If you’re planning to send money or other valuables to someone, it’s important to find out how to do it safely and securely. By using a method without adequate safeguards, you could risk losing your contents without hope of compensation. Let’s take a look at the best and safest way to send money by post as well as some good alternatives for sending money.
Using Royal Mail
If you plan to use the UK postal system to send money, the safest method is to use Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed. Using this service will guarantee the delivery of your letter, large letter or parcel by 9am or 1pm the following day. In addition, you can track your mail online at all times and you’ll receive an electronic proof of delivery once it’s arrived safely. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll receive compensation for loss or damage should there be a problem with your delivery. If you’re planning to send a high value package, you’ll probably want to buy the higher level of compensation offered. However, you won’t be eligible for compensation if you use any other of Royal Mail’s services to send money.
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed offers compensation for loss or damage to money in the form of bank notes and coins, postal orders, cheques and many others including bills of exchange, promissory and credit notes and even unused postage and revenue stamps. Coupons, vouchers, tokens and other documents that can be exchanged for money or goods are also covered by Royal Mail’s service. However, you should not send envelopes containing coins as they can be damaged by Royal Mail’s automatic sorting machines. If you need to send coins, put them in a well-wrapped parcel.
Before sending, make sure you have packaged your cash contents securely and that no hint of your valuables is visible from the outside. You also should not state on the packaging that money is enclosed. The cost of Special Delivery services will depend on the size and weight of the item you’re sending, and guaranteeing delivery by 9am costs a bit more than by 1pm. You’ll also need to pay extra if you want a guaranteed Saturday delivery.
Sending Money Overseas
While Special Delivery is a good way to send money domestically, many countries don’t allow you to send cash through their postal system. You can still use Royal Mail to send money overseas but you’ll need to use a service like International Signed For or Airsure in this case. You can get extra compensation cover for both if necessary but you’ll only be able to claim a maximum of £100 for loss or damage to any international mail item containing cash.
Thanks to the increasing use of electronic payment systems, there are a number of alternative ways to send money these days. Here are some of the most popular options.
Money transfer. You can send money to someone using a money transfer company like Western Union. This can be done either by using their online services or in person at a local branch. While it’s not the cheapest method, same day delivery makes it very suitable for international money deliveries. You won’t need an account to set up a money transfer and to send smaller amounts you may not even require identification. Money can be transferred to a bank account or collected at a local branch or agency – making it very suitable for those who don’t have access to a bank or ATM machine.
Bank Transfer. Sending money by bank-to-bank transfer is increasingly popular as it’s quick, secure and cost-effective. Most online payments use the Faster Payments Service which should mean that payments arrive the same business day. In addition, this service is generally free. However, if you need to make a large money transfer you’ll have to ask your bank to send the money by CHAPS, which costs around £25-£30. There are similar charges for transferring money internationally. Barclays, for example, charges £25 to send money overseas using its online service and up to £40 for international priority payments by phone or at a branch.
PayPal. PayPal is a great method for transferring money to friends or family. It’s also very popular with online vendors like Amazon and eBay. Although you’ll need to take the time to set up an online account, PayPal is very secure and charges are competitive. In fact, domestic transfers to friends or family are free if you link a bank account or pay using your PayPal balance. You can also send money using a debit or credit card for a small fee and 2.9% of the amount sent. For international transfers, PayPal charges up to 2% for transfers paid for by a linked bank account or PayPal balance and up to 3.9% for transfers funded by an unlinked debit or credit card.
Mobile Apps. These apps allow users to send requests to their contacts and pay each other directly using their mobile device. Mobile apps are a great way to make small payments between friends, although security issues may make them less than ideal for larger money transfers. Some companies also allow you to send money via SMS or email. Traditional money transfer companies are also entering the mobile app market these days and many big banks now offer apps as an extension of their online services.
While you can safely send money by post using Royal Mail’s special services, there are now many choices available for sending money to friends and family or for business purposes. Whatever method you choose, always check it’s secure and that you’ll be compensated for loss or damage. Finally, make sure you get the recipient details correct if making online transfers – it can be difficult to recover your money if it ends up in the wrong hands through a fault of your own.