Money Transfers Services in 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) to send money overseas and compare it to the latest, fastest and cheapest ways of transferring money overseas from Australia (money transfer services).

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, minimum time of 3 business days.

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 is a Money Transfer Service?

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

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 using the table below:

 

$5000 Transfer from AUD to USD
FEES TRANSFERWISE BANK TRANSFER WESTERN UNION REMITTANCE COMMONWEALTH BANK WIRE
Transaction $0 $15 $30
Rate 0.6868 0.6835 0.6521
Exchange $27 (0.00006%) $17 (0.003361%) $174 (4%)
Receiving $0 $0 $37
Total Fees $27 $32 $132
Amount Received $3,417 $3,407 $3,216

As you can see the lowest fees, largest amount received and a locked in exchange rate for 48 hours are offered through TransferWise, a money transfer service. Western Union offer a competitive exchange rate but this is not guaranteed for 2 business days. Western Union's rates are subject to change without notice.

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 quote 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? In this table the closer the rate is to the mid market rate, the higher the score.

Transfer fees - A transfer fee is a cost to perform the money transfer. Banks can charge between $20 - $30 however it is 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? In the table above lower fees receive higher scores.

Speed - The rate at which a money transfer can be completely transacted 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 and most money transfer companies can send funds within 2 business days. Questions to consider are - how fast can you make the money transfer? In the table above fast transfers were awarded higher scores.

Methods - This is way money is transmitted overseas, in most cases this is performed online bank account to bank account transfers. Some money transfers can remitted in cash or in a mobile wallet instantaneously. How many options are available to make your international money transfer? The more options provided, the higher the score awarded.

Safety - Making sure you money is transferred safely is crucial. Checking to see that the money transfer service has is regulated by ASIC is an important step we at The Currency Shop have already done. Questions to ask are - how trustworthy is the money transfer company? Are they regulated by ASIC? Do they have an ABN? Trustpilot is a great place to look at independent reviews for your safety concerns.

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 small and large amounts while OFX and Worldfirst are better for large amounts. Questions to consider are - Does the company have a minimum amount international transfer? Is there a maximum? In the table above the wider the limits the higher the points awarded.

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

Customer Service - The assistance and advice provided by money transfer companies its customers can 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?

Money Transfer Services Compared

 

Money Changer Full Review Rating
TransferWise Link to Full Transferwise Review 17 / 20
Travel Money Oz 97 Swanston St in The Walk Arcade 7.8 / 10
Unimoni 283 Swanston St 7.6 / 10
Raffles Forex 35 Elizabeth St near Flinders lane 7.4 / 10
Unimoni 45 Elizabeth St near Flinders lane 7.4 / 10
WeXchange 183 Exhibition St on the mezzanine level 7.4 / 10
Travel Money Oz 250 Flinders St opposite the train station 7.4 / 10
E-Trans 350 Collins St, inside the building 7.0 / 10
United Currency Exchange 228 Flinders Lane near the police station 6.7 / 10
Commonwealth Bank The corner of Bourke and Elizabeth St 6.5 / 10
RSI Currency Exchange 252 Swanston next to Cookie 6.4 / 10
ANZ Bank The corner of Collins and Queen St 5.9 / 10
The Change Group Entrance to Midtown Mall Swanston St 5.8 / 10
Money Exchange Shop Next to Great Earth, 163 Swanston Street 5.6 / 10
Xpress Money Exchange Next to Lt.Nic Coffee 262 Lonsdale St 5.5 / 10
Bureau de Change Between Coles and Liquorland on Elizabeth St 4.1 / 10

How we rated them

Many of you might be wondering how we came up with our scores out of ten. After our exhaustive walk around the Melbourne CBD, we chose 5 categories to judge on, based on what we thought would be most valuable to you, the consumer. They were:

  • Exchange Rate - At the end of the day, this is the most important category. The better the exchange rate, the higher the score.
  • Customer Service - We all appreciate good customer service, service that is friendly, courteous and knowledgeable.
  • Stock of Currency - Being able to walk away with your nominated currency immediately is a prerequisite for most customers. So we asked each money changer if they had a number of common and less popular currencies on hand.
  • Safety - This score was based from the location of the store and the security offered.
  • Payment Options - We asked all the money changers what type of payments they accepted to score them.

After we choose our categories we weighted them based on importance within the transaction. It is no surprise that exchange rate was weighted the heaviest (40%), customer service was next (20%), stock of currency (15%), followed by safety (15%) and finally payment options (10%).

Discount and Promo Codes

Get $10 off your next foreign exchange purchase at Travel Money Oz

How to use your discount code

  1. We'll send you a code by sms and email.
  2. Find your nearest Travel Money Oz store. Click here to find your nearest location.
  3. When you are in the store, quote your discount code and get $10 off your transaction.
Terms and Conditions

Offer is valid for new in-store transactions only and cannot be applied to previous or incomplete transactions. A customer must visit a store and display their promo code to receive the $10 discount. Customers may redeem the promotion once per qualifying transaction.
Please ask your Travel Money Oz (or NZ) consultant for current rates.
The minimum spend amount, where applicable, is displayed in AUD.
Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.

Money exchange reviews

Travel Money Oz Review

The best service in Melbourne. Friendly, professional and no wait time. Reasonable rates, no fees and ID required for amounts over $1000.

Unimoni (formally UAE Exchange)

Friendly, professional, with some of the best exchange rates particularly for selling currency to them. There are bank limits for eftpos and photo ID is required.

Travelex

The excellent range of products and currencies didn't make up for the average service. Their exchange rates are much better if you order online and pick up in-store.

United Currency Exchange

Excellent rates to buy currency and good rates to sell. There is usually a queue so be prepared to wait. ID is required for any transaction and they only accept cash.

Raffles Forex

Two people at booth waiting to serve. Knowledgeable, nice with a very good stock of currencies. They offered a better rate without asking.

E-Trans

It's in a commercial building and not easy to find. Staff are pleasant and helpful. ID is required for any transactions above $1000 . They only accept cash.

ANZ Foreign Exchange

Long wait times for unresponsive service and uncompetitive exchange rates. Unfortunately this is the only FX centre left in the city for ANZ customers.

Commonwealth Bank

Service is slow, but helpful and friendly. Much like ANZ, their exchange rates are not great. If you are not a Comm Bank member, you need to set up a profile, which takes 10-15 minutes.

WeXchange

It's a little hard to find. You need to enter the building and go up the stairs. Excellent service, pretty good exchange rates and a solid stock of currencies on hand.