Quick View🔎: Top 5 Money Transfer Companies in Australia
Updated for: February 2024 – Best rated for international money transfers from Australia and into Australia. Favouring companies with local Australian offices. Only for transfers involving foreign currency. Transfer amount limits vary by company. Cash pickups not supported.
What It’s All About
Australians are becoming increasingly aware of the fact Australian banks are expensive when it comes sending money abroad.
Luckily for them, Australia is home to a large selection of specialised international money transfer services, and Australians can enjoy some of the best options in the world to send money overseas.
On Money Transfer Comparison, we list, review and compare the best international money transfer services in Australia.
We search for providers who
- Can onboard Australian customers in Australia
- Can onboard Aussies abroad
- Support the most most common currency pairings in Australia
- Have no fixed rates or very low rates compared to banks
- Have superior exchange rates compared to banks
- Are deemed safe and appropriately regulated
📖 Compare Banks and Money Transfer Services
On an independent research we have conducted about bank transfer fees we found out that bank fees for international transfers in Australia are poor.
Which Australian bank is best for international transfers?
Based on our research, the Macquarie Bank online service (using OFX as a provider for this service) is best for sending money overseas.
Of the banks, it has the best rates, but these are still subpar compared to the rates offered by dedicated money transfer services.
Are money transfer companies beating the best bank?
In fact our research to determine which is the cheapest international money transfer method has shown that universally and globally, banks are among the most expensive ways to transfer money internationally.
If we look at Macquarie Bank’s rates which are better than of the average bank in Australia, and compare that against CurrencyFair‘s or Wise‘s rates we are looking at looking at three times the amount.
To put numbers to that….
The below table represents testing we have done for 50,000 AUD to various currencies and what it’ll cost you with bank vs average margin with a provider:
|Indicative Bank Rate Today for 50,000
|Indicative Rate With Provider for Same Amount
|Macquarie Bank (OFX)
The ‘big five banks’ – ANZ, CommonBank, Macquarie, NAB and Westpac – are easily the largest financial institutions in Australia and, despite a growing fintech scene, still continue to process the overwhelming majority of international transfers.
We cover all five of these banks and their respective international money transfer fees here.
Interestingly, Macquarie Bank, which has less of a retail presence than the other four, opts to use the specialist foreign exchange company OFX to provide their retail FX services.
In comparison to other countries, such as international money transfers from UK or from Canada, international money transfers from Australia are expensive with an average cost of c3.5% of the transfer amount in total transaction fees (wire fee and currency markup).
The actual cost will depend on the destination country, where less used currencies are likely to incur higher fees than common currencies (like the GBP or USD).
The methodology we used for the above is to apply the bank margins advertised on the bank’s websites on Sept 18, 2023 and use 0.7% margin as a fixed rate across all currencies for providers (this varies but this seems like a good “generalist number” that represents the margins on large money transfers from Australia).
International Transfer Fees
Not only the money transfer rates offered by Australian banks are worse than those offered by money transfer services, they also charge fixed fees as per the below.
The top 3 money transfer companies we have selected charge no fees.
|Transaction Fees / Wire Fees is sent in AUD
|… if sent in Foreign Currency
|$18 / $32 in-branch
|<$10,000 $9, >$10,000 $0
|$22 / $30 in-branch
|$6 / $30 in-branch
|Macquarie Bank (OFX)
|$15 below $10,000, >$10,000 no fees
|<$10,000 $15, >$10,000 $0
|$30 / $30 in-branch
|$10 / $30 in-branch
|$20 / $32 in-branch
|$10 / $32 in-branch
How to Use a Money Transfer Service
It’s vital to understand to understand how Australian non-bank money transfer providers work, and what the process entails.
It it really takes is finding a company you want to try.
Leaving your details.
Getting instant access to the online trading system (or perhaps get a call if you have a large sum inquiry).
Understand exactly how much you will pay and what will be received in foreign currency.
If you are OK with the rate and happy to go through you can book the trade on the phone, email or through the online system.
You will then fund an account domestically in AUD (or in other currencies if you are sending to Australia from overseas).
This joint account will be a joint account owned by your provider but on your name so that money can’t be used for anything besides a transfer.
Once the transfer has been funded, the foreign currency transfer will reach its destination (within normally 24h).
