Does my deposit need to be in an Australian bank account?

It can often be expensive to transfer money from an overseas bank account to an Australian dollar bank account.

With so many banks, lenders and foreign currency providers it can be difficult to understand what is the best way to transfer your money to Australia.

What is the cheapest way to transfer my money?

There are many foreign currency transfer providers that can help you transfer your money at a reduced price. Banks can often be very expensive and overcharge on exchange rates and transfer fees.

We recommend that you sign up to multiple providers to compare quotes. Particularly, look for a provider that doesn’t have a fee per transaction.

You should compare the rates of the different providers and banks. If you have a business, or access to a corporate account, as oppose to a personal account, then you may be able to gain even cheaper rates when you decide to transfer your money over.

There are a number of things that can move exchange rates. The can include cash rate changes in your country, good or bad economic data, bank day rates and current market conditions.

Monitor the rates for a couple of months so you can get an idea of when it is best to transfer your money.

Which bank should I open an account with?

If you are planning to come to Australian and are eligible to open a bank account, you can open a bank account with the lender you are going to borrow with.

Once you have opened up the account, and transferred the money into it, you will have a record with the bank. The bank will look upon this favourably and it can improve your credit score.

Also, after you have opened up your Australian bank account you will want to transfer your money into that account via a third party foreign transfer provider. Most banks allow deposits from overseas.

What about banks that have branches in other countries?

If you are already an existing member of a bank in your country, and they have a branch in Australia then you can open up an Australian dollar bank account with them.

If you decide to transfer money directly from your overseas bank account to your Australian dollar bank account, then you will still be subject to the banks exchange rate. This can often be higher than third party exchange companies.

What are foreign exchange companies?

Also known as money transfer companies, or currency transfer companies, foreign exchange companies are low cost and low overhead providers.

They are usually a cheaper alternative to using the bank or walking into a currency exchange booth, which you can expect to pay between 3% and 5%.

Some of the main providers for foreign currency transfer include:

  • XE Trade Money Transfers
  • HiFX
  • Oz Forex
  • Travelex

If you can compare multiple quotes online with some of these providers then you are going to see the margin that each of them charges. This will give you a scope to bargain within.

You can get even more scope to bargain if you register as a corporate customer or a business owner as opposed to a private consumer.

How can I transfer my money?

The foreign exchange companies allow you to create an account and link two bank accounts.

Once this has been set up you are able to transfer money from you foreign bank account to your Australian bank account.

The minimum requirements for starting an account is your address, personal details, certified identification, a bank account to draw from and a list of the countries which you want to send money. Most applications can be made online.

Once your account is ready to trade, you can log in, get a quote and if you are happy with the rate, you can accept the rate and provide details of an account to draw from or transfer to.

Before you transfer, notify your bank, both the incoming and outgoing, of a large sum of money being moved. Often if you have never done this before, limits are automatically imposed unless at your request and the bank approves.

Are there any countries I cannot transfer money from?

There are countries you cannot transfer money from. These include any countries with sanctions, or countries that have been red flagged as possible places for money laundering.

It is hard to transfer from these types of countries with having a registered entity in Australia.

Australia has Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CTF) controls which are designed to mitigate the harmful effects of criminal economic activity. They are also designed to promote integrity as well as stability in the financial market.

It needs to be clear where you got your money from and where it is going. Authorities need to know whom it is going to and what it is going towards.

Sending money for a third party can be risky, and are also one of the most watched transactions. Be clear on the purpose of the funds that you are sending and be clear on the source of those funds.

Be aware of the legalities behind where you money comes from, and where it is going, particularly if you are doing something out of pattern, such as sending money to purchase a property.

Which foreign currencies do banks accept?

There are a number of currencies that you can easily transfer to an Australian bank account. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Euro
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)

Some companies will also do direct trading with the Chinese Yuan as opposed to converting Yuan to USD then to AUD.

There are numerous rules and regulations when exchanging Chinese Yuan to Australian Dollar and is subject to conditions when making transactions. These types of transfers will need to be discussed with us on a case-by-case basis.

Our brokers are experts in foreign exchange. Contact us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas or enquire online.

