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Navigating the World of International Money Transfers - A Guide for Nepalese Expats in the UK

28 Dec 2023

As a Nepali migrant working in the United Kingdom, your every money transfer from UK to Nepal nowadays could not have been easier. According to loose estimates, around 100,000 Nepalese reside and work in the UK. Since they cannot find sustainable work opportunities in their native country and, therefore, suffer unemployment and poverty, as a result, they travel to developed countries like the UK for jobs with reasonable incomes.

Due to the dazzling technology, sending financial support back home online has become easy.

But do you know how this all began? What did online money transfers take to reach where they stand today?

You are more interested in enjoying a swift and safe transfer of funds from the UK to Nepal but there is a long history and phases of evolution this process underwent. For a holistic understanding of the process today, a look into the world of global money transfers is essential.

International Money Transfers – A Different Angle

You are not the first generation of Nepalese working in the UK to earn a living or for education. Are you?

Well, there are generations before you who went to the UK and stayed there for more or less the same purposes. Have you ever tried to ask a representative of one such generation as to what it was like to send money to Nepal online from UK then? And ‘then’ here does not refer to antiquity or the distant past. It, rather, refers to only a few decades ago.

If you happened to ascertain the answer, you would learn that there was a time when the mere thought of sending funds across borders would be synonymous with immense confusion. Why?

The reasons for the confusion are explained briefly below before navigating the world of global money transfers.

Immense Time to Deliver Funds

In the past, online money transfers would take several weeks to deliver funds. Both the sender and the recipient would have to battle psychological burdens until the funds would reach the intended beneficiary, for the simple reason that technology then was not as advanced as it is now.

Safety of Funds

The confusion discussed above stemmed also from the safety of the funds and the transaction itself. Because there were different channels involved in the processing of the funds from initiation to end, it would throw the safety into doubt.

High Services Charges

Another challenge was paying exponentially high fees for the transactions. It was unfeasible.

Imagine earning a living in a foreign country and having to pay a high fee for a transfer which is a repetitive activity. Does it not have the potential to throw your financials into disequilibrium?

Having understood the primary reasons for confusion surrounding online money transfers in the past, let’s now look at the evolution phases global money transfers underwent.

International Money Transfers – The Evolution Phases

International money transfers are the online payments you make using digital tools and the internet. Starting from the banks, the forms of online money transfers have become different and diversified and include mobile pay, e-banking, conventional banking, digital wallets, and so on.

First Electronic Payment System

Physical payments remained in vogue for centuries. But it changed drastically in 1871 when Western Union (then known as the Western Union Telegraph Company) launched the first Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) to send and receive funds. It later became popular as Wiring.

Electronic Payment Systems Since 1940s

Although the launch of EFTs several decades earlier was a groundbreaking achievement, it came with certain limitations, leading to further innovation in the 1950s. It gave birth to Credit Cards, which, at that time, were an unbelievable achievement.

Since then, there has been no looking back, and online money transfers are evolving rapidly you will find several Nepalese who still use these cards to send money online to Nepal from UK for financial support back home.

Several online money transfer companies still offer you many payment options to choose from for payment of funds back home including through Credit Cards.

Despite being still in vogue and used at a large scale for online payments and for a host of purposes, look here at what transactions you can or cannot make using your prepaid credit card.

The Intervening Phase

Since then, online money transfers have taken many turns for the better. Initially, credit cards were dubbed as BankAmericaCard, also known as Visa, and these cards have gained immense popularity since the 1970s.

Later, this idea birthed debit cards and substantially reduced the use of cash. These cards are also known as the Plastic Currency.

Advent of Online Money Transfer Companies

At the turn of the century or until the late 1990s, banks and a few other financial institutions monopolized online money transfers. But millions of global migrants shifted quickly to remittance transfer companies as soon as these were launched. Take a look below to know why!

Swift Transfer of Funds

Online money transfer companies deliver funds from the UK to Nepal within a few hours. It is a big advantage because you and the intended beneficiary of funds are no longer supposed to worry about whether funds have reached the recipient or not.

Safety of Funds and Transactions

In most cases, the funds you send online through remittance transfer service providers remain safe due to the multiple security layers around the transfers. But you must exercise care while transacting and fully know about different types of online scams to stay safe.

Low Service Charges

Multiple service providers charge you low fees for your online money transfers from the UK to Nepal. A few companies like ACE Money Transfer, however, do not charge you fees unless your amount reaches a certain level below which your transactions are likely fee-free.

Market-Competitive Currency Exchange Rates

You can get market-competitive currency exchange rates while you transfer funds through online money transfer service providers. Earlier, getting market-competitive currency exchange rates was difficult, which would hurt your transactions.

Hassle-Free Transfer of Funds

These companies allow you to initiate a transfer without having to move an inch because their smartphone apps are easy to install and use. Earlier, commuting to the concerned financial institutions was considered a must as their services were not widely and virtually available.

Online Tracking of Transactions

Since online money transfers involve your hard-earned money, you naturally become conscious about the funds en route from you to the beneficiary. Right? You want to, therefore, know whether your funds have arrived or not. This tracking of transactions is now easy with these companies as you can track these online and from the middle of your comfort zone.

These are some of the advantages that an earlier generation of Nepali migrants working in the UK was deprived of.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

You send money to Nepal from UK to offer financial support back home. Right? If you choose, therefore, ACE Money Transfer for this purpose, you will likely enjoy fee-free transfers if your home-bound amount is below a certain threshold and will also get live and market-competitive currency exchange rates in a matter of less than a few hours with your transactions wrapped in multiple tight security layers.



How long did international money transfers take to reach where they are today?

The first online money transfer took place in 1871. This groundbreaking feast was achieved by Western Union, which, at the time, was also known as Western Union Telegraph Company. So, international money transfers took almost a little over 150 years to stand where they do today.

Why were international money transfers confused in the past?

Several factors confused global money transfers in the past. And this past refers to only a few decades ago. Some of the challenges confusing were long delivery times, high fees, and lack of funds safety.

What are the two basic mediums for online money transfers?

The two basic mediums for transferring funds from the UK to Nepal are banks and online remittance transfer service providers. However, with the efficient services of companies, banks are no longer the primary choice for transferring funds online.

What are the main evolution phases in online money transfers?

The main evolution phases in online money transfers include the Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) in the early 1870s; the launching of Credit Cards in the 1940s, and later Debit Cards. Known as Plastic Currency, these Cards reigned supreme until the advent of online money transfer companies at the turn of the century.

What are the advantages of online money transfer companies?

Some of the primary advantages of online money transfer companies include speed, safety, easy tracking, getting live and market-competitive currency exchange rates, low service charges, and a hassle-free process of transferring funds.


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