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Starting and growing a money transfer agency can have many benefits and return lucrative rewards. Money transfers are conducted every day from all parts of the world, so you can be sure that there will always be a market for your business. Perhaps best of all, you will get a sense of reward from knowing you are helping people fulfill their financial needs. In today’s world of online commerce, there is no need to have a brick-and-mortar presence. Therefore, you can avoid the overhead costs of rent, office furniture, staff and other expenses related to a physical office. As the U.S. population grows, with an increasing number of people from foreign countries moving to and conducting business in the U.S., the amount of money that gets transferred to other countries also grows. As of 2015, the World Bank estimated that some $601 billion in global money transfers were conducted, with the U.S. responsible for 22% of those transfers.

While competition is high from well-known money transfer businesses such as Western Union and MoneyGram — which have a presence throughout the world — markets are opening for online competitors who can provide the same service from the comfort of one's home with just an internet connection and a smartphone. Dealing with Government Regulations While starting a money transfer business can be lucrative and rewarding, there certainly are some hurdles you will have to jump over first. You will be in the business of dealing with people’s money, and the government will want to make sure you are not using your business for illegal business dealings. So you will have to be prepared to be transparent. First, you will need to obtain a license to transmit money in the individual state that you will be operating in. Almost all states have a license requirement to transmit money within state borders, and you will have to check with your state government to determine what you will need. Most of that information is available online at your state government website. Next, the U.S government will want to know what you are up to and how to track you. They will also want to make sure that you are not involved in any money-laundering schemes. You will file FinCEN Form 107 with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the U.S. Treasury Department. This is required within 180 days of starting your business under the Bank Secrecy Act, which regulates money transfer services that are acting as non-bank entities.

In addition to purely online service, many banks are now integrating online payment into their service offerings. That convenience, however, must be tempered with security.

The best services -- including Paypal, Clover and select banks -- act as a trusted intermediary. Most services require both parties to have an account, though PayPal and Clover over point-of-sale options.

Online Bank Apps Many banks have begun to offer free money transfer services. Most of these services require both people to have an account with that bank. Bank of America, for example, enables this service through its online account management or a downloadable smartphone app. Chase bank has QuickPay, a service which operates similarly to PayPal and enables you to receive money from anyone via mobile number or email address, even if you’re not a Chase Bank account holder. Additional banks offering person-to-person transfers include Wells Fargo, Capital One, USAA, U.S. Bank and Citibank. Going through an FDIC-insured institution offers more security than any other option, but is not as commonly available.

Clover Clover originally served as a cost-effective, point-of-sale system for merchants. Its mobile application, however, makes it easy to receive money from virtually anyone. Though similar to PayPal, Clover payment transfers are directly linked to your Clover smartphone app or POS system. People can give you money using any major credit or debit card, without having a Clover account of their own.

Wire Transfer Nearly every bank enables you to conduct a wire transfer. Traditionally, you were required to conduct these transfers in person at your bank. Most banks today, however, enable your payer to initiate a wire transfer online. This is the most secure and instantaneous way to deliver money online between disparate banks. Receiving a wire transfer, however, requires you to give your payer a cumbersome amount of banking information, including your account number and bank routing number. International transfers require even more information. Finally, wire transfers are the most costly, with fees ranging as high as $30.