Choosing the best company for my needs
Choosing the best international money transfer service, considering there are quite a few options.
|Name on Registry
|TOR FX PTY LIMITED
|World First Pty Ltd
|Wise Australia Pty Ltd
|CurrencyFair Australia Pty Ltd
|XE Money Transfer
|HIFX Australia PTY Ltd
|AZIMO PTY. LTD
|Could not find on register.
|SendFX Pty Ltd
|WORLDREMIT PTY LTD.
|Could not find on register. Potentially uses UK license.
|REMITLY AUSTRALIA, PTY LTD
|Could not find on register. Potentially uses UK license.
|Airwallex Pty Ltd
|NIUM PTY Limited
|SingX Australia Pty Ltd
|Could not find on register. Potentially uses UK license.
|Travelex International Money Transfer
|Associated Foreign Exchange Australia Pty Limited
|Transfermate Pty Ltd
|PAYONEER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
|Revolut Payments Australia Pty Ltd
|Western Union Financial Services (Australia) Pty. Ltd.
|MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc.
|Could not find on register. Potentially uses US license.
|Compass Global Markets
|COMPASS GLOBAL HOLDINGS PTY LIMITED
|Flash Partners Pty Ltd
And that’s only the companies accepting Australians!
If you came to this page looking for a way to transfer money to Australia you can use our other country guide.
In the UK, there are more than 60 providers we have reviewed to date!
What we look for in a service: Top 5 Qualities
|Quick and easy sign up process, readily available staff located in Australia – courteous and understanding, or in simple words a money transfer service ready to go above and beyond for its clients.
|Reputable company with long trading history (including specifically in Australia)
|No money transfer fees and better-than-bank i.e. competitive exchange rate for Australian dollar
|Online money transfer website and mobile app (fully functional for tracking trades and conducting new trades)
|Many currencies handled including exotic currencies, global offices outside of Australia, regulated by several regulators, and constantly expanding into new territories.
|While the majority of money transfer companies are happy to engage in AUD money transfers and on-board clients from Australia, only a small subset of them actually have local Australian offices. We have selected the most localised towards the Australia market.
In addition to providing a cheaper alternative when you move money to an overseas bank account, you get additional peace of mind when conducting a large money transfer from Australia by using a a service that offeres guidance about obtaining the best exchange rates and tools like Forward Contracts.
Will a money transfer service provide me with financial advice?
Money transfer services are not regulated to provide any direct financial advice.
Specialist service providers can instruct you on their currency forecasts, offer guidance on the best way to transfer, and suggest hedging tools if they think you could benefit from a non-spot contract…
But they will not provide financial advice.
Do money transfer companies have a credit licence?
Money transfer companies in Australia do not have a credit licence.
You have to remember this is a dedicated service and not a bank.
How many different currencies can I exchange with a money transfer service?
Money transfer services offer a varying selection of currencies, but all of them, as a rule of thumb, support all of the major currencies that Australians are primarily looking to convert. This includes but is not limited to AUD, NZD, USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, SGD, HKD, JPY, and CAD.
View specific country guides below:
Sending Money From / To
View all routes on our sending money abroad guide
Who is Money Transfer Comparison Australia?
Money Transfer Comparison, established in 2014, is a website that has the most in-depth reviews of money transfer companies globally.
To date, we have reviewed more than 90 different providers.
Our focus at Money Transfer Comparison is safety and security.
We have been featured in the following publications:
Australian Foreign Exchange Companies – Where Did it Start?
Whilst we might say Australia has been behind the curve, OFX was actually founded in 1998 as one of the first dedicated international money transfer companies (also named fx companies, especially by businesses) to ever exist.
Today, it has had over one million customers and traded over $150 billion AUD for its clients. So why has it proved so popular and, like many other Australian FX companies, still remained a relative unknown in Australia?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why, but when we consider the UK had at least 10 dedicated money transfer companies launching in the 1990’s and 2000’s and they still only had around 5% of the whole UK international money transfer market at the time then we can probably see why OFX might not have been a household name.
The rest of the UK market belonged to 4 big banks.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s been much the same story in Australia.
Are We Seeing a Shift To More Money Transfer Companies in Australia and Why?
So what’s changed and why has the mentality shifted away from banks and towards international money transfer companies in Australia?
Part of it has to be that people have come around to the idea of managing their finances online or even through their mobile.
Just as we use mobile banking these days we know there are a number of new innovative solutions challenging the big banks that provide us with more functionality at a reduced cost.
It may feel longer but let’s not forget the first iPhone was only announced in 2007 and things have only moved faster the more time progresses.
Are there too many options to send money from Australia?
Money Transfer Comparison commissioned an independent survey of 625 Australians who have family overseas to gauge whether they plan to help them financially, despite the rising cost of living. Respondents were asked to select the type of help they were willing to provide, including transferring money internationally, paying bills, or sending gifts. Respondents were also asked how much money they would send over the next two years if their families required assistance. The survey respondents cover a geographical and population spread that is reflective of the Australian population.
Below are the results:
- 32% said they would be willing to send less than $500 to their family overseas if they really needed it in the next two years
- 16% said they would send $10,000 or more
- 30% said they would send $5000 or more
- 37% said they would send $1000-3000
View additional researches by Money Transfer Comparison Australia below:
Explore the reasons behind Australian businesses' preference for credit cards in international transactions, including insights from a survey on the challenges and perceptions influencing their choices.
