Why you shouldn’t pick a big bank to send cash overseas

If you need to send some cash abroad, you might think that using your bank is the best and easiest way to do it, right?

Well according to recent Mozo research, Aussies are actually paying some of the highest money international money transfer costs in the world, thanks to the big four banks.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Aussie money senders, as the research also revealed that savings of up to 4.7% are up for grabs when using IMT specialists.

In fact, by choosing to send cash overseas with online providers like XE, World First and OFX, Aussies looking to transfer $10,000 into US Dollars, Pounds or Euros could save up to $400.

“When it comes to international money transfer rates we found a huge gap between the big
four banks and the best value online services,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

“Like any financial product it really pays to do your research when looking for an international money transfer provider.”

RELATED: ACCC to take on foreign exchange services with new inquiry

The findings come just after the ACCC announced an enquiry into foreign exchange fees charged by the big banks.

The statutory body plans to examine the way prices are presented to consumers after receiving a number of complaints from customers struggling to understand and compare different costs.  

“The ACCC’s decision to look at the pricing and costs of these services is a welcome move with many Australians paying too much to send money overseas. Any steps the ACCC can take to help people navigate this confusing market will be of real benefit,” said Lamont.

“Aussies face some of the highest costs to send money overseas with the World Bank finding we pay an average 7.77% on a $US200 transfer, well above the global average of 6.94%.”

RELATED: WorldRemit reveal what Aussies value most when sending money overseas

Along with paying more than the global average, the World Bank’s Q3 2018 data found that Australia is among the top four most expensive G20 countries to send money from - behind Canada, Japan and South Africa.

Until the ACCC enquiry goes ahead, we’ve got a few tips for getting the best bang for your buck when sending money overseas.

  • Compare, compare, compare - One of the best ways to get the most out of your international money transfer is to shop around and compare exchange rates. But before you roll your eyes at the thought, just keep in mind that a more competitive rate means you’ll get more foreign currency for your dollar.
  • Transfer speed - Another thing to remember is to double check the transfer speed. While every provider may have different system in place, you typically should only have to wait between 1-2 business days.
  • Transfer limits - A final tip is to be aware of the minimum and maximum amounts you’re able to transfer at a time. Depending on the provider the minimum transfer could be between $50 - $250, with the maximum amount reaching up to the thousands.

Whether you’re planning to send some money overseas just in time for Christmas or need to maintain your business overseas, our IMT comparison tool makes it easier to compare today’s exchange rates.