Author, Andrew Gibson
To send money from the UK to Spain, you basically have two options:
- Use a bank
- Use a currency broker
The process is essentially the same, but the costs can be quite different.
How to transfer money to Spain (in 4 simple steps)
Whether you use a bank or money transfer company, the basic process is the same.
Step 1 – Register as a client
If you’re not already a client, you need to register before you can send money to Spain. It’s required by law.
Registration is basically an ID check.
If you are a UK citizen, it’s usually quick and easy.
The standard information required is your name, residential address and passport number.
Step 2 – Send in your Pounds
Before you can send money to Spain, you will need to provide your Pounds to exchange into Euros.
You can do this using a normal domestic bank transfer.
A money transfer company will let you know where to send your Pounds. A bank will require your Pounds to be in your current account.
Step 3 – Lock-in a Pound to Euro exchange rate
Once you’re registered, you can secure an exchange rate.
When you transfer money to Spain from the UK, you will need to agree a Pound to Euro exchange rate.
A money transfer company or bank will quote you their latest GBP/EUR rate.
You will need to confirm and accept the rate before anything will happen.
If you go ahead, the exchange rate is locked in, and you will be emailed a confirmation of your transaction.
Step 4 – Your Pounds are converted to Euros
Your money transfer company or bank will convert your Pounds into Euros at the rate agreed.
Now your money is in Euros, it can be sent directly to a Spanish bank account.
The recipient of the money is sometimes known as the ‘beneficiary’.
This can be you or someone else.
I will explain below the beneficiary/recipient information you need to provide.
How to send money to a Spanish bank account?
An international bank transfer is usually the best way to transfer money to a Spanish bank account because it is secure, fast and cheaper than other methods such as cash, credit or debit cards.
You will need the IBAN of the account in Spain you wish to send the money to.
An IBAN is short for International Bank Account Number.
It’s a code used to ensure your money gets to the right country, the right bank, and the right account.
In Spain, an IBAN is 24 characters long and consists of numbers and letters.
- 2 letter country code (“ES”)
- 2 digit check number
- 4 digit bank identifier
- 4 digit branch identifier
- 2 digit national code
- 10 digit bank account number
You can usually get this information by logging into the account or from a bank statement. Some money transfer companies will also help you put this together.
How long does it take to transfer money to Spain?
Sending money to Spain from the UK usually takes 2-3 working days.
The Spanish bank receiving the funds will need to do their own internal checks before they clear your money into the account. That’s what takes most of the time.
Some companies may promise quicker times, but that can be misleading.
What they may be referring to is the time taken to exchange and send your money, not the time it takes for your money to clear into the Spanish bank account.
How much does it cost to transfer money to Spain?
The cost of transferring money to Spain is a combination of fees and exchange rates.
While you might think using a bank is an obvious option, the costs can be high.
When you transfer money to Spain, you could be up to 3%-4% worse off using a bank compared to a money transfer company.
Another factor to consider is that most banks these days aren’t interested in providing you with any sort of service.
As they attempt to slash costs, banks are increasingly forcing customers to do everything themselves online – which can be a source of frustration.
I know from my own experience that bank processes and procedures can break the human spirit of even the most resilient souls.
It’s why a lot of people look to use a money transfer company.
In general, money transfer specialists are cheaper and easier to use. Some will even assist you with your transfer and give you help with exchange rates.
Even with money transfer companies, the costs can vary considerably.
Some places charge fees, some don’t.
And exchange are tricky to compare because they change every few seconds, making direct comparisons between providers inherently difficult.
My simple solution is to get a quote.
By knowing what your Pounds are worth, you can budget more effectively.
Another simple bit of advice: if you don’t like paying fees, avoid the banks.
The big banks add on extra fees to just about anything.
There are transfer fees, recipient fees, tracking fees, priority payment fees.
Some money transfer companies, such as ourselves, don’t charge any fees when you transfer money to Spain.
With Key Currency, customers can get an exchange rate quote and know the exact amount of Euros they will receive without having to worry about annoying fees.
How safe is it to send money to Spain?
I’ve sent money abroad before, so I know it’s an important question for people.
Fortunately, there are some key regulatory protections in place.
If a money transfer company is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it must adhere to strict rules on how it handles customer money.
The most important of these rules is the segregation of client money.
It means your money will be held in separate, safeguarded bank accounts that are designated only for client funds. It gives customers peace of mind.
You can check to see if a company is Authorised by searching for their name in the FCA Register.
How to choose a money transfer company?
You may have noticed there’s a tonne of different money transfer companies floating around.
It can be bewildering for a customer to know who to choose and why.
When you dig a bit deeper, you will find most money transfer companies are just online platforms or apps.
Some people like apps; others don’t.
From my experience, the apps tend to be popular with younger people and those doing lots of small transactions (such as online merchants).
However, those sending larger amounts often want the ability to speak to someone for reassurance, to help set up their payment, and to get some guidance on exchange rates.
These things matter when you are sending life-changing sums of money.
You don’t want to be tapping all the buttons and then using a web chat if there are any issues.
Some money transfer specialists, such as ourselves, will provide a personal service alongside highly competitive rates.
As you’ve probably seen, exchange rates change every 2-3 seconds throughout the day.
Even small movements in the GBP/EUR exchange rate can make a big difference to how much money will be received in Spain.
However, most people don’t want to watch the rate all day.
And even if they did, they may not know whether it’s a good time to lock in a rate.
Our team are watching the screens throughout the day as part of their job and are more familiar with the news and events that drive fluctuations in exchange rates.
We can monitor the fluctuations and trends in the GBP/EUR rate and let you know when the market moves in your favour.
That way, you can save time and money.
Who are we?
Key Currency is an independent currency exchange broker.
Our rates are highly competitive, and we don’t charge any fees.
What’s more, we provide all our customers with a personalised service.
Key Currency is an FCA regulated Authorised Payment Institution. Our Financial Services Register is 753989.
As such, when you send money to Spain, your transfer will be conducted directly through safeguarded client accounts.
While most money transfer companies hide behind a logo or app, we are happy to be transparent.
All the names, faces and backgrounds of our people are shown on our website.
Key Currency is Authorised by the FCA (No.753989). As such, all transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts for your peace of mind.
We also have a 5-star customer rating on Trustpilot, which is the result of over 800 customer reviews.
If you would like to find out more, simply request a free quote.