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Things to consider with international money transfers for your business

4-minute read

If you have suppliers or owners overseas, it’s likely that you make international money transfers in foreign currency to them. These foreign exchange payments could be required to pay for products or raw materials; or you may have a parent company you need to transfer profits to. Whatever your circumstances, here are some questions you may be asking.

Key take-outs
  • Choose an international payment partner you can trust
  • Consider the foreign exchange services that best match your needs
  • Make the most of the convenience of online banking

1. Who should I use for an international money transfers?

You can choose from a number of banks and foreign exchange businesses who can provide you with an international money transfer service. Ideally you want to choose a provider with a good reputation, who you know will get your transfer right first time. 

Trust is important as each provider may need to process many details, some of which could be sensitive.

2. How can I get a good foreign exchange rate?

Naturally, you’ll want to shop around for the best foreign exchange rate. However, while some foreign exchange providers may offer a better exchange rate than the banks, you need to weigh up the benefits of transferring your money to another provider before they transfer your money overseas. 

3. How long does an international money transfer take?

There can be different processing times for money to arrive overseas, depending on which currency and country you want to transfer funds to. 

For example, under normal circumstances a Westpac International Payment will usually be available to the recipient within one to three banking days of us processing your payment. However, it may take longer due to factors beyond our control.

4. How much does an international money transfer cost?

A number of fees and charges are involved when banks and other foreign exchange providers complete international money transfers. So, make sure you know what you are being charged before proceeding. With Westpac for example, this information is incorporated in our online Currency Calculator.

Additionally, each bank involved with the transaction may take a fee for their part in processing your money. It’s worth noting that if you open a Westpac foreign currency account to manage your payments and receipts, you don’t pay a monthly account fee on this account, though you do pay foreign exchange fees on the international money transfers.

5. How easy is it to use online banking to transfer funds overseas?

When you’re doing something complex, like transferring money overseas, it is a good idea to make sure you have an online banking platform that’s easy to access and use. If the online banking is simple, you’re more likely to get all the details for the international money transfer right the first time.

6. How safe will my money be?

It’s only natural that you’ll want to feel reassured that all your money will arrive at the other end safely. With a well-known bank such as Westpac, you can be sure your money is safe.

7. Can I transfer large amounts overseas?

If you operate a large business with a parent company abroad, there may be times when you need to transfer more than $2 million overseas. If you’re a Westpac online banking customer, your options include:
 

  • Transfer smaller amounts in your international money transfers

As the Westpac online limit for international payments is AU$2 million, you may wish to make two or more smaller transactions to transfer all the money across.
 

  • Speak with your Relationship Manager about foreign exchange options

If you make international money transfers regularly for your business, you can always speak with your business bank’s Relationship Manager about the foreign exchange options available. They might be able to offer you a better rate than the one published.

8. What if I want to receive money from overseas?

You can set up a foreign currency account to receive payments in selected local currencies, which you can then convert to AUD and transfer home at a time that suits you. If you have an appropriate Westpac foreign currency account (other than Chinese Yuan RMB) and are registered for online banking, you can use Biz Invoice – our complimentary online invoicing tool – to invoice your customers in their own currencies.

Or, if the person paying you is happy to pay into your Australian account, all they will need is your:
 

  • Bank account name
  • Account number
  • BSB 
  • Bank’s SWIFT code (Westpac’s swift code is WPACAU2S)
     

For more information read our I want to receive payments from overseas article.

 

If your business has international relations and money is flowing to and/or from overseas, you may wish to talk to a business banker about the best and most appropriate foreign exchange services for your needs.


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Things you should know

1. Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs for Westpac International Payments, Westpac online banking and foreign currency accounts, by clicking the above links; and consider if the product is right for you.

The information in this article is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions.