Transferring Money into Australia

Hello Everyone,

There is a great Choice article about transferring money overseas and discussing the best way to save money by @andykollmorgen. I am assuming the same recommendations apply if I were to send money I earned overseas to me in Australia. Is that true?

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Same recommendations certainly apply. Avoid banks when transferring money overseas wherever you transfer it from.

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Country dependent some deposit holding financial institutions are only marginally more expensive and easier to access since they already hold the funds. The main ‘gotcha’ is getting the funds to your transfer account in a timely manner and ‘your account’ often needs to be in the sending country. Using OFX as example I have an Australian account, but if I want to send $USD located in the US here I need to make a separate US account.

This finder page might be helpful although it is outbound oriented (updated 2021).

In my experience some foreign banks offer xrates not too far above the services and others are predatory, and as a general rule one gets a better xrate ‘there’ than here so always be sure the funds get to Australia as $AUD. Foreign bank rates from $[X] to $AUD are often 3-5% better than our banks offer not counting the services…

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Thank you both for your help. Much appreciated.

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Thanks for your detailed response. Do you therefore have a bank account in an overseas country and then transfer the money between the overseas bank and the an Australian bank using OFX (for example)?

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When I investigated a service getting funds to it timely was problematic since my account is with an investment house not a bank. The investment house offers good xrates not too far above the services and I can ring them and organise a wire in $AUD, all transfer details being on file.

For most the issues can be the requirement for a OTP to authorise an EFT, such as one to to a service, requiring a country local mobile number attached to the (eg) US account. That is not a requirement for a wire with mine. Depending on your tax registrations you could get tripped up in money laundering suspicion or having to file (eg) US taxes if you earn money in the US whether or not you actually owe anything, or just withholding (PAYG) that you cannot recover.

Working overseas can be an interesting experience, country dependent, whether or not moving money ‘home’ because of tax regimes.

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Thanks for your reply. I have been asking for my daughter who is an author and will be getting money from overseas for her books. We decided she should go see an accountant who specialises in such things.

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If she was living and working in the foreign country it would be straight forward.

Depending on whether the amounts are in the $100s, $1,000s, $10,000s, or more per annum the best solution could be different.

Step one is to ask what options the publisher might offer for payment. Most deal with international authors so the issue should not be new to them. As for the ATO, so long as foreign income is declared and tax paid (they give credit for foreign taxes paid in most circumstances) they are ‘happy’. From experience they ‘see’ regular or large forex movements and will send a letter to ‘please explain’, at least the first time or first year until it is declared on a tax filing.

One of my ICT staff (!!) was also an internationally acclaimed author who got high 5 figures per annum in royalties from the US. He regularly commented about the IRS and ATO having their hands out. I never asked how he moved currency.

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I would have suggested she signs up with https://wise.com/au . They offer a free business account where your daughter can receive overseas payments and transfer the money to Australia. They gave great rates. My parents live in Germany and they regularly transfer money to my German Wise account and I then transfer it to my Australian Wise account. Cheaper and more convenient than anything else I’ve seen so far. They offer free accounts in a large number of countries.

I have made several bank to bank international money transfers with Wise(formerly Transfer wise) and been quite satisfied with the efficiency and simplicity of the transactions. But in my last transfer which I didn’t complete they asked for my U.S. bank login details including my password. Should I be concerned about this? They are highly recommended in the various comparisons of similar companies. Does anyone have another favourite for transferring money from the U.S. to Australia? Appreciate any comments.

Welcome to the Community @Indiadream

I merged your topic into this related one, and serendipitously the last prior post recommended wise :wink:

Wise has a good reputation and you have been satisfied, at least until this apparent change. Have you asked them why?

I would be hesitant also because US debits only require routing and account codes and sometimes the account title for validation, like our local banks that require the BSB and account number (but never check the account title).

It could be they can no longer ‘pull’ money from an account, and have to ‘push’ it so having login details enables them to do so? Uncomfortable if that is the case? I would be too. Some banks absolve themselves of any and all responsibility to secure one’s account if the customer shares their login details…

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Thanks for your comments about my hesitation with continuing what until now was a very satisfying use of Wise. I am enclosing their response to my doubts. It seems to be related to a particular type of bank security. I do intend to look for another company to replace this one. But I will talk to them first to see what kind of bank verification they use.
Hello Charles,

Thanks for getting in touch.

The reason why you have been asked to input your bank username and password to log in is because sometime when the bank log in page is either powered by Plaid or Yodlee there will be a page for you to authorize the 'linking '. As per your screenshot, the page was powered by Yodlee.

Please note that, this is just for linking purpose, Wise "does not "record your bank login details.

