9 Best International Money Transfer Providers (2024)

4.9
(42)

(42 votes, average: 4.9 out of 5)

Don't get ripped off when sending money overseas. Big 4 Australian banks continue to offer laughable exchange rates while stinging you with hidden fees. The weak Australian dollar is compounding the problem by devaluing your hard-earned cash against other currencies. We picked the 9 best international money transfer services for 2024, picking the cheapest, fastest and most accessible Australian providers.


Last updated: January 2nd, 2024

Best overall money transfer service

Xe

XE offers excellent exchange rates and fantastic multi-lingual customer support. The $4 fee isn't great when sending small amounts, and you can’t see your final quote until you create an account, but these are minor quibbles.

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Best money transfer service for travellers

Wise

Wise's exchange rates and fast transfer speeds impress, but it’s the Wise card that sets the service apart from the competition. It makes using ATMs abroad easy, convenient and cheap. Less popular currencies may not be available.

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Best money transfer provider for small businesses

TorFX

While XE and Wise are great for transferring small to medium amounts, TorFX excels at large transfers. You’ll get the best rates when transferring $7,000 or more, but it may take 2-5 business days for your transfer to arrive.

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Best money transfer service for large businesses

OFX

OFX offers the most reach, with money transfers available to more than 190 countries and in over 55 currencies. However, the transfer process is clunky and can be made bank-to-bank only. Customer support can be patchy, too.

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Last updated: January 2nd, 2024

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Are you paying unnecessary fees when using international money transfer suppliers? Of every dollar you send overseas from Australia, 3%-4% ends up in the back pocket of payment providers and banks.

Unsurprisingly, the World Bank found that the cost of sending money overseas from Australia is approximately 11 percent higher than the G20 average.

In fact, Australians get hit with $3.2 billion in transaction, currency conversion, receiving and “discretionary” fees every year.

Middle-class families sending money to loved ones overseas bear the most of this cost, as do travellers and small business owners with remote employees.

The Australian law does not mandate that providers declare all transfer fees upfront, so I made it my mission to create more transparency.

After comparing their (listed and hidden) fees, acceptance rates and security features, I picked the best international money transfer companies. All are regulated in Australia by ASIC and AUSTRAC.

Important!

You can save up to $300 on a $5,000 transfer if you shop for a cheaper service.

1. Xe.

Best overall money transfer service.

Xe services over 200 million customers worldwide. Even Wise, which is ever-growing in popularity, services a very respectable 16 million people worldwide.

It’s a Goliath when compared to the other pipsqueaks out there.

It’s trusted by more customers than any other service (except PayPal [450 million customers], who have been deliberately omitted from this review due to their rip-off transaction fees).

Pros.

Xe is a market leader when it comes to the amount of foreign currencies you can change. It offers over 100 to choose from, almost twice as much as the second-best in this review – OFX with 53 foreign currencies.

Some businesspeople need a money transfer provider that offers exotic currency transfers.

For example, do you own a marketing agency that pays graphic designers in Pakistan, writers in England, and developers in China?

Using a separate money transfer account for every currency would be far from ideal.

Expert Tip.

Every country has unique labour market advantages. If your business is not currently tapping into the international labour market, Xe can make a future expansion more seamless. But if you don’t plan to create complex international teams, Xe’s range of currencies offers little value.

I love that there are no hidden fees with Xe. The only charge is the exchange rate, which is as competitive as any in this review.

Account creation takes just a few minutes.

Provide your email address, name and phone number, and you’re ready to make transfers.

Important!

Xe doesn’t even ask you to upload photo identification and utility bills as proof of your address – unlike TorFX, which insists on a complex process that I will talk about shortly.

Xe is also simple to use.

You need to enter the recipient’s international bank account number (SWIFT/IBAN/BIC, etc.), then check you’re happy with the currencies and the amount.

Just a few clicks, and you’re done.

Tracking links are provided to follow payment movement, and updates are sent to you without being excessively intrusive.

Once you’ve done it once, sending money overseas and repeating payments becomes even easier.

Important!

You’ve got access to some nifty charting tools that show you the historic prices of currency pairs. You can set the bank’s mobile app up so that it creates tailored notifications and emails on rates too.

All of this takes the pain out of paying overseas employees.

I’m unsurprised that businesses trusted Xe with over $115 billion (USD) of bank transfers last year.

Cons.

While Xe often boasts about being fee-free, they charge $4 for all international money transfers below $500 (AUD).

So, it’s not entirely fee-free.

If you’re making regular payments to a freelancer abroad, all these bucks are going to add up.

As for daily limits, you’d have to be filthy rich to hit the upper ceiling on transfers. The upper daily limit is $750,000, or currency equivalent.

But if you’ve got that kind of cash lying around, or if you’re moving abroad and need to transfer your financial assets, you’ll need an account with a provider like TorFX that has no limits.

