The Best Way to Make an International Money Transfer

The best way to send money abroad is completely case-defendant. You must ask yourself a list of questions in order to narrow you search, and find your preferred method. “Best” means different things for different people. Does the best way to transfer simply mean cheap transfers? does it mean safe? does it mean fast? or is it a combination of all three (plus additional considerations)?

Quick-look at the best international transfers of 2024

These are our favourite ways to transfer money internationally in 2024.

Company NameOnline TransferLarge Transfer SpecialistsAppBest for
Send Payments
Not Supported
Large TransfersGo to Send
Not Supported
Business TransfersGo to TorFX
Not Supported
e-commerceGo to OFX
Not Supported
International Money Transfer AppGo to Wise
Not Supported
Speed and ComfortGo to Paypal

Best bank or best money transfer company?

If you are set up on the notion that you will be using a bank (as in an actual bank with a banking license and not a Fintech alternative) then you should head over to our article about Australia’s best bank for international transfers. There, you can find a thorough comparison of the various options Australians have to send money internationally with a bank.

This guide, however, will focus on finding the best international money transfer services – companies which aren’t banks, but rather focused only on making currency exchanges and moving money across borders. Those companies (there are 16 listed so far on our companies database) will enable customers to enjoy better rates, lesser fees, and a premium service compared to banks but they are not insured in the same way. Although supervised by ASIC (and other regulators, as most companies are regulated in multiple countries), money that is transferred through them, does not have the same level of insurance as money in a bank account.

This is perhaps the first decision to be making when choosing how to transfer money abroad.

Where to start with money transfer companies

Transfer size is always a good place to start.

That’s why we will begin this guide with the simplest distinction of all. For us, transfers above A$20,000 are “large transfers” and below that number “private transfers”. We’ll also have a section for business transfers of all sizes, as businesses have somewhat different needs.

Large international money transfers and small private transfers are two very different things in essence. It is true that some people have both requirements, but you can always move smaller amounts with a solution that is tailored to larger sums.

In our view, the best way to transfer large amounts of money is through a brokerage service. A service that assigns an expert to each customer with significant requirements, and helps them through the process.

To us, the mere fact you have a person who is familiar with you, the reason for which you are making the transfer, your considerations, your limitations, and is able to follow up on transfers and give you a real-time reflection of where the transfer is at and when it’s expected to land, how much with the recipient get (on the penny), and also offer you ways to manage with fluctuating rates – is a game changer.

In terms of rates, brokerages may not offer the best rate compared to digital providers, but because the whole nature of the business is bespoke, you can definitely negotiate the rate and by that achieve also a mean that, depending on their current liquidity and the current volatility on the market, they may be offer to offer the best rate.

The best way to send money internationally online, especially when sending smaller sums, is to use companies like Wise. Such apps are able to provide fair, accurate, and bank-beating rates even on lower sums, and their online journey is considered very smooth. You won’t get the benefits that a brokerage has – you won’t be able to negotiate over the price, get someone’s cellphone number in case you need assistance, or get any sort of protection against currency valuations.

Apps operate in a very straightforward manner. While some of them have enhanced functionality in terms of holding and receiving money, they are still pretty limited when catering to businesses or large money transfers.

Best foreign currency transfer services of 2024

Below, we will list the best money transfer companies in Australia. Each one of them is a specialist in a different area, and has different things going for it. We will try to explain why each of those companies has made its way into our top 5 and which is the best use case for them.

Send Payments: Best for Transfers Above $5,000

Send Payments, formerly known as SendFX, specialises in handling large financial transfers effectively. This service offers competitive exchange rates and lower fees that improve as the transfer amount increases. It has a strong customer approval rating with 99% positive feedback on various review platforms. The team’s expertise is significant, featuring professionals who have worked with notable industry leaders like TorFX and WorldFirst, two of the most respected money transfer services in Australia.

Despite being newer and smaller compared to its competitors, Send Payments is committed to providing exceptional support. Once a customer registers, they are assigned a dedicated support manager available to assist with transaction setups, rate negotiations, and any inquiries, including those about tax implications. This support extends to monitoring the progress of transfers and offering options to hedge, enhancing both flexibility and security.

Furthermore, Send Payments has already transferred more than AUD 1 billion since its inception in 2019, demonstrating its capacity and reliability. The company also offers a broad selection of over 120 currencies, facilitating global transactions for Australians around the world. This comprehensive approach and the ability to handle large transactions effectively make Send Payments our favourite in the international money transfer market.

TorFX: Best for Business Transfers

TorFX, a well-established money transfer service, has built a robust international presence since its founding in 2002. Highly regarded for its reliable and friendly service, TorFX offers very competitive rates and does not charge transfer fees, making it a preferred choice for businesses and individuals needing to make regular or large-value international transfers.

Each customer at TorFX is assigned a dedicated account manager, ensuring personalized and consistent support. This approach has contributed significantly to the company’s reputation, underscored by prestigious awards such as the Canstar 5-Star Rating for ‘Outstanding Value in International Money Transfers’—an accolade it has won five consecutive years.

TorFX operates globally with local offices in strategic locations, including Australia, where it has a strong market presence, particularly with a team based in Queensland. This local support enhances the service experience, providing customers with access to knowledgeable experts well-versed in the nuances of international money transfers.

Moreover, TorFX’s suite of services includes options like forward contracts and market orders, which appeal to those looking for more strategic financial planning tools, such as locking in exchange rates for future payments. This is particularly advantageous for significant transactions like property purchases abroad.

The company’s online platform and mobile app enable clients to manage and track their transfers efficiently, in real time. Due to those factors, the overall client feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with many appreciating the seamless process and the expert guidance provided by their dedicated account managers.

