Businesses in both Australia and Egypt are benefiting from the exchange of goods between the two countries. In the first six months of 2014 there was a trade volume between them of close to $300 million US Dollars (USD), showing that exporting and importing between the countries is on the rise.
A growing trade volume coupled with the close to 37,000 Egyptian nationals living and working in Australia makes it important for them to find secure means of transferring money from Australia to Egypt.
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Money transfer companies versus banks
In Egypt, Ahmed’s family owns a well known carpet company that exports a large volume of its products to Australia. His father would like Ahmed to relocate to Sydney and open a second store in the city.
One concern the family has is transferring the profits back to Egypt to continue supporting the family business. To find the solution, Ahmed decides to compare a few options using a base amount of $1,000 Australian Dollars (AUD) to see how that translates to USD.
Money transfer company
Rate of exchange
$1.00 AUD = $0.79 USD
$1.00 AUD = $0.79 USD
Options for the transfer
Difference in value
+ $5.24 USD
HSBC, an international banking institution, operates within both Australia and Egypt. HSBC Premier customers can transfer money between accounts in different countries the same or next day for no fee. This service is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ahmed’s family may be able to benefit from this service by opening an additional account with HSBC in Australia.
Ahmed and his family can get this service either with linked business or personal banking accounts. The daily limit for money transfers using linked HSBC accounts is $500,000 USD. If they were to transfer the money from Australia to Egypt using a different bank in Egypt, the maximum amount would be limited to $50,000 USD daily and the transaction would be subject to other fees.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Egypt?
Egypt does have its own currency, the Egyptian Pound (EGP), banks and money transfer companies only convert to USD which is, however, a widely accepted currency in Egypt. Other points to note when doing a comparison were:
Rate of exchange. The difference may only be small decimals but this is something that would not be noticed until a comparison is done using a large Australian dollar amount.
Fees. These will vary depending on how much is sent. For example, with the second money transfer company looked at in the case study above, the fee increased to $28 AUD when sending $2,000 AUD.
Transfer methods. Some transfer companies will allow you to use a credit card and complete the transaction online while others will require that you go to an agency in order to send money to Egypt from Australia.
Pick up. In this case, only cash pick up methods are permitted.
Turnaround time. The transfer will only take a few minutes making it an ideal solution for emergency situations.
If you are in Egypt on holiday and have had your wallet stolen or lost your cash, there are a few options for you to receive emergency money:
Travel insurance. It is recommended that you always purchase insurance cover when travelling abroad. In many cases the policy covers replacing lost or stolen cash. Just be prepared to file a claim by holding on to any police reports or other documentation.
Cash transfer company. So long as you still have your picture identification you will be able to have money wired to you from Australia to an agent in Egypt.
Credit card insurance. Many credit card companies will also have insurance for international travel costs that may allow for them to send you cash in an emergency.
You should always plan ahead when going to an agent to pick up cash in Egypt. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) does not recommend Australians travel to this nation for holiday. Practice a high level of caution and secure a reliable and trustworthy means of transportation to get you to and from the agency safely.
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