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Find the best way to send money to East Timor

Learn how to send money to East Timor from Australia in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for a way to send money to family, friends or a business in East Timor (or even to your own bank account overseas)? According to MoneySmart, you should avoid Australian banks and go with a money transfer specialist to get better USD exchange rates and lower fees on international transfers.

Based on the providers we've compared, Remitly is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? CurrencyFair can get money to your recipient in East Timor within minutes.

Best ways to send money to East Timor from Australia

The best way to send money to East Timor depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying Australian dollars or US dollars money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
  • Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to East Timor but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. AU banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
  • Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in East Timor.
  • Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
  • Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.

Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to East Timor

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Earn 1 Qantas Point per AUD$1 equivalent you convert into foreign currencies. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
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Cheapest way to send money to East Timor

As reported by the ACCC, bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to East Timor. Remitly and MoneyGram have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.

Remember, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer to East Timor and this has a couple of elements:
  • Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your Australian bank, money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
  • Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market AUD/USD exchange rate.

Certain providers may give the mid-market rate but add fees on top and others will have low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many US dollars your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to East Timor

Actual transfer times from Australia to East Timor can depend on several factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to East Timor:
  • Remitly — within minutes
  • CurrencyFair — within minutes
  • MoneyGram — within minutes

Safest way to send money to East Timor

The safest way to get your money to East Timor is using a provider registered with Australia's industry regulator, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Australia and East Timor.

A great way to dive deeper is by reading our reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.

Large money transfers to East Timor

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to East Timor, consider using a provider such as to secure a better USD exchange rate and benefit from its expertise handling larger transactions.

Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
  • Tax guidance. Large transfers to East Timor may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on the Australian Taxation Office's latest advice.
  • Foreign exchange tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the USD exchange rate you want.
  • Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can offer advice and help facilitate transfers.
  • Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as Remitly and CurrencyFair can provide support over the phone.

How to send money to East Timor from Australia

To send money to East Timor, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to East Timor. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Timorese bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total US dollars your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to East Timor. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.

Example: John transfers money to East Timor

John is working in Australia as a film producer and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in East Timor. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so John plans to send them $2,000 from Australia.

He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.

Bank Money transfer company
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 0.66 USD 1 AUD = 0.67 USD
Transfer fee $10 $2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
Amount received 1,308.52 USD 1,330.84 USD

The money transfer company enables John to send an extra $22.32, which is transferred straight to his parents' ANZ Bank account.

How to choose a money transfer company for East Timor

When selecting a provider to transfer money to East Timor, here are the main factors to consider:

  • Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. However, not every money transfer provider offers the mid-market rate so compare the USD you're offered to the mid-market rate to calculate the margin.
  • Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of the transfer amount? A provider offering to transfer your money to East Timor for a flat or low fee might work out better if you're sending a large amount.
  • Transfer type. Does your recipient have a Timorese bank account or is cash pickup a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers.
  • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as MoneyGram offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value.
  • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Remitly has a transfer limit of $2,999 while CurrencyFair allows transfers up to $10,000,000.
  • Discounts. Providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may give a discount for transferring more than a specific amount of US dollars.

Is this a good time to send money to East Timor?

Compared to a month ago, the Australian dollar is stronger against the US dollar. Currently, $5,000 is worth $3,348.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to $3,201.00. That's an increase of 4.59% over the past month.

Similarly, compared to a year ago, the Australian dollar is again a little stronger against the US dollar. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to $3,327.00. That's an increase of 0.63% over 12 months.

So based on those two data points, yes, it's a relatively good time to send money to East Timor, and your Australian dollars will go further than they would have. But what's more important, however, is the strength of the Australian dollar against the US dollar and where it goes from here – which is harder to call.

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