How long does it take to send money overseas?

Ever wondered how long it takes for an international money transfer to arrive in your recipient’s bank account?

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When you send money overseas, the speed with which your transfer is processed is critical. Whether you're paying off a debt or sending an urgent transfer to a friend or loved one, it's important to know how long it will take for your funds to arrive.

But the processing time for an international money transfer will vary depending on a range of factors, including the transfer provider you choose and where you send the funds. Let's take a closer look at the average transfer speed when you send money overseas and how the specifics of your transaction can influence its processing time.

How long does an international money transfer take?

At best, expect the following transfer times for domestic and international transfers.

  • Domestic transfer speed - Within 24 hours is possible, particularly for transfers between accounts at the same bank.
  • International transfer speed - Between two and five business days, perhaps longer depending on various factors.

When you send an international money transfer through your bank, you should be provided with an expected delivery date, though this isn't a guarantee of any sort. Settlement time varies based on many factors, some that are in your control and some that aren't:

  • Your bank - Smaller banks may take longer for international transfers, as they may not have an International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
  • Receiving bank - If you're sending an international money transfer to a bank other than your own, the banks have to communicate which can take time.
  • Time of transfer - Sending transfers earlier in the day is better. If you send it at the end of the day, it has to wait until the next business day to start processing. The same goes for the end of the week, or right before a bank holiday.
  • Type of transfer - Some banks offer expedited international money transfer services, but beware of high fees added to your transfer total.

How to have international money transfer funds available immediately

When you are in a rush, or you just don't feel like waiting, there are ways to expedite the speed at which your money is transferred. By default, almost no international money transferred funds are available immediately, so use these alternatives to get your money faster.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's bank account, often in as little as a day.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Services like WorldRemit allow you to transfer cash for nearly instant pickup. While it's a fast way to send money, you may pay more in fees than you would with a digital money transfer service.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Indonesia

Let's say you need to send $1,000 AUD to IDR, to family in Indonesia. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 10 November 2020.

Digital money transfer serviceCash transferBank transfer
Fee$5$10$10 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 AUD = 10,218 IDR1 AUD = 9,940 IDR1 AUD = 9,883 IDR
Transfer speed1-2 dayMinutes2-5 days
Amount receivedIDR 10,164,444IDR 9,940,314IDR 9,785,127
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with IDR 379,317 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Indonesia in as little as 15 minutes.

Compare ways to send money

Use our comparison table to see more ways to have your money there faster. Enter the amount you want to send, select your destination and click Calculate.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 3.99 0.734 USD
3,669
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.733 USD
3,665
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.731 USD
3,654
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.734 USD
3,672
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.734 USD
3,668
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 22.50 0.737 USD
3,669
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 25.00 0.737 USD
3,667
Exclusive: New customers sending over AUD 500 from Australia use code FINDER50 to get AUD 50 off. Pay zero fees on your first transaction. Valid till 31 July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 26.00 0.737 USD
3,668
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.734 USD
3,666
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.733 USD
3,663
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Bottom line

Using your bank to send money domestically and internationally is hardly ever the cheapest or fastest option. To learn more about how to send money more efficiently, read our dedicated guide with hand-picked options that covers both domestic and international transfers.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.

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