Making international money transfers from Australia is a much easier process these days than in times gone by. However, with every bank leveraging its own...
Westpac Bank is Australia's oldest and one of its biggest banks, serving over 13 million customers. If you're a Westpac customer — or are considering becoming one — you can use this guide to help you understand how to make an international money transfer and what to expect in terms of process times and fees.
We'll also share an alternative called Wise, that'll help you save money when you send money overseas. Let's jump right in.
|💰 Wise provides you the real exchange rate and low transparent transfer fees shown upfront.|
Fees change depending on where you’re sending money to, the currency you send from and the type of transfer you send¹. They’ll also depend on whether you set up the transfer online or in the branch. Therefore we suggest you check the fees with your bank before transferring.
|International transfer via online banking paid in a foreign currency||AU$10|
|International transfer via online banking paid in AUD||AU$20|
|International transfer via local branch from any currency||AU$32|
|Incoming international transfer in AUD or foreign currency||AU$12|
|All other disbursements in foreign currency||AU$50|
Let’s say you send (from your online banking) AU$1,000 to a friend's UK account in GBP. Here's a comparison of Westpac vs Wise.
|Westpac (Australia)||AU$10 + possible correspondent bank fees¹||exchange rate + markup²|
|Wise||AU$5.14||The real exchange — the same one you find on Google|
It seems clear that Westpac’s transfer fees are higher. However, if the fees alone aren’t reason enough to consider an alternative, that isn’t taking into account any exchange rate markup — on average a spread of an additional 4-6%. In addition, for transfers sent via SWIFT, there are intermediary and/or recipient banks who may also charge transfer processing fees¹.
Those costs add up and usually come to light when the recipient receives less than you intended, or believed, you were actually sending them.
As your transfer will generally rely on the SWIFT network to get across borders. This means that your bank may send your money to your recipient through intermediary banks in this network. Westpac's says¹:
In addition to the Westpac Fees for International Payments listed above, the amount received by the payee may be reduced by:
- Westpac’s correspondent bank (“Correspondent Bank fee”); and
- Other overseas banks involved in the international payment, including the payment recipient’s bank (“Other Banks Fees”)
It’s good to be aware that these fees exist before you initiate a transfer.
Westpac do claim that if you transact with them, you will not be charged a correspondent fee for over 10 currencies including USD, NZD, EUR, GBP and INR. You can clarify this with your bank representative¹.
Westpac's terms and conditions document state:
By approving the transaction you accept the rate derived by us from current foreign exchange rates².
So this is a rate they come up with from the actual rate of the day and it includes a markup.
- Your 1000 AUD converted to GBP will be 524.90 GBP at a rate of 0.5249*³
- The mid market rate on Wise at the same time of checking is 0.54622 and that will give your recipient 546.22 GBP*
🚨This is 21.32 GBP more with Wise your recipient gets. The Westpac rate is marked up by 4.06% on the mid market rate
*Rates calculated on 9th Nov 2021
It's clear to see a transparent transfer service like Wise is the way to go if you want to save big.
There are some additional fees charged for special services on your international transfer with Westpac. Here they are below⁴:
If your international transfer is cancelled or returned, the fee charged is AU$25 per returned payment.
If you got the name of your recipient or any other significant detail(s) wrong, you can request an amendment. This will cost you AU$25
The fee to find out the status of your payment with an advice of fate is AU$25
Wise has been saving customers hidden fees when they transfer money abroad for years now. Instead of transferring your money through intermediary banks, Wise allows you to send your money locally and pays your recipient locally too, therefore keeping the costs down.
Once you’ve sent your dollars to Wise, they deduct a small fee and convert the rest into a currency of your choice using the real exchange rate. This way you don’t have to worry about the hidden fees associated with the usual international transfers.
If you bank in Australian Dollars, you can also try Wise’s new Multi-Currency Account, which helps you move and manage your money around the world quickly, easily and always with the real exchange rate. Want to learn more? Send money now with Wise and see how transparently and efficiently it works.
When you need to make an international money transfer (sometimes called a telegraphic transfer) from your Australian Westpac account, you can do so:
- Via mobile banking
- At your local Westpac branch (in person or in writing)
You can transfer money overseas using Westpac online banking. Note that they sometimes call international transfers ‘telegraphic transfers’, which is just an older, more traditional way of saying ‘international money transfer.’ In order to transfer funds online, you’ll need to register for online banking and follow these steps⁵:
- Register for a Westpac Protect SMS code by signing into online banking, selecting “preferences” from the “Services and preferences” menu, selecting “security” and following the steps on-screen. You must do this before you can send any kind of transfer online.
- Sign into online banking
- Go to Payment > Make a payment > International
- Select or create a payee and
- Follow the steps to send a payment
To make an international payment via the Westpac mobile banking app⁵:
- Sign into Westpac Mobile Banking
- Search for international payments in the smart search bar
- Tap send money today and
- Follow the instructions on-screen
You can also send money overseas to most countries at your local branch. Follow these steps⁵:
- Find your local branch
- Have identification and your contact number
- Know the details of the person you want to send the money to
- Know the amount you wish to send and the currency they wish to receive it in. The bank teller will assist you with the transfer.
You will need the following information in order to make an international money transfer with Westpac¹:
- Your recipient’s full name as it appears on their bank account
- Their personal address
- Their bank’s name and address
- Your recipient’s account number used for international transfers. Should you be sending money to Europe, this will be their IBAN
- Recipient bank BIC/SWIFT code
- The amount and currency you’d like to send
When you receive money from overseas, it will be sent directly to your bank account. You can receive overseas transactions into any Westpac transaction or savings account. You or the sender will need to know⁶:
- Westpac’s SWIFT code: WPACAU2S
- Your full name is it appears on your account
- Your Westpac Branch (BSB) number and full account number
- The amount and the currency you want to receive
- Agree with the sender who will cover the costs of the transfer, to avoid receiving less than intended.
International payments to and from Westpac generally take 1-3 working days to be received¹.
$750 is the maximum online daily limit (including international transfers) set by defaut on your individual Westpac account ². You can request Westpac to increase the daily payment limit using the contact details below.
You can reach out to Westpac for any additional support⁷:
- Westpac domestic phone number: 132 032
- Westpac international phone number: (+61 2) 9155 7700
- Westpac Connect support chat
Westpac offers customers a range of options when making international transfers.
However, if you’re interested in what could be a cheaper and more transparent alternative, consider using Wise to help simplify your transactions and lower the fees involved.
Westpac doesn’t list any options to make a faster transfer for an extra fee. Bear in mind that SWIFT transfers may take additional time depending on the payment route and destination.
Transfers to some countries and in certain currencies may take up to 10 working days, especially if it needs to go through one or several intermediary banks.
|Westpac supported currencies¹|
|AED United Arab Emirates Dirham||GBP British Pounds||SEK Swedish Kroner|
|AUD Australian Dollars||HKD Hong Kong Dollars||SGD Singaporean Dollars|
|BND Brunei Darussalem||INR Indian Rupees||THB Thai Baht|
|CAD Canadian Dollars||JPY Japanese Yen||TOP Tongan Pa'anga|
|CHF Swiss Francs||NOK Norwegian Krone||USD US Dollars|
|CNY Chinese Yuan||NZD New Zealand Dollars||VUV Vanuatu Vatu|
|DKK Danish Kroner||PGK Papua New Guinean Kina||WST Samoan Tala|
|EUR Euros||PHP Filipino Peso||ZAR South African Rand|
|FJD Fijian Dollars||PKR Pakistani Rupees|
With Wise, you’ll know the exchange rate your money will be converted at, the transfer fees and what your recipient will receive, before you commit to the transfer.
So if you’re looking for a way to simplify the process, Wise is definitely worth checking out.
Use our pricing calculator below to have an idea of how much you get to save sending money overseas with Wise.
1.Westpac send money abroad
2.Westpac exchange rate terms and conditions info on Page 14 - Transfer daily limits on page 16
3.Westpac currency converter
4.Additional service fees trace, amendments cancellations
5.Steps on how to make the transfer on the Westpac platforms
6.receive money from abroad with your Westpac account
7.Contact us page to reach out to the bank
Sources checked on 9 November, 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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