How to send Money from Germany to USA

How to send Money from Germany to USA - with low fees and no paperwork
  • Money transfer
  • International payments

As one of the world’s closest trading partners, businesses in Germany are looking for better ways to send money to the USA without high transaction fees or long processing times. Luckily, next to SWIFT, there are many more ways to send money from Germany to the USA, including local payment transactions and even digital payment platforms.

How to send money from Germany to the USA: common ways

While SWIFT is still one of the most popular options, more and more businesses aim to get access to local payment schemes or P2P payment providers to keep their global transaction fees at a minimum.

SWIFT vs local payment methods

SWIFT is a global payment and settlement system that covers 11,000 members in over 200 countries and enables its members to conduct global transactions. SWIFT transactions are available for banks as well as payment platforms. However, as up to 5 international banks are involved in cross-border SWIFT payments, charges and transaction times are usually higher compared to other payment options.

Local payment methods, on the other hand, are one of the cheapest options when it comes to international money transfers. For instance, SEPA enables you to transfer Euros to 37 European countries, while the ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a network used in the United States. To use this option, customers need to have a local bank account or make use of local payment providers.

Traditional banks vs payment platforms

Traditional banks use the SWIFT network for transactions from Germany to the USA, which often results in intransparent and high fees. Banks only offer a limited range of local payment schemes, depending on their location. For instance, while ACH is only available at US banks, SEPA is only available in Europe. Further, most banks don’t allow you to hold foreign currencies in your local bank account, unless you open a separate foreign currency account. Therefore, international payments via regular banks are only recommended if you conduct 1-2 international payments per year.

Digital payment platforms have gained a lot of popularity during the recent years, as they are the perfect complement to your traditional bank account. Depending on the platform, you are able to make SWIFT transactions and even set up local account numbers to receive access to local payment schemes. Further, some payment platforms enable P2P payment options to send money instantly and free of charge to your business partners.

How to send money from Germany: Costs and time

Costs and time are the most important factors when choosing the right payment option and provider. As SWIFT payments usually take up most time and money, local payments as well as P2P options are the preferred choice when it comes to international payments.

1’000 EUR transfer to USD (Status: Dec 1st, 2022)

Provider nameHSBCDeutsche BankPayPalamnis
Company typeBankBankPayment platformPayment platform
Transferred€1’000€1’000
€1’000€1’000
Receiving amount$993.71$998.81$980.05$1044.74
Time3-5 days3-5 daysInstantInstantly via PEER or 3-5 days

FAQ

How to send money from Germany to another country?
You can send money from Germany to another country with SWIFT, local payment schemes and P2P transactions. With amnis, you can make local payments in the domestic currency of over 25 countries. Fast SWIFT options are available for more than 200 countries, while you can also create your own PEER network to make instant and free-of-charge P2P payments to your business partners.

What do I need to send money from Germany to the USA?
A SWIFT payment requires the following information:

  • Recipient’s full name
  • Recipient’s account number
  • Payment reference
  • Recipient bank’s BIC (SWIFT) code (if applicable)
  • Bank’s name (if applicable)
  • Bank’s ABA code (if applicable)

For an ACH payment, you need:

  • Name of the receiving institution
  • Account number of the recipient
  • Type of account that the recipient uses (checking vs. savings)
  • ABA routing number of the financial institution

A P2P payment requires:

  • Account/connection in the same network
  • Recipient’s full name (if applicable)
  • Reference number (if applicable)
  • Recipient’s email address (if applicable)

How fast can I send money from Germany to the USA?

  • SWIFT: Up to 4 working days
  • ACH: Up to 4 working days
  • PEER: Instantly

How to send money from Germany to USA: Best practices

How to send money from Germany to USA? SWIFT, local or P2P? The following section describes all options in detail.

SWIFT vs. local payment methods

The most common way for payment transactions is SWIFT. However, in order to transfer money from one bank to another, banks need to have a direct commercial relationship. Similar to a flight itinerary, the network determines intermediary banks, which hold direct relationships. As a result, your money passes through 2 to 5 banks before it reaches its destination. Usually, the more banks are involved, the higher the processing time and fees.

In contrast, local payment providers enable customers to make use of local payment schemes, which were previously unavailable to reach from abroad. For instance, now it is possible to gain access to the ACH network from Germany. Local payment providers like amnis let you create a virtual local account number in the USA to pay and receive money like a local. This does not only result in lower payment fees for yourself, but this way you can also ensure that your beneficiary receives the full amount!

PayPal

PayPal is a digital platform that allows you to transfer money between more than 200 countries and 25 currencies. The platform is very popular and used by businesses and individuals alike. However, transaction fees may range from 1.9% to 3.5%, while additional fixed fees apply. Therefore, businesses tend to avoid PayPal when it comes to foreign transactions.

WesternUnion

WesternUnion is a remittance service, which allows you to transfer money to a bank account, a mobile wallet or even a physical location. The money can be picked up by the recipient using a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). How to send Money from Germany to USA? Customers in Germany can use a debit or credit card, Klarna or bank transfers to transmit money.

MoneyGram

Moneygram allows users located in Germany to send money to the USA using debit or credit cards (VISA/Mastercard) as well as Sofort. Like WesternUnion, you can choose between bank transfer or cash handouts. However, ACH transfers are only available for US-based customers.

amnis

amnis is the ideal addition to your local business bank account and the best solution for your international money transfer. amnis enables you to send money via SWIFT, local payment schemes such as ACH or directly via your own PEER network.

The Starter plan at amnis, including your USD account number, is free of monthly charges – plus you get 30 free domestic payments in USD per month and even 3 free international payments (SWIFT), while traditional banks usually charge for every transaction and account.

This means you will receive exchange rates at great conditions and can instantly send money to your PEER network – no minimum transaction volume required. Alternatively, you can send USD through local payment transactions.

Improve your international payments today

If you want to find out more about all payment options offered by amnis, create a free business demo account (completely online) to save time, money and paperwork for all your international transactions or contact us to learn more!

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Sabrina Maly
As a marketing manager at amnis I provide SMEs with fx market, international business and news updates on our blog & FAQ page.
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