Delve into the shifting trends of Australian businesses as they navigate the rising costs of operations. This study offers insights into the increasing consideration of overseas suppliers and customers in response to domestic financial pressures.
Investigate the compelling dynamics that lead SMEs to consider outsourcing internationally in the face of a tight job market and rising wages. This study assesses the economic pressures driving the need for overseas talent, highlighting the strategic decisions made by SMEs to address local talent shortages and financial constraints.
A significant portion of Australian businesses may not be diligently checking exchange rates or shopping around for the best rates before making international payments. This study unveils the oversight that could be costing businesses financially and highlights the importance of being exchange rate aware.
This study surveys small-to-medium business leaders to assess their strategy in response to economic challenges, specifically whether they plan to expand sales or outsource suppliers internationally. It reveals a trend towards globalization among SMEs in an effort to navigate financial adversity.
Uncover the surprising level of misunderstanding among Australians regarding exchange rates and international transfer fees. This Money Transfer Comparison study dives into the awareness gap, revealing key misconceptions and the actual knowledge spread across the population.
Discover the financial impact on Australians using credit cards versus money transfers for international transactions. This Money Transfer Comparison study investigates preferences and awareness around costs, revealing the potential savings from choosing more cost-effective payment methods.
Assessing the savvy of Australians in financial matters, this study probes whether they seek out lower fees for international transfers and currency exchanges. It unveils a significant proportion that may not be optimizing their financial decisions, shedding light on the potential for better financial education and awareness.
This study reveals a surprising gap in the understanding among Australians of how AUD fluctuations affect the economy and individual purchasing power. A quiz uncovers common misconceptions and provides a snapshot of the nationwide need for improved financial literacy.
Investigate the strategies Australians employ to reduce expenses and avoid fees in their payment processes. This study captures the intent of consumers to alter their payment methods in the face of economic shifts, highlighting the proactive steps taken to economize in day-to-day financial transactions.
Examine the willingness of Australians to support family abroad in light of the increasing expenses at home. This survey uncovers the financial commitments Australians are prepared to make to assist their overseas relatives, despite domestic economic pressures.
Banking and Fintech:
Examine the evolving landscape of Australian finance where traditional banking satisfaction is weighed against the allure of fintech alternatives. This study evaluates the readiness of Australians to switch to fintech solutions offering more affordable and innovative services in money transfers, loans, and savings.
This study investigates the Australian public's trust in banks amidst rising interest rates and fees. It examines whether higher costs have prompted consumers to shift towards cheaper, more trustworthy online services, reflecting changing attitudes towards traditional banking.
Currency and Economic Impact Studies:
Investigate the impact of the Australian dollar's fluctuations on consumer behavior, particularly regarding travel and overseas spending. This study provides insights into how changes in the AUD's strength influence Australians' decisions on investing, traveling, and purchasing from abroad.
As interest rates and living costs rise, this study examines Australian spending trends, specifically in the realm of international payments for FY23. It assesses whether Australians plan to increase, decrease, or maintain their spending abroad and explores the underlying reasons for their financial decisions.
American Financial Behavior:
Surveying American perspectives on traditional banks versus fintech, this study examines perceptions of innovation and value in banking services. It provides insights into customer satisfaction with current banking offerings and the potential shift towards fintech solutions.
Delve into the future of international finances as this study explores American intentions towards money transfers in the coming year. It offers an analysis of potential shifts in overseas spending habits amidst changing economic conditions.
Paying Tax Debt from Abroad?
One of the main use cases for Australians abroad looking to make payments to Australia is to pay the ATO.
All Australian residents must report and pay for income generated outside of Australia.
Investing in Australian Property from Abroad
The Australian government has implemented regulations for foreign investment in the country’s property market through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
Foreign investors must receive permission from the FIRB to purchase property in Australia.
Generally, these investors can buy new dwellings or vacant land, while established dwellings are restricted.
These regulations aim to benefit the Australian economy and citizens by promoting job creation in the construction industry and ensuring property ownership opportunities for residents.
It is recommended that foreign investors consult property investment experts in Australia to navigate the compliance regulations and tax implications of owning property in the country.
Hence, overseas investments in Australian property are lesser than in other countries, but in spite of that the Australia is the recipient of many money transfers from abroad.
Understanding the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) and Money Transfer Companies
The Financial Claims Scheme covers banking institutions incorporated in Australia which are authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
These include; Australian banks, subsidiary divisions of foreign banks, building societies and credit unions
. This means the Financial Claims Scheme does not apply in respect of your account with a money transfer company.
A legitimate Australian money transfer provider will hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and be regulated by the Australian Securities Investments Commission.
They will work with major Australian banks to provide their service and should have a strong balance sheet.
They do not lend money and their business model is generally considered to be low-risk (they match the exact same trade a client makes with their bank but normally at a lower rate than if the client had gone to the bank directly).
Just be aware money is not protected under the FCS so it’s best to choose a reputable provider with a strong financial performance.