Planning to send money to New Zealand? If you’re dreading the long drawn out process of shortlisting the best value international money providers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Mozo’s nifty exchange rate calculator below, lists the top banks, foreign exchange specialists as well as peer-to-peer providers in the one place, so you can compare and shortlist the best option to transfer your dollars across the ditch.
Considering the large number of providers that offer to send money from Australia to New Zealand, it’s more than understandable if you’re feeling a bit confused with all the choices in front of you. But before you give in to the temptation of just going with the first familiar brand you see on the list, take out three minutes from your busy schedule to read our top tips that can help you pick the best IMT provider based on your needs and get the biggest bang for your buck.
When you’re comparing IMT providers for sending money to New Zealand, the one thing that’s got to be your top priority is finding the best exchange rate for the Kiwi dollar. Always remember even a small difference in rates can have a big impact on your final value.
Take this scenario for example - Suzan is planning on moving to Auckland for a year and needs to transfer AUD $20,000 to a bank in New Zealand. At the time of writing, an independent FX agency like Torfx was offering NZD $20,816 for her Aussie dollars, whereas a major bank was only offering NZD $19,800. That’s a big difference of NZD $1016 - enough to buy her a return ticket between Auckland and Sydney!
Next up, you should take a look at any additional fees that may be tucked away in the fine print for transferring your money. Here’s a quick list of the different charges that could sneak up on you at the last moment if you don’t pay attention at the beginning:
Transfer fee. Most FX providers will charge a set fee for transferring your money to New Zealand. This fee typically depends on the provider you’re opting for, the amount of money you’re sending and whether you’re making the transfer online, over the phone or in person. While many online IMT providers offer fee free transfers, big banks generally charge around $30 if you make a transfer at a branch.
Amendment fee. Once you’ve booked a transfer with a provider, if you want to make any changes, for example to the amount or to the recipient’s bank details, you may be required to pay an amendment fee of around $25.
Receiving bank fee. Apart from the provider you’re dealing with, the recipient’s bank in New Zealand may also charge a fee for receiving the funds.
After you’ve checked up on all the extra fees and charges you might be stung with while sending money to New Zealand, take a look at some of the other important features of an international money transfer:
High transfer limit.
Do you know how much money you need to transfer? If it’s a big amount say more than $30,000, you should look for a provider that doesn’t have a limit on the amount of money you can send in one go. Most foreign exchange specialists like Compass Global Markets and 1st Contract don’t have any restriction on the maximum amount you can send. Major banks on the other hand, may have a cap based on your daily withdrawal limit.
Low transfer limit.
What happens if you’re in the opposite situation and you only want to send a small amount say around $150? In that case, your best bet would be a peer-to-peer provider like CurrencyFair because they don’t have a limit on the minimum amount of money you can send. And while they do charge a small transfer fee, it’s usually much lower than what a big bank may charge you.
Another thing to think about is whether you’re planning to make a one-off or regular money transfer. This matters because if you’ll need to send funds to NZ regularly, there are plenty of providers that offer cheaper options for a long term account.
Generally it takes around 3-5 days for money to get transferred overseas. But if you’re in the middle of an emergency and need to send money faster, look for a provider that can make the process quicker for an extra fee.
What should you do if you spot a great NZD exchange rate now but don’t need to send the money immediately? In that case, you can explore the option of a Forward Contract with the provider, which means you lock in a competitive exchange rate now for a transfer down the line. This will protect you from any sudden drops in rates later.
There’s nothing worse than sending your money overseas with a company that offers a great deal, only to find it is a scam. So ensure the provider you’re sending money through is licensed under ASIC. Because we care about your money, Mozo’s exchange rate calculator above, only lists regulated providers that will handle your funds safely.
Now that you know the top tips of sending money to New Zealand, it’s time to kick off your money transfer. Here are the general steps that apply:
Step 1: Compare deals
Head to the top of this page, plug in the amount of money you want to transfer into the exchange rate calculator and compare the providers based on who’s offering the best deal at the lowest fee. Don’t forget to consider other important features like transfer speed and limits.
Step 2: Choose a provider
Once you’ve made a decision, click on the blue ‘Go to site’ button to head over to the provider’s website where you can start the process.
Step 3: Register and set up an account
You’ll need to register and create an account with the provider for them to process the transfer. You can then confirm how many Aussie dollars you want to exchange and provide the details of the recipient in New Zealand. Here’s a list of information the provider will need from you:
1. Proof of identity such as your driver’s licence, medicare card or passport copy
2. Full name and address of the recipient's bank
3. Recipient's name, address and account number
4. SWIFT/BIC Code - this is an 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world
Step 4: Book the transaction
Finally, after you’re satisfied with the exchange rate and other associated costs, you’ll have to pay the agreed amount, which is usually done via electronic transfer. When the provider receives the money, they will make the transfer to the recipient’s bank account. Pretty simple, right?