What you need to know about receiving money from abroad

Are you expecting a big business payment in your bank account? Or a stash of cash from mum and dad? Whether it’s a large, small, regular or one-off money transfer, if you’re going to receive money from abroad, here’s a quick cheat sheet on what you should know about the various IMT options, additional fee traps and the information you’ll need to provide for a successful transaction.     

Your major options for receiving money from overseas

Electronic currency transfer.
Online money transfers are one of the safest, quickest and most convenient ways to receive funds from an overseas account or credit card. The money comes directly into your bank account and you can track the transfer with the forex provider that’s sending the money. An electronic transfer can be made through a bank, an IMT specialist or a peer-to-peer platform. The entire process usually takes around 2-5 days.

Cash payments.
Don’t trust the Internet with your money? Then use a wire service like Western Union to arrange a cash pick-up. After the sender has completed the money transfer from their end, based on the service they picked, you can collect the cash from the provider’s branch, a convenience store or a bank branch. Many of these services can arrange for money to be transferred instantly or within a few hours.

International bank drafts.
You can also receive money via international bank drafts. While this is a secure way to receive funds, remember this is much slower than electronic transfers and can even take a few weeks till you can actually access the money. An international draft is drawn in the recipient’s currency (in this case, Aussie dollars) so you can deposit it at your bank by withdrawing the money or transferring it to your bank account. This is a good option if you don’t want to share your account details with the person who’s sending the money.

Additional charges you need to watch out for

Depending on the way you get the money, you’ll need to check on the receiving charges applicable to your transfer. The exact fee can vary based on the currency the money was transferred from, the provider that sent the money and your bank that’s receiving the money. Some of the big banks in Australia charge around $15 for receiving international money transfers.  

The fee for processing an overseas money transfer by an Australian bank is generally deducted from the amount paid. Because the receiving fee impacts the final amount you get, it’s important to check the charges before the transaction is booked, especially if it’s a small or regular money transfer. And if you’re aware of the receiving fee in advance, you can also ask the sender to cover this cost.  

The details you’ll need to provide for receiving funds

To process an international money transfer, the sender will need the following information:

  • Your full name, address and email ID
  • The bank code, full name and address of the bank the money is going to
  • Your bank account number
  • BIC/Swift Code

If you’re looking for more information on how foreign currency transfers work, check out our comprehensive IMT guides and exchange rate calculators.