Speeds of online transfer vary, and they can take as long as four days. International payments with Wise generally take two days (twice as fast).

Important!

Xe’s customer service gets slammed, and customers take to social media and review sites to bash Xe and their seeming lack of empathy when customers are chasing up the status of payments.

Given the size of their business, it seems as though their customer service team functions on skeleton staff all year round.

Some users report sending multiple emails and making several phone calls to get through to a person.

A quick scroll on Xe’s Facebook page and Wise’s shows a stark difference in the emoji reactions to posts. It’s all love for Wise and all red faces for Xe.

Verdict.

How Does Xe Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates4.5/5
User Friendliness4/5
Speed Of Transfer5/5
Available Currencies5/5
Convenience4/5
Security Features5/5
Customer Support5/5
OVERALL4.6

The sheer amount of currencies available makes Xe superior to the other money transfer companies.

Those who want to consolidate all international payments in one account can do so with Xe, and it’s the best service for those who value convenience above all else.

But the unnecessary $4 fee for transactions lower than $500 is a turn-off for those dealing with a high volume of low-value payments.

If you need to send $100 as a gift to your mate in the USA, you’ll effectively cop a 4% fee – before you incur any currency conversion fees.

Expensive.

If you want the cheapest service and only need to pay in a handful of major currencies, it’s all eyes on Wise.

✔ Very competitive exchange rates
✔ Huge range of currencies
✔ Fast transfer speeds
✘ $4 fee gets expensive on small transactions
✘ No travel card

Frequently Asked Questions About Xe:

How long do transfers take?1-4 business days
Does Xe charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?∼100
Market orders?Yes
Which fees to watch out for?$4 on all <$500 transfers
Transfer limits?AU$750
How much € do I get with AU$100?€58.88 (as of 2/1/2024)

2. Wise.

Best money transfer service for travellers.

Transferring money internationally with Wise has been my most pleasant experience, owing to the user-friendly experience, superb conversion rates, and the absence of hidden fees.

Last year, they moved almost $150 billion (AUD), and over 16 million people send money internationally every year with Wise.

Pros.

Ask any backpacker or seasoned traveller, and they’ll tell you emphatically how great Wise is and how it’s an inexpensive way to transfer money internationally.

Expert Tip.

Wise is the only international payment transfer service in this review that provides you with a card to make purchases, just like you would with your credit or debit card – but with no fees at the point of use.

So Wise is suitable for personal and business use.

You can spend abroad in real-time using the exchange rate at that time. No markups, no sneaky transaction fees.

And if you need to withdraw, you’ll only pay a super-low fee ($1.50 AUD) on a cash withdrawal from an ATM after the first $350. You get two free withdrawals every month.

You can link your card with Google and Apple Pay too, meaning you can pay contactless in restaurants, bars, and wherever else you like to frequent on your travels.

Important!

Wise’s currency conversion is the best in this review: $100 AUD gets you €59.70 versus the lowest, Instarem, which offers $58.41.

Okay, so it’s only a difference of $1.29. But if you’re transferring your life savings of $100,000 to another country, that’s going to cost you $129.

You’d rather have that money in your back pocket, wouldn’t you?

If you’re not yet using Wise, even for your holiday trips, you might be seething to learn how much you could have saved when making international money payments over the years.

There’s no need to fritter your hard-earned cash away on international conversions any more.

Aside from the monetary savings you’ll see when using Wise, the app is as user-friendly as they come.

I appreciate the transparent fees of Wise. You can access their currency converter without logging in and creating an account.

With TorFX, you’ve got to fill in a web form (bureaucratic and boring), and their sales team is pretty zealous when it comes to following up.

Ignoring their calls won’t make them go away.

They’ll contact you by email or phone, and only provide an indicative exchange rate after you assert what you want to know.

But that’s their thing. They’re a service aimed at B2B clients trained to provide a high-touch level of support.

Meanwhile, OFX display a calculator on their website stating,

“The amounts are not indicative of OFX Customer Rates. Simply register or log in for OFX Customer Rates.”

Shady, if you ask me.

There seems to be an aversion to sharing live data with website guests. Only Wise uses a transparent calculator, perhaps because Wise is the most competitive, and it’s a badge of honour they proudly display.

Important!

Speed is also one of Wise’s strengths, with most payments landing no later than two days, unlike WorldFirst and Send Payment (coming up soon) which can take up to five days.

You can also use auto-conversions to pick your desired exchange rate and a specified amount to convert between two eligible currencies when they hit a certain price.

Cons.

If your account is ever under review, Wise might freeze it until you supply them with the information they require.

When I was frozen out of my account in Thailand, I couldn’t pay my bill in a restaurant. I called Wise continuously for over an hour but never got to anyone.

I’d been a long-standing customer since 2015, and it turns out I’d never submitted a photo ID as verification (which wasn’t a requirement back then).

