Sending money overseas
Sharing your wealth
If you have friends or family overseas, you're likely to want to
send them money at some point: for a wedding, a medical expense or
just to help with everyday expenses. Here are some tips to help you
pay less fees and avoid problems when you transfer money
Compare costs and exchange
Some companies may charge a 'margin' to convert your
currency which can be a hidden cost even if you use a
A number of websites can help you to
compare companies that send money overseas.
- SendMoneyPacific - For money sent from
Australia to Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon
Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
- SendMoneyAsia - For money sent from
Australia to China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.
- Remittance Prices
Worldwide - The World Bank's website for other international
For larger transfers, it's worth shopping around for a good
currency exchange rate. A small difference
in the exchange rate could mean a lot more or a lot less money in
your recipient's bank account.
Also find out if the exchange rate is guaranteed. Not all
companies guarantee the rate but if they do, you'll know exactly
how much money your recipient will get.
Ways to transfer your money
Keep your receipts and the transfer documents safe. Note
the time limit for claiming a refund, in case your recipient
doesn't claim the funds.
There are a few different ways to send
money from Australia to another country.
The Australian Government regulator AUSTRAC (Australian
Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) collects data on overseas
transfers of more than $10,000 to combat money-laundering and other
Online money transfer company
Online transfer companies ask you set up an account online and
let you transmit your money yourself using the internet, or even a
mobile phone network. The company moves the money to your
recipient's bank account or arranges for them to collect the
This transfer method can be cheap and fast, but you need to be
comfortable making online transactions and know the bank account
details of your recipient.
Using your bank account, you can transfer money directly into an
overseas bank account. It is also called an international money
transfer, a telegraphic transfer (TT), or a wire or SWIFT
Some banks also have online money transfer services that allow
you to send money yourself to an overseas bank account.
This can be a more expensive option and it could take 2 to 5
Cash transfer (through a money transfer company)
Money transfer companies let you transfer your money overseas
using cash or EFTPOS. You might approach a money transfer company
at their store front or use a third-party convenience-store
counter. The person you send the money to will collect the cash at
the money transfer office in their country.
Some money transfer companies will also let you transfer money
using the internet, phone or a bank card once you've set up an
account with them. You will need to let the recipient know that
you've sent the money, and that they can pick it up from their
This kind of transfer is often very fast - it could take
just a few minutes - but can be expensive.
Australia Post also offers cash transfers which can be done at
all Australia Post offices that have the Bank@Post sign displayed.
To find out more see Australia Post overseas money transfer with
International Money Order (IMO)
A safer method than sending a personal
cheque overseas is to use an international bank draft. You give
your money to a bank in return for an international guaranteed
cheque. You post the cheque to your family who then need to cash it
at a local bank or deposit it into their account.
While secure, this transfer method can cost more than others,
and posting it will be slower than an electronic transfer.
Complain if you have a
If the money has not been delivered, both you and the recipient
should speak to the company that is transferring the money. If it
still cannot be found, then you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Important: Money transfer scams
If you send money to someone and they turn out to be a scammer,
it will be almost impossible for you to get your money back. Be
very careful who you send your money to. Visit SCAMwatch Money transfer requests
webpage for more.
Do your research before sending money overseas.
You could save yourself a lot of money and time.
Last updated: 29 Apr 2016