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Compare instant international money transfers

Information verified correct on December 11th, 2016

Need to send an overseas money transfer as quickly as possible? Here’s how.

Do you need to send an instant cash transfer to someone overseas? Maybe you need to help out a son or daughter who is travelling the world and has run out of money, or perhaps you’ve got an outstanding debt that needed to be paid yesterday.

Whatever the case may be, if you want to send money overseas urgently there are a few options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at how you can send an instant (or thereabouts) money transfer from Australia to just about anywhere in the world.

Search and compare instant money transfers

Rates last updated December 11th, 2016
Description Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Western Union International Money Transfers
Western Union International Money Transfers
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. AUD 1 Same day Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer, International Money Order Go to site More
WorldRemit international money transfers
WorldRemit international money transfers
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. AUD 0 Within an hour Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer Go to site More

Instant cash transfer providers

The quickest way to send an international money transfer from Australia is to use a cash transfer provider. These companies allow you to send transfers that will then be available for collection as cash within as little as 10 minutes. Some providers also offer the option of transferring funds directly to your recipient’s bank account, but these transactions take longer to complete.

Some popular cash transfer providers are listed below:

  • Western Union

Western Union has more than 500,000 cash pickup locations in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the world’s largest provider of international transfers. There are two ways to send a quick cash transfer with Western Union:

  1. Online using your credit or debit card
  2. In person at a Western Union agent location by paying in cash

You can send up to $5,000 per transaction with Western Union and the cash you send will be available for collection from your recipient’s nearest Western Union agent location within minutes.

  • MoneyGram

MoneyGram has an international money transfer network of 347,000 agents in 199 countries, so it also provides significant global coverage when you need to send money overseas. You can only send an instant cash transfer with MoneyGram by paying in cash at your nearest MoneyGram location. The maximum amount you can send is AUD$10,000 and the money you transfer is usually available for collection within 10 minutes of submitting your transaction.

  • Xpress Money

With a goal of making international money transfers more convenient for expats around the world, Xpress Money has 180,000 agent locations in 160 countries. If you send a cash transfer using this provider, your recipient can collect the money you send from their nearest agent location within minutes. All your recipient needs to collect the cash is a transaction PIN and a valid form of photo ID.

  • WorldRemit

WorldRemit is another international transfer provider that offers instant transactions around the world. With a global base of more than 120 countries, WorldRemit offers the following fast transfer options:

  1. Cash pickup. Money is available for collection instantly from WorldRemit agent locations around the world.
  2. Bank deposit. Instant transfers are only available to selected banks in selected countries.
  3. Airtime top-up. Mobile airtime top-ups are usually added instantly.
  4. Mobile money. Funds are added to the recipient’s Mobile Money account instantly.

How to send an instant cash transfer

It’s quick and easy to send an instant cash transfer to a friend or relative overseas. Although some providers allow you to pay for the transaction online, the most common transfer method is to pay cash in person at a transfer provider’s agent location.

The exact transfer process varies slightly from one company to the next but you will usually have to follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit your nearest cash transfer provider location.
  2. Make sure you have a valid form of photo ID (such as a driver’s licence or passport) and enough cash to pay for the transaction.
  3. Fill out a form with all the details of your transaction, including your recipient’s full name and address and the currency they will collect the cash in. The name you give must exactly match the name on your recipient’s ID.
  4. Pay for the transaction and make note of the transaction reference number or PIN you are given.
  5. Contact your recipient and give them the PIN or transaction reference number.
  6. Some providers will send an SMS or email notification to you and your recipient when the money is available for collection.
  7. Your recipient can visit their nearest transfer provider location with photo ID and the reference number and can collect their cash.
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What are the pros and cons of instant cash transfers?

There are a few advantages and disadvantages you should consider before choosing an instant cash transfer:

Pros

  • Fast. Cash transfers are usually available for collection by your recipient within minutes, even if they’re located on the other side of the world.
  • Easy. It’s easy to lodge a transfer request and pay for a transaction, with the entire process taking just a few minutes.
  • Convenient. Cash transfers are a simple and stress-free way to get your money where you need it to go as quickly as possible.
  • Send money anywhere. Cash transfer providers make it possible to send money to just about any country in the world.

 Cons

  • Transfer fees. Cash transfer companies tend to charge higher transaction fees than some specialist online transfer providers.
  • Low exchange rates. It’s often also possible to find better exchange rates when you send an online money transfer instead of a cash transfer.
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How long do bank transfers take?

Another option for sending an international money transfer is to send the funds from your bank account. This is an easy and convenient way to send funds, but it’s not a good option if you want instant transfers. Processing times for international bank transfers range between two and five business days depending on where you’re sending the money, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if time is of the essence.

You can find out more about international money transfer processing speeds in our handy guide.

How long do transfers with specialist online transfer companies take?

Specialist online transfer companies have started competing with banks and cash transfer companies in recent years, offering secure and affordable transactions with better exchange rates than their competitors.

However, while these online transfer companies can sometimes offer faster processing times than banks, they can’t compete with the speed of an instant cash transfer. Transfer speeds with these providers vary from one to five business days, so they once again they may not be the best option when you need to send an urgent transfer.

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How to compare instant cash transfer providers

Consider the following factors before choosing an instant cash transfer provider to handle your transaction:

  • Exchange rates. Compare the exchange rates offered by different companies to see which one comes out on top. However, remember that the provider that offers the best rate on one currency pair won’t necessarily offer the best rate on another pair, so it’s always worth shopping around.
  • Transaction fees. The fees that apply to your transfer can be the deciding factor as to whether or not you’re getting value for money. Fees vary depending on the amount you send and where you send it to, but most providers have handy online “fee estimator” services to help you get an idea of the costs involved.
  • Cash pickup network. How big is the provider’s network of money transfer agents? Can you send money to the transfer destination(s) you want? Are there agent locations convenient for you and your recipient to access quickly?
  • Payment options. Do a little research to find out if there are multiple options for lodging and paying for transfers. Can you only pay with cash in person, or is there the option to pay on your credit or debit card and place the transfer request online.
  • Notifications. Is there an email or SMS notification system in place to let your recipient know when you have sent the money, and to let you know when the recipient has collected the cash?
  • Customer support. If you ever have a question or a complaint, how will you be able to access customer service? Can you use phone, email or live chat? During what hours?

Start comparing instant cash transfer providers today and find the most affordable way to send money overseas as quickly as possible.

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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