If you've got friends or family who have packed up their lives to move to France, whether for work or their studies, you may find yourself in a position where you need to transfer them money.
You may want to send Euros as a gift, to fund tuition fees, or to help pay for a medical emergency. Or one day the tables might turn and you need to transfer money for an investment property you’ve purchased in the French Riviera and plan on living in once you’ve retired.
Whatever the reasons, business or personal, making an international money transfer to France can be done safely, securely and economically through a foreign exchange specialist.
Just bear in mind that if you're planning to travel to France for a holiday or a business trip, this guide isn’t for you - head over to our travel money section instead, where you can compare everything from prepaid travel cards to travel debit and credit cards.
How does a money transfer to France work?
When it comes to finance, some aspects can be quite complex and confusing to say the least! There’s good news though: you don’t need to be a finance guru to make an international money transfer to France, as it’s a fairly straightforward process. Here’s how your Australian dollars transfer to Euros:
- Register and set up an account with a bank or foreign exchange provider such as OFX, CurrencyFair or TorFX
- Decide how many Aussie dollars you want to transfer or how many Euros you want your recipient to receive
- Confirm and make sure you are happy with the exchange rate and costs associated with the transfer
- Provide details of the recipient including their name and bank details
- Book the transaction and pay the agreed amount for the transfer; this is usually done by electronic transfer
- Once the provider has received the funds, they will send the money electronically to your recipient in France.
What's the best way to send money to France from Australia?
There are a range of services you can use to convert your Australian dollars into Euros, with the most common ones being banks, foreign exchange specialists and standard wire transfers. The way that works best for you will depend on the amount of money you are dealing with and how frequently you need to make transactions.
- Banks: Most major Australian banks allow you to convert and send money to France. However, banks usually charge more hefty exchange rate markups and higher conversion fees than specialist international money transfer providers, so they may not be your best bet on the cost front. If you decide to go with your bank, the money will be debited from your account and transferred to the designated account in France.
- Foreign exchange specialist: This is a great option for individuals and businesses who make regular money transfers to France. These money transfer providers tend to offer more attractive exchange rates and lower fees than the banks, saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year. If you set up an account with a foreign exchange specialist, money will be transferred from your everyday bank account to the account you have created with them before it’s sent to your recipient in France.
- Standard wire transfer: This is a fast and easily accessible way of transferring funds from one person or entity to another. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another or through a transfer of cash at a branch. Western Union is one of the world’s biggest money transfer companies, with hundreds and thousands of agent locations around the world. A recipient can usually access the funds within minutes of a wire transfer, including picking up the cash in person. However the exchange rate generally isn’t as good as a bank or foreign exchange specialist.
Features to look for when choosing a foreign exchange provider
When shopping around, there are a few features to keep your eye on and compare to determine the best money transfer provider for you:
- Exchange rate: Depending on the size of your transfer, a few cents difference in the exchange rate could mean saving or losing hundreds of dollars.
- Fees: Transfer fees vary quite drastically from provider to provider, with some IMT specialists even offering to waive those fees if you transfer above a certain amount. Just bear in mind though that even if a provider promises 'fee-free transfers', third-party fees (e.g. from the receiving bank) may still apply.
- Transfer options: In this day and age there are plenty of methods for transferring money overseas including online, over the phone, in person, or even via an app.
- Transfer speed: How quickly will the recipient in France have access to the funds? Minutes or days? The speed of the transfer will depend on which provider you go with.
- Transfer limits: A lot of providers have a minimum and maximum amount you can transfer. While banks often cap money transfers at the customer's daily withdrawal or 'pay anyone' limit, IMT specialists tend to come with minimum instead of maximum limits ranging from $50 up to $10,000. So be sure to pick the provider that accepts your sending amount.
- Pickup methods: The usual method is by electronic funds transfer but some services also allow the recipient to pick up cash from a branch.
Making a one off transfer to France
Mr and Mrs Jones have always had a love for France and have dreamed of owning a property in Bordeaux, amongst the vineyards! After years of savings, they finally have enough money to turn their dream into reality. They’re very close to purchasing a property but first the Jones’ want to do some research as to the best way to transfer the deposit to France.
As the deposit is a large sum of money and the transfer is a one off, Mr and Mrs Jones learn that they will save significantly on exchange rates and fees by opening up an account and sending money with a foreign exchange specialist rather than sticking with their bank:
|Bank (e.g. CommBank)||Foreign Exchange Provider (e.g. TorFX)|
|Exchange rate||$1 AUD = €0.5834 EUR||$1 AUD = €0.6138 EUR|
|Transfer fees||Online - $12|
In person - $30
|$0 (third-party fees may apply)|
|Amount received for $300,000 AUD||€175,013 EUR||€184,129 EUR - €9,116 more!|
|Transfer time||2-5 days||1-2 days|
Making regular money transfers to France
As part of Jessica’s final year of her international studies degree, she has chosen to study abroad in Paris. Too busy to uphold a part time job while studying, Jessica requires regular pocket money for living expenses and additional university costs while she’s in Paris. Her parents back in Australia have been kind enough to support her by sending money to France every fortnight.
After doing some research, Jessica’s parents couldn’t look past a foreign exchange specialist to make the regular money transfers to France. Because these specialists have sharper exchange rates and charge smaller fees per transaction than the big banks, it means Jessica can receive the same amount of Euros for fewer Aussie dollars.
IMT specialists also offer flexible options to accommodate Jessica's parents' needs, including the option to set up automated regular payments so they won't need to go through the hassle of completing a transaction every fortnight.
What if something goes wrong with my money transfer?
In the rare case that your family in France doesn't receive the money you've transferred, you can do a few things to give yourself peace of mind that the funds haven't been lost in transit:
- Track your transfer: Dig through your emails to find the confirmation number which you should have received as soon as you made your transfer. This number will allow you to check either online or over the phone the exact progress of your transfer. Some providers also offer real-time tracking via their app, so you're always able to know where your money is.
- Contact your provider: Lost the confirmation number or don't think you even received one? Then it's time to give your bank or IMT specialist a ring and their customer service team should be able to update you on the transfer or help you figure out a solution. But if you aren't happy with their response, you can always file a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). All IMT providers on Mozo are regulated and authorised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which means they're required to have membership with AFCA and internal dispute resolution procedures in place.
Information you’ll need to make an international money transfer to France
From setting up your IMT account to making your actual transfer, there's also a few details you'll need to have handy to make the whole process as efficient as possible:
- Personal details including name, address, date of birth, phone number
- You’ll also have to provide your driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport number to verify your identity when creating an account with an IMT specialist
- Details of your bank account from which the transfer money will be withdrawn
- Full name and address of the recipient’s bank
- Recipient’s name, address and account number
- SWIFT/BIC Code (an 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world)
- The amount and currency you wish to send.
Ready to send money to Paris or Lyon? Get a head start on shopping around with these competitive money transfer deals below. You can also customise the sending amount to find out how many Euros you'll get for the specific quantity of Aussie dollars you're sending over to France.
Today’s foreign exchange rates
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