International Transfers through Australian Banks

Sending money overseas from Australia is a simple process. All major banks provide international money transfer services, and many provide customers with the capability to execute such transactions through their online banking systems at no additional cost. Most banks have a transaction fee associated with international transfers (generally $20-35), and are not liable for fees incurred by intermediary banks facilitating the transfer in the destination country. Exchange rates offered by banks on these transactions will generally be several cents lower than the established exchange rate for any given day, so it’s wise to confirm this before committing to a large transfer.

Australian employers will only deposit salaries into accounts with Australian Banks, after deducting income taxes. Once the money is in your Australian bank account, you are free to transfer it as you please.

While there are no Australian laws prohibiting large remittance amounts, your bank may have transaction limits, or regulate these limits depending on the country you intend to transfer funds to (eg. $2,000 to India per transaction). Although no limit may be set by your bank, it is always advisable to limit remittance to $10,000 per transfer, as frequent transfers of large amounts will likely draw the scrutiny of the Australian Government (namely the Federal Police Money Laundering Division and Australian Taxation Office).

Other Options

Many expats chose to avoid banks for smaller international transfers and use alternative methods for sending money overseas.

If you have an existing PayPal account linked to a bank account in your home country, simply create a new PayPal Australia account linked to your Australian bank account. This will allow you to conduct money transfers using PayPal as the intermediary, or “pay” yourself from your local account to your account overseas. 

Western Union
Western Union offices are widespread throughout Australia (usually located in Australia Post offices). While fees may be higher than any of the other methods mentioned so far, Western Union International Money Transfers tend to be incredibly fast, and can be extremely handy if you need the money to reach its destination within 24 hours.