BOQ international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

27.10.17
7 minute read
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There are lots of reasons you might need to send or receive money from abroad. But whether you’re transferring a large amount - a deposit for a new holiday home perhaps - or just a few dollars to pay back a friend who lives overseas, it’s a smart idea to know a bit about how the process of international transfers - sometimes called telegraphic transfers (TT) - works with BOQ.

Transactions work differently, depending on where your money is going, and this means that costs, cut off times, and processing time vary. You might also find that BOQ isn’t the only bank involved in your transfer - often there are several different institutions 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 BOQ.

How do you make an international bank transfer with BOQ?

BOQ allows customers to make international money transfers online, by visiting a branch or BOQ business banking centre.

Before you can make a transfer, however, you may need to register your account for international services. You can do this through the internet banking facility, but it might take a couple of days to conclude the process, so leave plenty of time. Contact BOQ directly to check if registration is needed on your account.

You can only do an online transfer between 7am Monday and 5pm Friday (Brisbane time), and the minimum amount you’re able to transfer overseas with BOQ is A$100.

(Source 13 October 2017)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

To send money online through an international bank transfer, you're going to need a few things:

  • You must have a BOQ Security Token
  • Your account must be registered to perform Pay Anyone transactions

The first time you do an international transaction you might find you have to register the account for international services, depending on the account type you hold. It can take a couple of days to have your account approved.

Whether you’re making the payment online or in branch, you’ll also need:

  • The transfer amount and currency
  • The full name, address and account number of the person you’re sending the money to
  • 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

(Source 13 October 2017)

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 BOQ:

  • Your full name and address and that of your bank
  • Your bank account number
  • The correct SWIFT/BIC code

Unlike some European countries, Australian banks don’t use the IBAN system, so it’s especially important to give the correct SWIFT/BIC code and branch address.

Don’t forget to confirm with the sender who will pay the charges associated with the transfer. Usually the costs are removed from the cash transferred, meaning that you receive the transfer minus any fees applied by intermediary banks, or the bank sending or receiving the payment. This can mean you get less than you expected.

How long does an international bank transfer with BOQ take?

How long your transaction will take depends on where it’s headed to. However, most transfers get to their destination 1 to 3 working days.

(Source 13 October 2017)

Is there any way to make a faster transfer for an extra fee?

The bank doesn’t offer a way to speed up payments, so if you’re in a hurry be sure to hit the cut off time to start the process on the same day you place the transaction. The cut off times vary depending on the country you’re sending your money to and can be as early as 10:30am for some currencies. Check them out online before you start.

(Source 13 October 2017)

What are the fees?

BOQ’s rates vary depending on the specific circumstances of the transfer, and are set out below. Check out all the small print, online.

BOQ International transfer fees table

It’s a good plan to understand the fees involved when making an international transfer with BOQ, but don’t forget that there may be additional charges added by the recipient bank, or by intermediary banks who handle the transaction along the way.

BOQ International Transfers Regular Fees
Minimum amount you can transfer In order for BOQ to make an international transfer on your behalf, you’ll need to transfer at least A$100
Incoming international transfer A$10 received in Australian dollarsA$10 received in foreign currencyPlus possible overseas bank charges
Outgoing international transfer A$30 in Australian dollarsA$30 in foreign currencyPlus possible overseas bank charges
Additional fees may apply See Additional Fees section below

Depending on the type of account you hold, you might find that there are different charges applied.

(Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 13 October 2017)

BOQ exchange rates

As well as any flat fees applied, the other important thing to understand is the exchange rate that’ll be used for your transfer. You can find the latest exchange rate on the BOQ website - however, as it changes constantly, this might not be the exact rate used for your transfer.

Depending on the circumstances, you might find that it's not even BOQ that sets the rate for your transaction. For example, an agent or correspondent bank dealing with the transfer might choose the exchange rate to apply. As these middlemen don’t need to worry about pleasing their customers, they generally don’t offer a great deal and it’s not uncommon to find that they mark up the exchange rate by anywhere from 4-6% in their favor and pocket the difference. Unfortunately, at the time of processing the transaction, you won’t be able to find out what other fees might be applied as these are decided by other banks involved in the transaction.

Alternatively, you might find that the receiving bank chooses the exchange rate used. To make sure they profit on the deal, they can mark up the exchange rate, and keep the difference. This means that the exchange rate offered may vary quite a bit from the exchange rate offered on Google.

(Source 13 October 2017)

Additional fees from BOQ

BOQ levies fees if there’s a problem with your payment.

However, some of the fees you might end up being charged aren’t actually set by BOQ. If your transfer is processed using the SWIFT system, there are often as many as 3 intermediary banks involved in the process. These banks, or the recipient bank might also add their own fees to the transaction. Unfortunately, BOQ often won’t be able to tell you exactly what other fees might be applied before you place your transaction as these are decided by other banks involved.

BOQ Additional International Fees Additional Fees
Sending/Recipient bank and/or Intermediary bank(s) BOQ does note “Please be aware that overseas banks may also deduct fees and charges from the payment and that the amount the beneficiary receives may therefore be less than what you originally sent.”
Cancelling an international payment A$25 + any loss incurred due to the buy back of the currency
Amendment of an international payment A$25 + any loss incurred due to the buy back of the currency or change to the amount
Recall of a telegraphic transfer A$25
Rejected telegraphic transfer A$25
Tracing a payment (if something went wrong) A$40

(Source 1 Source 2 13 October 2017)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

Although your bank might be the most obvious place to turn when you need an international money transfer, they might not actually offer a good deal. In fact, you could find that you’re much better off with a specialist service like TransferWise. Unlike your regular bank, TransferWise uses smart new technology that connect their local bank accounts all over the world to ensure that your money is transferred using a series of local bank transfers, which means those expensive intermediary and recipient international bank fees are eliminated. TransferWise offers fast, secure international money transfers using the real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google - and with only a small transparent transfer fee.

If you live or work abroad, or need to make international transfers regularly, you’ll want your money to be as mobile as you are. A great option could be to get a new TransferWise borderless account, which allows you to manage and move your money around the world at the touch of a button. If you get paid in the EU, the UK, the US, or Australia but live elsewhere, a borderless account will also let you get paid locally using local bank details - cutting out international transfers entirely. This means no intermediary banks or hidden fees.

See for yourself if you can get a better deal with TransferWise.

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

If you have specific questions about your transfer, there are several different ways you can talk to BOQ:

  • Go into an BOQ branch to get help in person
  • Give BOQ a call - 07 3212 3366

Whether you’re making a one-off payment overseas, or live or work abroad and have to make international money transfers regularly, it’s worth doing your research in advance. Transferring money abroad is relatively straight forward, but there are potential pitfalls and hidden fees. You can avoid paying too much for your transfer and make sure you get the best deal for your situation, with a little advance planning.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more