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Whether you're helping out family in Bandung or opening an office in Jakarta, you don't want to deal with a stressful and costly process. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the most Indonesian rupiahs for your dollar.
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Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Indonesia. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weaker rates and longer turnaround times.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like OFX and Wise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's Indonesian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Indonesia— often in 15 minutes. While it's a fast way to send money, you'll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, compare MoneyGram to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.
Most major Australian banks can help you send money to Indonesia. However, the fees and margin added to the exchange rate tend to be the highest when compared to the other options.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Indonesia
Let's say you need to send $1,000 AUD to IDR, to family in Indonesia. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 10 November 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$10 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 AUD = 10,218 IDR
1 AUD = 9,940 IDR
1 AUD = 9,883 IDR
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with IDR 379,317 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Indonesia in as little as 15 minutes.
How to send money to Indonesia online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you'll need their Indonesian bank account details.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Indonesia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Indonesia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Indonesia to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The AUD to IDR relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Indonesian rupiahs you're sending.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Indonesia.
Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between Australia and Indonesia, which means companies with high minimums transfers may not be your best choice.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to an Indonesian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfers to Indonesia
When it's more important to get your money to Indonesia quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Indonesia without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you don't have a bank account. If you don't have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Indonesia's exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country's currency is worth in another country's currency. When a country's currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Indonesia's exchange rate is flexible compared to Australia dollar, which means it sometimes shifts hundreds of rupiahs or more per dollar in a day, if not more. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Sending your hard-earned money to Indonesia shouldn't cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign currencies for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a 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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