At first glance, it appears our world became a much smaller place in 2020. In actuality, it remains very international. It may not be safe to fly somewhere on holiday right now, but essential business travel is still a thing. Workers from abroad still fill important jobs, and every month, they still send money home to their families. Companies even have distributed team members that need to get paid biweekly.
And on and on the list goes. However, things are different even for these folks. Thanks to COVID-19, the global economy is in a very unpredictable state. Nobody knows for sure where things will be six months from now.
For this reason, most of us have been socking away more cash than usual. To do this, we’ve been finding savings wherever possible. If you regularly send money abroad, you could be saving heaps with a different transfer provider.
In this guide, we’ll show you how much less you could be paying. We’ll also review the ten best companies for online international money transfer.
More Than Just Cost: Why You Shouldn’t Transfer Through Your Bank
If you are currently sending money internationally using your bank – stop. With few exceptions, they are the highest cost provider in any market. Much of this stems from their history – until recently, they were the only show in town.
These days, despite mounting competition, banks continue to charge stubbornly high fees. Across Australia, banks can charge upwards of $35 to send your wire. And the price they use to change your cash is often far off the interbank rate.
Let’s say you need to pay your foreign virtual assistant every month. If you go through Commonwealth Bank, they would offer you an AUD/PHP rate of 31.6844. But compare that to the AUD/PHP interbank rate of 34.3575. In all, CommBank is taking a margin of almost 8%. That’s nothing short of criminal!
But, there are more reasons than cost to switch your business to an online money transfer provider. First and most importantly, you can process cash transfers whilst staying safe at home. If you go to your bank branch, you risk contracting the virus.
Second, customer service is essential online. Unlike retail banking, online money transfer is a highly competitive industry. To attract and retain clients, firms like OFX treat them like gold.
Lastly, these firms make it easy to transfer cash. Whilst some banks do offer online money transfer, the design of their web platform can make it a confusing/intimidating process. Meanwhile, most online money transfer providers have a clean, straightforward design. They make it clear what you need to do next. If you have any questions, customer service agents are there to help.
The Best International Money Transfer Providers In 2020
So, we've convinced you that online money transfer is right for you. There’s only one problem – which firm do you choose? Below, we’ve listed ten of the best international money transfer providers for 2020.
We've listed these companies in no particular order. One firm may be best for business owners, another for remittance senders, and so on. And so, without further delay, let’s get to the list.
Founded in 1998, OFX is easily Australia's most successful money transfer provider. Whilst they got their start doing corporate money transfers to old-school way, they opened up an online FX trading desk in 2000.
For over 22 years, they’ve found innovative ways to find value for their customers. Fee-free transfers, hedging tools (like forward contracts) and dedicated dealers are just a few perks their customers enjoy. With a 94% client approval rating, it’s clear they’re doing a smashing job.
Investors approve as well. OFX is a publicly-traded company. Impressed with a company that moves 20 billion AUD annually, shareholders have given OFX a market cap of 341 million AUD.
Are you seeking a firm with even more experience in B2B transfers? Add Moneycorp to your shortlist. In business since 1971, they’ve been moving cash internationally since the era of Mad Men. You don’t stick around for almost 50 years without serving the customer well. Moneycorp has done that faithfully throughout its history – even today, they boast customer satisfaction rates above 90%.
They’ve carried that over into the internet age, as they have a highly popular mobile app. Their desktop site just as easy to use, as it only takes minutes to get a quote. Want to talk to them? They currently maintain an Australian office in Perth – give them a call today.
(3) World First
Have significant, extensive business interests spread across the globe? If so, we advise taking a long look at World First. This experienced money transfer provider has two big selling points.
First, they offer over 130 currencies. If you do business in more obscure countries, this can save you some major headaches. Second, they offer very low transaction fees. These fees start at 0.5% and go as low as 0.15% for transfers exceeding 5 million GBP. These rates are applied automatically and are not subject to negotiation, saving you time & grief.
Combine this with high customer satisfaction ratings and the fact they have offices locally, and you have a top-tier firm on your hands.
