Besides friendly socio-economic and diplomatic relations, Hungary and Australia also share a common history stretching back to the 1800s when the first Hungarian merchant put down roots in Australia. Following an influx of Hungarian migrants after the Soviet occupation in the 1950s, the two countries now share full diplomatic relations. A recorded 70,000 Hungarian Australians registered in a 2011 census, most of whom are concentrated in the larger metropolises in Australia.
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Australia and Hungary are partners and signees on treaties concerning criminality and extradition, as well as the production of uranium and responsible use of nuclear materials. A modest but fruitful trade relationship is based on the import and export of cars and automotive accessories, medication and electrical equipment.
Banks versus money transfer companies
Ania is a third-generation Hungarian-Australian living and working in Perth. She maintains close ties with the Hungarian cultural associations, especially since her sister moved to Budapest and married a Hungarian. Ania often sends home money for her little niece’s birthdays, Christmas and Easter, so she’s always comparing transfer services to find the best and cheapest companies.
Money Transfer Service
$1 = 195.7380
$1 = 191.65HUF
Amount received for $500
93,562. 764 HUF
24 business hours
1 to 3 days
Bank to bank, online transfer
Ania has the choice between a service that delivers faster for a small fee and another service that offers free transactions with a longer delay in delivery. Should she decide to use an international money transfer service, the recipient could receive 2262.23 HUF more.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Hungary?
Exchange rates. Depending on your needs and the urgency of the transfer, you can choose between a paid or free service. A transfer company that offers a free service might take longer to deliver to your recipient, while a fee usually implies faster delivery, sometimes within minutes if effected before midday.
Pick-up methods. Each service offers different pick-up options, including collecting at an agency or having the money deposited directly into the recipient’s account.
Fees. Some services charge a transfer fee - usually for quicker delivery - as well as a conversion fee to have the money deposited in the local currency. You might also pay an additional charge for amounts larger than the maximum (or minimum) allowed.
Same-bank transfers. Even with branches in different countries, most banks waive transfer and conversion fees when transferring money to an account within the same bank.
Turnaround time. Ideally the service you choose offers quick delivery for zero fees. If not, the transfer companies guaranteeing the fastest turnaround time charge a small fee.
Transfer methods. These differ from company to company. Most offer bank-to-bank transfers, online transfers and over-the-phone or in-agency transactions.
Transfer options. In order to accommodate their customers, online transfer services allow one-time transfers as well as the option to set up regular transactions.
Minimum transfer amounts. Some services require that you send at least $50 or $100 as a minimum.
Customer service. A good, reliable service should provide a tracking number for your transaction so that you can check on its progress. It’s important that the service you choose has a reactive and competent customer service department should you have questions or a problem with the transaction.
Thanks to close economic and diplomatic ties, most banks and online transfer companies allow for transfers between Australia and Hungary. A wide choice of services means a wide range of transfer options: you can have money transferred between bank accounts, via online transfer, on the phone and in person at the agency.
Besides lesser-known services, you also have the option of using companies like Paypal, MoneyGram and Western Union. Either way, it’s imperative to ensure that the company you choose is reliable, competent and safe. Read up on reviews and user commentary before selecting any one service. Here are a few banks and money transfer companies that facilitate transfers between Australia and Hungary:
TorFX. Based in Queensland, this online transfer company guarantees the best exchange rates for zero fees. The recipient receives the deposit within one business day. You have to create an account to send money online or the phone. Transfers can also be made in person at the agency.
Citibank. This bank has been present in Hungary since 1985, so you can send fee-free transfers between Citibank accounts. Your recipient can withdraw the money from a Citibank ATM for zero fees.
How do I receive money from Hungary in Australia?
Hungary is one of the few European countries that hasn’t adopted the Euro as its currency. The Hungarian Forint isn’t considered an exotic currency and it’s relatively easy to find money transfer companies to send money from Hungary to Australia.
TransferMate. This company facilitates global transfers between Hungary and Australia. You have to open an account and your recipient has access to the money within two business days.
Currency Fair. This peer-to-peer transfer service ensures delivery within three to five business days. You pay a small fee for this service, the equivalent of $200.
Paypal. One of the most popular online transfer services available, Paypal sends money from your bank account, credit card or from the balance on your Paypal account to bank accounts anywhere Paypal is supported (most countries in the world). Paypal is safe and never reveals bank account or credit card information.
If you’ve suffered theft or loss while in Hungary and need money in a hurry, there are a few options available to get access to funds.
Transfer services. Money is usually transferred within one or two business days, but some services can also make funds available within minutes of the sender effecting the transfer. Services like Western Union and MoneyGram have designated pick-up points in banks, post offices or shops. You can also choose to have the money deposited directly into your account.
Bank to bank. If your bank has a branch close to where you are in Hungary, you can visit the bank in person and explain your situation. Even if you no longer have your card, the bank will be able to call up your customer details on their system as long as you provide positive identification.
Travel insurance. The terms of your travel insurance policy covers you for loss and theft while travelling. Get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible to report the incident. You should be eligible for money to cover expenses.
The major cities like Budapest and Debrecen are relatively safe. Most people speak English well and there’s little petty crime. The DFAT advises regular safety precautions, but it pays to be vigilant nonetheless. When picking up your deposit, go during the day and make sure you get there within the office hours. Loitering outside makes you a target. Ask someone in your travelling party to accompany you.
What are the steps to send money to Hungary?
Since Australia enjoys friendly socio-economic relations with Hungary and is home to a sizeable Hungarian-Australian population, it’s relatively easy to send money between the two countries. Choose between online transfer services, bank to bank transactions and services like Western Union that allow recipients to collect money in person at a designated pick-up point.
Most transfer services will require that you set up an account. You’ll be asked to provide the following information:
Your contact details
Credit card or bank account information
Your recipient’s information
Once sent, your transaction will be confirmed via email and you’ll receive a tracking number. The service you choose should also have a reliable and competent customer service department to assist with problems or questions about the transfer.
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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