If you are not comfortable to key in the details- Don’t worry, you may refer to the details below:

You can try to pay for your transfer using our other payment method provider — but it still might not work.

Please follow these steps:

  1. When paying for your transfer, choose Bank debit (ACH)
  2. Instead of choosing a saved account, choose to pay via a new one
  3. Don’t select your bank — type in “other banks.” You might have to scroll to the bottom to enter this.
  4. Enter your ACH routing number
  5. Log in to authorize the payment

Microdeposits will show up as two small amounts in your account — they’re between 0.01-0.99 USD. They’ll show up on your bank statement too. They can take 1-2 business days to arrive.

When they arrive, enter them on your transfer page. This will immediately verify your account. You can only do this on the website, not the app.

Click on the transfer and then enter the amounts — you can enter the amount and continue the transfer.

When that’s done, we’ll start the payment process. And when we’ve got the money from your bank, we’ll convert that money and start the transfer.

If this doesn’t work, don’t worry. - Please follow those steps again, but when you log in to authorize the payment, enter your password incorrectly 2 times.

We’ll try and verify your account via microdeposits.

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It might be irrelevant with the cited intermediary providers, but the closest I have experienced for linking an account was clearly a passthrough authorisation process coming from my bank, not from the institution wanting to link. eg the authorisation for linking was with my bank although I needed to trust it was a passthrough not a ‘sniff’ by the company wanting to link, and only completed with a 2 factor authentication, again clearly from the bank.

Please post how and where you go as it might be useful for others.

Is there any report by Choice or anyone else that lists the fees Australian banks charge on inward telegraphic transfers from overseas in AUD? That is, no exchange of money is needed.

A friend in the Netherlands (NL) wants to send me money and I told her that she must not send me euros, given what banks charge in AU charge to exchange euros (or any currency) into AUD.

Instead I asked her to send me AUD.

My question is: how can I quickly establish what say the ANZ, CBA, WBC and NAB charge their customers for say a transfer from NL to AU of say AUD 100k.

I hope there is a quicker method than having to trawl each bank’s website for the answer. Thank you.

My incoming wires in $AUD have been fee-free at ING. It has been years since I had an incoming to another.

A quick scan suggests some banks do not charge for incoming SWIFT deposits, many will only accept incoming SWIFTs in $AUD, and some have modest charges per transfer of $10-20 dollar range. Some banks state they only take $AUD but also advise if they receive an incoming in a foreign currency they will use a 3rd party to exchange it to $AUD and it will be comparatively costly so just do not do it.

I am not aware of any comparison but our majors are referenced in this link.

The linked site indicates the fees at our big 4 for receiving are minimal in the range of $10-15 for an incoming SWIFT deposit and if sent in $AUD the forex rates here are not a worry. Since you need an account to receive the funds shopping around for that amount might not be time well spent. Why not just have the funds sent to your bank?

I have not used the 3rd party companies, and if sent through one of them it could end up looking like a domestic deposit in Australia. Perhaps someone else can address that?

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I assume you have existing bank accounts…I would be asking your existing bank(s) to see if there are any fees for receiving FEX transfers when the transfer is received in AUDs.

We have experienced receiving AUDs that it will be those sending who pay the fees and what you will receive is AUD less the fees paid at the depositor end… unless they pay the fees separately. Example being if you ask for AUD100 to be transferred, you end up with $100 less fees accrued at depositor end. If you want AUD100 in your account, it needs to be back calculated at the time of deposit and the effective deposit amount is AUD100 plus fees.

Our experience is the transfer appears as a normal type deposit in a statement marked to identify its origin. We haven’t paid any fees but it could be because of our relationship with our bank.

If your bank tries to charge fees and it is a one off deposit, push to have fees waived.

Also check time to receive. Some transfer methods aren’t instantaneous and funds can be held up at either end pending checks such as for anti-money laundering if thresholds are exceeded.

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Maybe check out Wise, Formerly TransferWise: Online Money Transfers | International Banking Features

I use Wise for foreign currency transfers inwards in Australian dollars fine

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@PhilT you mention “Why not just have the funds sent to your bank?”. That’s my aim so long as I can be sure my bank doesn’t fleece me more than the minimum incoming fee you list.

@GeorgeL Thanks for that. But as I want the funds to go to my big 4 a/c, your suggestion means I need to open an a/c with Wise, correct?
And will a big 4 bank charge for a transfer from Wise to my a/c?

@phb Very good points, thanks.

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Wise will facilitate transfers into your existing Australian bank account too. I’m with NAB and receive AUD$ into it from Wise without any fees. NAB sees it as local bank transfer. With Wise account you also open accounts in other currencies if you want including an Aussie account so you can accept and bank foreign currency dollars or pay in foreign currency too that you either held or converted.

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Good points, thanks again.