make international payments in several different ways³. The key features of these are outlined below. It’s worth noting that not all options are available in all countries, so you’ll need to check the details for your particular circumstance.

Cash pick-up

You can choose to send money with Small World, and have your recipient collect the cash at an agent location near to their home. You can arrange the payment either online, on the phone, or by visiting a Small World agent near you, and the cash will be available for collection in 24 hours in many cases. There's a network of 5000 agents throughout the world, although you’ll need to check there's one close to your recipient, for convenience⁴.

Bank deposit

It’s possible to make a payment directly to your recipient’s bank account, either online, by calling the customer contact centre, or visiting a Small World agent. In this case, the money you send will be transferred to the recipient’s bank account, although the length of time this will take depends on the country you’re transferring to⁵.

Home delivery

If there's no Small World agent near to your recipient, you can arrange to have the payment delivered to their home instead. This service is not available in all countries though, so you’ll need to check if it’s possible for your particular transfer.

Mobile wallet

You can make mobile wallet payments to recipients in the Philippines and Kenya, either by visiting or calling an agent, or by registering your beneficiary online and making the payment via the website⁶.

Small World offer a range of payment routes, but not all are available in all countries - and the fees and charges will vary depending on where you’re sending money to. If you're looking for the best available deal for your international payment, it’s smart to look at several options for comparison. Make sure you look at not only the upfront fees, but also the exchange rate being offered, to avoid hidden fees.

Check out Wise for international payments in a wide range of currencies, for just a low fee. Wise always use the real mid-market exchange rate for transfers, with no mark-up or hidden fees. Thanks to their smart approach to international payments, the service is often quicker and cheaper than using a traditional bank.

And if you’re looking to save even more time and money, and need to make international payments often, a multi-currency borderless account from Wise might be your answer. You can hold your money in any of over 40 different currencies in the same account, and switch between them using the real exchange rate whenever you need to. There’s only a small fee to pay. It’s easy to make international payments directly to friends and family, and you can also receive fee free payments in major currencies such as British pounds, US and Australian dollars and euros. See if you can save with Wise, today.

What are the fees when you want to transfer money overseas with Small World?

Whichever payment route you want to use, you’ll need to simulate the transfer to see the exact fees that will be charged. You can do this online, or by talking to an agent in person or on the phone. Here’s an idea of the fees you’ll need to think about:

Service Small World fees
International transfer - bank transfer Upfront fees + possible exchange rate markup Upfront fees depend on the country, currency and amount involved. Sending £1,000 to India for example, costs £6 in upfront fees. The same payment to Australia costs £5, and sending the same to the US will cost £9.90.³ Making a payment with a credit, debit or prepaid card may cost more if your card provider adds their own fees or charges.
International transfer - cash for collection or delivery Upfront fees + possible exchange rate markup Upfront fees depend on the country, currency and amount involved. Sending £1,000 to the Philippines, for example, costs £5 in upfront fees if you would like to collect the cash from an agent - and £7 for home delivery³. Making a payment with a credit, debit or prepaid card may cost more if your card provider adds their own fees or charges.
International transfer - mobile wallet (only available to Kenya and Philippines) Upfront fees + possible exchange rate markup The upfront fees for sending £1000 to a mobile wallet in Kenya are £29.13, to the Philippines this will cost £5.³ Making a payment with a credit, debit or prepaid card may cost more if your card provider adds their own fees or charges.

It’s important to note that some of the transfer fees are fixed, meaning that the relative cost is quite high if you’re sending a small amount. For example, when sending money to the USA by bank transfer, the charge will be £5 whether you’re sending £50 or £500. That means that the relative charge for a £50 transfer is right up at 10% of the value of the transfer³. Make sure you check out the details for your own transfer, and compare them against other providers.

In general, it’s also important to check if your international bank transfers may be made using the SWIFT network, as there may be further fees to pay on top of any fees you see stated upfront. Between 1 and 3 intermediary banks can be involved in a SWIFT transfer, and they can each charge a fee for handling the payment.

If you’re worried about fees like this, check out an alternative transfer service like Wise, to avoid the SWIFT network.

What are the currencies that Small World supports?

Small World can offer international bank transfers to almost anywhere in the world, and cash for collection or delivery in a wide range of countries. You’ll need to check their listing online to make sure that the payment route you want is available for the country your recipient is in.

If you want to compare the service Small World offers, to check out the relative costs, have a look at Wise, who can help you arrange international payments to and from a wide range of countries and currencies.

What is the exchange rate you get with Small World?

To see the true cost of an international payment, you’ll need to understand both the upfront fee that will be charged, and the exchange rate used for the currency conversion.

To do this, you’ll need to find the real, mid-market exchange rate for your currency pairing simply by googling it, having a look on the XE or Reuters website, or using an online currency converter. It’s important to do this before you commit to an international payment service, because you could find you pay more than you need to if you’re not aware of the exchange rate at the time you place your transfer.

The mid-market exchange rate matters because it’s the one that banks use to trade currencies between themselves, and the only real exchange rate. However, many banks and international transfer services say they can’t offer this exchange rate to retail customers. Instead, the rate they use when transferring smaller amounts includes a markup, or spread, which bumps up their profit. This can make it hard to see the real price you’re paying for your international transfer, and can work out to be more expensive than it should be.

If the exchange rate on offer for your currency pairing through Small World includes a mark-up, it could be time to find a new transfer service. Wise, for example, offers the real exchange rate on international payments, with only a small upfront fee to pay.

Are there any limits to the amount that you can transfer with Small World?

There are no limits to the amount you can transfer - but you may be asked to prove the source of the funds for larger amounts. The team at Small World will tell you which documents you need to provide for legal purposes when you place your transfer².

How long does an international transfer with Small World take?

The length of time it takes for your international transfer to arrive depends on the payment route. Small World state that in many cases the funds are available within 24 hours, but the likely delivery time will be confirmed at the point that you place the transfer².

How can you contact Small World?

If you need to contact Small World for advice, or to ask a question, you have several options⁷:

  • Contact Small World customer service using the online contact form available on their website
  • Call the team on 02074071800 (or 00442895680527 if you’re in Northern Ireland)
  • Use the online chat option available on the website
  • Connect using Twitter or Facebook

And if you’d like to learn more about great value international payments from Wise, you can find details of how to get in touch withcustomer support.

Whether you need to send some cash to a friend for a gift, remit money home, or make an international payment for a holiday or even a new property overseas, you’ll want the best available service. There's plenty of choice when it comes to making international payments, so a bit of research can really pay off - and make sure you find the best possible deal for you.

*All sources checked on November 23, 2018

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location