With more than 14 million customers and 40,000 employees, Westpac Bank is easily one of Australia’s largest. It has been providing a range of financial services since it was incorporated in 1817. Now, Westpac is an internationally recognized brand. The bank is known for its personal and business wealth management services, but they also offer aninternational money transfer service.
Westpac Bank is an Australian bank and financial service provider. It was formerly known as the Bank of New South Wales. After being acquired in 1982 by the Commercial Bank of Australia, its name was changed shortly after.
Westpac Bank boasts of enabling ‘to and from’ international transfers forover 130 countries. They offer simple online requests and charge flat fees. Simplicity and ease of access are the traits that you first notice when looking at their site. If you ever need any support, you’ll also quickly notice their comprehensive customer support system. So, let’s look at what Westpac Bank’s money transfer service has to offer.
Like most institutions that offer international money transfers, Westpac Bank charges a margin on currency exchange rates. Beyond that, they charge a fee based on a fairly simple structure. While they don’t list a minimum transfer amount, fees for small transfers will be relatively high. It makes more sense to send more money at once.
With a quick look at exchange rates for international transfers, you’ll notice that Westpac charges a large margin. These are sometimes classified among “hidden fees”, as you won’t see the margin reflected in the cost of the transfer. Westpac, like other transfer providers, will provide you with its own exchange rate. It’s up to you to check the normal exchange rate to see exactly how much Westpac Bank is charging you.For international transfers, Westpac will charge you for currency exchange, plus a margin of 3% to 5%, depending on the currencies.Here are a few examples based on exchange rates at the time of writing:
AUD $1 was USD $0.77. With Westpac’s margin, AUD $1.00 would get you USD $0.73.
AUD $1 was EUR 0.64. With Westpac’s margin, AUD $1.00 would get you EUR 0.61.
AUD $1 was JPY 84.68. With Westpac’s margin, AUD $1.00 would get you JPY 81.31.
Westpac Bank’s exchange rates are higher than average. But you can transfer between any of the following currencies:
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, INR, PKR, WST, SAR, SGD, CNY, DKK, FJD, HKD, JPY, NOK, TOP, AED, VUV, SBD, ZAR, PHP, SEK, CHF, THB, BND, CAD and XPF CFP Franc
With Westpac’s Travel Money Card, the margin for the same transfer drops significantly. You can expect an exchange rate less than half that of their typical international money transfers.
Westpac Bank charges a transparent AUD $10 fee for most payments. This rate is consistent, with only one more expensive exception…
You must pay a AUD $20 fee for transfers to a foreign bank account (in AUD).
These rates are close to the standard in the money transfer industry. It is always cheaper to send more money at once, but expect Westpac to take a large portion for their exchange rate margins.
Transferring money in person from a Westpac Bank branch will cost an additional AUD $32
There are normally no additional costs for Westpac’s international payments and transfers. However, in exceptional cases, if your bank transfer cannot be made directly and must go through an intermediary, you may have to pay more. There are no guaranteed rates in these cases, and your final rates may vary widely.
Overall, Westpac Bank costs significantly more than most large and reputable money transfer providers. Their flat, transparent fees are low, if not average. But many money transfer providers will charge a much smaller margin on exchange rates. This means that many provide cheaper transfers, especially when sending larger volumes.
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Opening an account with Westpac bank is very easy. You can open an account in less than 5 minutes through theirwebsite. You can open a Westpac Choice account from anywhere, up to 12 months before arriving in Australia. Most account types can only be opened from inside Australia, with a local address and ID required.
You just need to click on the account type you would like to create. From there, you will be prompted to fill out the necessary information to open an account. If you’re eligible and can verify your identity, you should be able to open an account quickly.
Covid-19 NOTICE: Westpac Bank temporarily suspended account opening for people outside of Australia due to legal restrictions laid out by the Australian Federal Government. As of June 1st, 2021, these measures are still in place. Refer to Westpac Bank’s website for notices for ending the restrictions.
The requirements for transferring money with Westpac Bank are laid out on the company website. You will need:
A Westpac bank account that is registered for Online Banking and Westpac Protect SMS Code
Details of the person receiving the money, such as their name, address, the name of their bank, branch address, and their account number
SWIFT code of the foreign bank
The amount you want to send
When you’re ready with all the above information, log in to your account. You can send money from your account on a computer, or through their Mobile Banking app. The app’s interfaces are particularly intuitive, so transferring money is easy. When you select “transfer”, follow the prompts and fill in the information where you are prompted to do so.
Unfortunately, the updated version of the Mobile Banking app no longer facilitates same-day transfers. However, if you log in on your computer, your money can be sent on the same day. The online desktop interfaces are less intuitive than the mobile app’s, but it is still easy to transfer money. Just follow the “Online” instructions:
Step 1: Click on “Make a payment”
Step 2: Select the recipient from the menu, or click “Pay new payee” to create a new recipient
Step 3: Select the account you want to transfer to
Step 4: Fill in the “Amount” you want to transfer
Step 5: Review the information you’ve provided, and regard the fees and conditions laid out on the screen
Step 6: From here, if you accept the information you’ve provided, you can authorize the transfer
Once you authorize the transfer, your money will be on its way to the destination. You will also be charged the relevant flat fees at the same time.
There are a few easy ways to reach out to Westpac Bank:
Phone: Call 612 9293 9270 for support overseas
App: Order a support ticket from inside the Westpac Mobile Banking app
Social Media: Westpac Bank announced in 2013 that they can be reached 24/7 on social media. The easiest way to contact them on social media is through a direct message on Facebook.
Yes, you can use Westpac Bank for international bank transfers.
Westpac Bank’s money transfer service offers everything you need from it, plus a little more. With their excellent security and 24/7 support, you have little to worry about. However, these great benefits come at a high cost.
While you get a lot for the money you’re paying, you can receive much better rates and faster transfer speeds from many money transfer companies. However, most of those companies can’t compete with Westpac’s great support.