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Send Money To Australia

Moving funds across countries can be tricky because of the currency exchange risks, cost of transfers, and the length of time it takes to have your money delivered to your loved ones. Sending money to Australia is no different, hence the reason you should read along to find out the best ways to send money to Australia, the information you need, and the factors to consider.

Updated: 07/02/2022
Read time: 17 minutes
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About Australia

Whatever your reasons for sending funds to Australia, there are a number of factors to consider before arranging a money transfer of this kind: these include tax regulations, transfer fees, exchange rates and legal requirements. 

First and foremost, you must assess the size of your money transfer; sometimes larger sums of money are subjected to unfavourable transfer fees, but this will depend on the provider. Further to this, the larger the amount you transfer, the more likely it is to be flagged to Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). This is because financial institutions and money transfer companies are legally required to report all cash transactions exceeding $10,000 AUD (or equivalent) to AUSTRAC.

The next area to consider is tax implications and whether you need to pay tax on money transferred from a foreign country. The best way to work this out is what Australia deems taxable and non-taxable sums of money. Non taxable money transfers may include foreign inheritance, one-off cash gifts and savings from another country. Taxable money transfers include pensions, overseas properties and offshore bank accounts. Due to the complexity of international taxation, we recommend consulting a tax specialist for advice before transferring any substantial sums of money to Australia.

And finally, having the correct personal and banking details of your recipient is crucial when sending money to Australia. This will include the full name, account number and BSB number. A BSB number is a six digit code used to identify the specific bank branch needed when transferring money to an Australian recipient. Find out more in our guide: What is a BSB Number?

How To Send Money To Australia

If you are looking to find out how to send money to Australia, the steps are simple and easy. Read below to get started.

Step 1

Find a Trusted Provider

Our comparison table for sending money to internationally looks at your specific transfer needs to and from any country in the world. Use this to find a provider that provides the best all-round service for you.
Step 2

Register with your chosen provider

Most providers will be completely free to sign up to, simply requiring your name, address and contact information. In most cases, you’ll also need to upload a picture of a valid photo ID to verify your identity.
Step 3

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Australia

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Australia but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about how to send money to Australia and how to receive it.

Sending Money To Australia
Receiving Money In Australia

Ways to Send Money to Australia

Depending on the country you are sending from, there are several options available such as bank transfers, money transfer service providers, PayPal and other channels. The following are the channels commonly used to transfer money to Australia.

International Wire Transfers

Banks have been the traditional channel for sending money to Australia. The safety and ability to transfer high-value amounts to recipients in ‘the land Down Under’, makes them attractive to most people. However, banks transfers come with challenges of their own.

Despite some banks in the United States and the United Kingdom having agreements with Australian banks, the cost of transfers is still high. Some banks take a longer time to transfer money and give low exchange rates. For instance, some banks in the UK charge fees of up to £40 per transaction. Therefore, if you’re planning to send money to Australia from USA or UK – consider if a bank transfer is the cheapest way to send money to Australia.

Money Transfer Services

Money transfer operators (MTOs) offer the best ways to send money to Australia. They leverage their extensive network to give you fast, affordable and convenient money sending options.

Some of the providers to use are Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Xoom, WorldRemit and Transferwise. Setting up on these MTOs is simple. You’ll have to sign up for an account online, choose the sending method, pay for your transfer and send.

There are three main ways of paying for your transfer:

  • Credit card: This is the fastest way, but a little pricier because of third party fees
  • Debit card: This is the best alternative to a credit card. It combines speed and low-cost transactions
  • Bank debit or transfer: This method is the cheapest but takes long to effect the transaction.

Money transfer services to Australia can either be bank transfers or cash pickups. The choice of what to use depends on your preferences.

Bank Transfers -These are done on the MTO platform directly to the recipient bank account. They are faster and cheaper compared to inter-bank transfers. Most providers support all 53 banks in Australia.

MTO to bank transfers can take up to two days, but when you transfer in Australian dollars (AUD), the recipient can get the money within 24 hours.

Cash Pickup – You can send money to your loved ones in Australia through the payout networks of the different providers. Xoom has partnered with Ria in Australia to widen its network. Currently, it has 59 locations.

MoneyGram has partnered with 600+  7-Eleven convenience stores, Travel Money Oz foreign exchange retailers, and 350+ United Petroleum service stations. Cash pickups are instant, especially when the transfer is paid using a debit or credit card.

What’s Needed to Send Money to Australia

If you want to send money to Australia, you’ll need to check that you have everything that is required by the providers. The Australian government is strict on money laundering. They have a law known as the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

Here’s the information you’ll need to send money to Australia using money transfer service providers:

  • A government-issued identity card. You could use a social security card, passport or a driving licence when sending from the United States
  • The amount you want to send
  • The recipient’s name as it appears on their official documents such as Australian passport, Australian citizenship certificate, Australian Certificate of Identity, and Medicare card.
  • The phone number and physical address of the recipient
  • If making a bank transfer you’ll have to give the BIC/SWIFT code, BSB (Bank-State-Branch) number, and the account number

Other providers may request additional information such as your relationship with the recipient, the source, and purpose of the money.

