Whether you need to make a one-off transfer overseas to pay for a holiday, or you’re being paid a regular salary from a business abroad, you’ll need to know a bit about how Bank of Melbourne will process your international money transfers - what they often call telegraphic transfers.
This can be a little tricky to understand, because transactions work differently, depending on where your money is going. Costs, cut off times, and processing time vary according to the destination. You might even find that your transaction is routed via banks other than Bank of Melbourne, as there can be several different organisations involved in a single transaction. Unfortunately, that also means that there can be additional fees added by other banks along the way.
Do some research in advance, with this handy guide to making an international transfer with Bank of Melbourne.
As a BOM customer, you can make international money transfers online at a lower fee than transactions processed in a branch - but you’ll first have to register your account for internet banking. This can take a couple of days and you’ll need to complete a form and mail it back. However, you can also phone the customer service advisors, or call into a branch if you’re in a hurry or you’d rather talk to a member of staff about your transaction.
(Source 13 October, 2017)
To make your international money transfer, you’ll need some details about where your money is headed. You can expect to be asked for the following:
- The transfer amount and currency
- The full name, address and account number of the person you’re sending the money to, as written on the account
- The full name and address of the bank you’re sending money to
- The recipient’s IBAN if you’re sending money to a European account
- The SWIFT/BIC code
What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?
You’ll need to give the sender the following to receive an international money transfer with Bank of Melbourne:
- Your full name and address,and that of your bank
- Your bank account number
- The correct SWIFT/BIC code
You also need to agree with the sender, who’ll pay the charges associated with the transfer. Otherwise you might get less than you expected, because often the costs are removed from the cash transferred, meaning that you receive the transfer minus any fees.
How long your transaction will take depends on where it’s headed to, and how long the recipient’s bank takes to process the transfer on their end. Because of this, BOM doesn’t publish any timescales for their international transfer service.
The bank doesn’t offer a way to speed up payments, but if you get your transaction done before 5pm AEST, Monday to Friday, you can at least be sure that Bank of Melbourne will kick off the transfer process on the same business day.
Bank of Melbourne’s rates vary depending on the specific circumstances of the transfer and are set out below.
Before you start, it’s a good plan to understand the fees involved when making an international transfer with Bank of Melbourne. However, don’t forget that there may be additional charges added by the recipient bank, or any intermediary banks who handle the transaction along the way.
|Bank of Melbourne International Transfer||Regular Fees|
|Incoming international transfer||Free if paid as pension into a Bank of Melbourne retirement accountOtherwise A$15 or A$38 depending on the account you hold and the method of processing the transfer|
|Outgoing international transfer||A$20 for transfers processed onlineA$32 for ‘staff assisted’ transfers (in a branch, for example)|
|Additional fees may apply||See “Additional fees” section.|
Depending on the type of account you hold, you might find that there are different charges applied.
(Source 13 October 2017)
As well as any flat fees applied, the other important thing to understand is the exchange rate that’ll be used for your transfer. It’s important to remember that the rates change constantly so the rate you see online on Bank of Melbourne’s foreign exchange site might not be exactly the same as the one applied to your transaction. However, Bank of Melbourne does note that if they convert your funds from a foreign currency into Australian dollars, there will be a charge of 3%.
Depending on the type of transaction you’re doing, it could also be an intermediary bank dealing with the transfer, or even the recipient’s bank, which chooses the exchange rate to apply. Because you’re not their direct customer, intermediary banks generally don’t offer a great deal. To make sure they make a profit, they can mark up the exchange rate - often anywhere from 4-6% - and pocket the difference. This means that the exchange rate offered may vary quite a bit from the exchange rate offered on Google.
Additional fees from Bank of Melbourne
It’s good to be aware that you might need to pay charges that aren’t actually set by Bank of Melbourne. That’s because international money transfers are usually processed using the SWIFT system, and there can be as many as 3 banks involved in the process. These intermediary banks or even the recipient’s bank might add their own fees to the transaction on top of anything Bank of Melbourne apply. Worst of all, Bank of Melbourne won’t be able to tell you exactly what other fees could apply before you place your transaction as these are decided by other banks involved.
|Bank of Melbourne International Transfer||Additional Fees|
|Intermediary + Sending/Recipient bank(s)||Bank of Melbourne makes it clear that there will be additional bank(s) that may levy charges.|
|Cancellation and return of funds||A$25 or A$32 + overseas bank charges|
|Trace on the telegraphic transfer||A$25 or A$27 + overseas bank charges|
|Amendment to payment details||A$21 staff-assisted or A$15 call centre staff assisted + overseas bank charges|
|Foreign currency conversion||3%|
(Source 13 October 2017)
Not only do the fees charged by intermediary banks mean you may get a nasty surprise when you place an international transfer, but the poor exchange rates often offered by banks compound the issue. In fact, your regular bank might not offer you the best deal at all.
A great alternative is to use a specialist service like TransferWise. TransferWise offers fast and secure international money transfers, using the real exchange rate and with only a small transparent transfer fee. And, because TransferWies connects users all over the world with a series of local bank accounts, that means your money won’t cross borders. And you won’t have surprise intermediary or recipient bank fees levied for international transfers.
You could also make your life much easier, and cut out some unnecessary fees, with a new TransferWise borderless account. A borderless account means you can move your money around the world at the touch of a button, hold your cash in different currencies and simply convert it when you need it, using the real exchange rate. And if you get paid in the EU, the UK, the US, or Australia but live elsewhere, a borderless account will let you get paid locally using local bank details. This means no international transfer is needed, so no intermediary banks, and no hidden fees, either.
Find out for yourself if you can get a better deal with TransferWise.
If you have specific questions about your transfer, you can always talk to Bank of Melbourne:
- Find your nearest branch to get help in person
- Give Bank of Melbourne a call - 13 22 66
You certainly don’t want to pay more than you have to, when it comes to moving your money around. International money transfers are fairly straightforward to arrange, but they can be expensive. Because there are potential pitfalls and hidden fees, it’s worth doing your research in advance so you can choose the best service for your needs.