Large international money transfers
Whether you just bought property in Bali or invested in a business in Shanghai, if you’re looking to transfer a large sum of money overseas, we’ve got some great tips here to help you get the most bang for your buck.
In this guide, we’ll explain the best options to make a large money transfer, the key features you should keep an eye on and the fees that could sting at the last moment if you ignore the small print.
IMT provider options for large money transfers
Your bank is one of the most convenient options for sending money overseas. You’ve already got an account with them, you trust their services, and an international money transfer should be easy as pie. But is it that simple? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Yes, the biggest advantage of using a bank for sending large sums of money overseas is that they’re big brand names that you know will handle your money safely.
Unfortunately, there are two major drawbacks of using banks. Firstly, as we all know, convenience comes at a cost and in this case it means banks charge a high fee for making the transfer and don’t generally offer the best exchange rates. For a large amount, this could mean a lot less value for your Aussie coin.
Secondly, many banks have a cap on the maximum amount you can send in one day. It could be subject to your daily withdrawal limits or in some cases it could be an actual amount. For instance, while Westpac limits you to your daily withdrawal capacity, ANZ has a transfer limit of $25,000.
When you start comparing the best exchange rates for the currency you’re looking to transfer, you’ll find that some of the top deals are from companies you may never have dealt with before. These are foreign exchange agencies, which are companies that focus solely on international money transactions and are therefore ‘specialists’ in the area.
IMT specialists are known to offer some of the most competitive exchange rates at a low (or no) exchange fee, making a large money transfer extremely cost effective.
The other great thing about FX agencies is they generally don’t have an upper limit on the amount of money you can transfer at a time. And if they do have one, it’s usually quite high. For instance, while providers like torfx and World First have no restriction on the maximum amount you can transfer in one go, HiFx has a limit of $1,000,000 for online transfers.
Probably the biggest negative of transferring with a foreign exchange agency is they are unfamiliar. So if you do decide to transfer through one of these FX specialists, don't leave anything to chance - check if the provider is regulated by ASIC to get a credible stamp of security. The good news is, all providers listed on Mozo are licensed by the government so you needn’t worry about getting stuck in a money scam.
This is the Airbnb of the IMT world. Or, something like that. Basically, peer-to-peer providers connect ‘peers’ through an online marketplace to exchange money.
Generally speaking, the peer-to-peer provider will transfer your money at a rate close to or at the actual mid-market rate instead of applying a huge profit margin to it.
The problem you could face with a P2P platform is that some of them apply a limit on the amount you can transfer at any given time. But there are providers like CurrencyFair that don’t have any cap on the money you can send.
Still wondering how P2P money transfers work? Read our detailed guide on peer-to-peer IMT providers.
Features that matter
Now that you’re aware of your top options for making a large overseas money transfer, here are some of the key considerations you should keep in mind while picking an IMT provider.
Exchange rate. This is possibly the most important deciding factor when it comes to sending money overseas, especially when you’re making a large transfer. Remember that even a tiny difference in rates can have a huge impact on your final value.
Forex fee. While some providers have a standard fee no matter how much money you’re transferring, others charge a percentage of the total amount. Bonus tip: Many foreign exchange specialists offer to waive charges if you transfer a large amount.
Transfer limits. As we mentioned in the pros and cons of the various IMT provider options above, when you’re transferring a large sum, you’ll need to watch out for any transfer limits a provider may have because if you end up making multiple transfers to send your money, you will get stung by multiple exchange fees as well.
To understand all these options and features better, consider the following scenario -
Elaina just bought a property in Norway and has to make a large installment of $80,000 to a bank in Oslo. She looks up her options and this is what she finds:
|Fees and Features||Bank||IMT Specialist||P2P Platform|
|NOK exchange rates||NOK 5.9107||NOK 6.2308||NOK 6.2214|
|What she gets for $80,000||NOK 472,726||NOK 498,465||NOK 497,691|
|Online transfer fee||$22||$0||$4|
|Transfer limit||Subject to daily withdrawal limit||No maximum transfer limit||No transfer limits|
|Transfer speed||1-3 days||1-2 days||1-2 days|
*Data correct as at 19/8/2016
The difference between the value she’ll get from the best (IMT specialist) and worst (bank) deals is a grand total of NOK 25,739. That’s no small amount! And just think about it - if she needs to transfer large amounts regularly, the extra fee plus the losses incurred from a non-competitive exchange rate will add up to a significant number.
How to make a large international money transfer
Ready to kickstart the process? All you’ve got to do is follow the steps below for a quick, simple and cost effective money transfer.
Step 1: Compare IMT providers
Depending on the currency you’re looking to transfer, you’ll have a different set of providers that you can choose from. For an easy side-by-side comparison of FX providers, head over to Mozo’s IMT hub. Enter the amount you’re looking to transfer in the tool, and see who’s offering the best exchange rates at the lowest fee. If you feel like you need additional details about the provider before you can make a decision, click on the ‘more info’ button.
Step 2: Go to provider’s website
After you’re happy with the provider, click the ‘go to site’ button to head over to their website directly. Here you’ll need to sign up for an account and provide some personal information including your contact details and account information.
Step 3: Read the fine print
Considering exchange rates are subject to constant fluctuations, make sure you double check all the details including the final rate you’re getting, the fees you’ll be charged and the time it will take for the transfer to be completed.
Step 4: Book the deal
All done? If you’re satisfied with the final details, then go ahead and book the deal. You’ll need to confirm the amount you’re sending and then transfer the money to the provider’s account. They’ll then send the money to the overseas account nominated by you. This generally takes around 2-5 days but the time can vary based on the provider and the currency.