Top 5 Australian Money Transfer Options

Domestic and International

including UK, USA, Canada, India and Others

Australian Money Transfers

Domestic transfers are pretty straight forward in Australia you login or go to the branch.

You will need to following details

  • Recipient’s BSB (Bank State Branch)
  • Recipient’s account number
  • Name for the account

Alternately you can send up to $10,000 AUD using a money order through the post office.

International money transfers to or from Australia can be a tricky prospect. Because each country has its own unique set of rules and services which do things best.

However you can save a up to 8x over banks. For example, we regularly use TransferWise ourselves to send money to Australia for amounts below $9500 and our fees are below 0.9%. Click for more information below.

Let’s make this simple!

There are two main considerations when you are sending money internationally – either to or from Australia.

Jump Links – International

  1. The amount you are sending
  2. The other country involved

Note: $9500 AUD in approximately $7000 USD

Quick Summary

The amount you are sending makes a big difference. Some services are designed for smaller amounts and some for larger amounts.

This changes the fees and services you may need.

The country you are transacting with also influences the services available and customer support.

Generally these are the best ways to transfer money overseas from Australia.

For smaller amounts (below $300) where cash pick up requires a physical presence – remittance companies enable this through a network of physical locations where cash can be collected.

For smaller amounts (below $9500) we have found that P2P services (wiki) tend to be the cheapest and also have easy signup and great online services to make everything work well.

Above $9500 and non-P2P or the more traditional money transfer services are a better option as they reduce the percentage in fees changed and they have other important benefits which suit larger amounts far better.

Amounts 

Sending Cash Below $300

If you are sending money to friends or family most people need the money to arrive in cash.

Remittance companies tend to be your best option as bank-to-bank fees are exorbitant. This is where companies like Western Union and MoneyGram come into their own.

Watch the fees!

Partly because companies like these maintain a physical presence it is not unusual for fees to be quite steep. Usually this is a combination of a fixed fee and margin added on to the exchange rate.

In many countries the post office or a kiosk is the only place where money can be picked up. However alternatives like WorldRemit are reducing these fees substantially by working with already established services like banks and even pawn shops.

Bank to bank below $9500 AUD ($7000 USD)

If all your amounts are below about $9500 AUD and you can transfer from bank to bank we found that services like TransferWise (review) and CurrencyFair (review) are a great way to go.

Peer to peer services like CurrencyFair have a secret weapon in that they avoid transferring money at all. Rather than working with other banks, they simply pool funds around the world and then swap with others (your peers) who are transferring money in the opposite direction.

In general this means it is extremely inexpensive.

However this system may not work so well as the amounts increase and matching your funds becomes harder to do in a timely way.

TransferWise on the other hand converts money at the mid-market rate and charges a very competitive fee as well. The thing we really like though is their transparency on the fee before you even sign up (click button below).

These services tend to be focused on smaller amounts and sign-up is relatively easy because below $10,000 meeting the regulators needs is also easier.

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Bank to bank above $9500 AUD ($7000 USD)

Above $9500 AUD and the more main stream (non-P2P) services are usually a better choice because:

  • Become cheaper as amounts increase
  • Sign-up initially covers you for larger amounts
  • Telephone support can be a huge advantage

Services like OFX (review), TorFX (review) and WorldFirst (review)  are top picks because all have offices and are regulated in Australia by ASIC. The fees these services charge reduces in percentage terms as amounts increase!

Also because these companies are designed for larger amounts, they tend to get all the regulatory requirements like ID checking out of the way at the start. This means you are generally all set to transfer larger amounts as well as smaller amounts. This avoids the need for asking for additional information like ID and possibly freezing your account as can happen in isolated but frustrating situations with P2P services.

All three in our line-up have great telephone support which can be a big advantage when dealing with larger amounts. The main reason for this is that different banks in different countries have limits and often a few ways to fund a transfer. Your knowledge about this can save a lot of stress. Well done!

Money Transfer Services in Australia

Service NameMinimum Amount ($AUD)Phone/ Online ServiceLocationsFees + ConditionsOffersTransferring $5000 to UK (see *Note)Transferring $50000 to UK (see *Note)
My BankNoneOnline/ Phone/ BranchAustralia$20 + bank at other sides feeNone£2,610.04£26,100.40
TorFX Full Review$250Online/ PhoneUK, AustraliaNo Fixed FeesClick here to get all transactions free £2,735*£27,428*
OFX
Best Money Transfers Above $7000
$250Online/ PhoneUK, Australia, US, NZ, Hong Kong , CanadaUnder $10,000 it is $15. See Offers >>See how you can qualify for no fees here£2,753*£27,612*
World First - Full Review$2000Online/ PhoneUK, US, AustraliaNo Fixed FeesClick for no fees for ever£2,750*£27,551*
Currencyfair - Full Review8 EuroOnline/ PhoneAustralia, UK, Ireland$4Check rates and get your first 10 transactions free
TransferWise
Best Money Transfer Company Below $7000
NoneOnline/ PhoneBased online. 41 Supported Countries Including AUS, CAN, UK and USPrice depends on route (eg. AUD>USD is 0.7%)Click for very competitive rates£2763*£27,637*

