As a country built on migrants, supporting family or friends abroad through regular payments is an everyday part of life for many people across Australia. Whether it's helping with the mortgage payments or utility bills or simply just sending regular remittances to loved ones, FlashFX wants to make it as easy and affordable as possible to for families and friends who live in different countries.
To help you make the most informed decision about how best to make regular overseas payments check out our comprehensive guide.
What is the best way to send money to family or friends abroad?
It wasn't that long ago that the only option for sending money overseas was through your bank. The good news for senders is that over the past few years options have multiplied, and the result has been declining costs. The wide variety of options make it complicated to choose the best money-transfer service. Remittance services are seemingly everywhere, from your bank to stand-alone storefront operations to online money transfer services. To help you sift through the noise, we've outlined a few different options.
1. Walk-In Money Transfer Centres
Physical money transfer companies, such as Western Union or MoneyGram, are a common way to send money overseas. These companies specialise in facilitating cross-border cash pick-up and delivery. Be advised that these companies are almost always more expensive than using a provider who processes everything online. This is because these businesses charge higher fees and worse exchange rates to cover the overhead costs associated with running a physical store. If you don't require the convenience of cash pick-up, you are better off transferring money through a dedicated online currency provider.
PayPal is another way you could send money to friends or family back home. But while it may be convenient, especially if the recipient has a PayPal account, the large transfer fees and uncompetitive exchange rates make this among the most expensive options. PayPal charges between 2.8% and 10.0% of your money for cross-border payments.
3. Bank-to-Bank Transfers
Another way to transfer money to family or friends overseas is through a bank-to-bank transfer. The high costs associated with using your bank, however, makes this a less desirable option. Banks, especially in Australia, are known to charge higher foreign transaction fees and exchange rate margins to than dedicated online money transfer companies. For example, banks charge up to 5.0% on the exchange rate, in addition to transaction fees.
4. Online Money Transfer Companies
Dedicated online money transfer businesses are an easy, affordable and safe way to make regular payments back home. These companies offer much better exchange rates than your local bank, plus lower transfer fees. FlashFX, for example, charges a flat 1.5% exchange rate margin and zero transaction fees. Once you've created an account you'll need to fund it via a local bank transfer. Overseas transactions with online currency providers are usually quicker and cheaper than using your bank, but just as secure.
How Can You Save Money When Supporting People Back Home?
Get the best exchange rate
Before you go with any bank or foreign exchange provider you need to know what the real market exchange rate is. To find the market exchange rate simply type in the currency pair into Google, AUDUSD for example, and you will be presented with a number of links to sites that will show you the real market exchange rate. Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance are two good places where you can find this information. The market exchange rate will be your reference point for comparing the conversion rates offered by various money transfer companies.
Don't pay unnecessary transaction fees
Unless you are on a strict deadline, or absolutely require cash pick-up, avoid using a service that charges you transaction fees to send money overseas. FlashFX is an example of an online money transfer company that never charges customers transaction fees for cross-border transfers
Compare Exchange, Margins and Fees Online
Shopping around is the best way to ensure that you don't overpay when transferring money overseas. Take the time to compare the currency conversion rates and transaction fees across different providers and then choose the one that's the best value for you.
Check local tax laws and regulations
Whether it's helping a child travel or study overseas or supporting a family member in other country through a large investment, there is a lot to think about when transferring big sums abroad. Different countries have varying laws around tax thresholds that may apply to sending larger sums. It's critical to be aware of the appropriate tax laws for both countries before sending.
Search for deals
Look for special offers, such as introductory offers, that might help you save money on your transfer. Some companies waive any transaction fees for first-time users, whilst others offer special one-off exchange rates if you have been referred by a particular search engine or existing customer.
How to send money to family or friends overseas
- Collect all the relevant banking information for your recipient, including the name on the account, bank account number and local banking codes. For example, when transferring money from Australia to the U.S.A you will need the ACH routing number, as well as the SWIFT code.
- Check the market exchange rate and then compare fees, margins, delivery speeds and customer service across the various providers. FlashFX can help you get bank-beating exchange rates and won't charge you transaction fees with your overseas transfer.
- Create a free account online with FlashFX. Verification takes a couple of minutes and will require one or two personal identity documents - just so that we know that it's really you.
- Let us know how many Australian dollars you'd like to send and FlashFX will show you a live exchange rate. If you're happy with the rate, accept the quote and enter your recipient's details.
- Confirm everything is OK and that's it! Leave the rest to us. Funds typically arrive within 1 business day, and FlashFX lets you track your transfer every step of the way - just like a package.