For decades, Australia has been supportive of economic and trade growth in Lebanon, supplying assistance when needed to help the nation maintain its independence. Trade is strong between the nations with $54 million Australian Dollars (AUD) in merchandise like beef, wheat and vegetable being exported to Lebanon in 2013. That same year Lebanon shipped $13 million AUD in products like fruits and vegetables to Australia.
In addition to trade, there is a strong social connection between the nations with over 76,000 Lebanese expats calling Australia home in 2013 and an estimated 200,000 of Lebanese ancestry. This high level of immigration and busy trade market make it important to find solutions for transferring money from Australia to Lebanon.
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Case study: Elias’ family transfers
Born and raised in Beirut, Elias was approached by an Australian export company to assist in their Sydney headquarters with shipments to Lebanon.
Elias is excited for the opportunity but concerned about his parents who rely on his salary for their expenses. He decides to first do some research to see what types of services are available for sending money from Australia to Lebanon and how much $1,000 AUD will convert to in Lebanese Pounds (LBP).
Money transfer company
1 AUD = 1108.99 LBP
1 AUD = 1222.40 LBP
Cost per transfer
$22 AUD if initiated online. $30 AUD if you use a branch.
Amount received in LBP
2 to 5 business days
Pick up options
Bank to bank transfer
Cash pick up – there's also an option to have the money exchanged to the US Dollar
Elias was surprised at the difference in the amount of money his parents would receive when using a money transfer company over a bank. While the fees charged were close to equal, there was a marked difference in the exchange rates.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Lebanon?
There are a number of fees and features that should be considered when transferring money from Australia to Lebanon as you can see from Elias’ investigation. To ensure that you are getting the service you need for a competitive price compare the following:
The exchange rate. The exchange rate lets you know the equivalent of the Australian dollar to your home currency. As this often appears to differ in fractions of a cent, it's important to compare it using a larger sum of money.
The fees. Fees will vary for the service and will sometimes change with the same company based on the amount of money you are sending.
Pick up methods. You will notice that while some companies offer a cash pick up, you may also be able to make a direct bank deposit.
Turnaround time for the money transfer. In some cases the transfer will be almost instantaneous while a bank transfer may take up to five business days to complete.
Transfer amount. If you intend on sending smaller amounts of money, check for a minimum transfer amount.
Lebanese pounds are considered to be an exotic currency which deters some Australian banks from making transfers to Lebanon. You still may be able to have the AUD sent to a bank account in Lebanon where it will then be converted.
As a result, a money transfer service may be the most convenient option. Below are listed some institutions in Australia that allow for transfers of money to Lebanon:
Commonwealth Bank. Commonwealth Bank does conduct money transfers to Lebanon. You will have to be an account holder to take advantage of this service.
MoneyGram. MoneyGram can be accessed online or at agents throughout Australia to send money to Lebanon.
Xpressmoney. This money transfer service provider allows for cash pick ups in Lebanon at a number of agencies.
Western Union. You are able to send money to Lebanon with Western Union provided you complete the transaction at an agency as opposed to online.
If you are travelling in Lebanon and lose your cash or wallet, you may be able to obtain emergency cash using one of these methods:
Cash pick up with a transfer company. So long as you have a photo identification you can have money sent to you in Lebanon using a money transfer service provider.
Credit card provider. If your credit card is also lost, the provider may send you a small amount of emergency cash until a replacement card reaches your destination.
Travel insurance. A travel insurance plan obtained before your trip may have provisions to send you cash in the event of an emergency. Make sure you file and save a copy of a police report to use in your claim.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) does not recommend that Australian tourists take a holiday in Lebanon. If you are visiting Lebanon and need to pick up cash at an agency, secure reliable transportation with a trusted individual to accompany you.
As your options for sending money to Lebanon from Australia are mostly cash transfer service companies, it is important that you and the recipient are prepared with the following:
Full name. The full name of the beneficiary listed on their photo identification should match exactly with the name listed on the transfer order.
Reference number. You will be given a unique reference number at the conclusion of the transaction. This number must be given to the pick up agent by your beneficiary along with their identification.
Your name. For verification the agent may ask for the recipient to give your name and location.
Transfer amount. The amount of money sent will also be verified by the pick up agent.
Save the paperwork that is given to you at the end of the transaction. This will serve as your proof in the event that there is a dispute with the transfer company.
When looking at ways to send money to friends and family in Lebanon from Australia it is important that you compare the available options carefully. There are distinct differences in fees and rates which will affect the amount of money that arrives at the agency in Lebanon.
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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