The new royal baby has dual citizenship with the UK and the US thanks to his parents, and he’s among a growing number of people with family connections all over the world. From international in-laws to global grandparents who retired to a place in the sun, our connections across the world have become part of family life.
Staying connected across borders
Advances in technology have made it much easier to keep in touch with family members, wherever they are. From greater transport links and affordable flights to improved communications technology, distance has become much less of a barrier. Gone are the days of expensive long-distance phone calls with an awkward time delay. Services such as Skype and FaceTime allow people to see each other as well as chat anywhere there is an internet connection. Technology can make both the emotional connection and the practicalities of overseas relationships easier to manage. For example, grandparents who live in sunny Spain can log in to Skype to watch their grandchild blow out the candles on a birthday cake and join in the singing of happy birthday as if they are there in the room.
Supporting family overseas
As the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild and seventh in line to the throne, the new royal baby may not need much financial support from wider family members, but for many families, regular savings or contributions to everything from birthday gifts to school uniforms can be another way to stay involved. Even for the royal baby, Meghan and Harry have asked the public to donate to four children's charities, three based in the UK – Little Village, Well Child and Baby2Baby – and one in South Africa – the Lunchbox Fund – instead of sending presents. Given the excitement around the new arrival, it’s likely these charities will be receiving donations from all over the world. In addition, like Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, some new grandparents may choose to book an extended visit to welcome a new family member and provide support. In those cases, being able to send money overseas can help with everything from birthday gifts or much-needed support for cash-strapped students to booking extended trips back home for major events.
Of course, financial support may be sent in the other direction – from an adult son or daughter to a parent living overseas who may need a little extra for medical care, or perhaps to renovate or modify their property. Whatever generation the money is coming from and whether the money is being sent from the UK or overseas, an international payments account can help you make the most of your money and you can manage it all online and via mobile app, wherever you are. Great rates and low fees mean you can make the most of every penny, whether you’re helping to pay for tuition fees or contributing to the cost of a must-have toy for Christmas.
Regular payments to save for the future
When it comes to celebrating the arrival of a new grandchild, niece or nephew, something more useful than another pair of booties or a teddy bear can be to set up a Junior ISA or a savings bond in their name. Many people send a small amount every month by standing order on a savings account that will mature when the recipient is 18 – which can be a wonderful gift to help someone get started at university or in the world of work. This may not seem as simple for grandparents like Thomas Markle, living in Mexico while his grandson is in the UK. But a Regular Payment Plan with your international payments account allows you to automate sending money each month, just like a standing order. You can choose whether to fix the amount of currency you’re sending, the amount received, or both depending on your preference and how you prefer to manage your budget.
When it comes to family, you will always be connected wherever in the world you find yourselves. An international payments account can help you maintain and build those connections between you as a global family.