Just 1,500km off the Brisbane coastline, New Caledonia is a French overseas territory and one of Australia’s closest neighbours in the Pacific. The two countries enjoy close economic and social ties thanks to their proximity. Besides tourism and scholarships awarded for tertiary studies in Australia, New Caledonia has a shared interest in maintaining political stability in the Pacific region.
Over 350,000 Australians visit New Caledonia every year, surpassing the country’s population of around 270 000. This high number of Australian visitors is largely thanks to the proliferation of cruise and carrier companies operating between the two countries and the fact that no visa required for entry.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Céline and her husband have started a small cruise ship company running between Brisbane and New Caledonia. They want to set up headquarters in both countries, with bank accounts linked to each office. Money will be sent between the two accounts several times a month, so they’re looking for the best and cheapest transfer methods.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 = XPF 68||$1 = XPF 76|
|Amount received for $500||XPF 34,500||XPF 37,900|
|Transfer time||2 working days||2 working days|
|Transfer options||Online transfers, drafts||Online transfer, stop loss order, market order|
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money to New Caledonia?
Thanks to the high numbers of Australian tourists frequenting New Caledonia and friendly socio-political relations, it’s relatively easy to send money between the two countries. Here are a few factors to consider when comparing online money transfer service providers.
- 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.
- 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 a fee for sent 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 might 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 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 to deal with your queries.
How do I send money to New Caledonia from Australia?
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.
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 New Caledonia:
- 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.
- ANZ. This bank has a strong presence in New Caledonia, but check the transfer and conversion fees before selecting this option.
How do I receive money from New Caledonia in Australia?
There are a number of services that facilitate online money transfers between New Caledonia and Australia.
- 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.
Emergency cash transfers in New Caledonia
Australians are advised to practice normal levels of vigilance while in New Caledonia. While petty crime is relatively low, epidemics like the dengue fever and zika virus occur between the wetter months of February and May.
- 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 transfers. 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 cover you for loss and theft while travelling. Get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible to report the incident.
Cash pick-up locations in New Caledonia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in New Caledonia
If you choose to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram, here are a few locations from which to collect the transfer.
- Société Générale Caledonienne
Agence De Ducos
1 Rue Sequin Zone Industrielle Ducos Noumea, 98800
Open Monday to FRiday 7:30am to 3:30pm
- Société Générale Caledonienne
Agence De Port Plaisance
10 Rue Jules Garnier Boite Postale 62 Noumea, 98848
Open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm
- Société Générale Caledonienne
Route Territoriale No 1 Bourrail, 98870
Open Monday to Friday 7:45am to 3:30pm
- Société Générale Caledonienne Agence De La Foa
Route Territoriale 1 Village La Foa, 98840
Open Monday to Friday 7:30am to 3:45pm
- RBS Bychawa
+ 23 -107 4881566603
Open Monday to Friday 7:45am to 2:30pm
- U P Strzyzewice
+ 23 -107 48523499499
Open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 8:00pm, Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm
- There are no MoneyGram pick-up locations in Bourail.
Tips for picking up cash in New Caledonia
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 New Caledonia?
You have the choice 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.
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