Can I set up a corporate transfers account?

If possible, open up a corporate account as opposed to consumer account. Corporate accounts will always attract better rates.

In most cases, if you own a business you may be eligible to open up a corporate transfers account. Opening up a corporate transfer account gives you access to better rates because banks assume you will not be sending just one transaction.

Setting up a corporate account in Australia can be difficult. Contact on of our specialist mortgage brokers on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas or enquire online to find out how we can help you.

Can I transfer money into someone else’s bank account?

If you are bringing money from overseas, we highly recommend that it is your account that you are transferring money into and not someone else’s. If it is someone else’s and it is your money then make sure you have the proof that it is yours.

This is to make sure that your money doesn’t get held up in Australia as a third party transaction.

Sufficient proof would include:

In general, you will want the money to come from your account to your Australian bank account.

Talk to us regarding the destinations of funds, to determine which will be of most convenience for you.

How can I get a mortgage?

Our specialist mortgage brokers are experts in getting tough non-resident loans approved. Each of our brokers has worked in the banks as the people to accept or decline loans, which means we know how to present you application to get your loan approved.

If you want to transfer money to an Australian bank account to purchase a property contact us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas or enquire online.

  • Holly

    How much does an Australian mortgage broker charge for their services?

  • Hi Holly,

    You will not need to pay anything in most cases for using the services of an Australian mortgage broker. This is because we’re paid by the banks for bringing in loan applications that would otherwise have been brought in by the bank’s staff. It’s unlikely you’ll be charged with any fees if your loan is for more than $200k, your situation isn’t overly complex and that you’re not planning on paying it all back in 2 years. Call us on 1300 889 743 to discuss it with one of our home loan specialists.

  • mariam

    I’m currently living and working in Canada but my son’s still studying in Uni down under. He wants to buy a house and stop renting but doesn’t have enough deposit. I want to send him over some money to use instead. Is this okay with the banks?

  • Hey mariam,

    Yes, this is okay. The banks will generally need you to evidence that the money is a gift and not a loan that needs to be repaid. A signed gift letter will suffice as proof of this with most lenders. Some lenders may also have additional requirements such as requiring the funds from the gift to be in your son’s account before he applies.

  • Lily Al

    I’m an Australian expat living in the UAE and my daughter wanted me to send over money to help her buy a home but I’m considering buying the place on my own instead. What are the policies regarding this?

  • Hi Lily,

    Since you’re an Australian citizen living overseas, you won’t need FIRB approval and can borrow up to 95% of the property value and qualify for the same interest rates as Aussies living down under. Please check out the “Mortgages for Australians in Dubai” page for details:

  • Christopher

    What zoning do lenders prefer when it comes to B&Bs?

  • Hey Christopher,
    For residential purposes, lenders generally want to see a property that’s zoned as a Category 1 or 2 property. Category 3 and regional properties may be financed if you have a larger deposit.

  • Kay

    How is stamp duty calculated in Australia?

  • Hi. Stamp duty is calculated on a sliding scale as a percentage of the purchase price. It starts off as a relatively low percentage and increases for premium properties. You can view the stamp duty table for your state to see where the cut-offs are or discuss this with your mortgage broker.

  • Qa N

    Hi, I’m in Victoria and like to invest a property. I will borrow money from family member from oversea as a loan with no interest and payback when I sell. Is it ok to do this in Australia? Should I need to declare anything with ATO or else ? How do I bring the money in, say about 6 figures.

  • Nguyet

    Is this money subject to son’s income tax?

  • Hi Nguyet,
    Sorry we aren’t experts in tax law, just mortgages. I’d recommend that you ask an accountant in Australia.

  • Kopano

    Hi, I am from Canada and my daughter studies in Melbourne. She’s trying to purchase land and was asking me to help her. How can I transfer her money from here?

  • Hi Kopano,
    Foreign currency transfer providers can help you transfer your money at a low price. But please compare the rates of the different providers and banks. Banks can often be very expensive and overcharge on exchange rates and transfer fees. However, if you are already an existing member of a bank in your country, and they have a branch in Australia, you can open up an Australian dollar bank account with them and transfer money to your daughter at a minimal cost.