Out of the blue, they sent me an email requesting that I upload a photo ID, but I’d initially dismissed it as some phishing scam.

Long story short, they now have a risk score on user accounts, and each user needs to be revalidated every 1, 3, or 5 years.

I accept that it was my fault for dismissing the email, but it could have been much less painful had someone been available at Wise straight away.

Their customer support team is often understaffed.

Expert Tip.

If you need urgent 24/7 support, look at OFX.

Wise’s email responses take well over a day, and they might as well have an AI chatbot responding because their responses just direct you to generic help pages.

Not helpful.

Wise doesn’t have quite as many currencies as Xe, but that’s no disgrace. It has 51 currencies, which is still more than the likes of TorFX (42), CurrencyFair (22), and WorldFirst (18).

Before you start setting accounts up, it’s a good idea to check beforehand that you can exchange money into your intended currency.

Unlike banks, Wise is not FCS protected in Australia, nor are they FDIC insured in the USA or FSCS protected in the UK.

Wise takes extra precautions to safeguard your money, which is held in “top-tier banks and assets”, separate from Wise’s own working capital.

Verdict.

How Does Xe Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates5/5
User Friendliness5/5
Speed Of Transfer5/5
Available Currencies4/5
Convenience5/5
Security Features5/5
Customer Support3.5/5
OVERALL4.6

Wise is superb value-for-money for business and personal travellers.

With a Wise card, you can make everyday purchases in foreign currencies. No other money transfer service in this review provides you with a payment card.

Although Wise has a decent business account, few features distinguish it from the true B2B platforms like TorFX (think personal account managers, business intelligence dashboards, and limitless transfers).

Wise’s main downfall is its relatively high cost for large transfers.

If you intend to regularly transfer upwards of $10,000, you’re better off with other providers (Xe if you’re a private person, TorFX if you own an SMB and OFX if your annual turnover is more than $10,000.

✔ Transparent fees without nasty surprises
✔ The Wise Card is excellent for travellers
✔ Multiple payment options
✘ Customer support is patchy
✘ Expensive for large (>$10,000) transfers

Frequently Asked Questions About Wise:

How long do transfers take?0-2 business days
Does Wise charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?51
Market orders?Yes
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?AU$1.8 million by bank transfer, AU$18,000 by card, AU$50,000 by PayID
How much € do I get with AU$100?€59.79 (as of 2/1/2024)

3. TorFX.

Best international money transfer service for small businesses.

TorFX is a UK-based company offering exchanges in over 40 currencies in over 120 currencies. It offers more than 55,000 customers worldwide and transacts over $10 billion annually.

Both personal customers and business customers have a dedicated account manager to answer all your questions.

Pros.

TorFX gives you access to a dedicated account manager – and that’s no exaggeration. As soon as you sign up, someone will follow up directly with you to assist you in creating your overseas account and any queries you have.

That’s very refreshing, especially when it’s hard to get through to the guys over at Xe and Wise.

Having someone reach out to you might seem a little sales-y, but they’re literally there for you from the minute go.

Important!

Even though I purposefully asked a few dumb questions, my account manager, Christie, was a true professional and dedicated in every sense of the word.

If you’re new to this, it’s perfectly understandable that you may want your hand holding.

Given the personalised service, you might expect this service to come at a premium, but the conversion rates at TorFX are almost as strong as Wise’s.

At today’s rate, there was only a difference of 3¢ on an exchange of $100 AUD to Euros.

They offer a rate-improver guarantee and are committed to matching any valid quote from other providers.

So, technically, you can get all the benefits of personal account management from TorFX while paying the prices of CurrencyFair.

There’s probably not a single business out there that wouldn’t benefit from TorFX’s free business health checks.

No other provider in this review will do this for you.

As part of that, they review your current approach to international payments, identify how you could streamline processes and mitigate risks, and provide you with solutions and a bespoke international payments plan that would save you money.

Cons.

I know there are introverts out there who roll their eyes as soon as an unknown number rings. Once you submit a web form to TorFX, they’ll follow up within a few hours.

It’s a call worth answering, though. You won’t fully appreciate their service level until you hear them out.

They’re well-trained – there for your every need.

Though, I get that you might not be prepared for their call. Some will find that a nuisance. So if you ignore, they’ll bombard you with around three to five emails in a matter of days.

What I dislike is that you have to upload a photo ID and a utility bill (proof of address) before you can even get inside and get a feel for the dashboard.

Expert Tip.

You can’t access live prices until they’ve verified your account. So don’t give a fake address or phone number when signing up. You’ll only delay the process. (The same goes for any others in this review.)

Verdict.

How Does TorFX Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates4.5/5
User Friendliness4/5
Speed Of Transfer4.5/5
Available Currencies4/5
Convenience4/5
Security Features5/5
Customer Support5/5
OVERALL4.4

If you prefer a service with an account manager, someone who will be proactive in reaching out to you, then TorFX is exceptional.

Those who prefer self-service and don’t want to receive calls from an enthusiastic currency expert after signup may regret doing so.

Most Australian SMB owners will benefit from this one-to-one support.

The payment health check is a nice touch.

Most business owners leave a lot of money on the table by continuing to use inefficient payment processes, and TorfX can help you identify and change them.

✔ No fees on transactions
✔ Dedicated currency account rep
✔ Fast transfer speeds
✘ Wise is better for small (sub $7,000) transfers
✘ Only supports bank-to-bank transfers

Frequently Asked Questions About TorFX:

How long do transfers take?0-3 business days
Does TorFX charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?42
Market orders?Yes
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?Private clients: AU$50,000; Business clients: AU$200,000
How much € do I get with AU$100?€59.76 (as of 2/1/2024)

4. OFX.

Best international money transfer service for large businesses.

OFX has a transparent fee structure, and it’s a good option for Aussies who need to transfer over $10,000 out of the country.

They have a flat fee of $15 for anything less than $10,000.

Pros.

OFX stands out for three reasons: its 24/7 customer support, no minimum or maximum transfer limits, and access to forward contracts.

In case you’re new to forward contracts, they allow you to lock in an exchange rate. If you think the price of a currency will increase in future, you can commit to lock in a better price.

You might be paying suppliers overseas or a mortgage rate on an investment property.

Wise, TorFX, and WorldFirst offer this too, but only for business customers. With OFX, personal customers can use forward contracts too.

CurrencyFair, Send Payments, Instarem, and SingX don’t give you access to forward contracts. This is definitely a feature that’s exclusive to the best-in-class providers.

Better still, there’s no limit! Let me hear you say yeah! (That’s a 2 Unlimited reference, in case it went over any Gen Z’ers heads.)

That’s right – you can transfer as much as you need every day.

“We won’t limit you in terms of how much you can send over a specific period of time either. Don’t let limits hold you back any longer.”

No minimum, no maximum.

Important!

OFX also provide 24/7 customer service, and not just chat support. Some platforms are notorious for making life difficult to even get hold of a phone number, like Wise and Instarem.

Shoot me down for saying this, but when I call up a brokerage or financial service, I need to be assured that the person on the other end of the phone speaks fluent English and fully understands my concerns.

Being routed to call centres in Asia isn’t what I’d call a premium service.

That’s what you can expect with money transfer services that provide only one international number like Send Payments.

OFX has offices in the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Cons.

OFX will charge you an obscene fee of $15 (AUD) each time you transfer less than $10,000.

High-net-worth individuals and big businesses investing in foreign domestic markets won’t break out in a sweat over this.

But people sending low amounts to loved ones overseas, or paying international suppliers for small projects will suffer the most.

Important!

To understand the true cost, you should work it out as a percentage. If you’re sending $150 to a friend, you’re incurring an extra 15% of fees – before any conversion fees are applied.

It’s the most expensive fixed fee, and the only other money transfer services featured in this review that charge a fixed fee are CurrencyFair (€3, around $5 AUD) and Xe ($4 for transfers below $500).

Truth be known, I dislike fixed transfer fees altogether. OFX and CurrencyFair only just about made the cut, but they forced their way in due to the overwhelming positives.

Still, if you’re sending any less than a thousand bucks, look elsewhere – even if it’s for a one-off transaction.

Go buy yourself a McDonalds with your savings.

Important!

Even though OFX makes forward contracts available to everyone, they typically start at $10,000 but state that lower amounts may be considered.

To me, that sounds like anything less than $10k is considered an exception and subject to more rigorous approval. Also, you can only lock in a price for 12 months, whereas TorFX allows you to fix a price for two years.

Verdict.

How Does OFX Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates4/5
User Friendliness3.5/5
Speed Of Transfer5/5
Available Currencies4/5
Convenience3.5/5
Security Features5/5
Customer Support5/5
OVERALL4.3

While there is a solid number of currencies you can exchange with OFX, not to mention the access to forward contracts, the $15 fee per transaction is a bitter pill to swallow – one you don’t want to overdose on.

If you’re in the corporate sector, the lack of limits on the amount you can send gives you free rein over transferring large funds to international operations.

If you’re transferring hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, OFX is one of the few providers that makes this possible.

✔ Very competitive exchange rates
✔ ASX listed company since 2013
✔ No fees on transactions above $10,000
✘ Bank-to-bank transfers only
✘ $15 flat fee adds up on small transactions

Frequently Asked Questions About OFX:

How long do transfers take?0-3 business days
Does OFX charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?42
Market orders?Yes
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?Private clients: AU$50,000; Business clients: AU$200,000
How much € do I get with AU$100?€59.70 (as of 2/1/2024)

5. CurrencyFair.

Good money transfer service with same-day transfers on most currencies.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest international money transfer service of them all? “Thou, O CurrencyFair, art the fairest in the land.”

