Airwallex Business account in Australia. The lowdown.

Roberto Efflandrin

Owning a business can be extremely rewarding. You get to make the decisions about what direction you want the company to go, including who to use to manage your finances. While the banks are an obvious choice there are a growing number of alternative authorised financial service providers out there who are ready to help.

In this article we’ll take a look at the Airwallex business account including what they offer, the associated fees and who can apply. We’ll also see how they compare to Wise and the Wise Business account.

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What is Airwallex?

Airwallex is an Australian company that was founded by Jack Zhang, Max Li, Lucy Liu and Xijing Dai, four friends from the University of Melbourne who were fed up of the hassles and costs of international transactions.¹ It offers a range of services that aim to help businesses operate and grow internationally including the following.

  • Global accounts details to receive money
  • Borderless cards
  • Transfers and foreign exchange
  • Online payments

What is the Airwallex Business account and how does it work in Australia?

The Airwallex Business account enables you to accept online payments through your website in over 170 currencies and get local account details in any of the supported countries.² Your funds are stored in a single account and you can send the money out by making online transfers or spending it using the attached debit card.

The main features of the Airwallex Business Account

Here’s some of the main features of the Airwallex Business account.²

  • Domestic and international account details in these currencies — GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, SGD, CAD, CNY, CHF, HKD and JPY
  • Accept payments online
  • Generate unique payment links
  • Store multiple currencies
  • Make domestic and international transfers
  • Multiple Visa debit cards available for team members
  • Easily manage employee expenses

Aside from these they also offer a range of APIs as a separate product.

What are the fees for this business account?

The good news is the Airwallex business account doesn't have any account maintenance fees or required minimum balance.³ Domestic transfers in AUD are also free but you will incur costs for international transfers.

Also, if you need to do a transaction with a currency exchange, you’ll be charged a margin on the exchange rate.

Comparison with Wise business account

To give you a bit of context, here’s a comparison of some of the services and fees that apply to both the Airwallex Business account and the Wise Business account.

Service Airwallex Business Wise Business
Opening a business account³ Free Free
Local account details⁵ GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, SGD, CAD, CNY, CHF, HKD and JPY Available in GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, SGD, RON, CAD, HUF and TRY
International transfers⁴ 44 available currencies 54 available currencies
Foreign currency exchange fees³ 0.3% to 0.6% margin applied to interbank rate Real exchange rate with a small transfer variable fee you can see here.
Employee debit cards³ $9 per month per cardholder $6 one time payment per card

* As seen on 29 August 2022

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International transfers with Airwallex business account

With Airwallex you can transfer money to different destinations around the globe using 44 different currencies⁴. The fees for the transfers vary depending on the currency you’re sending and the system being used to move the money.

What are the international transfer fees with Airwallex Australia?

Here’s a look at the main fees associated with making an international transfer using Airwallex.

Service Fee
Transfers made through the Airwallex payment system³ Free
Transfers made via the SWIFT network

Fees shared by sender and receiver (SHA)¹¹

$10 AUD per payment
Transfers made via the SWIFT network

Fees paid by sender only (OUR)¹¹

$30 AUD per payment
Currency exchange³ 0.3% to 0.6% based on the currency

CNY incurs an additional 0.1% payout fee on top of the 0.3% fee

What is the exchange rate used by Airwallex?

For foreign currency exchanges Airwallex uses an interbank exchange rate which is determined based on a range of different factors, including the following.

  • Availability in the market
  • Prices available from liquidity provides
  • Live rates on the market from banking partners and market data sources
  • Market conditions

They then apply their 0.3% to 0.6% margin to the rate and give customers confirmation of the rate after the foreign currency transaction takes place.

For Airwallex debit card transactions, you’ll only get the interbank rates for payments made in these currencies.³

  • AUD
  • USD
  • GBP
  • EUR
  • HKD
  • CAD
  • NZD
  • SGP
  • JPY
  • CHF

For other currencies they’ll simply give you the Visa exchange rate instead.³

Who can open an Airwallex account?

To open an Airwallex account you must have a business that’s registered in one of their supported countries.⁷ Here’s the countries that were supported at the time of writing.

  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

By law there are also some types of businesses which are ineligible to start an Airwallex account.⁸ The full list can be found in their terms and policies, but to give you an idea it includes gambling companies, investment firms, charity organisations and pharmaceutical companies.

How to open an Airwallex account

To open an Airwallex business account you need to go to their website and press the button that says “Get Started”. From there you just follow the prompts and fill out the online application form to complete the sign up.

What documents are needed to open an Airwallex account?

During the application process you’ll need to provide information about your business including the businesses contact details, its Australian Business Number (ABN) and information about the owners and directors.

What you’ll be asked for varies slightly depending on the type of business you have. As an example, let’s take a look at some of the requirements Airwallex specifically has for companies, trusts and sole traders.⁹


  • Personal ID of the beneficial owners (where applicable)
  • Authorisation letter (where applicable)
  • Partnership agreement (where applicable)
  • New business supporting documents (where applicable)


  • Copy of the signed and executed deed
  • Trustees ID
  • Appointor, guardian or principal ID

Sole Traders

  • Personal ID

Is Airwallex safe?

Airwallex is an authorised financial services provider that’s licensed and regulated in a number of countries worldwide. In Australia this is handled by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) so all customer funds are protected as per the ASIC requirements.¹⁰

As part of the regulations Airwallex has an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL licence number 487221) and they have also registered with the Australian Transactions Report & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) (account number 100516662).

Airwallex contact details

If you have any questions and want to contact Airwallex yourself, you can call their Australian customer support team on +61 13 32 99 or submit a query online.

If you’re overseas you can also reach out to one of their seven international customer service offices.

  • China: +864008663888
  • Europe: +31 85 0003 369
  • Hong Kong: +852 3001 5833
  • Malaysia: +601 62995337
  • Singapore: +65 3129 4178
  • United Kingdom: +44 808 196 7574
  • United States: +1 855 932 3331

Wise Business

If you’re looking for a business account that enables you to work globally then it’s certainly worth considering Wise as an option.

Like Airwallex, Wise is an authorised financial service provider that’s regulated by Australian authorities. It is an international money transfer and currency specialist that serves personal customers and businesses around the globe.

With a Wise Business account you can hold more than 50 different currencies in a single account, and convert them using the real exchange rate, just like you see on Google. There’s no hidden fees to worry about and you’ll know the cost of the transaction and confirmed exchange rate before you commit to the transfer.

As well as international transfers, the Wise Business account also offers a range of handy business tools including API integration, invoicing, bulk payments and integration with a range of apps including Xero, Quickbooks and QuickFile.

If you work with a team it’s possible to give them some access to the account and set their permissions so you remain in control. You can also issue team members with their own debit cards to use for business expenses. They don’t have to worry about claiming funds back and you can easily check what the cards have been used for.

If this sounds like it might suit you, why not take a look at the Wise business account today - registration can be done in minutes.

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  1. Airwallex - Who We Are
  2. Airwallex - Business Accounts
  3. Airwallex - Pricing
  4. Airwallex - Which currencies can I create transfers in?
  5. Airwallex - Global accounts
  6. Airwallex - How is the foreign exchange rate calculated?
  7. Airwallex - What country does my business have to be registered in for opening an Airwallex account?
  8. Airwallex - Can I open an account with Airwallex?
  9. Airwallex -Verifying your business in Australia
  10. Airwallex - How is Airwallex regulated
  11. Airwallex - Fee schedule

Sources checked on: 31 August 2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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