(4) Currencies Direct
Despite very high resolution rates, some international money transfers do go awry. When this happens, you’ll want a firm with boots on the ground. That’s what Currencies Direct offers, as they have offices in over 30 countries. When transfers go missing, or anything else goes wrong, they’ll be there to sort things out.
Another point in Currencies Direct’s favour – their lack of fees. No matter where you send money, you’ll never pay a dime in upfront charges. Together with their competitive exchange rates, it’ll be hard to find a better deal elsewhere.
In all, they move 6 billion AUD for over 150,000 clients annually. That’s a tonne of satisfied customers!
Whilst COVID has frozen tourism, travel for work purposes remains a go. If you are slated to move abroad later this year, you’ll need to do more than pack your things. You’ll also have to buy a house, new furnishings, and move your assets to your new home country.
It can be an overwhelming process. Thankfully, TorFX is eminently qualified to help you out with the asset relocation process. On their staff, they have over 100 years of trading experience. If there’s a way you can save an extra buck, they’ll find it.
On top of this, they don’t charge fees on transfers anywhere in the world. If you think TorFX might be a good fit for you, feel free to ring their Queensland office.
Not everyone has a business or is moving abroad during a pandemic. Some of us just want to send cash to family members living on the other side of the globe. Of all the money transfer sites out there, few make this process easier than Transferwise.
Many analysts credit Transferwise for making online money transfer what it is today. Estonians Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus did this by allowing people to trade currencies at the interbank rate. By charging a relatively cheap transfer fee of 0.5%, they are able to make money.
If Transferwise isn’t the cheapest option out there, they’re close to the cheapest. They also offer a multi-currency account, and in Australia, you can use Transferwise to send money using your phone number.
Every year, people expatriate to Australia in search of a better life. Some not only find it, but they also share their newfound fortune with family back home. However, remittance firms have exploited this for decades. By charging obscenely high fees/margins, they take huge chunks of transfers that aren’t theirs.
Starting in 2012, Azimo has fought back against this. By charging rates far lower than other remittance companies, they’ve taken away market share from exploitative firms. Furthermore, they are rapidly expanding cash pickup access to 280,000 agents worldwide. Combine that with fast transfers, and you have a viable alternative to legacy remittance firms.
Are you worried about Azimo becoming complacent? Don’t be – they have a bona fide competitor in WorldRemit. Founder Ismail Ahmed, a former Somali refugee, had experienced frustration using remittance services in his past.
By founding WorldRemit, he sought to fix these ills. For starters, they charged exchange rates much closer to interbank. Then, they sped up transfer times. Finally, they opened offices around the world. You can find their Australia office in Sydney’s CBD.
Despite growing pains, they have more than their share of good reviews. With transfers to bank accounts and cash pickup in 110 countries, WorldRemit may be the best option for you.
(9) Global Reach
Do you move significant sums regularly? If you transfer more than 1,000 AUD at a time, you’ll want to bring the expertise of Global Reach onside. With more than 15 years of experience dealing with corporate concerns and high net worth individuals, they’ll treat your capital with respect it deserves.
Global Reach is a smaller firm than the Moneycorp’s of the world. Consequently, they are better able to focus on your needs. They have a high satisfaction scores on rating sites, which bodes well for their future.
Every year, they move over 5.5 billion GBP globally. Whilst they yet to open an Australian office, they do welcome clients from Down Under.
Lost somewhat in the shuffle, but no less great than others on this list, Currencyfair is also a worthy option. Founded in 2010, this money transfer provider is elbowing its way into the conservation with its unique strengths.
Top among these is its P2P currency trading platform. If you’re savvy, you may find exchange rates that beat the market rate. On their main FX trading platform, you’ll pay roughly 0.4% over interbank on most transfers.
They have also attracted eyeballs with their unique sign-up offer. When you create an account with Currencyfair, you’ll get your first five transfers free. They also have an office in Newcastle, which gives you recourse should anything go wrong.
Find Savings Wherever You Can
As we move through these troubled times, it pays to be prepared. With an adequate emergency savings account, you’ll be able to handle just about any challenge you encounter. By shifting cash transfers to online providers, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.