There’s no denying that the cheapest and most effective way to send funds from Australia to Thailand is usually through an international money transfer service. Here at Mozo, we’ve pulled some of the top IMT deals around, into one easy to compare table. All you need to do is punch in your digits and we’ll show you some of the top exchange rates currently on offer today!
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Now you’ve had a go at the nifty exchange rate calculator above, chances are you’re ready to find out how it all works before proceeding with a transfer. That’s where this guide comes in, so keep reading for the lowdown...
Essentially an international money transfer is when you move funds from one bank account to another abroad. In this instance, you’re looking to send some Aussie dollars to Thailand. There are plenty of reasons why people send money to our Asian neighbour. They may be sending a cash gift to family back home, paying tuition fees as an exchange student, buying property or investing in an overseas business - whatever the reason, one of the most important things for the sender is to hunt down a great exchange rate (more on this below).
Even though sending money to Thailand is easy, you‘ll feel the pinch financially if you sign on with an expensive provider. We’ve broken up the types of providers that offer FX services into bite-sized pieces, so you can have confidence in the service you sign up for.
Type 1: Banks
As you’ve probably noticed by testing out the calculator near the top of this page, banks generally don’t offer competitive exchange rates - in fact, they are notorious for applying high margins to the rate. On the other hand, some people don’t mind handing over more money to the banks because of the trust factor and customer service experience that can come with a household name.
Type 2: FX specialists
At Mozo we compare quite a few FX specialists, and for good reason too. These boutique money transfer providers may be the little guys, but boy do they offer enticing rates and low fees. Another plus is they’re experts in their field and will often have account managers at hand to provide general advice. Keep in mind, most FX specialists operate solely online or over the phone and don’t generally provide face-to-face service like the big banks. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t trustworthy, as all the IMT specialists compared on Mozo are regulated and licensed by ASIC.
Type 3: Peer-to-peer services
Peer-to-peer providers use a slightly different method when it comes to calculating rates and fees, compared to your average FX specialist. Some like CurrencyFair use a method called “member matching”, which involves customers known as “peers” setting exchange rates, whilst others like TransferWise apply the mid-market rate to your funds. Like FX specialists, peer-to-peer IMT providers are newbies in the market, but could be your best route to bagging the highest Thai Baht exchange rate!
Are you finding all this money transfer talk a bit confusing? That’s okay, understanding these terms will help you compare providers and send those dollars to Thailand in no time...
Exchange rate: It’s the most important thing to look for when comparing money transfer providers, as it has the greatest influence over your Thai Baht outcome. Remember, higher rates will benefit you more financially and even a fractional difference will matter.
Scenario: Frankie will live in Thailand over the summer for work and needs to pay his landlord ฿50,000 THB in bond money before moving into a fancy apartment. While still living in Sydney, Frankie compares foreign exchange providers and finds that if he chooses TorFX (with the highest exchange rate on offer at the time of writing at ฿26.6785 THB) to conduct the transfer, he’ll need to send $1,875 AUD. But a bank with the least competitive rate featured in Mozo’s comparison tables, would require he send $150 AUD more to get the same Thai Baht result!
Option: Refers to the type of international money transfer such as a spot deal, forward contract or limit order.
Scenario: Frankie’s FX provider gives him three IMT “options” to choose from.
1. Spot contract: Involves Frankie placing an order for a transfer effective immediately. His Aussie dollars will be exchanged at the going rate when he authorises the transaction.
2. Forward contract: Is where Frankie can lock in a rate for a transfer at a later date. This would work well if the Aussie dollar was really high, but tipped to plummet in the near future.
3. Limit order: If Frankie only wants to send his Australian dollars when the exchange rate hits a certain point, he could place a limit order. This means Frankie won’t need to keep an eye on exchange rates in the meantime.
So which option will he choose? Frankie decides on a spot contract, because his landlord is waiting for the funds to arrive in Thailand.
Contract: Because foreign exchange transfers are legally binding, “contracts” refer to the T’s and C’s of the “option” you choose.
Beneficiary: Also known as the recipient, the beneficiary is the owner of the bank account the funds are being sent to in Thailand.
SWIFT or Bank Identifier Code (BIC): A unique bank account code that you’ll need to give to your IMT provider. For more info, ask your financial institution and the recipient to provide his or her’s.
Compare rates: For the best international money result, hunting down a competitive exchange rate is an absolute must. Thankfully, all you need to do is scroll up to the top of this page and compare away. Look for the highest rate being offered at the time, which is usually featured first.
Calculate fees: Fees are an extra expense some providers will require you to pay, and can range from a few dollars to more depending on the “option”. Some providers will charge per transfer, so if you have a few transactions to make it may be a wise idea to combine them into one large transfer to avoid being stung with multiple fees.
Check for receiving fees: Sometimes financial institutions that process currency transfers in Thailand can dip into funds to account for processing costs. If this concerns you, do some research first as it’s generally outside your IMT provider’s control.
Consider your options: As mentioned earlier, you'll have a few different options to choose from when it comes to sending money abroad. These can include a spot deal (which is when you transfer at the rate of the day), a forward contract (where you lock in a rate and transfer at a later date) and a limit order (where your transfer happens if the rate hits a set target). Choose an option to suit your circumstances, like in the example below...
Example: May is a dual citizen of Australia and Thailand and plans to retire in a new home in Koh Samui. With $300k savings sitting in her Aussie bank account, May keeps tabs on currency fluctuations in the market months before she is required to send money abroad. One day, the Oz dollar soars, and May locks a competitive rate into a forward contract, meaning she can transfer when the time is right, within a time-frame stipulated in the FX contract she has agreed to.
The process of sending money to Thailand is easy, but you’ll need to set up an account with your provider first. Depending on which one you pick, it could take minutes to a few days for account approval, so give yourself time before your desired transfer date hits the calendar.
Information you need to provide may include:
- Your full name and place of residency within Australia
- Your personal bank account details
- Proof of ID such as a passport and/or driver’s licence number
Setting up may also involve:
- Choosing a username and password (with online providers)
- Downloading and setting up a trading app
- Disclosing your money transfer purposes to comply with security laws
Ready to send money to Thailand now? Get started by returning to the top of this page and hitting a blue “go to site” icon beside your chosen provider.