How to Receive Money From Overseas Using The CommBank

By the end of this article you should have a much better idea of how to receive an international money transfer with CommBank.

Making international payments can be difficult. Whether you are receiving money, or making a transfer yourself. You can easily send money overseas using the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank), but did you know you can also receive international payments through CommBank?

Here’s our simple guide on exactly how to receive money from overseas using the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. We will look at the process of receiving currency with CommBank, how long it takes, how much it costs and all the information you need.

How to receive money from overseas with CommBank

How to receive money from overseas with Commonwealth Bank

To start, here are three simple steps to give you an overview of how the process works.

  1. Firstly, review your bank account and get the necessary details. There are a number of things you will need to receive money with Commonwealth Bank.
  2. Provide the person who is sending you money with those details. They will need all of the following information:
    • The CommBank branch name and address.
    • Your account number and BSB.
    • The account name.
    • Your residential address as it is listed on your account.
    • CommBank’s SWIFT code or BIC code. This is CTBAAU2S.
    • Later in the article there is more detail about how to structure the BSB, Account Number and SWIFT or BIC code.
  3. Once you have provided them with all of these details, they can then use their bank or a dedicated currency provider to send you the money.

It is important to note that you do need a Commonwealth Bank account to get started.

You need to be a customer of CommBank to receive money through their services. You can apply for a CommBank account online or visit a local branch.

How long it takes to receive currency with CommBank

There are a few factors that impact the time it takes to receive an international money transfer. These are;

  • The country you’re receiving the money from.
  • The currency exchange provider the sender is using.
  • The currency that you’re exchanging from.

Depending on all of this, funds will normally be deposited into your bank account within 2-5 working days.

Commonwealth Bank fees for receiving money from overseas

One of the most important things you need to know, is how much the process is going to cost. Below, we've looked at how much it costs to receive money from abroad with CommBank:

  • Crediting a Commonwealth Bank Australian dollar account up to $11 per transfer, regardless of the currency.
  • Crediting of a Commonwealth Bank Foreign Currency Account, up to $11 per transfer as well.
  • For credit of an AUD account at another bank, up to $25 per transfer.
  • For credit of a Foreign Currency Account at another bank, up to $35 per transfer.
  • Payment by bank cheque, up to $20 per cheque.
  • Details of all CommBank fees are available here.

Extra fees to be aware of:

  • Intermediary bank fees —payments may be routed through one or more intermediary banks before the payment reaches your Commonwealth Bank account. This could happen if the remitting bank has an arrangement with another bank in Australia or overseas. In this scenario, the intermediary banks may also charge processing fees. This will be deducted from the amount you receive.
  • Sending provider or bank fees — International money transfers sent from an overseas bank or currency exchange provider may be subject to commissions, fees and other charges. These are typically deducted before sending the money to you.

Additional information for receiving money with Commonwealth Bank

There are a lot of numbers and information you hear about when it comes to international money transfers. Below there are extra details you might need to receive money and the things you don't.

Commonwealth IBAN number

IBAN is an account format used by European banks. Australian banks do not use this format and an IBAN is not required to send money to a Commonwealth bank account in Australia. Other parties with an IBAN field on their overseas payment form can simply leave this field blank. However, payers in certain countries may require you to provide one. In that case, your BSB and account number should be combined. Do not include any spaces or hyphens.

Commonwealth Bank routing number

If the other party requests a National Clearing Code, Routing Number, BSB Number or Sort Code, you should use the first six digits (bank and branch codes) of your account number for which you wish to receive the payment into. For example, if the account number is 01-0123-0123456-00 use 010123.

Commonwealth Bank international SWIFT code

When making a transfer to Commonwealth Bank from overseas you will most likely need CommBank's Swift Code. A swift code is can also be known as a BIC Code (Bank Identifying Code) or Bank Code. The Swift code for Commonwealth Bank is CTBAAU2S.

