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If you are someone who finds yourself transacting in foreign currencies frequently, it may be time to open a foreign transaction account. These accounts can make it easier to manage and access funds from overseas.
Whether you’ve started looking or not, these accounts can vary in features, fees and supported currencies, so narrowing in on what you require can aid your search big time. One bank that offers a foreign currency account to their customers is Bank of Sydney.
|💸 Hold over 40 currencies in your account and spend at the mid-market exchange rate with the Wise card while abroad.
The Bank of Sydney, also known as BOS, is a well-established financial institution in Australia that provides a range of banking services to personal and business customers. Currently BOS has retail branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.¹
A BOS foreign currency account is an account that allows customers to hold, send and receive money in currencies other than AUD. BOS offers a foreign currency account for:
- Personal customers²
- Business customers³
- International importers and exporters⁴
We’ll focus this article only on the personal and business BOS foreign currency accounts.
When you open a BOS foreign currency account, you’ll access these supported currencies³:
- United States Dollar - USD
- European Euro - EUR
- Great British Pound - GBP
These currencies are available to either personal or business customers.
Sometimes dealing with foreign currencies can attract some extra fees, even when accounts are dedicated to transacting with foreign currencies. To see how the BOS option compares on costs, we’ll compare this with an alternative provider called Wise that offers their own multi-currency account.
|Bank of Sydney²
|Account keeping fee
|Fee to deposit into account
|1% of the transaction amount or a minimum charge of $20.00
|Free to deposit AUD into AUD wise account or 2% to top up other currencies directly
|Receiving payments to your foreign currency account
|Received to BOS Account = $10.00 per transfer⁵
|Free to receive AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY and USD (ACH deposits) using the Wise Account details
For USD wire transfers, there is a 4.14 USD flat fee
|Sending payments from your foreign currency account
|Making transfer using online payment= $10.00 per transfer⁵
|A small one time fee of 0.43% + a flat fee that varies depending on currency and method being sent. For example, sending $1000 AUD to GBP using the Wise pricing calculator will cost you $0.54 AUD for a bank transfer method + $4.77 variable fee.
|Free for the first 3 ATM withdrawals per month up to $350 then $1.50 + 1.75% thereafter. There may be an extra fee incurred from third party ATM’s.
Fees as seen on 5th November 2023
BOS states that the exchange rate used is an indicative rate and is subject to change.⁶ However, the current rate available is listed, so we’ll do a quick calculation on a transfer and then compare it with the mid-market rate that Wise uses.
|If you want to convert $1000 AUD to GBP with BOS, you’ll access the current GBP selling rate at BOS = 0.4921 per 1 AUD. This means you’ll get approximately 492.10 GBP
|If you want to convert $1000 AUD to GBP, you access the current mid-market rate of 0.5261 GBP per 1.00 AUD. This means you’ll get approximately 526.10 GBP
*Rates indicative of the 5th November 2023
As you can see, the rate offered by BOS is different to the mid-market rate offered by Wise at the time of the conversion. This would indicate that a margin is incorporated within BOS exchanges.
There are a few things you need to know before you can open a BOS foreign currency account. There are some basic eligibility requirements that you need to meet to be able to open an account. These include³:
- Individuals above the age of 18
- Hold an existing BOS transaction account
- Be a valid Business entity (for business customers only)
If you meet these requirements, you will need to gather your documents and head down to a BOS branch. For any personal account, you’ll need to provide the following information³:
- Your full name
- Your current home address
- Date of birth
- Current occupation
- If you want a desired account name
- Tax File Number (TFN)
BOS requires you to verify all identity documents in a BOS branch.
Business customers will need to provide more documents to verify their business. A BOS representative will direct you on which documents you will need to provide.³
However, we can go through some of the typical documents that many banks ask to open a business account including:
- Business name
- primary business address
- Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Industry classification
- Identification for all proprietors or partners
BOS mentions that you may also be charged a business search fee by BOS in some circumstances.
Whether you need to contact BOS in regard to their foreign currency products or not, you’ll be able to get in touch by:
- Enquiring online
- Calling 13 95 00 from within Australia
- Calling +61 2 8262 9191 from overseas
Phone lines are only open between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday AEST
If you’re looking for a flexible multi currency account that is great for daily spending in Australia and overseas, the Wise Account is worth a look.
The Wise Account can be opened for free and allows you to hold money in over 40 currencies and send money to 160 countries. You can also order local account details for 10 world currencies including AUD.
You can also use the Wise Debit card to spend money in 150+ countries without markups and hidden transaction fees. The mid-market rate is used when switching between currencies, helping to keep costs low when sending money internationally. It’s the rate you see on a Google conversion search.
Join over 16 million customers currently enjoying Wise. It’ll only take a few minutes to register and see what’s inside.
- BOS About
- BOS foreign currency
- BOS Product disclosure
- BOS international business
- BOS Fees
- BOS exchange
- Wise conversion
Sources checked on: 05 November 2023
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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