Receiving Money From Overseas in Australia

If you’re in Australia and due to receive money from overseas then you should know you have a number of options available to you. Choose wisely though as the method you select will have a significant impact on the amount you receive and the speed in which it is available. This is particularly important when you’re receiving large amounts of money from overseas as the cost savings could be thousands of dollars. If you’ve ever asked “what is the cheapest way of receiving money from abroad?” then this guide is for you. On this page, Send Money Australia compares your receiving options by both cost and convenience. Learn how to receive money from overseas in Australia and what bank details are needed to receive money.

The Top 5 Foreign Exchange Companies to Receive Money From Overseas

If you are an individual or business set to receive money from overseas in Australia, then you need a reliable foreign exchange partner that will help you achieve the best foreign exchange rates. This could be because the provider offers the lowest FX margins or because a dedicated foreign exchange dealer has helped you to time your trade when the rate moves favourably. A good FX company will:

Guide you how to receive money from overseas with ease. A local, Australian account manager will always be at the end of the phone with no wait times.

Help you become more knowledgeable about currency trends. This could help you to time trades to achieve a better exchange rate and ultimately receive more AUD.

Provide foreign exchange hedging tools. If you know you’re set to receive a large amount of currency in the future it might be worth booking the foreign exchange with a forward contract if the rate is currently in your favour. A forward contract locks in today’s rate for the future and provides certainty on the amount you’ll receive.

Offer fair exchange rates. A low FX margin can drastically improve the amount of AUD you bank when you receive money from overseas.

What are good money transfer options to receive money from abroad? View our list below of the best foreign exchange companies that are specifically recommended to receive money from overseas in Australia.
Best Online Payment Platform
Editorial Rating 95.6%
  • Global Approach with 30+ Offices Worldwide
  • 150,000+ Clients
  • Zero Fees from Everywhere
  • Extremely Easy Sign Up from Australia
Min transfer
£/€/$ 100
Trading via
Australia United States United Kingdom China
+ 6 more
  • Spain Spain
  • France France
  • Portugal Portugal
  • India India
  • South Africa South Africa
  • Canada Canada
For Relocation Purposes
Editorial Rating 92.4%
  • More than 100 Years of FX Experience in Trading Staff
  • Hassle-Free Transfer Process
  • No Fees Worldwide
  • Fast and Easiest Website
Min transfer
£/€/$ 100
Trading via
Australia United States United Kingdom China
Largest FX Firm in Australia
Editorial Rating 92.2%
  • Publicly Traded Firm in ASX
  • 94% Customer Satisfaction
  • Australian Born and Bred
  • 24/7 Customer Support
Min transfer
£/€/$ 100
Trading via
Australia United States United Kingdom China
+ 3 more
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Canada Canada
  • Singapore Singapore
Incredible Rates for Currency Transfers from Australia
Editorial Rating 90.2%
  • Very High Positive Client Feedback
  • Fixed Margins- Auto Applied, not Based on Negotiation
  • Large and Trusted
  • Unavailable in the USA, and in Quebec
Exept USA
Min transfer
£/€/$ 1000
Trading via
Australia United States United Kingdom China
+ 4 more
  • Netherlands Netherlands
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong
  • Singapore Singapore
  • Japan Japan

How To Receive Money From Overseas in Australia

There are a number of ways to receive money from Overseas. The five most popular methods are:

  • Receive Money From Overseas Into Your Bank Account
  • Receiving Money From Overseas – International Cheque
  • Receive Money via Cash Pickup
  • Receiving Money via Australia Post
  • Receive Money From Overseas – Money Transfer / FX Company

Option 1: Receive Money From Overseas Into Your Bank Account

Bank-to-bank transfers are the most popular way to send and receive money from overseas in Australia. 

Depending on where the money is sent from, an international transfer to Australia will usually take 1-3 business days. The payment will be made via the SWIFT network and could pass through one or two intermediary banks in its journey to your account. Intermediary banks might deduct a small amount from the transfer as part of their ‘handling fees’.

Generally, bank transfers are a convenient option but this convenience can come at a cost and there are things to look out for.

Top Tip: Don’t supply your AUD account details if the sender is sending funds in a different currency. When an international currency is set to credit an AUD account, the receiving bank (i.e. your bank) applies a super-wide FX spread. This can be around 7-9% of the value you are set to receive from overseas. Try to get the sender to handle the currency conversion costs and still receive the full amount in AUD (i.e. the sender will have to pay more).

What Bank Details are Needed to Receive Money?

In a number of countries, bank accounts have an IBAN format (international bank account number) which can be used to receive money from anywhere in the world. However, when you’re set to receive money from overseas in Australia, you should know that Australia does not use IBANs. Instead, you should provide the sender:

  • Your account name
  • Your registered address with your bank
  • Your account number
  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Bank SWIFTBIC 

Major Aussie banks will have a SWIFT code that’s used to route international payments to them. Consider it the international version of Australia’s BSB number. Whilst a BSB number helps to identify the bank branch for domestic payments, a SWIFT code acts as the identifier for international payments. For example, if you were receiving money from overseas with Commonwealth Bank, the SWIFT code would be CTBAAU2S. If it’s ANZ receiving money from overseas, the SWIFT code is ANZBNZ22.

Receive Money From Overseas Into Your Bank Account

Convenience: No need to register with a new provider and unlikely to pass through many intermediary banks if funds are being sent from a western country. If something goes wrong with the transfer or there is a delay, then contacting them is the right thing to do.

Cost: If you can get the sender to cover the foreign exchange costs then no problem. If you are required to conduct the currency conversion yourself then it will be very costly. If you actively conduct the FX with your bank, expect to pay 4-5% of the total value. If you are passive and simply approve a foreign currency to hit your AUD account, expect to pay 7-9%.