Commonwealth Bank address for international transfers

When it comes to filling in the address of your bank, you will simply need to use the address of your local branch. Or the branch that you most frequently visit. If you do all of your banking online, you can simply search for the closest one on Google. When asked what the beneficiary bank is, fill in the details "Commonwealth Bank Australia".

Commonwealth account number details

The way you provide your account number will depend on the type of account you are receiving the funds to. This means the Commonwealth Bank account number format and length depend on whether it is a domestic account (a normal, everyday Australian Dollar account) or a foreign currency account you are holding with Commonwealth Bank.

The benefits of receiving money internationally with CommBank

  • Very convenient if you already have an CommBank bank account.
  • It’s a relatively simple and straightforward process.
  • You can receive money from most countries around the world.

Cheaper alternatives to receiving money internationally with CommBank

If you already bank with CommBank, then using them to receive money from overseas is the easiest option – but it may not be the cheapest.

To work out if you can save any money by using a money transfer company instead of CommBank, compare the exchange rates and fees at CommBank to your other options below.

Compare cheaper ways to receive money from overseas

What if you don't want to convert the money into Australian Dollars?

You may want to keep the money in a foreign currency instead of converting into Australian Dollars straight away. In this case, you can either use a foreign currency account with CBA or a Wise Borderless Account (formally known as TransferWise). Both have their pros, cons, costs and benefits so we recommend you read up on your options before making a decision.

Related link: Wise Borderless Account review

Related link: Foreign currency accounts: explained and compared

Currency exchange rates

  • The rates the sender gets for transferring currency to you will depend on the bank, money transfer provider or other service they are using.
  • Ask them to send you details of their provider so that you can check their rates.
  • Note that exchange rates and fees charged by banks are often higher than the sender could get with a dedicated money transfer provider. If they are using their own bank, you could suggest they look into one of the specialist money transfer providers instead.
  • Our CBA calculator for foreign exchange.

Notes on international bank drafts or cheques

International bank cheques or drafts can be deposited into a Commonwealth Bank account. It can be a lengthy process. If it is in a foreign currency it will take longer to process as it will need to be returned to the country of origin for clearing. Additionally, the fees associated with these types of payments are very high. This means that we would never suggest using international bank drafts or cheques. It would be better to request a different payment method from the sender.

Related Link: Receiving Money from Overseas with Commonwealth Bank

CommBank disclaimers

CommBank does not check payment details. If payment details are incorrect it may result in an unsuccessful transfer or the wrong account receiving funds. It is pivotal that you make sure all the details you provide to the payer are correct. As a result, this will save time for both of you and ensure you receive your payment in a timely manner.

Before your sender uses a bank to send your money overseas

If you want to get the most value out of your currency exchange, consider asking your sender to use a dedicated currency exchange or money transfer service. Sending you money using their bank can be expensive. They will pay higher fees and get a worse exchange rate than using a dedicated money transfer specialist. It can also mean you will be hit with additional fees and receive less money.

Specialist currency providers are fast and easy to use, offer excellent exchange rates and have low or non-existent fees. So your money goes further. As an example, here’s what it would cost to convert $10,000USD into AUD, via CommBank. We've used a couple of our top rated money transfer specialists to compare.

  • CommBank — $10,000 USD to $AUD — you will receive $13,244 AUD.
  • OFX — $10,000 USD to $AUD — you will receive $13,667 AUD — $423 more.
  • TorFX — $10,000 USD to $AUD — you will receive $13,829 AUD — $585 more.

*All details shown above are correct as of August 2020.

If your sender uses a dedicated money transfer service like WorldFirst, Wise, OFX, WorldRemit or another dedicated currency exchange provider, they could save you hundreds of dollars on a transaction like this. To see how much they could save, get them to take a look at our free online comparison tool.

And that’s it! That's everything you need to know about receiving money from overseas using Commonwealth Bank. The next time you or someone else needs to send money internationally, check how much you can save using our money transfer comparison tool.

Oscar Murray
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Last updated
June 9th, 2021