If you’re looking for the best way to transfer money overseas, this article will give you a clear overview of what’s available, allowing you to find the best transfer result possible.

There is absolutely no shortage of options available – online and offline – when you have money to transfer overseas. You could be sending money home to relatives, planning a trip abroad or even doing business internationally. Whatever your reason to transfer money is, it’s important that you understand the market and the options available to yourself.

There are three main options available, being the major banks, sending cash for pick-up, or using a certified money transfer provider. Each option has its strengths, but the strength is dependent on your current situation and what’s best for you.

Below we’ll break down each of these three options, briefly highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in simple terms. Note, this article is merely advice, and ultimately your decision around how you transfer your money is up to you.

That’s not to say that sending your hard-earnt money is some scary beast of a situation, it’s more so important that you know there are a multitude of options out there, and if you need to transfer money regularly, understanding the best way to do so pays – literally!

Transfer money overseas with the banks

Most major banks will offer a simple and secure option to transfer your money overseas. Often the transfer is possible within your everyday banking app (if your bank has one) or online.

There’s absolutely no doubt that transferring money overseas with a bank is convenient. It’s easy because it’s readily accessible, and you have peace of mind knowing that it’s going to be a secure transfer ninety-nine percent of the time.

Banks all around the world are able to do this by using the SWIFT system, which is an acronym for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Long story short, this system provides a consistent and universal way to send money overseas, allowing important information to move fluidly around the world.

Prior to this, the banks used a system called TELEX that was slow, inconsistent and perceived as unreliable.

So, what are the cons? There seems to be a clear upside to transferring money with the banks, is it too good to be true?

The answer is yes…

Often there are sending and receiving fees associated with making an international money transfer with the banks, and the SWIFT system often transfers the money via other banks that are entitled to a fee along the way.

In addition to the high upfront transfer fees, the banks are known to charge exchange rates that are well above the market value to drive more profit out of your transaction. This means that you will end up with less money than you’re entitled to, and you’ll need to transfer more money than you budgeted for across to the required currency.

On average, the banks charge a three to five per cent premium on the mid-market value.

Transferring money overseas via cash or cheque

Certain providers like Western Union will offer an option that allows people to send money overseas that can be picked up in cash by an overseas recipient. This is a great option if you need to send money overseas to someone that doesn’t have a bank account, or they need cash fast. However, a service like this will come with a high transfer fee like the banks, and it might not be your best option, especially if don’t need the transfer to end in someone picking up cash. It’s also an option to simply send cash or a cheque in the mail, which is really old-school. Obviously this is risky as mail can get lost, and it will take a long time to be delivered internationally.

Transferring money overseas with a money transfer provider – cheapest

And lastly, we have the option of using a money transfer provider. A money transfer provider is a company that specialises in helping people send money abroad.

While it’s tricky to definitely say that this is the cheapest way to send money abroad in an ever-changing market, it’s fair to say that on average, using a money transfer provider is your cheapest option.

Each provider has their own strengths and specialities, but to simplify the process of choosing the best option for you, a great place to start is by understanding the priorities of your own individual transfer.

Some questions to ask yourself are…

  • Is the lowest exchange rate my priority?
  • Is a fast, or even instant transfer my priority?
  • Or, is knowing the best time to transfer my money from an exchange rate perspective my priority?

Once you understand the priority of your transfer, you’ll be able to find the best provider for you.

But why should we use a money transfer provider?

We haven’t even heard any potential pros or cons yet?

The upsides are clear. Firstly, by using a dedicated money transfer provider, you’ll be receiving an exchange rate that’s far cheaper than any bank or cash transfer provider. Depending on the amount you transfer, you might not even receive a transfer fee at all!

Secondly, your exchange rate will be three to five per cent cheaper on average than the banks. It might seem like a small margin now, but it certainly adds up – particularly if you transfer money over regularly, or have a large sum to exchange.

And thirdly, most dedicated money transfer providers have an easy to use, reliable and secure app available that you can use anytime.

For example, setting up an account with us takes about two minutes, and once your account is verified, transferring your money at the best rate is a breeze.


There are many options available when it comes to money exchange
Transferring with the banks is simple but costly
Transferring by cash or cheque is convenient but costly
Transferring via a dedicated money transfer provider is simple and cost-effective


To summarise what we just went through in this article, we highlighted in the beginning that there are many ways you can transfer money.

As an overview, there are three ways that people exchange their currency most commonly.

The first being via the banks. The banks provide a convenient and secure way to transfer money overseas, however, they’ll often charge a hefty transfer fee and an above-market exchange rate.

Secondly, we looked at transferring money overseas via cash or cheques. Once again, this was a convenient option, particularly if you were sending money overseas to someone that doesn’t have a bank account or a PayPal account set up (a rarity in 2019). However, like the banks, this would come at a cost when it came down to your transfer fee and the exchange rate.

Lastly, we looked at using a dedicated money transfer provider. This proved to be the most favourable option as using one is simple, secure and often the cheapest way to transfer.

We hope that the information in this article gave you a clear insight around how you’ll exchange your currency – good luck, here’s to making our hard earned money go further!

About BFX

BFX Money Transfer is a dedicated money exchange provider, proudly based here in Australia. We are a registered AUSTRAC business, and pride ourselves on helping our customers get the most out of every money transfer they make.

We have an easy to use App available, and setting up your online profile is simple. Once you’re ready to go, you can regularly secure a great exchange rate and make sure each transfer is successful.

To learn more set up your free online account.

We hope you enjoyed this article.

BFX Team

As a side note, here are some of the main countries and currencies that we exchange currencies with.

With BFX, you can transfer to  India (INR) Europe (Euro) Pakistan (PKR) USA (USD) China (USD, CNY) Bangladesh (BTD) and over 200 more currencies!


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BFX Money Transfer is regulated in Australia as a designated remittance provider with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), remittance sector registration number: IND1000519571-001. Australian Company Number (A.C.N) 611 376 820. Member of LEI Identification Number 5493001WDPYLPVM7RZ80.

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