How to Receive Money From Overseas Using The Commonwealth Bank of Australia

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

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.

Commonwealth Bank CBA logo

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.

Compare cheaper ways to receive money from overseas

The best deal for you

TransferwiseRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,918.09Exchange Rate0.7218Transfer Fees$63.84Transfer Time1-2 DaysLearn MoreTotal (AUD)$13,918.09Rate Updated 05:19AM 14/11/2018GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7218 will cost you $13,918.09 which includes a fee of $63.84

About TransferWise

Transparency and an easy online experience are the 2 things that set TransferWise apart from the banks and other money transfer companies. If you prefer to bank online, you'll like TransferWise. Setting up an account and making a transfer is very easy. They are also very clear on the exchange rate and fees you'll pay before you make a transfer. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • Clear and transparent exchange rates fees
  • The online experience is first class
  • Like the banks, they are regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Constantly bringing out new innovative products

Cons

  • There are currently a number of global currencies they do not currently support
  • Limited support based in Australia
  • Percentage based fee can add up on very large transfers

More trusted money transfer options

Provider Exchange Rate Transfer Fees Transfer TimeTotal (AUD) Rate Updated 05:19AM 14/11/2018
TorFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,923.87$5.78 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7182 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,923.87$5.78 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7182 will cost you $13,923.87 with no fees.

About TorFX

TorFX are particularly good taking care of customers over the phone but using their website isn't the easiest to use. They don't charge a flat fee which is great but it's important to consider their exchange rates. While, they don't offer fantastic rates for small amounts under $2000 , TorFX offer exceptionally good exchange rates for larger transfers to the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

Pros

  • No transfer fees
  • Highly competitive exchange rates
  • Secure transfers with authorised
  • Assigned account manager
  • 24 / 7 Assistance
  • Available range of transfer options

Cons

  • Limited exotic currencies available
  • Exchange rates on small transfers aren't great
  • Website experience could be better
XERead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,935.08$16.99 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7176 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,935.08$16.99 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7176 will cost you $13,935.08 with no fees.

About XE

XE is a well known and trusted name in the money transfer industry. With over twenty years experience, they now help 33,000 people and 2,000 businesses make transfers each year. Over 60 currencies can be transferred with XE and they pride themselves on the free tools and transparent rates they offer. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Well known and trusted brand.
  • Very informative website. Extensive information on currency and money transfers.
  • XE App is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to see the interbank rate for over 100 currencies.
  • XE themselves charge no fees for international money transfers.
  • Offers support for both individuals and businesses when it comes to international money transfers.

Cons

  • Cannot pay via cash or cheque. Must pay via bank transfer, BPay is also accepted in Australia.
  • Maximum transfer amount is $500,000USD.
  • While XE compares more than 100 currencies, there are only 60 that are available for money transfers.
WorldFirstRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,937.88$19.79 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7175 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,937.88$19.79 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7175 will cost you $13,937.88 with no fees.

About World First

World First was founded in 2004 in the UK and has grown rapidly with offices now in the U.S., Canada and throughout Asia. They consistently receive strong customer reviews and in a recent study, 98% of their clients said they would use them again.World First have a strong online offering, particular for businesses selling online. They do provide local support as well with offices in Sydney. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Low fees and great exchange rates
  • Safe and secure transfers
  • Regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Great for personal and business payments

Cons

  • Does not accept BPAY, credit card, cheque or cash
  • Limited currencies available
HIFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,937.88$19.79 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7175 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,937.88$19.79 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7175 will cost you $13,937.88 with no fees.

