The Biggest and Best Money Transfer Services in Australia

Money Transfer Services Australia

Are you confused by the large number of different ways to transfer money overseas from Australia? In this article, we examine the traditional ways (banks and remittance services) send money overseas and compare it to the latest, fastest and cheapest ways of transferring money overseas from Australia (money transfer services).

What is a Money Transfer Service?

A money transfer service is the cheapest and fastest way to send money overseas from an Australian bank account. Money transfer services tend to offer the best exchange rates and have very low or no fees. TransferWise, OFX (previously Ozforex), WorldRemit, Worldfirst, XE, Xoom, Sendfx, Revolut, Torfx, Orbit Remit, Currency Fair and Instarem are great examples of regulated money transfer service providers.

How much does it cost for an International Money Transfer using a Money Transfer Service?

You can save a lot of money on your international money transfer by using a money transfer service like TransferWise. They have no transaction or receiving fees. These can be as much as $30 each at the Commonwealth Bank. TransferWise have very competitive exchange rates. For example, if you were to exchange $5,000 Australian dollars into US dollars, you would save another $145 on the rate alone. In total:

To send $5,000 from Australia to the United States would cost roughly $54 with TransferWise and $240 with the Commonwealth Bank.

The total savings would be at least $180.

Compare rates and fees from money transfer services in Australia

How does a Money Transfer Service Work?

In most cases you will need to

1

Sign Up Online Sign up online and provide your personal details including bank account, debit card or credit card details.

2

Exchange Rate Offered Once your identity is confirmed they will ask for the recipient's bank account details and offer a rate of foreign exchange.

3

Payment Payment to the money transfer service is required and once received they will send in the requested foreign currency.

The great benefit of setting up an account with a money transfer company is once you have an account set up, you can send money anywhere in the world without leaving your desk or having to queue up at a bank. Even better, you save money from their low transfer fees and competitive exchange rates.

How do I compare money transfer service providers?

Comparing money transfer service companies can be a hassle, so we have done the research for you. In the table below we have graded the money transfer companies based on the following:

Exchange rate - An exchange rate is the price of one currency in terms of another currency. It will determine how much money your recipient receives. The rate constantly changes and is available online, this is known as the mid-market rate or interbank rate. The closer your rate is to the mid market rate, the more you will save.

Questions to consider are - am I being offered the best rate available for my currency exchange?

Transfer fees - A transfer fee is a cost to perform the money transfer. Banks can charge between $20 - $30. However, it's common for money transfer service providers to have no transfer fees. A transfer fee can significantly add to the total cost of your international money transfer and the amount your recipient receives in their bank account.

Questions to consider are - how much do they charge per transaction? Is it fee free?

Speed - The time it takes for the money transfer to be completed can be an important factor when choosing a money transfer service. If a relative needs money urgently overseas, you may need a service that provides money transfers instantly. Luckily the days of having to wait week for a international bank draft to clear are over. Most money transfer companies can send funds within 2 business days.

Questions to consider are - how fast can you make the money transfer?

Methods - This is the way money is transmitted overseas, in most cases this is performed online and between two bank accounts. Some money transfers can be remitted in cash or in a mobile wallet instantly.

Questions to consider are - how many options are available to make your international money transfer?

Safety - Making sure your money is transferred safely is crucial. Checking to see that the money transfer service is regulated by ASIC is an important step we at The Currency Shop have already checked. Trustpilot is also a great place to look at independent reviews for your safety concerns.

Questions to ask are - how trustworthy is the money transfer company? Are they regulated by ASIC? Do they have an ABN?

Limits - The amount of money you want to transfer will impact the money transfer service provider you choose. TransferWise, XE and WorldRemit are great for smaller amounts. OFX, TorFX and WorldFirst can be a better option to transfer large amounts overseas.

Questions to consider are - does the company have a minimum amount for international transfers? Is there a maximum?

Frequency - The number of times you need to transfer money over 12 months will play an important role in your decision-making process. Some money transfer companies have systems set up to help you make to regular transfers with ease.

Questions to consider are - how easy is it to make regular payments overseas?

Customer Service - The assistance and advice provided by money transfer companies for their customers might determine your choice.

