Aussies lose millions on money transfers
New research shows that consumers are largely unaware of high bank margins and alternative money transfer providers who could save expats big money on forex. Margo Jurgens reports.
Every year, thousands of Aussie expats send money overseas. New research conducted in Australia by Galaxy Research reveals that 80% of Australians would use a bank to transfer their money.* That may be an expensive choice as more than half of those surveyed are completely unaware that banks often charge a 5% margin on their foreign transfers.
As Head of Australia and New Zealand at OFX, Scott Redmond has witnessed the problem first hand. “People tend to go to their bank as a default for money transfers without really thinking about it. That’s understandable, but it can be really costly for consumers.”
Redmond adds, “lots of us shop around for the best price on a new computer or even a pair of shoes, but few people think to shop around for the best rate on foreign exchange when it really does matter.” He tells the story of one client who was buying a property overseas; by using OFX instead of her bank, she saved enough to buy a new car when she relocated. “Comparing your options for money transfers is simply smarter,” Redmond says. “Major providers, like banks, can’t usually compete on price compared to niche companies who specialise in forex.”
Redmond suggests that once you’ve confirmed the margins and fees are low, consumers should look for robust, reliable companies who can deliver in times of turmoil like Brexit, and he says, price is only one piece of the puzzle. Online providers like OFX and UKForex let customers book transfers 24/7, and they offer round-the-clock customer service, so you can book your transfer on your schedule--not your bank’s. “Money moves fast; choose a provider who can keep up with you and your unique needs.”
The research further revealed that when Australian consumers are informed of these heavy money transfer costs, almost half consider it ‘a bank rip off’ while a further 27% called the fees ‘very high’. So now the only question is: why are we still using our banks to transfer money?
OFX Group is an ASX-listed company. They have six offices around the world providing custom solutions to help businesses and individuals save money and manage foreign currency risk. According to the annual report, OFX last year turned over A$19.6 billion in forex transactions.
*Survey conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of OFX (August 2016). Sample size: 1000 Australians.