CurrencyFair is a peer-to-peer transfer service that puts the power back into people’s hands. Here’s how.

Pros.

CurrencyFair operates differently from other international money transfer services. It’s a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users like you and me to sell our foreign currency.

How does that work?

Well, the “marketplace” allows people to list a specific amount of currency. Say, for example, that you have €432.59 Euros remaining from your travels.

Instead of exchanging it, you can list it for sale, at a price determined by you, and wait for someone to come along and purchase it.

When you list a currency for sale, you see a graph over a period of six to eight weeks to see the range the currency has been operating in.

Once you list, you’ll be notified when you get a match and receive email updates. You can also browse listings that other people have listed.

People who exchange currencies are able to agree on a fairer retail exchange rate – without the ludicrous fees.

On average, when you match on the marketplace, you pay 0.25% or 0.30% (depending on currency) of the amount exchanged plus a €3.00 fixed fee.

So CurrencyFair still gets its cut, albeit much less than the others take.

The likes of XE and Wise will charge around 0.5% in exchange rates (on top of the mid-market rate), which are comparatively cheap.

But you can slash those fees in half by utilising a peer-to-peer exchange.

In real terms, that makes CurrencyFair the cheapest in this review.

However, if you don’t manage to find a buyer, CurrencyFair will step in and charge an average of 0.53% in commission fees.

You obviously need to factor in the €3 transfer fee. If you’re only transferring $100, you’re already going to be charged 3% before other commission fees.

Expert Tip.

If you’re not in a rush to sell, you can wait to exchange at a better rate. You can simply set the price that you want to buy or sell at, and let the system do the rest. The experience is effortless.

Cons.

You only have access to 22 currencies, and it’s missing one of the major currencies, the Japanese Yen, and some other popular minor currencies like the Brazilian Real and Malaysian Ringgit.

Your options are seriously limited. In this review, there are only WorldFirst (18) and Instarem (9) which have fewer currencies.

Remember, Xe has around 100 currencies to choose from.

I’ve already voiced my disdain for the €3 fee levied on each trade.

It’s great that they charge a much lower currency conversion rate when you exchange from peer to peer, but the €3 fee is steep if you want to flog some leftover cash from your recent travels.

Although it’s not as steep as OFX’s $15 flat fee.

If you want to exchange thirty bucks, that’s 10% before commission fees. For low-value trades, you’re much better off choosing Wise.

Important!

CurrencyFair, in some respects, is a simplified marketplace to sell your currency, but it’s not a platform you’d use to pay suppliers and for other services.

It has basic functionality, but you can’t execute forward orders like with the more sophisticated corporate platforms (TorFX, OFX, and Xe) and integrate it with your in-house accounting software and payroll systems.

Verdict.

How Does CurrencyFair Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates3.5/5
User Friendliness4/5
Speed Of Transfer5/5
Available Currencies4/5
Convenience4/5
Security Features3.5/5
Customer Support3.5/5
OVERALL3.9

I love the concept of a peer-to-peer exchange, and it has a huge future in different sectors.

Perhaps one day, generating our own solar electricity will become mainstream, and we can undercut the energy giants by selling it to each other.

This is an excellent start we could all get behind. The flat fee can be expensive if exchanging low-value sums, though.

✔ Peer-to-peer marketplace with strong exchange rates
✔ Transparent fee structure
✘ Only supports major currencies
✘ Credit cards are not accepted

Frequently Asked Questions About CurrencyFair:

How long do transfers take?Same day transfers on major currencies
Does CurrencyFair charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?22
Market orders?No
Which fees to watch out for?€3 (or currency equivalent)
Transfer limits?None
How much € do I get with AU$100?€56.67 (as of 2/1/2024)

6. Send Payments.

Simple, easy-to-use money transfer service.

Send Payments (formerly SendFX) was founded by Paul Billing and Ian Cragg, ex-employees at TorFX, who were responsible for the huge growth of the company.

Back in 2018, they established Send Payments, a money transfer platform with a much simpler interface and personal feel, rather than a faceless corporate machine. Its head office is on the Gold Coast too.

Pros.

Send Payments is, among many things, a superb eCommerce solution. Unlike many other money transfer services in this review, it offers easy plug-and-play integrations into your existing website.

That means you can sell to a global marketplace without being hit with ridiculous conversion fees for every international sale.

CurrencyFair, TorFX, Xe, and SingX cannot integrate into your online store.

PayPal or Apple Pay might be the easiest choices, but how’s that working out for you? If you’re not currently trading internationally, you could be doing so with Send Payments international wallet.

Expert Tip.

Your profitability depends on your ability to slash your operating costs. One decision could save you thousands in conversion fees.

