Too stubborn to save: Aussies overpaying to transfer money abroad this Christmas

By Ben Tosi ·

You would expect most Aussies to take up even the smallest opportunity to cut costs this festive season, but it turns out that a large chunk of us are passing up savings on our international money transfers, according to The Australian Overseas Money Transfer Index.

The survey, commissioned by FlashFX, found that Aussies were seriously underusing specialist IMT providers, despite the savings on offer.

While a third of us use a bank, and about half use Paypal to transfer our money abroad, less than 5% of us were taking advantage of the better rates and reduced markups that specialist IMT providers deliver, mostly because we’re unaware they exist.

“The survey tells us that many Australians are unaware there are better options for sending money overseas. Only a small proportion of the nation (4.5%) are reaping the savings, security and convenience benefits,” said FlashFX Chief Enabling Officer, Nicolas Steiger.

RELATED: Big banks are still ripping off international money transfer customers with exchange rate markups says Transferwise

While the research revealed that 41% of Aussies didn’t know about these providers, the shocking twist is that 38% of us are just too comfortable with traditional banking options to consider a cheaper alternative.

“It’s the devil you know and trust. Unlike Australian energy prices where consumers see the rising cost directly translated from the hip pocket, bank fees and exchange rate margins are hidden and people don’t know how much it’s costing them,” said Steiger.

And this “devil” is costing us, with the research revealing that - when transferring $1000AUD to the US this Chrissy - Aussies could save close to $40 simply by opting for an IMT provider like FlashFX rather than their bank.

RELATED: Aussies losing out on currency exchange

These savings aren’t exclusive to one particular provider, however. FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szeth says that online companies who are dedicated to international money transfers are able to slash transaction costs and offer more economical exchange rates thanks to their low overhead costs.

“Fintech firms have really shaken up the international money transfer market by providing faster and more cost-effective services. I encourage all consumers to shop around and consider options other than the banks,” she said.

If you’re yet to send your money abroad this Christmas but had planned on using a traditional banking provider, hold your reindeer! Using Mozo’s IMT comparison tables, you’re able to compare a range of specialist providers so that you can make sure you’re getting good value bang for your international buck.

Why money makes a top overseas Christmas gift:

  • It's easier: Who wants to spend spend hours in the shops and then the postal queue at this time of year? You can transfer cash online, right now using your smartphone or laptop.
  • Quicker: Money transfers take a couple of days (at most), but you’ll need to allow a few weeks when posting a physical gift.
  • Cheaper than airmail: Sometimes sending a gift via airmail can cost more than the gift itself, which is pretty ridiculous. But online money transfers involve minimal fees and will probably work out cheaper than an expensive international shipping fee.
  • Lower risk: Money gifts can be completed safely and securely online, deposited direct into a bank account, so there’s no need to stress for weeks on whether your package got there in one piece and on time.
  • They'll prefer it: We’ve all received a Christmas gift we didn’t really want or need so by sending your relative or friend money, they can buy something they really want.