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How long does it take to send money overseas?

Depending on the method, an international transfer normally takes 1 to 5 business days.

Whether you're paying off a debt or sending an urgent transfer to a loved one, it's important to know how long it will take. The processing time for an international transfer will vary depending on factors such as the transfer provider and where you're sending the funds. Let's take a closer look at the average transfer speed and the factors that 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.

  • International transfer speed - Between one to five business days, perhaps longer depending on the currency.
  • Domestic transfer speed - Within 24 hours is possible, particularly for bank transfers. Banks that support PayID transfers and the Osko network can process transfers within a few minutes or almost instantly.

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 long it takes to send money overseas using an Australian bank?

Information taken from each bank's website.

  • Westpac: 2 business days, but may take longer
  • CBA: 3 days
  • ANZ: 2-4 days
  • NAB: 3 days

Finder survey: On average, how long do people say their international money transfer takes?

ResponseMaleFemale
Same day4.27%0.53%
1 business day1.67%2.11%
3-5 business days1.86%1.05%
2 business days1.11%1.41%
Unsure0.74%1.05%
5+ business days0.18%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1110 Australians, December 2023

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 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

Online money transfer services

Companies like OFX and TorFX 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.

Online 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 daysMinutes2-5 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

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
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.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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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.

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