International money transfer in minutes? PayPal, Visa have the answer

Katherine O'Chee

15 Sep 2020

Woman making international money transfer content

With faster international money transfers becoming even more of an essential during COVID-19, PayPal and Visa have stepped in with a payments option that could reduce your wait time from days down to minutes. 

PayPal’s Instant Transfer, which gives consumers and businesses the ability to move funds across borders in real-time, was first launched in the US in March last year. But PayPal and Visa’s latest collaboration is taking this service global. 

This means PayPal users worldwide, including in Australia, will now be able to make near-instant transfers overseas. 

With Instant Transfer you can send money from your PayPal, Xoom or Venmo account to eligible Visa cards, via Visa Direct. Businesses using other PayPal-owned payments platforms like Braintree, iZettle and Hyperwallet will also have access to the service. 

Visa’s chief product officer, Jack Forestell said the expanded Instant Transfer service goes hand-in-hand with a growing need amid COVID-19 to pay and get paid sooner. 

“Sending money to loved ones or giving small businesses real-time access to earnings is critical during these challenging times,” he said. 

“By partnering with PayPal on a global scale, we are bringing together two trusted brands to provide hundreds of millions of consumers and small businesses globally with quick and secure payment options that can help them maintain financial stability.” 

This speed, however, comes at a small cost - users will need to budget for an additional 1% fee (of up to $10) on top of their transfer.

It’s also worth noting that while Instant Transfers should typically happen in minutes, the timing can vary depending on the bank you’re sending money to. Either way though, it’ll be significantly more efficient than PayPal’s Standard Transfers which can take 1-3 business days to process.

Your IMT options for larger transfers

While PayPal can be a convenient choice for small one-off transfers, it may not be the right fit for everyone, as you’re limited in terms of how much you can send in one go. Depending on the user and currency, you could be capped at US$10,000 per transfer. 

So what if you’re looking to move larger sums across borders? That’s when specialist foreign exchange providers like TorFX, OFX and WorldFirst come in. 

While in most cases their transactions won’t be instant and your money will typically take 1-5 business days to reach its destination,* many of these providers offer no maximum transfer limit. Just bear in mind that some may come with minimum limits ranging from $50 up to $10,000. 

IMT specialists are also generally cheaper than the banks. In fact, Mozo data reveals that you could save USD$232, just by hopping onto the average online IMT specialist rate rather than the average big four bank rate today.^

Interested in seeing who these providers are? Scroll down below for a snapshot, or jump on over to our international money transfer comparison table for even more options. 


*Same day transfers may be available for major currencies like the USD. 

^Mozo calculations, as of 10am, 15 September 2020.

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Today’s foreign exchange rates
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