Send money to Italy

Whether you’re sending emergency funds to your relatives in Rome, investing in a property in Florence, or paying a business supplier in Naples, there are many reasons why you might need to send money to Italy. 

But if your first instinct is to send those funds with your existing bank or Paypal account, think again. Not shopping around could end up costing you, as you may miss out on the top exchange rates out there. Especially for large or regular money transfers to Italy, doing your research on which provider to use could save you hundreds, if not thousands. 

Read on for all the must-knows on how to compare your options when sending money to Italy, so you can find the best deal for your next international money transfer

But if you’re converting Australian dollars to Euros for a short-term trip to Italy down the track, this guide may not be for you. Visit Mozo’s Travel Money section for money-saving tips when travelling overseas.

What’s the best way to send money to Italy?

There’s no single right way to send money to Italy. Depending on your circumstances, different types of providers may be more suitable for you. For instance, if your transfer is urgent, then you might find that your bank is a reliable option to get your money from A to B. However if you prioritise cost over convenience, then a foreign exchange specialist may be a better bet, as they tend to come with more competitive exchange rates and fees. 

To help you weigh up the main types of international money transfer agents, here’s a snapshot of their pros and cons.

Banks

Banks are familiar territory for most, and a very normal way of going about personal daily money business. 

Pros: 

  • Familiar names that you already trust and use
  • You can send money with your existing bank account
  • In-branch money transfer services available (but higher fees attached) 

Cons: 

  • Higher transfer fees and poorer exchange rates than foreign exchange specialists
  • Branch services only available during business hours 

Foreign Exchange Specialist

Foreign exchange (FX) specialists work hard every day to secure some of the best deals when it comes to exchanging currencies worldwide. Since international money transfers are their business’s main focus, they can usually offer better rates to customers converting Aussie dollars to Euros. Online FX specialists include OFX, WorldFirst and SendFX, just to name a few. 

Pros: 

  • Better value for money than the banks
  • Offers flexibility - online money transfers are available 24/7
  • Expertise just a phone call away - many FX specialists have account managers who will guide clients through the whole IMT process and advise them on the best strategies to protect their money against unfavourable exchange rate movements 

Cons: 

  • May not suit smaller transfers, as minimum caps apply (ranging from $50 up to $10,000) 
  • Over-the-counter services not available, so you’ll need to be comfortable with remote support (phone or online)

Standard wire transfers

Standard Wire Transfer through Western Union or PayPal 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.

Pros:

  • Fast access to the funds within minutes of a wire transfer
  • Can send cash transfers
  • Over-the-counter service available

Cons:

  • Poor exchange rates and big fees
  • Limited amounts of money can be sent

How do I compare money transfer providers?

When shopping around, there are a number of factors you should be weighing up to ensure you’ve got the best mix of fees and features for you. To help you out, we’ve compiled five points for you to peruse:

  • Exchange rates: The big one, of course, is the exchange rate. For larger transfers, even a small difference in rates could mean a big saving or loss for you. If you’re converting Aussie dollars to Euros, aim to lock in a higher AUD/EUR exchange rate, as that means you’ll get more Euros from the same amount of Aussie dollars sent. 
  • Fees: Transfer fees are added on top of the exchange rate, and can vary depending on the provider, your transfer method and the country you’re sending money to. While some banks might charge $30, other IMT agents may charge less or even zero, especially if you’re transferring above a certain amount.
  • Limits: Some banks and FX specialists have tighter restrictions on how much you can transfer at a time, and this could take the form of either a minimum or maximum cap. So if a provider is overly strict with their transfer amounts and you don’t intend on sending that amount, go to the next one and see if their minimums/maximums are more fitting. 
  • Transfer speed: Some providers may transfer money to Italy sooner than others, but as a general rule of thumb, you can expect your recipient to wait 3-5 business days for the funds to clear and arrive. If your transfer must be made before a deadline, it’s best to double check the timing with your provider before sending. 
  • Online vs phone or in person: Do you prefer sending money to Italy with the assistance of a banker, or would you rather have the flexibility of making online transfers 24/7? Weigh up the pros and cons of each option according to your budget and time availability to work out the best solution for you. Remember that each transfer method comes with different fees, with online and phone usually being cheaper than branch services.

Where to compare today's exchange rates

The good news is, you can compare all of those features right on at Mozo by visiting our international money transfers comparison hub. 

Alternatively, enter the amount of Australian dollars you want to exchange down below and our tool will give you an estimate of how many Euros you’ll get with today’s exchange rates. Our service updates AUD/EUR exchange rates every hour.

This piece was a joint effort between Katherine O'Chee and Maria Gil

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Other FAQs about transferring money to Italy

Is wiring money to Italy risky?

As long as you’ve chosen a reputable provider, sending money to Italy should be a safe process. There are a few ways to check whether your provider is trustworthy: 

  • They’re regulated and authorised by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission). This provides you with a domestic avenue to make complaints with AFCA (the Australian Financial Complaints Authority should something go wrong. To check if your provider is ASIC-authorised, see if they hold an Australian Financial Services licence number
  • They’re well-rated on review sites like Feefo and TrustPilot.
  • They offer local customer service, via dedicated account managers - this means you’ll have a direct point of contact if you have any questions about your specific transfer.

There are also a few other steps you can take yourself to ensure your personal information is protected. Before you transfer money online or do any regular online banking for that matter, you need to:

  • Install the latest anti-virus software like McAfee 
  • Download the latest updates on your PC or mobile
  • Set strong passwords and use two-factor authentication. 

Can I make a one-off transfer to Italy?

Sure you can. And for whatever reason you like. If you’re sending a gift to a friend or relative or buying a car before migrating to Italy, then you can make a one-off transfer.

But if you intend on making regular payments for business purposes or any other reason like paying off a mortgage, Mozo recommends that you make an enquiry about how your IMT agent can tailor a deal just for you. If they can’t offer discounts on the exchange rate, then perhaps they can reduce or eliminate the transfer fee. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

How do I set up an international money transfer?

Firstly, you need to decide which direction you will take - online, in person or over the phone? Working this out first will determine your best next steps:

  • Will you be logging on to your online bank account or app?
  • Visiting a branch?
  • Filling out a form online?

Whichever way you choose to transfer money to Italy, some crucial bits of information you’ll need for a successful transfer include:

  • Your personal details 
  • Your bank account details from which the money will be withdrawn
  • Your recipient's full name and address 
  • Their account details 
  • Their bank’s name and address or SWIFT/BIC code - this is a 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world 
  • The amount you would like to send.