UK

All services are recommended in the table above because they are regulated in the UK by the FCA and Australia except CurrencyFair which operates out of Ireland (under EU laws) and Australia.

There are some security benefits to being regulated in both countries but possibly more important is their customer service which tends to be better especially for larger amounts where the service maintains a physical presence.

The also tend have local bank accounts in both countries which means the fees banks can charge for international transfers are kept low and usually free.

USA

OFX and TransferWise (above) are standouts in the table above because of their American regulatory compliance through FinCEN including registration in pretty much every state makes it possible for you to transfer money to and from the USA.

There are some slight security benefits as well.

Local bank accounts in both countries helps to keep costs low.

Finally telephone support is also strong especially with OFX who has customer service representatives in North America (actually Toronto).

Canada

OFX and TransferWise (above) are both registered in Canada with FINTRAC which makes them great picks for Australia to Canada or likewise Canada to Australia.

There is some security advantages to this but more important is the local bank accounts these services have which help to keep your costs low.

In addition to this both companies have great customer support, with OFX (important for larger amounts) having customer service people in both Australia and Canada.

India

If you are sending amounts of less than $300 or so to family and friends, TransferWise (above) could work for you if bank to bank transfers are possible. If cash is required, we recommend WorldRemit who can send money to the following banks.

  • SBI (State Bank of India)
  • Bank of India
  • ICICI Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Yes Bank
  • IDFC Bank
  • Axis Bank
  • Canara Bank
  • Federal Bank
  • State Bank of Travancore
  • State Bank of Hyderabad

For larger amounts from Australia to India all the other money transfer services are recommended for their strengths in Australia.

Other and Tips

All the companies listed have operations out of Australia and make great choices for international money transfers.

We are splitting hairs, but I will try to make your decision easy. Use the links above in the table for current promotions to save you even more money.

If you want to ultimate in telephone support from sign-up to making transfers – choose TorFX.

If you want advanced features like forward contracts and regular payments – especially suitable for business WorldFirst is a great choice. They also have a multi-currency account which you can opt into later making doing business online overseas potentially much easier.

Generally for larger amounts OFX (above) is our top pick for its overall excellence online and offline.

For smaller amounts, go with TransferWise (above) if you want simplicity and smooth online experience.

CurrencyFair rises to the top if you want to squeeze every cent out of the transaction costs.

Important Factors

1. CostsMoney Transfer Factors - Australia

For most people, cost is a great motivator.

Bottom Line 

CurrencyFair is most likely the cheapest on amounts below $9500. It is worth pointing out that in order to lock in this awesome rate you will have to already have funds cleared and waiting in your CurrencyFair account. If you would rather lock-in a rate with your funds still in your bank account, TransferWise is a great option.

Amounts above $9500 AUD, and it is hard to beat OFX and even smaller amounts are going to be far cheaper than a bank along with great service.

2. Service

Service can be surprisingly important when you need to sign up and especially if you need to transact larger amounts.

The reason is in order to meet all the various regulations you will have to prove you are who you say you are. Generally this is a pretty easy process, but if you may have moved address recently or something else that raises a red flag, great customer service can be really helpful.

All the services we have listed have excellent customer service, but they separate themselves when it comes to larger amounts.

The services we recommend for larger amounts (see above) will also have knowledgeable customer support (as opposed to troubleshooting) which is particularly useful when dealing with banks worldwide.

3. Speed

Generally money transfer companies use the sender and receiver banks at each end and these by far take most of time required in order to transact.  

If you need money to arrive faster some services allow the transfer to be funded by credit or debit card (for an extra fee) which can mean the transfer is funded pretty much instantaneously.

The recipient bank however will always take some time although this can be less than a day it is usually a day or two. The total time depends on the countries mostly and ranges from 2-5 working days for major countries and currencies.

Banks by comparison usually deal exclusively with SWIFT for international payments making them relatively slow.

4. Safety and Security

All the services listed have operations in Australia and are regulated in Australia meaning they need to follow guidelines when it comes to securing your money.

In addition to this, you might have an extra layer of safety and security if the service also has operations in other countries.

Happy Transfers!