Australia does not recognise Taiwan as an independent nation owing to the Joint Communiqué with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and its resultant one-China policy. However, despite the absence of an official relationship between the governments of these two countries, there is a steady growth in trade and cultural links.
There is no definitive number surrounding the population of Taiwanese Australians because demographic researches in Australia tend to bunch immigrants from PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau under the broad Chinese Australian category.
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Trade wise, Taiwan is an important partner for Australia. Merchandise exports from Australia to Taiwan in 2014-2015 totalled to $6.9 billion, with imports during the same period amounting to $4.9 billion.
There are numerous instances of people wanting to send money to Taiwan from Australia. If you wish to as well, going through this guide is in your best interest.
Banks versus money transfer companies
Work got David Taan to Australia. However, his ageing parents and wife continue living in Taiwan. Since they depend on him financially, he has to send them money on a regular basis. Given his income, he figures he can comfortably send around $1,500 every month.
While David can use the services of his local Australian bank to go through with the transfer, he decides to compare his options using the Internet upon the suggestion of a co-worker. This is what he finds.
Money transfer service
$1 = NT$22.27
$1 = NT$22.99
Amount received for $1,500
By choosing to go with the money transfer company instead of his bank, David ensures that his wife receives some extra money.
This is because he does not have to pay any fees for the transfer, while also getting a better exchange rate. The fact that his wife gets the money sooner that she would through his bank is an added advantage.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Taiwan?
When comparing money transfer companies and banks to send money to Taiwan, you should pay attention to various factors.
The monetary aspect. Service providers can lure customers by offering fee-free services and highly competitive exchange rates, but these can be misleading. This is because an exorbitant fee might accompany a seemingly great exchange rate, and the reverse can be true as well. To compare your options on this front, simply look at how much money the recipient stands to receive.
Methods to send money. If you wish to send money through a bank you may be able to do so by visiting a branch, through online banking or over the phone. With money transfer companies, while the online world gives you the most number of options from which to choose, you cans also find businesses that let you send money in person and over the phone.
Methods to receive money. The recipient can receive money directly into a Taiwanese bank account. Collecting transferred money by visiting a cash pickup centre is also an option.
Transfer options. Is your transfer a one-time affair or do you plan to send money to Taiwan periodically? If you plan to do so regularly, you can benefit by dealing with a company that lets you carry out scheduled transfers. Some let you benefit through fluctuations in exchange rates by offering forward contracts and market orders.
Using the same bank. Using a bank’s services for the transfer can work in your favour if you and the recipient have a relationship with the same institution. Benefits can come through reduced fees and quicker processing times.
Turnaround time. If you’re in a hurry to send money, using the services of a money transfer company that has cash pickup centres in Taiwan might be your best bet. This is because transfers to these centres tend to process immediately. If you’re sending money to a bank account, the process can take one to 10 days, or even more, depending on the service provider you pick.
Minimum amounts. Some service providers don’t let you send less than $500 or $1,000.
You can classify the service providers you get to choose from into two basic categories.
Banks. Several banks in Australia let you carry out fund transfers to Taiwanese bank accounts. However, these transfers tend to attract fees that can vary considerably from one bank to the next. You can also consider sending a bank-issued cheque or money order via mail.
Non-banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram let you send money to cash pickup centres across Taiwan. You can also find companies that let you transfer money directly into Taiwanese bank accounts. Using the services of PayPal is another option, provided both you and the recipient have PayPal accounts. There is no fee involved in opening a PayPal account, and the process takes little time.
When receiving money from Taiwan in Australia, you get to choose from two basic options.
Banks. You can receive funds directly in your Australian bank account, provided it accepts international electronic debits. The sender can initiate the process using a Taiwanese bank or a money transfer company. Receiving a money order or cheque via mail is also an option.
Non-banks. If you’re in a hurry, or if you wish to collect cash from a physical location, you can use the services of a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Both have a considerable presence across Australia. PayPal also allows transfers from Taiwan to Australia. While the transfer of funds between two PayPal accounts happens almost instantly, withdrawing the money in your Australian bank account can take some time.
If you find yourself in Taiwan without your wallet, start by reporting your debit and credit cards as lost or stolen. Then, you can think about getting emergency money in different ways.
Money transfer. Getting a friend or family member to send you some money using the services of a money transfer company can give you access to required funds in no time. If this is possible, identity a suitable cash pickup centre first.
Credit card cash advance. If you have an existing American Express, Visa or Mastercard credit card you can think about getting an emergency cash advance.If you qualify, you can collect cash by visiting a local participating financial institution.
Travel insurance. With the right kind of travel insurance, you can get emergency money to deal with lost and misplaced baggage, unexpected medical expenses as well as flight delays and cancellations.
Western Union and MoneyGram have a number of cash pickup centres at various locations in Taiwan. To collect money from any of these centres, you have to present an acceptable form of ID such as your passport or driver’s license. With transfers that involve large sums, you may want to call in advance to confirm availability of funds. Here are some cash pickup centres in Taiwan.
Business Department No 2 Sec5 Sinyi Road Taipei City +886-2-87869788 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Ta Chong Bank No 2 Sec 5 Xinyi District Taipei +886-7-96519886 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
Dachang Branch No 111 1 Dachang 2nd Rd Sanmin District Kaohsiung City +886-7-3814488 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
King’s Town Bank 176 Jhongshan N. Rd. Gangshan Township Kaohsiung +886-7-6241766 Open 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday
KGI Bank 5 Fl No. 45 Shifu Rd. Taipei City +886-2-81018177 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday
KGI Bank 224 Sec. 3 Nangang Rd. Taipei +886-2-23263735 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday
STI Company Ltd No. 405 Bade 1st Rd. Xinxing District Kaohsiung +886-2-72366615 Open 8am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday
KGI Bank 165 3 Poai Road Kaohsiung +886-2-23263735 Open 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday
Taiwan has typically low levels of crime, which include instances of petty crime. When you’re collecting money from a cash pickup centre, keep an eye out for suspicious activity, as you normally would in Australia.
While there have been reports of assault on passengers by taxi drivers, this mode of transport is generally safe in Taiwan. However, it is best that you use radio taxis or taxis booked through your hotel or via the Internet.
Demonstrations and protests take place in Taiwan occasionally. While they are usually peaceful, they can turn violent, so it is best that you steer clear of such gatherings.
The steps in sending money to Taiwan depend on the method you choose.
To a bank account. You’ll have to provide the recipient’s name and bank account details. If you’re sending money through a service provider other than your own bank, you’ll have to provide details of your bank account, debit card or credit card. You should get a reference number upon initiating the transfer, which you can use to track its progress.
To a cash pickup centre. Provide the recipient’s name and a desired cash pickup centre. If you’re not paying using cash, you’ll have to provide your bank account, debit card or credit card details. When you initiate the transfer you should get a reference number. The recipient would need this to collect the transferred money.
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.
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
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