Questions to consider - how easy is it to contact staff to help? how many different modes of help do they offer? what comments are posted online regarding customer service?

How we rated them

Many of you might be wondering how we came up with our scores out of twenty.  We marked each company on the following categories:

  • Exchange Rate - At the end of the day, this is the most important category. The better the exchange rate, the higher the score.
  • Transfer Fees - Were there fixed or percentage fees or were fees hidden? How did it affect the total cost?
  • Speed - We all appreciate speed when transferring money overseas.
  • Safety - Are they regulated by ASIC? How did they rate on Trustpilot?
  • Collection Options - How many ways could you collect the funds?
  • Limits - Were there any minimum or maximum limits on international transfers?
  • Frequency - How often can customers send money?
  • Customer Service - What ways could the customer contact the money transfer service?

After we choose our categories we weighted them based on importance within the transaction. It's no surprise exchange rate was weighted the heaviest (35%), transfer fee was next (20%), speed (15%), followed by safety (10%) and finally collection options, limits, frequency and customer service (5%).

TransferWise

  • Cost - Small fee based on which currency and amount required
  • Speed - 1 business day
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - ASIC licence number is 456295 & TrustPilot - 4.7 stars from 72,000+ reviews
  • Limits - No limits for minimum transfer amounts and TransferWise can send large amounts and send larger amounts than banks
  • Bonus Features - Borderless Account is a multi-currency app that enables you to send and receive 40 types of foreign currency at real time exchange rates and low fees

OFX

  • Costs - $15 transaction fee for transfers under AUD$10,000, fee free for transfers over AUD$10,000
  • Speed - 1 business day
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC & TrustPilot - 4.4 stars from 3500+ reviews
  • Limits - No maximum amount for international transfers
  • Bonus Features - Forward Exchange Contract and FX options are available

WorldRemit

  • Cost - Very low transfer fee. $4 transaction fee for all international money transfers
  • Speed - Up to 3 business days
  • Method - Online bank transfer and instant Airtime top ups available
  • Safety - Registered by AUSTRAC, authorised and regulated by FCA and TrustPilot - 4.6 stars from 29,000+ reviews
  • Limits - Maximum amount of AUD$50,000 per transfer

XE Money Transfer

  • Costs - Fee Free
  • Speed - Minimum transfer is 1 business day
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC in Australia, the FMA in New Zealand, FinCen in the USA and the FCA in the UK. TrustPilot - 4.7 stars from 30,000+ reviews
  • Limits - Maximum of USD$500,000
  • Bonus Features - 20 years of online foreign currency exchange rate reporting

SendFX

  • Cost - Fee Free
  • Speed - Minimum transfer speed is 1 business day
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - TrustPilot - 4.8 stars from 52 reviews
  • Limits - Minimum $250 per transaction
  • Bonus Features - Send Visa card available. Regular payments, one off payments and forward contracts available

Torfx

  • Costs - Fee Free
  • Speed - Up to 3 business days
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC and AUSTRAC in Australia. TrustPilot - 4.7 stars from 1000+ reviews
  • Limits - Minimum $200 per transaction
  • Bonus Features - Specialise in transferring money to emigrate and buy property overseas. Assigned a dedicated account manager

WorldFirst

  • Cost - Fee Free
  • Speed - Minimum transfer speed is 1 business day
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated ASIC and AFSL number 331945. ACN 132 368 971
  • Limits - Minimum $2,000 per transaction
  • Bonus Features - Spot contracts and forward contracts available

Revolut

  • Costs - Fee Free
  • Speed - Instant to Revolut users and up to 2 business days for money transfers
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC. Regulated by FCA. TrustPilot - 4.5 stars from 23,000+ reviews
  • Limits - Up to $9,000 per month
  • Bonus Features - Revolt card. Recurring payments set up available.

