What are money transfers?
Money transfers are simply the act of wirelessly transferring money from yourself to somebody else. Money transfers are effectively the modern-day online equivalent of wiring money. There are many different ways that you can do this and with advancing technology, it is becoming easier than ever to get your money from A to B. Previously you had to head on down to the bank in person or go to a special business store to be able to send money overseas, but this is no longer the case.
How do you send money overseas?
Sending money overseas can be done in several different ways. You can still head on down to a branch such as a Western Union and send money to your recipient through their system but it’s not necessary. Plus, whoever you are sending money to also needs to have access to a Western Union store so they can collect the money. As you can imagine, this can end up costing both parties a fair bit of personal time and effort.
Another option is you can organise overseas money transfers through your bank. If you’re a little bit lost about how to do that, or you’d feel more comfortable getting someone else to help you, then you can always head down to your local branch and get someone to give you a hand.
You also have the option of doing an overseas money transfer yourself online. You simply need to have a bit of information about who you’re sending the money to, as well as the physical details of the bank they are registered with. To send money overseas directly from your account you’ll need the following details:
- Address of the bank you’re sending the money to
- Bank account details of the recipient
- SWIFT code of the particular bank (this identifies their bank numerically)
- Name of the recipient
The SWIFT code and bank address can all be found online. So, organising an overseas money transfer is fairly easy to do with the technology we have available to us these days.
Who can do money transfers?
Almost anyone can do a money transfer, as long as they have access to their online banking, the internet, and the details of the account they are sending the money to. The perks of being able to do a transfer directly from your account are that it’s easier and faster than ever. That means that even if you don’t have access to a traditional branch near you, you can still send money if you need to.
If you are transferring money through a physical store or International Money Transfer provider (such as a Western Union), you will need to be at least 18 years old. You will also need to provide a few documents such as photo identification or a passport.
Typical requirements to do money transfers:
- Aged at least 18 years old
- Provide documentation, such as photo identification or a passport.
National vs international money transfers
National and international money transfers are a little bit different, and as such, there are a few things to be aware of. Let’s break it down:
National money transfers
National money transfers throughout Australia are fairly straight-forward and can be done almost instantaneously, depending on the bank that you are with. Usually, at the very latest, your transfer will be in the recipient’s account overnight if you or the receiver bank with a smaller bank or credit union. To send money to a friend or family member or to transfer money to a company for a bill you simply need their Account Name, BSB Number and Account Number. As soon as you have hit send the money leaves your account and begins processing with the bank. It’s that easy.
You can also head on down to your local banking branch to do your national money transfers, however, these will take a little bit longer as you have to factor in transit time as well. It’s free to transfer and receive money within Australia.
International money transfers
It’s easier than ever to send money overseas! With just a few extra details (the SWIFT code and the physical address of your recipients’ bank branch) you can send money across continents. Just be aware that processing times may take a bit longer (usually a few days). You will also likely be charged a processing fee for sending the money and it is quite possible that the receiver will also be charged a fee by their bank to receive and process the transfer on their end. These fees change depending on the bank, so make sure you know what charges might apply before sending the transfer.
Are money transfers safe?
It’s understandable that the idea of sending money overseas can be a bit worrying. After all, how can you ensure that your money is kept secure and ends up in the right place? It’s human nature to want to know that the cash you put so much effort into earning is safe when it’s getting moved from one account to another.
If you decide to utilise the services of an International Money Transfer provider (IMT) there are a few things to look out for when you’re making your selection. In particular, you’re going to want to ask yourself these questions:
1. Is your provider licensed and regulated?
It’s important to ensure that the provider you choose is regulated and authorised to trade by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission). This provides you with the reassurance that they are a legitimate, locally-regulated company. An easy way to tell if the company is regulated by ASIC is to check for the AFSL number (Australian Financial Services Licence), which can usually be found in the footer of their respective websites.
2. What reviews has the provider received?
A quick and easy way to get an idea of a company’s reputation is to have a quick look at the reviews customers have left for the business online. Past reviews can hold a wealth of information about how the company operates. Having a look at these will definitely help you get a feel for different providers and the services they offer.
3. What kind of customer service and knowledge do they provide?
When it comes to trusting a company with your money, the service and knowledge they provide can be exceptionally important. The finance market is tricky, but any good company will talk you through the process and jargon to help you feel confident about your transaction.
A few extra steps to make online international transfers safer
There’s no doubt that the first step to making sure your money is safe is to use a credible provider. Even though online money transfers are already pretty safe, there’s always more we can do personally to make sure our money stays as safe as possible. Here are some extra steps you could take:
1. Keep your identification details and documents safe
It goes without saying that keeping your I.D. and login details safe is one of the best ways you can ensure your finances stay right where they’re supposed to be. It’s a lot harder to track down stolen money when it involves an overseas transaction. In this day and age, identity theft and fraud is all too easy. So, making sure you know where your documents are at all times is just good sense.
2. Double-check the recipients’ details
When you’re sending money overseas always double and triple-check the account details of the person you’re sending it to. If you do accidentally send it to the wrong account there is a good chance it will bounce back. Yet, there’s also a good chance that it will end up in a complete strangers account. Worse still, it’s not always possible to track this money down if it does end up somewhere it’s not supposed to go. Save yourself the time, hassle, and stress and make sure you’re sending your cash to the correct account.
3. Always avoid sending money to someone you don’t know well
It goes without saying that you should always be aware of where and who you’re sending your money to. If you’ve received one of those dodgy get-rich-quick or miracle fat loss pills emails, it’s advisable to think twice before sending any money. Emails or messages such as these are frequently scams that are out to get your money.
As ASIC doesn’t have international jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute them, scammers often target Australians. With this in mind, it really pays to be extra vigilant and know where you’re sending your money. Just remember, if an opportunity seems to be good to be true (and random) then it probably is!
4. Consider the exchange rate when sending your money transfers
One thing that many people don’t think about when organising money transfers is the exchange rate. Transfers are subject to the applicable exchange rate when they are made. If you make your transfer at an unfavourable time you risk losing some money to a bad rate. Plus, the recipient won’t receive as much as they may be expecting. If the money isn’t time urgent, consider waiting to do the transfer until you have a favourable exchange rate. In the long run it could mean you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Got your money transfers sorted?
Now that you know what money transfers are and how easy they are, you can push on with getting your finances sorted. Remember, money transfers don’t have to be hard. Whether you’re sending money within Australia or overseas, you have multiple options available to you. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you and your situation.