International Money Transfer
If you've been racking your brain over the best way to transfer money overseas, you've reached the right place. Mozo's international money transfer comparison table can help you conveniently analyse the current exchange rates and fees for international money transfers (IMT) as well as other key factors that you need to keep in mind before dealing with foreign exchange.
How Mozo can help you with international money transfer
Whether you are relocating to another country, sending money to friends or family living overseas or purchasing goods and services for your business, you'll want to find the cheapest, safest and most convenient way to transfer money internationally.
Mozo's comparison table gives you a comprehensive snapshot of exchange rates, fees and features for many of the international money transfer providers in Australia including banks and foreign currency specialists.
Do remember however, Mozo is not a provider of international money transfers. We are a cost comparison website that helps you compare international money transfer providers, which saves time and of course, money, when you need to transfer funds to an overseas bank account. Say for instance, if you want to send money to the United States, the UK, Europe or New Zealand (to name a few countries we help you compare) our time-saving tool lets you calculate how much Australian dollars (AUD) you will need to convert to your currency of choice whether its EURO, USD, GBP or NZ dollars or other local currencies. Our results are ranked by price so you can then choose the provider that best suits your transfer needs.
If you are simply looking for foreign exchange options for your next international holiday or business trip, this section isn't for you - head over to our travel money section where you can compare everything from prepaid travel cards, exchange rates, holiday insurance to overseas debit card fees and travel credit cards.
Choose the best way to convert your money into a foreign currency based on your needs
Before your start comparing the different exchange rates, it is important that you understand the basic platforms through which you can convert your money into another currency and which one works best for you. This can vary depending on the amount of money you are dealing with and how frequently you need to make overseas transactions. Here are the options you can choose from:
Banks: Most banks have a provision to convert amongst a number of currencies, however, banks usually charge high conversion fees compared to specialist international money transfer providers. If you decide to go with your bank, the money will be debited from your account and transferred to the designated overseas account. This would be a good option if you are in a hurry and don't have the time to compare rates and set up an account with a international money transfer provider or if it is a small amount and you are unlikely to make repeated transactions.
International money exchange agencies: These are agencies or providers who specialise in foreign currency and are likely to offer you an attractive exchange rate at a relatively low conversion fee. If you register with such a business, money would first be transferred from your bank account to the account you create with this business and then to the international account you choose. They should also have a wider range of currencies to deal with. This is usually the cheapest option for international money transfer and is a great idea for individuals and businesses who regularly deal with foreign exchange.
Credit and debit cards: Your regular credit or debit card will be able convert Australian dollars into the required foreign currency when you are travelling or even if you are shopping online at overseas stores, but on most cards, you will pay foreign transaction fees and ATM withdrawal charges. An alternative when you are overseas is to get a special prepaid travel card from your bank, add money to it, lock in the foreign currency at a specific rate and get the international transaction charges waived.
PayPal: This is a safe and trusted method for transferring a small amount of money online, say if you are dealing with a few hundred dollars. The transaction usually takes no longer than a few minutes but given its fee structure, it turns out to be expensive if you are dealing with larger sums of money.
The key factors you need to look at before picking your mode of international money transfer
Here are the main features you need to keep in mind while comparing the different modes of money transfer:
Rates: The current exchange rate is one of the most important things you need to look at because this will determine the amount of foreign currency that you will get for your money. Banks and agencies can vary in the rates they offer, so you must compare and calculate how much you will get in the end. Remember that when you are dealing with a large sum of money, even a difference of a few cents in the exchange rate can make a huge impact on your final amount. The higher the exchange rate, the more money you will get. Also, don't assume that just because one provider is offering the highest exchange rate for a particular currency, it would also be the best for other currencies. It makes sense to compare providers for the different currencies you will be dealing with.
Fees: Most banks as well as agencies will charge an extra fee for converting your money into a foreign currency. While some might charge a percentage of the total money exchanged, others could have fixed fees. You might also find some sellers who offer a commission-free money transfer, but be wary of such claims because in all likelihood they will make up for this with a poor exchange rate.
Transfer speed: This is the amount of time it may take to process the money transfer and usually ranges from one to five days. If you are in a hurry to get your money, you should check with the bank or agency if they can reduce the processing time. They may charge an extra fee for fast-tracking the transfer.
Transfer limits: Some international money transfer providers have a minimum and maximum amount of money that you can transfer at a time or on a monthly basis. This can also vary for online or phone transfers. Depending on your requirement, be sure to check on this specification.
As you start crunching numbers, you can go through our list of frequently asked questions so that you can simultaneously get some of your own queries answered.
1. How often is the information on exchange rates on your website updated?
The information on international money transfer rates is updated hourly in our service, but because of the fluctuating nature of foreign exchange you may find a small difference to the 'live' price you will get from the IMT provider at the exact time of your overseas money transfer.
2. I need to make overseas business transactions every month. Can I tie up with a service provider for a long term relationship?
If you deal with regular business transactions every month, it can save you both time and money to tie up with one international money transfer provider. Some companies may even offer to lower or waive their commission if you transfer above a certain amount. Also, you can negotiate a transfer limit and even lock an exchange rate if your transfers remain fixed, so that you don't have to suffer due to periodic negative fluctuations in rates. You can check if the provider allows for scheduled transfers so that you don't have to worry every time you need to make a payment.
3. Can I transfer money if the recipient does not have a bank account?
Many international money transfer providers do not allow for an international money transfer if the recipient does not have a bank account. If they don't, the option would be to transfer money in the form of an international money order or an overseas cheque. Your bank or international money transfer provider would need to have an office in the country where the money is being sent to, and the recipient can pick up the payment from there after showing an identity proof. However, this can be a more expensive option when compared with electronic money transfers.
4. Is it cheaper to go with a bank or an international money exchange agency?
While it may be convenient to transfer money using your bank, it is usually the more expensive route. Foreign exchange companies specialise in international money transfers and usually offer multiple services that may not be available with your bank. For instance, the exchange rate is almost always better with an agency, and if you are a business that deals with regular transactions, you can even set up an account and a rate locked in for future transactions. These companies also offer to lower or waive the transaction fees if you transfer more than a certain amount. Agencies are also generally quicker with the transfer process and deal with a wider range of currencies than banks.
5. What is a spot deal?
A spot deal refers to an arrangement where you lock in the current exchange rate with a legal binding of converting one currency for the other within 24 hours of booking the deal.
6. What is a limit order?
This is a good option if you are not in a hurry to transfer the funds. A limit order allows you to nominate an exchange rate that you would like to transact in, and leave your order with the provider staff who will lock in the deal for you when the rate hits your goal. However, limit orders are usually available only for the major currencies and may specify a relatively high amount of minimum money that you need to deal with.
7. What is a SWIFT/BIC code? How can I get one?
A SWIFT or BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is a unique identification code for a specific bank. These codes are used when you transfer money between banks overseas. You can ask the bank for the appropriate code or even check online for the particular bank.
8. What do I need to do to set up a transfer with an international foreign exchange provider?
First, you will need to register with the international money transfer provider, either online or on the phone. The provider would then need to verify your identity and set up your account. This usually does not take very long. Once the registration process is complete, you can fix an exchange rate quote, add the bank account details of the beneficiary and book your transaction. You should be able to pay your provider via BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer.