The Commonwealth Bank has been on a fee-slashing spree lately, doing away with foreign ATM fees, cutting account fees and scrapping bank account transaction limits and more recently, dropping the monthly account fee on its Equity Unlock For Seniors reverse mortgage.
Now the big bank has turned its sights on international money transfers, reducing IMT fees by as much as 70%.
Where previously, CommBank customers sending money overseas were charged a flat $22 fee, they will now pay as little as $6 or $12 for most transfers made online or over the phone. Transfers made in person over-the-counter will still attract a $30 fee.
CBA Executive General Manager Clive van Horen said fee reduction would benefit Aussies sending money overseas to friends and family.
“More than three quarters of our customers go online to send money overseas, making it quicker, and more convenient,” he said.
“As such, we’ve reviewed the international fee structure and made a change that better reflects how our customers bank with us.”
Catch up on big bank fee news:
- Westpac is trying to win back your trust by slashing bank account fees
- Big four move means a farewell to fees at 10,000 Australian ATMs
While this is good news for anyone using the CBA IMT service, it’s a timely change for anyone sending cash Christmas presents to loved ones living abroad. It’s also set to benefit Pacific Island communities in particular, according to CommBank.
Studies form the World Bank and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have shown that for developing nations, like many in the Pacific Islands, people working overseas and sending money back to family accounts for a huge chunk of a family’s budget. In some cases, these funds can make up more than 30% of of in-country GDP.
Lower fees mean more of this money benefits the communities it is sent to.
“A worker from Fiji sending $250 home would have previously had that amount reduced by 11% in fixed fees. Now that is only 3% at $6 per transaction,” said CommBank’s Managing Director of Cash-flow and Transaction Services, Carmen Beverley-Smith.
Despite the heavy fee reductions, CommBank’s fees, like those from most banks, are still a good deal higher than those from specialist IMT providers, many of which don’t charge any fees at all for online or phone transfers.
Need to send money to friends or family living overseas? Make sure you check out our international money transfer comparison table to help you find the best deal, with low fees and a great exchange rate. Or, head over to our guide section to read up on how to send money overseas, to Denmark, China, Thailand and more.