In summary, TorFX’s combination of no-fee transactions, competitive rates, and dedicated customer service positions, combined with multiple types of hedging tools, making it the best for businesses in Australia from corporations through small businesses and sole traders.

OFX: Best for e-commerce

OFX, established in 1998 and originally known as OzForex, is renowned for reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness, making it ideal for e-commerce businesses. It offers a Global Currency Account for online sellers, enabling payments in multiple currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, and HKD from international marketplaces such as Amazon. This feature simplifies managing global revenues and avoids unfavorable bank exchange rates.

OFX charges no transfer fees regardless of the amount. It uses mid-market exchange rates with a small margin, providing better rates than traditional banks. For businesses needing to manage currency risk, OFX offers forward contracts and target rate orders, allowing businesses to lock in favorable rates or set specific rates for future transactions, enhancing financial stability and predictability.

The OFX platform, available online and via mobile apps, allows businesses to initiate and track transfers easily. OFX provides 24/7 customer support from six global offices, ensuring assistance is always available.

With support for over 50 currencies and the ability to send money to more than 170 countries, OFX is well-suited for businesses with a global customer base. The company has facilitated around $100 billion in transfers to date, highlighting its capacity and reliability.

Wise: Best International Money Transfer App

Wise, founded in 2011, excels in providing low-cost international money transfers. Known for its transparency and efficiency, Wise is ideal for freelancers, businesses, and individuals. The company serves over 16 million customers and transfers more than £5 billion monthly.

Wise offers a multi-currency account supporting over 50 currencies. Users receive local bank details for USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and more, facilitating easy global transactions. The platform supports transfers to over 80 countries.

Wise’s transparent fee structure, typically ranging from 0.35% to 1% of the transfer amount, and mid-market exchange rates ensure users get the best value. The platform’s user-friendly interface is highly rated, with a 4.6-star rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.5-star rating on Google Play. It allows real-time transfer tracking, rate alerts, and notifications via email and SMS.

Regulated by the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, and ASIC in Australia, Wise ensures high security and compliance standards. The company has received accolades like the FinTech50 and the Europas Award for its innovative financial solutions.

PayPal: Best for Speed and Comfort

PayPal is a highly convenient and fast option for international money transfers, particularly favored for its ease of use and global acceptance. With over 400 million users, PayPal is one of the most widely recognized digital payment platforms.

PayPal allows users to send money instantly to over 200 countries. The platform supports transfers in multiple currencies, making it ideal for international payments. The user-friendly interface of both the PayPal website and mobile app simplifies the process of sending and receiving money, managing accounts, and tracking transactions. The app is highly rated, with a seamless user experience that allows for quick transactions.

PayPal is regulated by financial authorities in various jurisdictions, including FinCEN in the US and the FCA in the UK, ensuring compliance with high security and regulatory standards. This provides users with confidence in the safety and reliability of their transactions.

However, PayPal is one of the more expensive options for international transfers. Fees can include a 5% charge on international payments funded by a PayPal balance or linked bank account, with a cap of $4.99, plus a currency conversion fee of 4%. Additional fees apply if a credit or debit card is used for funding. Despite the higher costs, PayPal’s speed, ease of use, and extensive reach make it a preferred choice for many users needing quick and reliable international money transfers.

Best International Money Transfer Apps

Year EstablishedTransfer FeesExchange RateSpeedPhone SupportCustomer SupportKey FeaturesApp Rating AverageRating Large TransfersRating Small Transfers
2019NoneCompetitive, negotiable1-3 days✔️Dedicated account manager120+ currencies, rate negotiations, hedging options3.4 (Google Play)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2004NoneCompetitive, negotiable1-3 days✔️Dedicated account managerForward contracts, market orders4.5 (Google Play)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2011Low, transparentMid-market rateInstant to 3 daysNoneOnline supportMulti-currency account, debit card4.6 (Google Play)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
1998NoneCompetitive, negotiable1-3 days✔️Dedicated account managerCurrency risk management tools4.2 (Google Play)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
1998HighLess favorableInstant✔️Online supportWidely accepted, user-friendly interface4.3 (Google Play)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Here are the best international money transfer apps and how they compare:

Wise offers low, transparent fees and uses mid-market exchange rates, making it ideal for cost-effective transfers. The app supports over 50 currencies and provides features like a multi-currency account and debit card. Transfers usually complete within 1-2 days, and the app is praised for its user-friendly interface and efficient online support. Wise holds an impressive 4.6-star rating on Google Play, making it reliable for both small and large transfers.

Send Payments is excellent for large transfers, with no fees and competitive, negotiable rates. Launched in 2019, the app supports over 120 currencies and offers personalized support through dedicated account managers. Transfers typically complete within 24-48 hours. Despite a lower rating of 3.4 on Google Play, it is highly regarded for large transactions due to its quick service and strong customer support.

TorFX is a strong option for business and large transfers, offering no fees and competitive rates. It provides dedicated account managers and 24/7 phone support. The app supports over 60 currencies and is known for its fast transfers, typically within 1-2 days. With a 4.5-star rating on Google Play, TorFX is well-regarded for its personalized service and comprehensive financial tools.

OFX is suited for e-commerce and large transfers, offering no fees for substantial amounts and competitive rates. The app supports over 50 currencies and provides 24/7 phone support along with various transfer options like spot transfers and forward contracts. Transfers generally take 3-4 days. OFX has a 4.2-star rating on Google Play and is appreciated for its robust customer service and support for multiple currencies.

PayPal is known for its speed and convenience, offering instant transfers if both parties have PayPal accounts. Although it has higher fees and less favorable exchange rates, PayPal is widely accepted and user-friendly. It is suitable for casual and small-scale transactions, holding a 4.3-star rating on Google Play. PayPal’s ease of use and instant transfer capability make it a convenient choice for many users.