I just sent some money to another country and received two pieces of paper that included a lot of information I've never seen before. What are these and what do they mean?

Answer:

In October 2013, federal law began requiring many money transfer companies, banks, credit unions, and other financial services companies that make “remittance transfers” to provide you more information before you make an international money transfer.

This includes information about:

  • The exchange rate.
  • Fees and taxes they collect from you.
  • Fees charged by the company’s agents abroad and certain other institutions involved in the transfer process.
  • The amount of money expected to be delivered, not including foreign taxes or certain fees charged to the recipient.
  • If appropriate, a statement that additional foreign taxes and fees may apply.

When you receive this first piece of paper, you are under no obligation to pay for the transfer (see a sample form). The provider can also tell you this information orally, in a text message, or by email in some cases.

You should also receive a receipt. The numbers on your receipt must match any amounts the remittance provider gave to you earlier. The receipt also will include information about:

  • When the money will be available at its destination.
  • Your right to cancel the transfer.
  • What to do in case of an error.
  • How to submit complaints.

Companies must provide these disclosures in English. Sometimes companies must also provide the disclosures in other languages.

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