Austria is one of the most stable countries in the European Union. The capital Vienna serves as headquarters for several international organisations concerned with maintaining security, atomic energy and peaceful relations.
Following bilateral relations stretching back as far as European settlement, Austrian migration to Australia started during the gold rush in the 1850s. Momentum picked up after the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. Today Austrian-born people in Australia number around 18,000, while around 43,000 claim Austrian ancestry. While the Austrian population is generally older, a number of business and cultural organisations for Austrians serve as a network through which the Austrian community maintains its cultural identity.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Sophia left Melbourne to accept a position with the Vienna Philharmonic. Besides playing with the orchestra and waiting tables twice a week, she also teaches the violin in the evenings. However, making ends meet is difficult, so she’s grateful when her parents offer to help with rent and other living expenses. Her parents are hesitant to try online transfer services, so they almost send money via their bank, usually for high fees and slower delivery. Sophia helps by comparing bank and online transfers.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Austria?
Taking the time to compare transfer-service options helps Sophia’s parents save on fees and ensures that they benefit from the best exchange rate. It’s important to consider the following factors:
Exchange rates. Choosing the best possible exchange rate means that your recipient gets more money in their own currency. Make sure that a high exchange rate is not cancelled out by high transfer fees.
Transfer fee. Ideally the service you choose charges little or no transfer fees. Sometimes transfer services will waive the fee if you send a big enough amount.
Transferring within the same bank. Some Australian banks have international branches. For example, Citibank has a branch in Vienna, which means that customers incur little or no fees for transfer within the same bank.
Transfer methods. Check whether the service offers online transfers, cash transfers, international cheques - choose the service with the best transfer methods to suit your needs.
Turnaround time. A transfer can be instantaneous or take up to five days to reach its destination. Consider your needs and how urgently your recipient needs the money before making a decision.
Pick-up methods. Consult with your recipient about how they’d like to receive the money: direct deposit into their account or via cash collect at an agency or designated pick-up point.
Minimum transfer amounts. Most transfer services are clear about the maximum amount you can send, but they don’t always stipulate whether there’s a required minimum.
Customer service. It’s important that the transfer service’s customer relations staff can assist with any problem you might have with the transfer. They should be easily contactable, whether by email, pop-up chat or direct telephone line.
There are several transfer methods from which to choose, including:
Bank to bank transfers. If you’re happy with the exchange rate and transfer fees offered by your bank, you can send money from your account to your recipient’s account.
Cash pick-up. Money transfer companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have agencies in the major Austrian cities, so your recipient can easily collect the cash in person.
Money transfer companies. Many companies offer international transfers to Austria at various exchange rates and fees.
PayPal. Paypal is operational in Austria, so if you and your recipient have Paypal accounts, you can send money online.
How do I receive money from Austria in Australia?
If you need money quickly, the best way to send it to Australia is via online money transfer. It’s best to go with the better-known companies like MoneyGram and Western Union - these have a wider network of agencies and pick-up points around Australia.
MoneyGram. You can make an online transfer to your recipient’s bank account or credit their MoneyGram balance with having to open an account. Money sent to a pick-up location is available within minutes.
TransferWise. This is a reliable service that sends online money transfers for a small fee. The deposit is available within 24 hours.
Bank to bank transfer. Two account holders in the same bank can transfer money for no fees. Be sure to check the exchange rates offered - it might be better to pay a small fee with an alternative company for a better exchange rate.
Whether you’re holidaying in Austria and need cash in a hurry, or a family member needs an emergency transfer, money transfer companies offering delivery within minutes would be your best bet. Even in an emergency, take the time to compare exchange rates and transfer costs - sometimes faster delivery comes at the price of higher fees.
If your bank has a branch close to where you are, you can visit it in person and explain your situation. In the case of theft or an accident during a holiday, you can claim from your travel insurance, but this may take too much time.
Cash pickup locations in Austria / Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Austria
Below are a few pick-up points for money sent through Western Union and MoneyGram.
Interchange Stephansplatz 9 Wien, Vienna 1010 +43 1 5339622 Open Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm
Postamt 1037 Marokkanergasse 17, Vienna 1037 +43 1 5140032986 Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
International Telephone Discount Schoenaugasse 12 Graz, Styria 8020 +800 3344 3355 Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm, Sunday 1pm to 9pm
Can Internet Café Jakoministrasse 29 Graz, Steiermark 8020 +43 650 9938590 Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm, Sunday 12pm to 9pm
Denizbank AG SCHOTTENRING 10 Vienna, 1010 800886600 Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Phone Express Service Mariahilfer Strasse 20 Vienna, 1070 676843367210 Open Monday to Saturday 12pm to 7pm
MS Finance Office LAZARETTGASSE 3 Graz, 8020 6646379655 Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 8pm
Merlin Handy Shop Ungergasse 13 Graz, 8020 6645816050 Open Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 6am
Austria is a relatively safe country, but the influx of migrants may cause delays and disruptions in the public transport system. Be vigilant, especially in the bigger cities and at night - look out for suspicious individuals and louche behaviour. When receiving money, pick a location in a well-frequented area and make sure to get there during office hours. If possible, ask someone to accompany you, especially if you’re collecting a large amount of cash.
What are the steps to send money to Austria?
Most online services require that you sign on as a member before allowing the transfer. You’ll need to provide your contact details, the amount you’d like to send and the recipient’s account information. Select the transfer method and the pick-up option most convenient for your recipient, and hit send. The transfer service will confirm your transaction with an email. A tracking number helps you keep an eye on your money as it makes it way to your recipient’s account.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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