About HiFX

HiFX are one of the biggest money transfer companies in the world. Their parent company Euronet is listed on the NASDAQ and recently acquired Xe.com. They are particularly useful for individuals doing regular transfers overseas. HiFX provide competitive exchange rates no matter how much is being transacted. Their $50 minimum transaction size and flat fee makes them a great option for any international payment. Locally, HiFX have Australian offices in Sydney, Melbourne and are expanding to the remaining capital cities. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Fantastic bank - beating exchange rates
  • Low fees for transactions less than $10, 000
  • No fees for transactions of $10, 000 or more
  • High security transfers regulated by ASIC and FMA
  • Fast and easy for personal or business accounts

Cons

  • Only electronic bank transfers accepted
  • Limited exotic currencies
WorldRemitRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,988.24$70.15 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7151 Transfer Fees$3.99 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $13,988.24$70.15 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7151 will cost you $13,988.24 which includes a fee of $3.99

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit are particularly good for transfers under $10,000 to destinations across Asia, Africa and South America. Sending money online is significantly easier than using companies like Western Union or Moneygram and their exchange rates and fees are clear and transparent. With 2 million users, WorldRemit has a focus on improving access to remittances for the billions people worldwide who don’t have access to banking. Because of this, WorldRemit has a number of ways to both make and receive transfers. They concentrate on servicing individual needs as opposed to businesses. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • They have a great network in Asia and Africa and number of receiving options like cash-pick up or bank transfer.
  • They are clear about their exchange rates and fees
  • No minimum amount

Cons

  • Maximum transfer sizes for every transfer
  • No support for business customers
  • They are not licensed to provide financial advice.
OFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,044.94$126.85 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7120 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-3 DaysGet discounted rate $14,044.94$126.85 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7120 will cost you $14,044.94 with no fees.

About OFX

OFX (formally known as Ozforex) is the largest Australian owned money transfer company. It launched in 1998 and grew rapidly until finally listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013. OFX excels in 2 areas – Online experience and customer service. The company was born online and continues to develop easy, intuitive products. While OFX customers do most of their transactions online, they are backed up with exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Better exchange rates compared to banks
  • Highly safe and secure transfers
  • 1 - 2 days delivery times for most countries
  • Quick response time
  • Fantastic customer service

Cons

  • Credit cards, cheques and cash are not accepted
  • Transfers to Thailand can take up to 4 days
  • Fees for transfers smaller transfers
ANZRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,388.49$470.40 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6950 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,388.49$470.40 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6950 will cost you $14,388.49 with no fees.
ANZ International Money Transfer is a secure and fast way to transfer money overseas.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers
  • Safe and secure
  • No fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking

Cons

  • $12 fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
  • 24 hour hotline not available
Commonwealth BankRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,687.67$769.58 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6814 Transfer Fees$12.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,687.67$769.58 more expensive GET THIS DEAL
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6814 will cost you $14,687.67 which includes a fee of $12.00
Commonwealth Bank provides secure and easy transfers to over 200 countries and more than 30 currencies.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers+ Easy transfers
  • Security guarantee covers any losses from unauthorised transactions

Cons

  • $6 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • $12 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates

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.

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 two to five 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.

Cheaper alternatives to receiving money internationally with CBA

If you already bank with CBA, 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 CBA, compare the exchange rates and fees at CBA to your other options.

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 TransferWise Borderless Account. Both have their pros, cons, costs and benefits so we recommend you read up on your options before making a decision.

Related link: TransferWise Borderless Account review

Related link: Foreign currency accounts: explained and compared

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 you see below.

Commonwealth Bank of 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.

Further information on how to receive money from overseas using the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

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.

Further CommBank information from The Currency Shop

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 $12,435 AUD.
  • OFX — $10,000 USD to $AUD — you will receive $12,974 AUD — $539 (4.2%) more.
  • Transferwise — $10,000 USD to $AUD — you will receive $12,985 AUD — $550 (4.3%) more.

*All details shown above are correct as of November 2017.

If your sender uses a dedicated money transfer service like WorldFirst, TransferWise, OFX, HiFX 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.

Summary

And that’s it! That's everything you need to know about receiving money from overseas using Commonwealth Bank. Here at The Currency Shop, we want to give you the right information to help you and the sender save money and help you make an informed choice for all your currency exchange needs.

The next time you or someone else needs to send money internationally, check how much you can save using our money transfer comparison tool. Additionally, if you’ve still got questions we’re here to help, so feel free to give us a call on 1800 004 930.