In the modern age of PayPal and online banking, transferring money online should be a simple and easy job. However, it’s not always as stress-free as it might seem: not only can it sap time from your day, but it can also cost a lot if there’s an international dimension involved. It’s wise, then, to consider all of your options and thoroughly research them before authorising any transactions online. Here are some of the main things to think about.

Scams and fraud

As with any internet-based activity, there’s an inherent risk to moving money online. That’s because scammers and fraudsters have identified it as a key way to make some illicit cash, so you should be on your guard. To make matters worse, there are all sorts of different scams that you now have to watch out for, and they’re each getting more and more sophisticated.

You may, for example, face a phishing scam, in which a fraudster creates a fake version of, say, your online banking login screen, and tricks you into entering your details. There are plenty of alternatives and other versions to this scam, and they look sophisticated and real – so it’s easy to get tricked. By educating yourself as to what these scams look like, you can avoid them if they happen to you.

Time and efficiency

Online banking may seem like a way to save time, but this isn’t always the case. As recent news stories have shown, many major high street banks regularly experience outages when it comes to their online or mobile banking systems – with some even lasting hours or days. A good way to mitigate this risk is to always have a back-up plan in place: if you think that you’ll ever need to move money urgently, for example, then you can work out the fastest route to the nearest physical branch just in case online banking goes down.

The international dimension

On some occasions, meanwhile, you might need to transfer cash from one country to another – and this adds another layer of complexity. Perhaps you need to send some money to relatives living abroad, or maybe you need to convert profits in one international branch into an operating budget for a branch in a different country.

One of the main problems that you’re likely to face doing this lies in currency conversions: if the exchange rates don’t work in your favour, then you’re likely to find yourself losing money – and that’s before conversion fees are added on top. By using a comparison service to find the most cost-effective way to send money internationally online, though, you can cut down on these problems as much as possible.

Sending money online is often essential, whether you’re a business or a private citizen. After all, it’s a commonly accepted way of paying for goods and services – and it’s definitely efficient. While there are problems, using tools such as currency broker comparisons and security apps can help you to make sure that you don’t fall victim to high fees or fraud while getting the job done.