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...
Whether it be for travel, family overseas or international purchases, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll need to send money overseas at some point. For members of ME Bank, formerly known as Members Equity Bank, this is easier said than done — as the service is unavailable. We’re going to give you some ideas on how you can get around this issue, using your ME Bank account and Wise.
Unfortunately, ME Bank does not support international money transfers at all. Incoming or outgoing. Their users are limited to sending money locally to other bank accounts within Australia. You also can’t receive international payments into your ME Bank account¹. The main services the bank offers are loans, everyday banking within Australia and term deposits.
To save you money on SWIFT and correspondent bank fees, Wise uses a network of local bank accounts to send and receive money.
With a Wise account, you can set up a transfer to your recipient abroad, say the UK. You then make a local bank transfer of the payment amount to Wise's Australian bank account.
Once Wise receives, converts your money and sends the transfer, the person you’re sending money to receives GBP in their UK bank account, from a Wise bank account in the UK.
As you can see, money actually doesn’t cross borders. This is how Wise helps you send money cheaply, avoid intermediary bank fees and know upfront how much your recipient will receive into their account.
|💰 Wise provides you the real exchange rate and low transparent transfer fees shown upfront.|
ME Bank advises a way around not being able to send money internationally is to make a payment with your card. This obviously is not practical if you actually intended to send money to someone's account. It is also very expensive.
Like most banks, ME Bank charges fees for using your credit and debit cards to pay overseas vendors. The two standard ME Bank international payment fees are the international transaction fee and Mastercard cross-border fee².
- 1.5% of the purchase price of items bought in a foreign currency.
- Does not apply if you pay in AUD.
- 0.8% of the purchase price of items bought from a seller whose account isn’t in Australia.
- Be aware that it isn't always easy to know where a payment is processed.
Wise also offers a debit card linked to its Multi-Currency account. Let's see the difference in cost to use ME Bank vs Wise payment cards for an international payment online of 200 GBP from an AUD account balance.
|Fees||ME Bank + Mastercard fee³ (1.5% + 0.8%)||Wise Card|
|Paying for a 200GBP bill using your AUD account||4.6 GBP $8.46 AUD* (keep in mind the exchange rate is MasterCards’)||$1.62 AUD**|
*Fees as shown on the Mastercard rate calculator. checked on 4th November 2021
** Wise card payment fee calculated here.
One of the benefits of using Wise is its commitment to offering customers the real exchange rate, which matches the one seen on Google. Wise updates their rates constantly based on data from Reuters and uses them for all transactions.
So it doesn’t matter whether you're sending money to a foreign bank or using your card to pay an overseas seller, you can count on your exchange rate matching the global markets.
You can contact ME Bank through:
- Your online banking portal,
- at a branch,
- by post addressed to ME, GPO BOX 1345, Melbourne VIC 3001 or
- by calling them on 13 15 63.
If you’d rather not use your cards from ME Bank to make international payments or need to receive money from abroad, Wise might be the solution.
Once you’re ready to start an international money transfer, you can use the Wise pricing calculator to check the transfer breakdown. The calculator shows you the real exchange rate and low fees for the transaction.
- ME Bank Making international transfers.
- ME Bank Making international payments.
- Mastercard Currency Converter Calculator
Sources checked: 4 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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