ACCC calls for clearer pricing as Aussies overpay millions on money transfers

With Australians said to be losing millions of dollars a year on their international money transfer (IMT) by not shopping around, changes are afoot to try and rectify the issue.

A 2019 report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into foreign currency conversions, found a lack of transparent pricing in the IMT industry was causing many consumers to stick with the big four banks when sending money overseas, despite their poorer exchange rates and higher fees. 

However, since the watchdog’s inquiry, a growing number of money transfer providers have taken strides to make it easier for customers to compare prices. 

This week, the ACCC announced that over half of the 26 foreign currency exchange services reviewed in its inquiry have now either included an online calculator on site or improved their existing calculator. 

These calculators are designed to help consumers figure out the total cost of their transfers, and according to ACCC Chair Rod Sims, they’re a step in the right direction. 

“It’s even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, and at a time of growing unemployment globally, that consumers are able to easily compare fees and other charges when converting currency and sending it to family or friends overseas,” Sims said.

“We do want to see all foreign currency service providers, not just some, lift their game so that consumers can benefit from greater price transparency and ultimately competition.” 

Looking beyond the big banks

As with any financial decision, it pays to look at options beyond the traditional bank or credit union when making your international money transfer. 

ACCC data shows that if you’re sending US$7,000 overseas, you could save over AU$500 by opting for the cheapest IMT supplier instead of the most expensive big four bank.

Mozo’s own number crunch reaffirms this point. For a AU$10,000 transfer, you could slash your money transfer bill by US$267, just by hopping onto the average IMT specialist exchange rate rather than the average big bank rate.^

So to get you started, here are a few alternative money transfer providers worth keeping an eye on.

TorFX - International Money Transfer
  • Better exchange rates than the big banks
  • No transfer fees
  • Price match guarantee (conditions apply)

TorFX has been ruffling the big banks’ features for over a decade, offering excellent exchange rates and fee-free transfers (third-party fees may apply). TorFX’s commitment to competitive prices means that they’re also willing to beat any quotes that are better than theirs.

OFX - International Money Transfer
  • Bank-beating exchange rates
  • Zero fees on transfers over AU$10,000 or equivalent
  • Low minimum transfer amount of AU$250

OFX has helped customers move more than AU$100 billion around the globe since 1998, and it’s no surprise that many Australians have chosen them, given their great rates and low fees. For transactions over AU$10,000, OFX won’t charge you any transfer fees (a AU$15 fee applies otherwise), and you can send money in close to 50 different currencies!

Send - International Money Transfer
  • 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner^^
  • Fee-free transfers in over 30 different currencies
  • Low minimum transfer amount of AU$250

SendFX is dedicated to keeping costs down for its customers, smashing competitors out of the water with top-notch exchange rates and no transaction fees (third-party fees may apply). It offers such great value that it even snagged a Mozo Experts Choice Award for best International Money Transfer provider this year.

WorldFirst - International Money Transfer
  • 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner^^
  • Price match guarantee (conditions apply)
  • Zero fees for cross currency transactions

When it comes to price, WorldFirst doesn’t aim for anything less than being impressive. WorldFirst comes with some of the most competitive exchange rates and fees around, plus it promises to match any quote that customers see in the media, news or online converters. WorldFirst even caught the eyes of our expert judges, winning a 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Award for best International Money Transfer provider.

Get started with Mozo’s range of currency calculators, where you can compare today’s exchange rates for overseas money transfers to countries, including the US, UK, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong. 

Or if you’re looking to weigh up even more IMT specialist options, you can head over to our international money transfer comparison page.

^Mozo data, as of 2.30pm, 17 June 2020. 

^^For a full list of winners, visit our 2020 Mozo Experts Choice International Money Transfer Awards page.

* The exchange rates offered by each provider are indicative exchange rates that have either been supplied by each provider or gathered by Mozo. Exchange rates fluctuate constantly and as a consequence the exchange rates listed here may vary to the actual exchange rate you are quoted by a provider. Please ensure you confirm the actual exchange rate with the relevant provider prior to conducting any transaction. These exchange rates are updated every hour.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice International Money Transfer Awards

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