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Receiving money from overseas

Everything you need to know about receiving money from abroad.

There may be times in your life when you need to receive money from overseas. Be it from friends or family, or maybe you are an expat living abroad. With the right tools at your disposal, you can find the best way to save money on fees and secure a strong exchange rate.

What is the best way to receive money from overseas?

1. International money transfer service

Money transfer specialists such as OFX and Wise are one of the cheapest options for receiving money from abroad. Unlike banks, these services typically don't charge customers to receive a payment. From here, you can move your money back to your bank account. On average, transfers take 1-3 business days. Use our comparison table to find a money transfer company that suits your needs before you receive your transfer.

2. International wire transfer

Wire transfers are the most popular way to receive money but you pay extra for the convenience. Also known as a telegraphic transfer or a bank-to-bank transfer, it involves sending money from a bank overseas to your bank account in Australia. International wire transfers often get charged fees on both ends of the transaction, so tend to work out as an expensive option. For example, ANZ charges up to $15 to receive an international payment. Bank transfers can take 2-5 business days.

3. Cash pickup

Western Union, Remitly and MoneyGram are among the most common ways to receive cash. You will need to visit a money transfer agent in person to collect the cash. Another option is going to your local 7-Eleven or Australia Post as they have both partnerships with MoneyGram and Western Union. Money can be received instantly but the exchange rates are weaker as a result

4. PayPal

PayPal is a trusted brand for digital payments, particularly for small transfers. Despite being convenient, PayPal charges extra fees for receiving money. However, the platform's quick transfers make it appealing to users. PayPal is available in over 200 countries and supports 25 currencies.

5. Money order

An international money order works the same way as a domestic money order and allows you to prepay an amount that will be used as a secure form of payment. It is a physical document, similar to a check, which can be purchased from a bank or post office. Money orders typically have a limit on the maximum amount you can transfer and may come with additional fees.

Compare international money transfer companies to receive money from abroad

1 - 25 of 25
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
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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Finder survey: How many Australians of have sent money abroad?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
No58.62%66.86%73.26%71.5%64.97%66.06%58.76%
Yes41.38%33.14%26.74%28.5%35.03%33.94%41.24%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1110 Australians, December 2023

How does receiving money from overseas work?

The process may differ depending on the service provider used to send the funds. With some money transfer services, you need to request the transaction reference number from the sender and present the number along with your identification documents. You may also be required to fill out a receive form to access your funds.

With online transfers, the funds are deposited into your account, after which you can withdraw them. You can also receive funds through a prepaid card or mobile wallet.

Bank information needed to receive money

Keep in mind, in order to receive money from overseas, you'll need to provide specific bank details, including:

  • Full name
  • Bank account number
  • BIC/Swift Code — you can get this from your bank
  • Bank State Branch (BSB)
  • Street address

Do I need to pay fees if I'm receiving money from overseas?

While most fees are incurred by the sender, your bank may charge a fee for processing and depositing the money you have received from overseas.

It is also worth keeping in mind you could be required to pay intermediary fees. Intermediary banks act as the 'middleman' through which money passes when transferring between two financial institutions. As a result, they take a small fee from the funds being transferred. This is separate to the fees charged by banks or money transfer services.

How do exchange rates and margins affect the amount I receive?

The amount you receive in the end may be less than expected if the sender doesn't pay the currency exchange rate at the beginning of the transaction.

Most banks and money transfer providers will quote an exchange rate that's higher than the mid-market rate, otherwise known as the midpoint between the buy and sell prices. This markup is also known as a margin, which is how these companies make a profit.

The exchange rate margin is often the reason why there is a difference between the amount that is sent and the amount that is received. Small differences can put a big dent in the end amount, especially when receiving larger amounts of money.

Frequently asked questions

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34 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    BaaleJanuary 21, 2019

    Iam in Uganda and my friend is in Australia but wants to send for me money and luggage
    iam stack what method should we use

      AvatarFinder
      JohnJanuary 22, 2019Finder

      Hi Baale,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      You may refer to our guide in sending money to Uganda. You can use the calculator to estimate how much would be received in Uganda once the transfer is completed. If this is satisfactory to you, you can click on the “Go to site” button to be routed to the provider’s page where you could make the transfer.

      Please ensure that you read through the relevant Terms and Conditions before sending your money.

      As per the luggage, you may need to reach out to local couriers that provide international package delivery for a quote on how much it would cost. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    WooferNovember 21, 2018

    I would like to GIFT cash to an Australian friend, who is in dire straits. What is the limit, and will it be taxable for her?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnNovember 21, 2018Finder

      Hi Woofer,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      For social security means test purposes, individuals and couples (combined) can give up to $10,000 in cash gifts and assets each financial year. This amount is also limited to $30,000 over five consecutive financial years. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    JoyAugust 7, 2018

    How to track/check the money transfer in ORbitremit..

      Default Gravatar
      JoelAugust 7, 2018

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      Your balance will be updated through your account regularly as to the status of your transfer. You can check this by going directly to OrbitRemit’s website. For further help about this, you can go to the help section on their website. You can also learn more about OrbitRemit from our guide. Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you initiate a money transfer.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    LindaJanuary 25, 2017

    Can money be sent from India to Kenya through Moneygram?

      AvatarFinder
      JasonJanuary 26, 2017Finder

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      You may send money from India to Kenya through Moneygram. You may also avail the services of these money transfer companies that have agent locations in Kenya.

      Kind regards,
      Jason

    Default Gravatar
    LaunicaprincesaNovember 19, 2016

    What’s the best way to receive money transfers from Greece to the USA what should I use for this because my partner is trying to send me money but im not eligible for a bank account because my license expired and I can’t renew without a bit certificate my wallet was stolen all I got is a crappy photo copy of the expired license

      AvatarFinder
      ShirleyNovember 21, 2016Finder

      Hi Launicaprincesa,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can utilise cash pick up services such as Western Union, Moneygram and Worldremit.

      All you need is a government ID to pick up the funds from a specified location.

      Hope this helps,
      Shirley

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