Global transfers

We cover what a wire transfer is, how they work, if they are safe and the fees involved.
Put simply, a wire transfer is an transfer of money electronically.

These days, that applies to just about every payment but to be precise, this term refers to a very specific method payment – a reasonably quick and secure transfer of funds from one bank or credit union to another financial institution using an electronic network such as Fedwire or SWIFT. Traditional wire transfers are fast. If a payment transferred takes several days to clear as available funds in the recipient’s account, it is NOT technically a wire transfer.

 

How safe is a wire transfer?

Basically, when funds go from one bank to another – and then straight to the recipient’s account – the process is secure and safe. Within Australia, each person involved in a wire transfer must have a bank account – and that means they must have satisfied identification criteria as part of the process of opening that bank account.

Banking anonymously is virtually impossible in Australia – and most other countries – so that means that it is very difficult for thieves to conduct a scam involving wire transfer of funds. Of course, scammers do have inventive ways to get around security and they can still happen.

The primary risk around wire transfers could be if your money is intercepted and wired to a different account and then you don’t realise it’s gone into another account until it’s too late.

If somebody from overseas asks you to wire funds to their account, it’s very important that you do your due diligence and think very carefully about where you are sending it and how much you know about the person providing the details.

 

Avoid Risky Transactions

Some wire transfer transactions are particularly risky and these should be avoided. Wiring money to any office that pays its money out in cash, for example (known as a retail money transfer and done through places such as Western Union), can be impossibly difficult to trace back to any real person – especially when you consider that fake identification could be used by the person collecting the cash.

 

How to send money using a bank wire transfer

Talk to your bank or financial institution. You’ll be asked to supply specific information about the bank account of the intended recipient and you usually have to use a special form that is supplied by your bank.

 

Information that is required every time:

1.   SWIFT code of the bank you are sending the money to

2.   The name of the bank

3.   An Account name

4.   An Account number

 

Other information you may need:

·       The address of the bank you are sending the money to

·       The address of the person or company you are sending the money to

Although some banks do let you do this online, others still require physical signing on a paper form. There is a fee associated with wire transfers and this differs from bank to bank.

 

 

Receiving a Wire Transfer

First, you need to supply your correct bank account details to the person or business who needs to send you the funds.

Asking your bank for instructions to do with incoming wire transfers will ensure that you are given the correct details to give to the sender.

Some banks charge a small fee to receive funds through wire transfer, while others do not charge at all.

Receiving wire payments is a much safer proposition because money is only wired out to a different bank account if the funds are actually available in the sender’s account.

Once the money lands in your account, it is usually processed as available funds within one business day (although there may be some exceptions between financial institutions). Cancelling the wire transfer and recalling the money from the account it has already landed in is virtually impossible for the sender to do.

It’s important to note that some electronic payments can be reversed, and crooks can take advantage OF your confusion around this. If money was promised to be sent to you by wire transfer and then reversed, it is more likely that the money was sent via another electronic method so asking for a receipt of the wire transfer is one way to safeguard against this scam happening.

 

How long a bank wire transfer takes

Because genuine wire transfers are very fast, cleared funds are available almost immediately. Wire transfers can also be easily tracked – giving you added peace of mind. If you are sending money overseas, it can take between 1 and 5 business days. Click here for more information

 

How much does a bank wire cost? Bank wire transfer fees in Australia

Each Australian bank will charge a different fee for a bank wire. Please note that a bank wire fee is paid by the person sending the money. The bank that receives the money on the other end may charge the receipient as well.

Commonwealth Bank charges $12 for an international wire transfer done online and $30 via a branch

ANZ Bank charges $18 for an international wire transfer done online and $32 via a branch

National Australia Bank (NAB) charges $22 for an international wire transfer done online and $30 via a branch

Westpac Bank charges $22 for an international wire transfer done online and $30 via a branch

 

Other Electronic Transfers

Although the term, wire transfer is widely used to describe a variety of electronic funds transfers, it is not correct – and refers to one very specific type of transfer.

 


 

How to Find the Cheapest Way to Wire Money Overseas

Compare The Total Cost

The total cost of the transfer comes down to 2 things:

Money transfer fees

1. Transfer Fees

Every Australian bank and money transfer company will charge you a different fee to send money overseas. Usually it’s between $10 and $32.

Exchange rate margin fees

2. Exchange Rate Margin

There is no “standard” exchange rate. Each bank will offer you a different exchange rate based on the currency you want to send overseas and the amount you need to send.

Provider Exchange
Rate
Transfer
Fee
Transfer
Time
Total (AUD) Rates last updated September 19 2018
TransferwiseRead Review 0.7247 $63.59 1-2 Days $13,862.40Lowest Cost Option Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7247 will cost you $13,862.40 which includes a fee of $63.59

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

TorFXRead Review 0.7211 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,868.15$5.75 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7211 will cost you $13,868.15 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 Review 0.7208 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,873.73$11.33 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7208 will cost you $13,873.73 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 Review 0.7204 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,882.11$19.71 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7204 will cost you $13,882.11 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 Review 0.7204 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,882.11$19.71 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7204 will cost you $13,882.11 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
OFXRead Review 0.7150 $0.00 1-3 Days $13,986.01$123.61 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7150 will cost you $13,986.01 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

WorldRemitRead Review 0.7150 $3.99 1-2 Days $13,990.59$128.19 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7150 will cost you $13,990.59 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.
ANZRead Review 0.6963 $0.00 1-2 Days $14,361.63$499.23 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6963 will cost you $14,361.63 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 Review 0.6857 $12.00 1-2 Days $14,595.64$733.24 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6857 will cost you $14,595.64 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

WestpacRead Review 0.6736 $10.00 1-2 Days $14,855.61$993.21 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6736 will cost you $14,855.61 which includes a fee of $10.00
Westpac is one of the big four banks in Australia offers speedy and secure transfers.

Pros:

  • Fast payment processing times
  • Secure transfers

Cons

  • Must be Westpac account holder
  • $20 fee for transfers via Internet or phone banking
  • $32 fee for transfers at an ANZ branch
  • Poor exchange rates

 

 

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Helping You Save Money on Currency

Buying travel money or transferring money overseas can be expensive and confusing. So how do you make the best choice and get the most out of your money?

An easy way is to use a comparison table for either international money transfers or currency exchange. These tables list and compare the banks with other large foreign exchange companies.

We’ve also put together tons of helpful videosguides and reviews that will help you make the right decision. You can work out a cheaper way of converting currency while still keeping your money safe.