Are you tired of banks taking you to the cleaners?
Its no secret that Aussie banks have had it pretty good for a long time. Now you can fight back!
Until recently if you are a resident in Australia you have had little choice outside of the big 4 banks when it came to international money transfers. Banks charge an arm and a leg no mater which way you slice it. Apart from exorbitant fees and uncompetitive exchange rates, if you have ever used a bank you have already found out that the receiving banks also charge a fee.
Many individuals and businesses are now starting to realise the potential of using a third party service or money transfer service and are discovering they can save thousands by using such a company.
The good news is in the past couple years some of the best money transfer companies have set up shop here in Australia.
Money Transfer Services in Australia
|Service Name||Minimum Amount ($AUD)||Phone/ Online Service||Locations||Fees + Conditions||Offers||Transferring $5000 to UK (see *Note)||Transferring $50000 to UK (see *Note)|
|My Bank||None||Online/ Phone/ Branch||Australia||$20 + bank at other sides fee||None||£2,610.04||£26,100.40|
|TorFX Full Review||$250||Online/ Phone||UK, Australia||No Fixed Fees||Click here to get all transactions free||£2,735*||£27,428*|
|OFX||$250||Online/ Phone||UK, Australia, US, NZ, Hong Kong , Canada||Under $10,000 it is $15. See Offers >>||See how you can qualify for no fees here||£2,753*||£27,612*|
|World First - Full Review||$2000||Online/ Phone||UK, US, Australia||No Fixed Fees||Click for no fees for ever||£2,750*||£27,551*|
|Currencyfair - Full Review||8 Euro||Online/ Phone||Australia, UK, Ireland||$4||Check rates and get your first 10 transactions free|
|TransferWise||None||Online/ Phone||Based online. 41 Supported Countries Including AUS, CAN, UK and US||Price depends on route (eg. AUD>USD is 0.7%)||Click for very competitive rates||£2763*||£27,637*|
* Important Note About Rates:
These rates are the average of two major comparison websites in Australia. You should know – It is not possible to give exact real time rates because each service will offer a different rate depending on the amount you transfer and as currencies fluctuate second by second.
By the time you have registered with a company or even just logged onto their website, the rate they can offer will have changed.
We have included the rates here simply as a way to clearly show that the services are very similar in what they offer and a much better deal than banks.
If you wish to maximize savings check out our “3 Secrets to Money Transfers” PDF, but simply by choosing one of these services over a bank will save you between 2 and 4%.
Now Aussies are saving lots of money as a result… check out this post on a popular Australian forum.
OFX was the first in Australia and has actually been around for over 10 years saving Aussie individuals, export companies and small businesses, as well as tens of thousands of expats and backpackers a lot of money. Originally an offshoot of Macquarie Bank and now listed on the ASX, OFX is still a great choice, but now they have some big competition.
WorldFirst and TorFX also offer services similar to OFX but they are different in important way, more about that in a moment.
Peer-2-Peer (P2P) now make it even cheaper to move smaller amounts of money.
What is the big differences and who should you choose?
Some services are mostly online and allow you to perform transactions (for smaller amounts) by yourself, some are much more telephone-based, which can be better for larger transactions as regulations and banks tending to make it more difficult.
All services are a combination of online and telephone.
TorFX – Very telephone oriented and you get assigned your own personal account manager. This can be very helpful for larger amounts or businesses where things can get more complex and need some hand holding from time to time.
OFX and WorldFirst – Good mix of telephone support with online transfers, alerts and advanced online tools.
Some have 24/7 customer support, while others tend to be focused around operating during business hours in the countries where they have offices.
Lets look further at what matters to you.
Apart from cost, we researched what matters to Aussies and found out what is important:
- Trust and Security
- Speed of transaction
- Countries you can transact between
1. Trust and Security
Finding a service you can trust is a big part of what this website is all about.
This page is all about identifying the right service for your needs in Australia and one size does not fit all. That said, if you are using a bank now regardless of who you choose you will probably save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
You should know we earn a commission on some of the services on this website. We also recommend services where we have no relationship as well – quite simply, if they are better for your needs we will suggest you use them. The reason we do this, is we want to be known as the trusted source for information and advice on money transfers.
You should also know, there is no additional cost to you regardless of who you choose.
The reality is that money transfer companies have an onerous amount of regulations they need to meet to operate in Australia. This is a big part of the reason why money transfer companies have been slow to set up shop in Australia and you can count one hand the services that operate.
All money transfer companies in Australia are regulated by ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and AUSTRAC which is Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator.
We could bore you with all the technical details these companies employ to be secure, but its probably more important to see that to achieve registration is not a trivial undertaking for these organisations and so they are usually backed by companies who are large and focused just on one thing getting your money from country A to country B. They take security very seriously – it is after all how their entire business is able to work.
They also have to meet all the regulations of the other countries in which they operate.
2. Speed of transaction
It is hard to beat money transfer companies when it comes to speed. The reason for this is because they have banks in many countries around the world. In most cases this means that they can receive and pay funds in the local currencies. Typically this is faster than a bank who has to deal an international bank and all the checks and balances associated with international transactions.
Some services are designed for you to do everything online and some actively want you to pick up the phone. Others are a hybrid, they would rather you use their online service (to save money) but are available 24 hours by phone to help you.
One of the truly great things about using a money transfer service is the level of service. Because they have operations globally they can also pick up the phone 24/7 usually. This means if you have any issues at all it is usually pretty easy to get help. By comparison, bank hours in Australia are generally 9.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday.
The service decision is down to choice, if you want to speak to someone choose a phone based service. If you would prefer to just quickly and efficiently send some money, a web based service may be better.
4. Countries you can transact between
In general if you are sending money from Australia all the companies mentioned are a great choice because they have operations in Australia.
If you are sending money from Canada, USA or UK to Australia we recommend services with operations located in those countries if possible because of the slight better service you should get.
All companies have a list of countries they cannot send money to but these are few and far between.