International Money Transfers can take anywhere between a few hours and a week. So why is there such a big gap between the quickest and slowest ways to send money overseas? Most if it comes down to 2 things:
Sending money through your own bank is the quickest way to send money internationally. This is because your bank can take the money out of your account straight away and make the payment. Provided you process the transaction before the cut-off times (see helpful info section below), your International Money Transfer should leave on the same day.
While most Australians use a bank, it may not be the cheapest way to transfer money internationally.
You can use a currency company, like Western Union or OFX, as an alternative to the banks. Overseas payments using these companies can take one extra day because you need to transfer your Australian dollars to their bank account before the currency is sent overseas. Click here for more information about using a currency company
For smaller payments, you can use Moneygram or even Paypal. These are very quick. Payments are usually received on the same or next day. You can find more information about using Paypal and Moneygram here. These accounts take a but of time to set up initially but, once done, can be a time-effective solution.
Once the funds leave Australia, it really comes down to how quickly the payment is processed on the other end. The bank you are sending the money to will receive it, along with instructions on which account to put the money into. Unfortunately, there is no standard time or rule of thumb. Some banks will credit the funds within hours while others will take days. Most will take a charge out too – something to consider in your budget.
Minimum transfer $250. Please note that the receiving bank or intermediary bank may charge fees on transactions.
The good news is that banking systems are getting better. Payments to third-world countries used to take between 3 days and 3 weeks. Now most international payments will be processed between 1-4 business days.
Payments to the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, France and the UK are particularly quick. It's not uncommon for funds to arrive in 24-48 hours. If you are using a bank to send money to these countries and you make the payment before the cut-off time, you can expect the funds to arrive between 1-3 business days. Again, most of how long it takes will depend on the bank in the country you've sent the money to.
For NAB's cut-off times click here
For ANZ's cut-off times click here and go to page 35
For Westpac's cut-off times click here
For Commonwealth bank's cut-off times click here