Orbit Remit

  • Cost - $4 transaction fee
  • Speed - 1 business day to India, New Zealand, Philippines and United Kingdom. 1 to 3 business days for other countries
  • Method -Online bank transfer. Cash pick up available in Nepal, Philippines and Vietnam
  • Safety - Regulated ASIC and registered with AUSTRAC. TrustPilot - 4.7 stars from 19,000+ reviews
  • Limits - On international transfers to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand
  • Bonus Features - Recurring transfers

CurrencyFair

  • Costs - $4 per transaction. Hidden fees like intermediary fees by banks might be charged
  • Speed - Up to 2 business days
  • Method - Peer to Peer (P2P) service. This means Currency Fair match people who want to transfer one currency into another and arrange the swap
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC. TrustPilot - 4.7 stars from 3,000+ reviews
  • Bonus Features - Rate alerts available

Instarem

  • Cost - 2.5% of money transfer amount
  • Speed - Up to 3 business days
  • Method - Online bank transfer
  • Safety - Regulated by ASIC & TrustPilot - 4.4 stars from 3,000+ reviews
  • Limits - $200 minimum. Regulatory limits on money transfers to India, Philippines, South Korea, Nepal and Thailand
  • Bonus Features - Multi-currency payment accounts available

International Money Transfer Tips

Here are some ways to save money when transferring money internationally:

  1. Have your bank details and recipient's details on hand and i.d. documents stored electronically to make it quick to fill in online forms.
  2. Ask how long conversion rate is guaranteed for.
  3. Look at the total cost, a great rate might be undercut by a large transfer fee.
  4. Try to transfer your money before the cut off time to ensure a speedy transfer.

Our most frequently asked questions

What is an International Money Transfer (IMT) ?

When you transfer money between bank accounts within Australia it is known as a money transfer, bank transfer or bank wire transfer. It is a simple transaction in the same currency (Australian dollars) with minimal fees. When you transfer money overseas it is known as a International Money Transfer (IMT). Traditional methods of sending money overseas included using a bank to send an international money order or an international bank wire transfer, which are costly and expensive (exchange rates and bank fees). They also take a long time to transfer the funds between bank accounts.

What is a Remittance Service?

A common way of sending money overseas is through a remittance service provider like Western Union, MoneyGram or PayPal. Money is sent through an electronic payment system and payment is collected through a bank account or in person in cash. Remittance service providers have been around for a while and earned a decent reputation for reliability but they are not cheap when compared to money transfer services.

What information do I need to make a transfer?

To send money from Australia, you’ll normally need the following information:

  • Your name, address, identity verification and payment details.
  • The name and address of the beneficiary or recipient you’re sending money to.
  • The recipient’s bank account details including the name of the bank and account number.
  • In all cases you will need to provide the BIC or SWIFT code.

How do I keep my money online safe?

Safety is very important and all of the online companies above take their legal responsibilities very seriously. They take extreme measures to protect the sensitive data you provide them like your personal details and identification. However, it's still better to be safe than sorry. Here are some additional ways you can transfer funds safely:

  • Double check privacy policies and tracking process for your money transfer provider
  • Use a strong, long and unique password with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols when you set-up your account
  • Ensure your money transfer service provides two-factor authentication, including SMS or email-based security code

What are the SWIFT / BIC codes of the major banks in Australia?

To make a deposit into an Australian bank account, a swift code or BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is required. The Swift code helps identify each bank in Australia and the code is unique to the bank. It is a combination of numbers and letters. The major banks are listed below:

  • Westpac - WPACAU2S
  • Commonwealth - CTBAAU2S
  • NAB - NATAAU33
  • ANZ - ANZBAU3M
  • HSBC - MIDLGB22

Will the Money Transfer Services accept funds from a different source or account?

Yes they can receive funds from an account in a different name to the person who signed up the account. However due to Anti Money Laundering regulations they will need to verify the source.

Do all money transfer companies have a mobile app?

Yes. When you have an account with any of the online money transfer services highlighted above, you can make transfers through their website, or via their iOS Apple and Android apps. However, some are easier to use than others.

How does The Currency Shop make money?

The Currency Shop does not charge you. Instead, we receive a referral fee from the banks and money transfer companies that we are partnered with. This does not affect the price you pay.

Is it safe to use The Currency Shop to compare?

Yes. The Currency Shop holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (462269) and is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service. We closely vet our providers and only partner with the largest, safest and most trusted money transfer companies in the world. That just makes sense.

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