With Send Payments, you have a dedicated account manager who will give you honest, jargon-free advice, and you have access to real-time customer support run by real-life people.

There’s not a single chatbot in sight.

The intuitive app and desktop version are simpler even than Wise, perhaps because there are fewer pages to navigate. You don’t get lost in a sea of information and links.

Payments are lightning-fast and often transacted on the same day. When exchanging minor currencies, it can take up to five days, though.

Cons.

When using their personal transfer service (not the eCommerce plugin), Send Payments have a daily minimum transfer amount of $250 (AUD) and a maximum of $25,000.

That’s pretty lame for a company that’s marketing more towards personal users and SMEs. Everything else about Send Payments seems uber customer-centric apart from this.

I’d love to see a future in which these minimum transfer amounts were vastly reduced or canned entirely, removing barriers for those who are new to these platforms.

There’s no functionality to carry out forward orders, either.

If you want to send money abroad, and you’re not desperate for an immediate change, consider a service like CurrencyFair that gives you greater control over the buy/sell price.

With Send Payments, you can only trade the live rates.

Verdict.

How Does Send Payments Stack Up?Score
Fees & Exchange Rates4/5
User Friendliness3.5/5
Speed Of Transfer4/5
Available Currencies3.5/5
Convenience3.5/5
Security Features4.5/5
Customer Support3.5/5
OVERALL4.7

Send Payments has a refreshing brand that steers away from the complexity of corporate money transfer services, typically those that include “X” in their name (TorFX, OFX, and Xe).

It’s the simplest platform to use in this review and beats Wise for user-friendliness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Send Payments:

How long do transfers take?0-5 business days
Does Send Payments charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?37
Market orders?No
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?AU$25,000
How much € do I get with AU$100?€59.38 (as of 2/1/2024)

7. WorldFirst.

Good money transfer service for small businesses.

WorldFirst is predominantly geared towards businesses rather than personal customers.

In fact, they don’t differentiate between accounts and refer exclusively to business accounts, firm orders, spot contracts, and forward contracts.

It’s an international money transfer service for established clientele.

Pros.

WorldFirst business accounts enable you to execute spot contracts (a fancy way of saying a standard exchange), forward contracts, and firm orders.

A firm order (market order) allows you to buy at a target exchange rate when you don’t have the time to keep tabs on market movement.

These options give businesses greater control over volatile currencies – protecting you in the event of a colossal surge or plummet.

Important!

It’s refreshing to see a simplified offering for businesses that cuts through all the superficial corporate spiel.

There’s one central dashboard which is super easy to use where you can track and monitor all your accounts in one place.

And if you need assistance, you’ll always be connected to a human – no robots guaranteed.

There are also some really nuanced features like the ability to collect payments from hundreds of global marketplaces like Amazon and AliExpress.

They often require proof of account ownership to change the bank account details linked to your marketplace storefront, but this can all be taken care of from your dashboard in minutes.

One of the most cost-effective solutions for businesses is that you can send up to 200 payments in a single transaction – saving administration time.

You can integrate WorldFirst with Xero to reduce accounting administration and reconciliation – although this isn’t as impressive as an open-sourced programme that allows integration with any platform (such as Wise and SingX).

Cons.

It’s disappointing that WorldFirst only transacts in 18 currencies.

You could forgive a start-up or rising star for a consolidated offering, but not a business that’s been doing this for almost two decades.

Their offering is dwarfed by the currencies you can transact with Xe (over 100).

WorldFirst ceased trading in the US in 2019, with no warning, leaving thousands of businesses stranded.

“The WorldFirst shareholders have taken the decision to discontinue the US operations. As such, we will no longer be able to offer our products and services to you.”

They did not explain the shock decision and never responded to requests for comments.

There is speculation that global politics had a heavy influence on US-China trade relations (even though the company is headquartered in the UK).

Quite frankly, it’s disgusting that so many businesses had the rug pulled from under their feet in such fashion.

Verdict.

WorldFirst has been in the game since 2004, much longer than Send Payments (2018) and Wise (2011).

They’re industry veterans and can be trusted to protect your business interests… if you can turn a blind eye to their blip in the USA.

Frequently Asked Questions About WorldFirst:

How long do transfers take?0-5 business days
Does WorldFirst charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?18
Market orders?Yes
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?None
How much € do I get with AU$100?€59.61 (as of 2/1/2024)

8. Instarem.

Decent service, but with high fees and limited currency options let it down.

Instarem started out in 2014 with the aim of making international transfers easy and affordable for everyone.

They also state one of their core values is an unwavering customer-focused approach. So, how do they fare against that?

Pros.

Unlike every other international money transfer provider, Instarem is bold in its assertion that “most transfers” are instant or same-day.

Other services are woolly about that, which is understandable given they aren’t always in control of the speeds of a recipient’s bank account.

