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Why I don’t use my bank for money transfers to Australia

money transfers to australia, inactive bank accounts

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

money transfers to 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.

Download Our International Money Transfer Guide

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).

money transfers to Australia

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?

Please share this article with friends that may benefit from this information.

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If you would like to know more about saving money on your international money transfers then download our free report by clicking on the button below.

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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.

 

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Craig

Craig is an Australian Expat and the founder of The Australian Expat Investor.Craig is passionate about investing, and while Craig cannot give personal financial or tax advice, Craig enjoys sharing investing, tax, and other tips for Australian expats to help them to build their wealth while living abroad and get the most out of their time living overseas.Get his free ebook on 9 Financial Surprises That Could Cost Australian Expats Thousands of Dollars at the link above.
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9 replies
  1. Tim
    Tim says:

    Hi Craig, thanks for sharing lots of really useful information on your website. I was looking at using Currency Fair to transfer money from the UK to Australia. Have you had any experience with them?

    Reply
    • Craig
      Craig says:

      Hi Tim, thank you for the kind words. I have not as yet used Currency Fair, but have just opened an account to try them out. Other readers of this website have told me they are happy with their service. I believe it was founded by an Aussie Expat based in London, and according to their website they have transacted over 2.5 billion euro to date. I will be posting a review of some of the money transfer companies in the coming months. cheers, Craig

      Reply
  2. Mark
    Mark says:

    Hi Craig, I have looked into using services like this before and while I understand the process, I feel that maybe it is double dipping in terms of fees. However it is possible truly don’t understand. I have always hesitated doing this for that reason.

    To be able send money from my international location to Australia, I must send it to the company’s bank account. This would incur an international wire transfer fee. Then there is the fee for the company (2 fees). So if I just send it to my Australian account, I would only incur the fee once.

    Am I missing something in the understanding?

    Reply
    • Craig
      Craig says:

      Hi Mark, good question. Assuming the money transfer company that you sign up with supports your currency, then the process is quite simple and doesn’t involve extra fees. For example, if you live in the UK and want to send pounds back to Australia. You would transfer your pounds to the money transfer company’s UK bank account, so no fees involved. The money transfer company will then transfer money from their Aust dollar bank account into your Australian dollar bank account. so with money transfer company’s you dont pay any bank transfer fees, and you will know exactly how much foreign currency or A$ will be deposited into your nominated account when you book the transfer. hope this helps. craig

      Reply
  3. Jason Wilson
    Jason Wilson says:

    Hi Craig, I have had very positive experiences with OzForEx & UkForEx for transferring money between various worldwide locations. I hit a stumbling block upon relocating to Singapore recently where OzForEx (& many other companies) don’t support transfers from Singapore. Do you have any experience in the Singapore market or recommendations on companies that may be able to assist ? Cheers, Jason

    Reply
    • Craig
      Craig says:

      Hi Jason,
      In order for money transfer companies to provide services to Singapore residents they need to establish face to face verification. As most of the major online money transfer companies do not have offices around the world to reduce costs, they are generally unable to obtain face to face verification. After discussing the issue with a number of companies, Ozforex (now OFX) and Transferwise have advised me that they are working on establishing a presence in Singapore which would enable them to offer services to Singapore residents in the coming months. I will keep you posted on when these services are available, and include a post in coming months for money transfer options for Singapore residents.

      The face to face verification applies to existing clients of the money transfer companies that move to Singapore, however clients that reside outside of Singapore will generally be able to transfer money into and out of Singapore (if it is a supported currency by the money transfer company).

      Regards
      Craig

      Reply
        • Craig
          Craig says:

          Hi Emma, OFX does not yet (to my knowledge) offer a service to Singapore residents (though they do support transfers in Singapore dollars to non-residents). I would suggest giving HiFx a go. You can try and open an account with OFX to see if they allow it. Both companies offer free accounts and it is a quick online process to open the account.

          Reply

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