Westpac Foreign Currency Account Review
Our Westpac foreign currency account review will provide you with the knowledge you need to decide if this popular bank account is a fit for your business.
A Westpac foreign currency account may be a smart choice for your business if you find yourself regularly dealing in foreign currencies. With your account, you’ll be able to safely and securely send and receive money in AUD, as well as many other popular currencies used throughout the world.
- No monthly account fee
- Online banking and account management through Westpac Live
- The flexibility you need to manage foreign exchange flows
- Overdraft protection is available
- Low transaction fees
- Missing some popular currencies
- Doesn’t offer as many banking service options as some larger banks
- Westpac Live isn’t as robust as other banking apps - some transactions must be completed at a branch
Features of Westpac Accounts
With business banking, it’s critical you’re able to find a banking partner you can trust. As the oldest and most well-established bank in Australia, Westpac is a strong choice for your banking needs. Founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, they handled the banking needs of Australians for over 200 years. Westpac rebranded in 1982 and now continue to provide quality banking services in Australia.
Westpac offers an impressive array of features and are one of the most affordable options for foreign currency accounts. With your Westpac foreign currency account, you’ll make use of the following features:
With your account, you’ll access Westpac Live, which is the online banking platform of Westpac.
This award-winning application allows you to access your account from your phone, tablet or computer, and perform a range of different banking actions. However, there are still some transactions that require the assistance of a teller at one of Westpac’s branches.
Easy to send and receive money
Your foreign currency account will allow you to send and receive payments in 15 different popular currencies. Unlike other banks which have a list of fees that looks similar to the menu at a diner, Westpac’s fees are straightforward and reasonable.
The length of time it takes for a transaction to clear can vary based on many different security factors, but most transactions are completed within a maximum of two business days.
Like many foreign currency accounts, overdrafts are available for businesses that meet Westpac's criteria.
This facility provides you with an additional level of versatility for your account and allows you to bank with confidence when your business needs exceed your on-hand capital. Westpac’s overdraft interest rates are particularly competitive and are usually less than other leading banks.
When you open a Westpac foreign currency account, you can transact using a variety of different and popular currencies. You can also speak with a Westpac representative if you need to transact in a currency not listed on their site.
Westpac supports the following currencies: United States dollars, Chinese Yuan CNY, Great British pounds, Canadian dollars, Danish kroner, Euros, Hong Kong dollars, Japanese yen, New Zealand dollars, Norwegian kroner, Singapore dollars, Swedish kroner, Swiss francs, Thailand baht and South African rand.
The first thing you’re likely to notice with a Westpac foreign currency account is that there are no monthly fees for your account. However, there are some fees you’ll need to know about regarding different transactions.
Unlike many banking options which charge a range of convoluted and difficult to understand fees for different banking transactions, Westpac makes it easy to understand the different fees you can expect to pay with their account.
Outward transfers cost $20 each while inward transfers cost $12. Keep in mind that these fees are the rates you’ll pay when banking through Westpac Live. If you prefer to conduct business in person at one of Westpac’s branches, you can pay a bit more in fees.
Foreign exchange rates are volatile and subject to change at a moment’s notice. If you’re new to banking in foreign currencies, it can be a harrowing experience. The best way to navigate foreign exchange rates is with an exchange rate calculator. That way, you can ensure that you’ll be completing your transactions at times when the rates are most favourable.
If you’re feeling uneasy about making transactions on your own based on current exchange rates, you can always stop into one of Westpac’s branches. There, a Westpac representative will be able to provide you with the expertise you need for your transactions.
How to Apply for An Account
If you decide that opening an account with Westpac is a smart choice for your business, opening an account is easy.
You can open a new account online in less than 10 minutes, thanks to their easy to navigate web platform. Answer some questions about your business, provide the required information, and your account will be up and running quickly.
If you prefer, you can also stop into any Westpac branch and open an account with the help of one of their representatives. A banking professional at Westpac will be able to walk you through every aspect of your new account, and your new account will be ready to use in short order.
Alternative multi-currency account with lower fees
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) released the Borderless Account in Australia. At first glance, it is significantly easier to set-up, receive and send foreign currency. The fee structure is also simpler than many other foreign currency accounts on the market.
The thing that makes it different to every other foreign currency account, is that it allows you to up a local bank account in AUD, GBP, EUR or USD. That means if you open up a USD account, you’ll have your own ABA and account number (think BSB and account number).
It’s a big deal. Why?
Having your own local bank account makes it significantly easier, faster and cheaper to receive money.
To read our full review of the Wise Borderless Account, click here or watch this video