Even so, Instarem quotes transfer speeds of between one to two days, whereas the vast majority suggest transfers can take up to five days, such as Xe and WorldFirst.

There are only CurrencyFair and SingX that claim to make same-day transfers in major currencies.

If speed is your prerogative, Instarem is for you.

Unique to Instarem is their rewards programme, InstaPoints, where you can earn on every transaction.

One hundred InstaPoints can be redeemed for $2.50, but there is a minimum spend of $500 in order to receive points, so it’s a programme that only favours big spenders.

Cons.

While the percentage difference is hardly noticeable for low-value transactions, Instarem offers the most expensive rate in this review.

You’re paying for speed. If you need to send or receive payments urgently, Instarem promises to deliver.

Important!

Beware when using their online calculator. The exchange rate they show is a special rate for new customers on their first transfer – and it’s not indicative of their typical charges.

Even worse, the calculator is misleading as it shows you can exchange currencies in several recipient countries.

But in Denmark, the currency is the Krone, not the Euro. This makes it seem like they service the domestic currency when, in fact, they don’t.

A Danish recipient will be hacked off if you pay them in euros, only for them to be hit with fees if you force them to convert to krones.

They say the Danes are the happiest people in the world, but I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the decedent of Vikings.

I find it quite ridiculous that they boast on their website, “We’ve got the world covered…” Erm, no, you haven’t, guys.

You might have 11 offices around the globe, but you offer nine currencies for exchange.

Important!

They make it sound better by stating that they service over 55 countries, but the reality is that it’s a weak offering.

Verdict.

Instarem pitches itself in the territory for SMEs, but it lacks the distinctive features that accompany WorldFirst.

I’d rather have cheaper commissions than a rewards programme any day of the week.

Instarem seems to be a victim of an identity crisis, a copycat of Send Payments (having unveiled its new brand image in 2021), with speed as its only unique selling point.

Frequently Asked Questions About Instarem:

How long do transfers take?1-2 business days
Does Instarem charge receiving fees?No
How many currencies are available?9
Market orders?No
Which fees to watch out for?None
Transfer limits?Credit card: AU$20,000; Debit card: AU$20,000; PayID & bank transfer: no limit.
How much € do I get with AU$100?€58.41 (as of 2/1/2024)

9. SingX.

SingX is a peer-to-peer exchange based in Malaysia, although, at first glance, you wouldn’t know it’s one.

If you’re a new customer, information on their webpage is scarce – but here are the headlines from our first-hand experiences with the platform.

Pros.

SingX is a peer-to-peer foreign exchange, like CurrencyFair, but there isn’t a single mention on their homepage.

Even so, the exchange carries all the same benefits of CurrencyFair, such as market-leading exchange rates, but there are flat fees that are charged additionally, between 0.5% and 5%.

With SingX, you have a personal wallet that you can top up once and use multiple times. You don’t need to transfer funds for individual transactions.

One bonus that you might be tempted to sign up for is that your first two transfers are absolutely free.

Much like Wise, SingX can be integrated with your existing platforms. Some money transfer providers have only one or two available integrations – like WorldFirst which can only be hooked up to Xero.

SingX is unique in that you can use Excel to upload mass payments for up to 1,000 recipients.

That’s a game-changer for businesses that use spreadsheets to organise, sort, and manipulate payroll data.

Cons.

There’s a serious lack of transparency or information on SingX’s website. You’ve really got to be Sherlock Holmes to find details on their blog and information about the company.

It’s due mainly to the fact that it operates exclusively in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. You can’t open an account anywhere else in the world.

Important!

They only launched in Australia back in 2023, and their content needs a huge boost if it hopes to establish trust and get people like you and me on board.

It’s not transparent about fees, and I was really surprised to discover that they charge a separate fee between 0.5% and 5% in addition to the currency exchange fee.

This information is buried on an inconspicuous webpage in small print.

Verdict.

While the foreign exchange price is strong, the additional transaction fee isn’t competitive.

It’s well worth signing up for the two free conversions if you have a high-value exchange, for instance, if you’re transferring money from the sale of a property overseas or your life savings.

The Problem With Comparing Foreign Exchange Rates.

Comparing transfer fees of different exchange providers is difficult for three reasons:

  • They don’t show you the exact fee until the point of execution.
  • The online calculators are inaccurate. The small print beneath Xe’s calculator, for example, suggests, “This is for informational purposes only. You won’t receive this rate when sending money.” You’ll only find the exact fee after you’ve gone through the rigmarole of signing up.
  • Some providers charge zero fees and higher margins. Others take the opposite approach.

Above: OFX is an example of a money transfer provider that charges a flat fee AND an exchange markup.

What Is The Mid-Market Rate?

To compound the confusion, lots of providers state that they charge a markup on the mid-market rate. Take CurrencyFair, for instance:

“On average, CurrencyFair only adds 0.53% to the mid-market currency exchange rate.”