Common Reasons for Sending Money to Australia

Australians across the globe have a lot of obligations, projects, and business interests at home. The following are some of the reasons why Australians send money home. 

Family Upkeep

The cost of living in Australia is higher than in many countries around the world. Housing and fuel expenses cost more than in the United States and the United Kingdom.

On average, the monthly living cost per person is $2,835 while for a family is $5,378. Households without a reliable source of income may need support in the form of family members who will send money home on a regular basis.

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Business Interests Back Home

As of 2014-2015,  there were a total of  2.1 million businesses in Australia. Among these businesses are those owned by Australians located across the world. From time to time, cash flow constraints may occur. Part of the remittances may be to pay workers, short-term debts, capital addition for new projects and so forth.

Savings and Investments

Most Australians abroad run businesses or are in high-level employment. Some of the earnings they get are channelled back home into real estate investments, financial assets investments like shares and bonds or in structured savings accounts.

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Debt Repayments

According to the OECD Data released in 2015, Australian households are the most indebted globally. Most of the debt is in the form of car loans, house loans, and credit cards. Depending on the way the debt is structured, it may span years or even decades. Part of the money sent home could be for repaying such debts.

spending money image

Social Contributions

Whether it is weddings, charity or festivities, many Australians want to be involved in activities back home and often send money to support family and friends. Depending on the frequency and budget sizes of the events, the amounts sent can be substantial.

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Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

Before deciding how to send money to Australia, you have every reason to look out for a means of transfer that is cheaper, faster and convenient to the recipient. Money transfer service providers can give you these benefits and more. Here are some of the top reasons why your next transfer should be through an MTO.

Favourable Exchange Rates

Banks are known for cashing in on exchange rates spread. MTOs, on the other hand, give their customers real exchange rates also known as mid-market rates. As the sender, such rates give you more Australian dollars per unit of the source currency. You can also lock in the exchange rates for a given period. This possibility enables you to avoid the unpredictability of currency swings. Transferwise offers this service to its customers.

Geographical Spread

Irrespective of where you are sending money to in Australia, you’ll find an agent where the recipient can collect their money. MTOs have extensive payout networks in every state in Australia. Western Union, MoneyGram, and Peramax have more than 1,000 locations. Hai Ha and Ria have over 200 locations.

Low Transaction Fees

MTOs earn their revenue from service margins. However, they also understand that basing a business model on margins alone is unsustainable. The low transaction fees they charge enable many people to send money. This approach increases their volumes and subsequently, revenues. The only transaction fees that are hard to kick out are the third party charges. For instance, if you send money through a credit card, the card company charges you additional fees.

Faster Transfers

Banks have been instrumental in ensuring that money gets across to the recipient in good time. However, the 5-7 days and occasional delays in the banking system has often led to missed opportunities and losses. Money transfer service providers can help you send money to your family in Australia in less than an hour. Deposits to banks can take anywhere from 24 hours to 2 days.

Multi-Currency Support

MTOs such as MoneyGram, Xoom, TransferWise and Western Union operate in hundreds of countries. Almost all the countries where the 577,000 diaspora Australians are, have an MTO network. There are no currencies MTOs cannot translate to the Australian dollar. This support is crucial, especially for Australians living and working in far-flung areas in the world.

Simple to Setup

Are you tired of the lengthy KYC procedures and document after document required to sign up for an account? Well, MTOs give you a reprieve. Setting up on their platforms is a matter of minutes. All you need is your name, email address and phone number to open an account online. Then, you have the option of paying for your transfer in-store or online. When you choose to pay online you can use a credit card, debit card or bank transfer. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to start the sending process online and complete it in-store.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Australia

Australia is a mixed economy with the highest median wealth per adult. Their currency is stable, but the recent economic shakeups may change the landscape. The following are some of the factors you should look at before deciding on the best way to send money to Australia.

  • Taxation: Remittance inflows are not considered income in Australia and are therefore not taxed. However, if the money is invested in interest-bearing instruments, the returns are taxable. Gifts are not taxed in Australia. With that said, not every inflow from a friend or relative abroad is considered a gift. If the classification changes, the remittance could be taxed. Money received that is AUD 10,000 and above must be declared. Get an accountant or tax professional to help you in case you need guidance to decide on the cheapest way to send money to Australia.
  • Exchange Rates Movement: Australia has a floating exchange rate regime. The movement of the currency is determined by market forces of demand and supply. With the latest trade wars between the United States and China, Australia is among the countries likely to be hit hard. If you are looking at sending money to Australia, you need to look at the currency movements and time your remittance when the currency is on a dip. This will give you more Australian dollars for a unit of the source currency.
  • De-risking: Since 2014, small remittance companies have been driven out of business following blanket closures of their accounts in Australia. This was part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) measures. This trend has resulted in increased costs and reduced competition. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the MTO you are using is in right standing with the law.

The onus is on you to choose the method of fastest way to send money to Australia with the most benefits. Even money transfer services have variations among themselves. Don’t be caught unawares, get the right information at the right time to help you make the right decision.

Your Questions Answered

Do I need to know the IBAN number of my recipient when sending money to Australia?
What is the AML/CTF Act and how do I comply with it?
Can I use my bank to send money to Australia?
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How we compare?

Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Australia. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com