One of my biggest annoyances after moving overseas was the amount of money banks gouged every time I wanted to make money transfers to Australia, with their ridiculous fees and poor exchange rates. I then discovered there were better options.
An alternative to using your bank for money transfers to Australia or from Australia
After researching many options, I started using (and continue to use) an online international money transfer company – Ozforex for my money transfers to Australia. Ozforex / OFX is a listed Australian company regulated by the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC). My general experience with Ozforex has been very good – good customer service, and a website that is simple to use, which clearly tells me how many Australian dollars will be deposited in my Australian bank account for a given number of Euros. As a bonus, my estimate is that I am saving approx 1.5-2.0% on every money transfer compared to doing a bank to bank transfer. That means an extra $150-$200 in my pocket for every $10,000 I transfer.
Setting up an account for money transfers to Australia
Setting up an account with an online international money transfer company is reasonably straight forward. First you need to open an account, which may require you to provide copies of appropriate identification documents. Ozforex went through a verification process before my first transaction, where I spoke with a representative of their company. After that you are ready to transfer money.
The process is usually something along the lines below (I use the example of transfering money from foreign currency into Australian dollars, but it works the same from Australian dollars to foreign currency) :
- Obtain an exchange rate quote online for your money transfers to Australia
- If you are happy with the quote, book the transfer and lock in the exchange rate
- Nominate the bank account you wish your Australian dollars to be deposited in
- Transfer your money from your overseas bank account into the International Money Transfer company’s bank account (eg. if you are transferring USD, then you would deposit your USD into the International Money Transfer company’s USD bank account).
- The International Money Transfer company will then deposit Australian Dollars into your Australian Dollar bank account (once they receive the USD in their bank account).
- In my experience, this transfer usually takes about 3 working days.
International Money Transfer Providers
Other international money transfer providers that readers of this website have recommended include Transfer Wise (residents of UK & some European Countries), Currency Fair (UK, UAE, Europe), and HiFX (Europe, UK, UAE, Singapore). Be aware that these companies do only support residents in certain countries. Ozforex and HiFx have the largest coverage, and if you are living in a country not mentioned you are best to try to open an account with HiFx or Ozforex initially. Here are the currencies supported by OFX.
For added peace of mind, I prefer to deal with companies, like OFX (formerly Ozforex), that are regulated in Australian by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Let me know about your experiences with money transfers to Australia or money transfers from Australia? Have you had any experience with the international money transfer providers I have mentioned in this article? What have been your positive or negative experiences? Would you recommend another company?
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Disclaimer : This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial or taxation advice. As this information is not advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness for your circumstances. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian financial services licensee before making investment decisions, and a registered (tax) financial advisor/accountant in relation to taxation decisions. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way. We may receive commissions from some of the companies mentioned in this article.