Important!

The mid-market rate (i.e., the interbank or middle rate) is the midpoint between the buy and sell prices of any two currencies.

Some providers will charge a flat fee. PayPal, for example, charges a flat 4% – and isn’t included in this review as this rate is apalling.

The markup is sometimes baked into the foreign exchange fee, making it difficult to compare percentages charged when a transfer takes place.

To bring some transparency, I’ve created accounts with each provider and compared retail exchange rates based on the conversion of $100 AUD to EURO at 9 PM on 1/1/2024.

Please be mindful that this is subject to change and not a reflection of every currency pair.

Even so, I won’t be splitting hairs on exchange rates in this review, as, surprisingly, they’re very competitive and all within a dollar or two of each other for major currencies.

What Are The Best Banks For International Money Transfers?

People and businesses that lack privileged relationships with big banks are unlikely to benefit from low transfer fees and favourable exchange rates.

Big banks typically add a 3%-6% markup on top of hefty transfer and receiving fees. Here’s how they compare:

NABNo transfer fees. Intermediary fees apply.Exchange rate includes a markup of 2%-5%
CBABank transfer fees of up to $18.Exchange rate includes a markup of 3%-5%
ANZBank transfer fees of up to $9.Exchange rate includes a markup of 2%-5%
Bendigo BankBank transfer fees of up to $30.Exchange rate includes a markup of 2%-5%
SuncorpNo transfer fees. Intermediary fees apply.Exchange rate includes a markup of 3%-5%
HBSCBank transfer fees of up to $8.Exchange rate includes a markup of 2%-5%

Expert Tip.

Foreign cash is more expensive at airport currency exchange locations than in CBD locations.

Frequently Asked Questions When You Send Money Overseas.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand broader aspects of sending money internationally.

How much money can I legally send overseas from Australia?

There’s no limit to how much money you can send overseas, but any amount greater than $10,000 could be subject to money-laundering checks by AUSTRAC.

Ignore the misinformation that’s being spewed on other websites. Here’s the facts straight from the horse’s mouth, AUSTRAC:

“You don’t need to declare money that you transfer overseas or receive from overseas through a traditional bank or a remittance service provider (money transfer business).”

You only need to declare amounts over $10,000 if it’s cash, traveller’s cheques, or money orders.

How long does an international money transfer take?

If you’re paying with a credit or debit card, payments are usually within the day, if not the hour.

An international bank transfer, however, takes two to four business days to process.

Processing speeds vary among processors such as PayPal or Wise; the former takes one to five business days, and the latter takes zero to two days.

Do you need a BSB code to transfer money overseas?

A BSB number identifies a specific branch of an Australian bank, and these are only used for domestic transfers.

Some countries use international bank account numbers (IBANs), but we don’t use them in Australia. SWIFT codes, also known as bank identifier codes (BICs), are used instead.

Who uses international money transfers?

Two types of entities usually send money overseas:

  • Individuals who need to send money to loved ones overseas, or for travel purposes.
  • Companies, e-commerce businesses and sole traders with remote or hybrid teams.

How can I transfer money overseas without paying fees?

You are asking the wrong question, pal.

I’m listing fee-free international transfer providers below, but keep in mind that they compensate for zero fees by baking a higher margin into their exchange rates:

  • Xe is a globally trusted currency exchange brand.
  • TorFX has a unique business model that assigns an account representative to each customer.
  • WorldFirst is known for fast transfer speeds.

Is Wise cheaper than TorFX, Xe and OFX?

Wise is the cheapest for making smaller transfers. But more importantly, the companies use different pricing structures. Choose one that suits you best:

Xe$4 on sub $500 transfers
Adds margin of 0.5%-2% to the mid-market rate.
Wise0.47% plus a small fixed feeGives you access to the mid-market rate.
TorFXNoAdds margin of 0.5%-2% to the mid-market rate.
OFX$15 on sub $10,000 transfersAdds margin of 0.5%-2% to the mid-market rate.

Can I use PayPal for international money transfers?

Yes, you can use PayPal to send money internationally, but I suggest you think twice. The fees are far less competitive, at a flat 4%.

Final Word On Choosing The Best Service For International Money Transfers.

Australian banks are not the only secure option for international money transfer – and do not always offer the fastest delivery.

Why do they remain popular for sending money overseas?

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) states, “Customer inertia is limiting the growth of smaller providers and new entrants.”

Important!

If you’re still relying on the Big Four traditional banks – Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ – you’re not giving them an incentive to innovate.

Given Aussie banks already have $1.3 trillion of our money sitting in bank accounts, money which they invest to generate profitable returns, you’d think they’d be able to pass on some of those savings.

Are you prepared to let your net worth continue to erode unnecessarily every time your send money overseas?

Tommy

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