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...
Traveling long-term or studying abroad in Australia? Have family overseas? Selling a product or otherwise doing business with a company from another country? There are a lot of reasons why you may need to receive money from overseas into your bank account at NAB.
But is an international wire transfer — often called a telegraphic transfer — actually your best option?
|💸 Receive payments from abroad with tiny sender fees and at the real exchange rate. Just like the one you see on Google.
If you’re a NAB customer, this guide should give you an idea of what to expect when receiving money into your NAB account from abroad. We'll also compare a cheaper alternative that'll give you the most money for your transfer. Let's begin.
As with most banks, NAB will charge you a fee to receive money from overseas. Here’s what you should expect to pay:¹
|Receiving a transfer
|Deposited into a NAB account
|Up to AU$15 per transfer
|Deposited into a non-NAB account in Australian dollars (NAB acting as the intermediary bank)
|Up to AU$30 per transfer
|Deposited into a non-NAB account in a foreign currency (unconverted)
|Up to AU$35 per transfer
|Cheques in foreign currency and payable overseas
|Up to AU$25 per item³
SWIFT transfers are the most common way banks send each other money internationally. Here is some important information to know on how SWIFT transfer fees work.
The person sending you money might be able to choose between several different options that affect how the fees are distributed. The options are sometimes referred to as OUR, SHA or BEN.
|Transfer fee code
|Liability for costs
|The sender pays all transfer charges
|Charges for the transfer are shared between the sender and the recipient. This is the most common option
|The recipient pays all transfer charges
Not all banks offer all options for every transfer. But it could be worth having a conversation with your sender about this.
At NAB, the default is to deduct intermediary and receiving charges from the amount of the transfer; however, NAB notes online¹,
“In some cases, the sender may tell us to charge our fee to them. Where we do this, we won’t charge you and may charge the sending bank a higher amount.”
Although there is actually only one fair exchange rate, the mid market or interbank rate, most banks and money exchange providers add a (small) spread to the exchange rate to make a profit on it.
NAB notes on their currency converter:²
Indicative NAB FX rates displayed are NAB's standard FX rates for receiving International Money Transfers (IMTs). NAB's FX rates include a margin. Customer specific FX rates will be applied at the point the transaction is processed.
To better understand how the margin on the exchange rate affects how much money you get, let's say a friend of yours from the UK sends 500 GBP to you in 2 ways:
- Directly to your NAB account and
- through Wise to your NAB account
This example only considers the effect of the rate on the amount you get, not the extra fees.
|1 GBP → 1.86074
|1 GBP → 1.79150 AUD
*Rates as seen on 30 December 2021
Did you catch that? With Wise, the recipient will get 34.62 AUD more, even without considering any fees. Just off the exchange rate alone.
Whatever service you use — a bank or a specialist — make sure you’re getting a decent exchange rate. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate using an online currency converter or by doing a quick search on Google.
The most common way to receive an international money transfer is to have it deposited into your account via SWIFT transfer.
NAB will also accept other traditional methods, including checks, bank drafts and money orders, though those all require being mailed internationally and can take much longer than electronic transfers.
A SWIFT international money transfer usually takes between 2-5 business days to process (just like sending IMTs from your account to others). It may however take longer depending on your sender's country and bank.
However, there are many factors that can delay processing, and NAB doesn’t guarantee any transfer times. It's best to provide your correct bank details to the sender to avoid any needless delays.
To ensure the fastest possible processing time for your transfer, you should provide the sender with all the necessary information, ensuring it’s all correct.
NAB requires the following information to be provided to the sender of an international transfer¹:
- Bank: National Australia Bank
- BIC/SWIFT code: NATAAU3303M
- Your BSB (bank, state, branch) and account number. Note that Australia does not use the IBAN system, so no NAB IBAN needed.
- Your full name and street address
You can get support from NAB staff by contacting them:¹
- At a branch
- Calling the International Payment Service Desk on 1300 888 413 or the general line +61 3 8641 9083 from overseas.
Wise can transfer money from another country directly into your NAB account at the mid-market exchange rate with no markups, intermediary fees or other surprise charges. There’s just a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront to the sender.
If someone from these regions needs to send money to you, they can make a simple, local bank transaction and avoid any international transfer fees. There’s no monthly fee for a Multi-currency account, and you can withdraw your money whenever you want.
However you decide to move your money across borders, knowing all your options is the first step toward choosing what’s best for your needs — and your wallet. Good luck!
- NAB receiving money from abroad guide page
- NAB currency exchange converter
- NAB fees and charges PDF (Page 15)
Sources checked on 30 December 2021
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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