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If you’ve never completed an international money transfer before, you might have some questions around the different steps of the process, the information required and the fees involved. That’s why we’re here to run you through the various providers you can choose from, how to find the best EUR exchange rates and the additional charges you need to watch out for.
When it comes to international money transfers, you have two main choices - you can convert your Australian dollars to Euros through a bank or a foreign exchange specialist. Here’s a quick look at what the different providers have to offer, and the pros and cons of each.
If you’ve already got your savings account, home loan or credit card linked with a particular bank and are used to dealing with them, you might be tempted to use them for transferring international money as well, for the convenience factor. One of the other major advantages of transferring money through a bank is that you’re dealing with a familiar and trusted name, which may provide an added sense of security.
But as we all know, convenience comes at a price. In this case, the catch is that banks sometimes offer less competitive exchange rates and may have a higher transfer fee compared with independent money transfer specialists. Plus, some banks don’t have an online transfer facility, and may require you to come into the branch for the money transfer, which won’t do if you need to transfer money quickly and don’t have the time to wait for a bank’s business hours.
Foreign Exchange Specialists
Foreign Exchange Specialists are currency experts whose main area of focus revolves around international money transfers. They can help you exchange your Aussie dollars for Euros and then transfer the funds to the recipient safely and quickly, usually within 24-48 hours.
Most of them will let you carry out the transfer online or over the phone, which means you have easy access to their services. Compared to the banks, they generally apply a lower margin to the foreign exchange rate and charge a low (or no) transfer fee.
The only disadvantage of using a foreign exchange specialist is that you may be dealing with a name that you haven’t heard of before. The most important thing is to look for a provider that is regulated through ASIC - you may be happy to hear that all the foreign exchange specialists listed on Mozo above fall into this category.
When you start comparing IMT providers to transfer your money to Europe, there are a few key points that’ll help you reach the right decision. Here’s a quick list of the things you need to check to ensure you pick the best Euro money transfer for you.
Some providers have minimum and maximum limits on the amount of money you can transfer in one go. For instance, one foreign exchange specialist may have no limits on the amount of euros you can transfer, another might require you to send at least $200 at a time, while your bank may have a cap on the amount you can transfer each day based on your bank account’s daily withdrawal limit.
Euro exchange rate
This is one of the most obvious factors, which will determine your choice of IMT provider. Because euros have a higher value than Aussie dollars, while converting from AUD to EUR, you should look for the highest rate to get the most bang for your buck.
For example, at the time of writing, World First was offering EUR 6,523 for AUD $10,000, whereas a big bank was only offering EUR 6,103. That’s a difference of 420 Euro!
Minimum additional charges
All foreign exchange providers have a unique fee structure, which can vary depending on multiple factors, such as the amount of money you’re transferring, if you’re likely to transfer money regularly and if you’re making the transfer online or in person.
For instance, while an online currency exchange specialist like TorFx may offer you fee free international money transfers, you may need to pay up to $32 to transfer money in person with a big bank. Make sure you check the fine print so you know if there are any hidden fees or charges.
One off or regular transfer deals
Think about it - are you just sending your mum some money for her 60th birthday or is this one of many payments for a property you’re buying in Europe? It always helps to know if you’ll need to make regular transfers or if it’s a one off thing because some providers will offer you better deals (like make the first two transfers fee free) if you make a long term arrangement with them.
Online or in person transfer costs
Besides being the more convenient option that’s available round the clock, transferring money online is also the cheaper way to convert AUD to EUR. In fact, the same provider can charge you a higher fee for transferring money in person or over the phone compared to their charges for converting funds online.
Once you’ve compared the different international money providers and found the right EUR exchange rate for your transfer, you can either open an account with an online provider or visit the branch depending on your final choice.
After your transfer request has been registered, you can fix a conversion rate, provide the recipient’s bank account details and book your transaction. You should then be able to pay your provider using BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer.
Either way, here’s a list of information you’ll need to set up the transfer:
1. Proof of identity, such as your driver’s licence or passport
2. The recipient’s name, address and account details
3. The complete name and address of the recipient’s bank
4. Account number or International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
5. SWIFT/BIC code of your personal account that you’re transferring money from
6. The exact amount you would like to transfer