Option 2: Receiving Money From Overseas – International Cheque

In what is a very traditional way of receiving money from overseas in Australia, it’s possible to get paid by cheque. Just be aware that depositing a foreign currency cheque is a long and arduous process that will prove very costly.

Generally, your bank will provide you with two options for international cheques:

1. Negotiated Cheque

For a fee, your bank will essentially ‘buy the foreign currency cheque’ from you and convert it to AUD at a very bad FX rate. This speeds up the process as the bank advances you the cash before it’s collected from the issuing bank but it’s still likely to take at least 20 days.

2. Collection

This involves waiting for the international cheque to clear. Once the issuing bank honours the cheque, your bank will convert the funds and deposit them into your account. Again, the FX rate is likely to be bad but it might be slightly better than a negotiated cheque. The whole process can take up to eight weeks.

Note: The above process is common across all of the major Aussie banks. Whether you are receiving money from overseas with Commonwealth Bank or receiving money from abroad with NAB, the same negotiated vs collection option applies for international cheques.

Receiving Money From Overseas – International Cheque

Convenience: You will ultimately get funds credited to your bank account but expect a significant delay for a process that can take anywhere up to two months. Can leave the sender more susceptible to fraud.

Cost: Very costly. Poor FX rate that will be at least 4-5% away from the mid-market rate, combined with added banking fees if you opt to negotiate the cheque and get funds credited to your account sooner.

Option 3: Receiving Money via Cash Pickup

Cash pickup is another option to receive money in Australia. As the recipient, you’ll be able to collect the cash from a nearby location such as a Western Union agent. If you don’t have a bank account, or would simply prefer cash in hand, then this is the option for you. Generally, to collect money via cash pickup you’ll need to provide a valid government-issued ID and the reference number for the transfer.

The sender doesn’t have to initiate the transfer from a physical branch and can choose to initiate it online if they wish. It’s important to choose a reputable remittance provider which provides this functionality. The sender should be able to use a branch locator tool to ensure there is a branch close to the recipient to collect the cash.

Receiving Money in Australia via Cash Pickup

Convenience: Generally, the cash should be available as soon as the sender funds the transfer. It’s fast and the only slight inconvenience is having to visit a branch in order to collect the cash. This could prove troublesome if you live in a rural location.

Cost: Usually very expensive, especially when using companies like Western Union and Moneygram. Might be slightly cheaper with a new-age remittance company like Remitly or WorldRemit but few of these companies offer cash pickup as a method to receive money from overseas in Australia.

Option 4: Receiving Money via Australia Post

This is just another way to receive money in Australia via cash pickup. Western Union actually provides the money transfer and cash pickup service for Australia Post. It’s easy to collect your money at a participating Post Office. Simply provide ID, the money transfer control number and sign. You won’t have to pay any fees as the receiver but the FX margin applied to the exchange will likely leave you with less than had you received money via a bank-to-bank transfer.

If you’re receiving large amounts of money from overseas in Australia then you should know the transfer limit with AusPost/Western Union is $7,500.

Receiving Money in Australia via Auspost

Convenience: Again, a fast and convenient method which just involves you visiting your nearest participating Australia Post branch. Not a workable solution for individuals receiving large amounts of money from overseas in Australia.

Cost: Western Union is notorious for providing poor exchange rates that could leave you with much less than if you had used a money transfer competitor.

Option 5: Receiving Money with a Money Transfer Company / Digital Bank

In what is most often the cheapest way to receive money in Australia, you could choose to set up an account with a dedicated money transfer company.

Companies like Wise (individual + business customers) and WorldFirst (business customers) allow customers to open online bank accounts/multi-currency wallets in order to receive money from overseas. You could even opt to open an account in the currency the money is being sent and then convert funds to AUD at your convenience. It’s easy to move money between accounts either through an online portal or via the app. The exchange rate margin applied will be around 0.5% – making these companies up to ten times cheaper than banks and Western Union to receive money in Australia. The process could take 1-3 business days but if the sender is registered with the same payment company as you, the transfer should be instant and will take just a matter of seconds. 

What’s more, you don’t have to use a digital bank account provider in order to receive money from overseas. You could just as easily use a money transfer company like Send or TorFX. To do this, you would simply register for an account with the payment company and then provide their AUD account details to the sender. The sender would then provide your account name and account number in the reference and the money transfer company would allocate the funds to your transfer, handle the currency conversion, and then pay the funds in AUD locally to your bank account. If you’re not sure what bank details are needed to receive money, simply ask your payment company. The process will take between 1-3 business days.

Another option is PayPal – the transfer will be instant but the receiver will get about 8-9% less than the amount originally sent. PayPal is a better option when both the sender and receiver are based in the same country.

Receiving Money in Australia With a Money Transfer Company or Digital Bank

Convenience: For a digital wallet, this may require you and the sender opening a new account with a money transfer specialist. However, this should only take a few hours and if you both work with the same provider, the transfer will be instant. If you opt to use the account details of a money transfer specialist then the transfer will likely go via SWIFT and will take 1-3 business days like usual bank-to-bank transfers. 

Cost: Almost certainly going to leave you with the highest amount of AUD after currency conversion takes place. The FX margin is likely to be under 2%, with some providers offering FX spreads as low as 0.5%.

Who Can Use These Services When Receiving Large Sums of Money From Overseas

  • An expat living abroad making a repatriation of funds to Australia
  • An expat who is moving back home to Australia
  • An individual who has sold a property in a foreign country and is set to receive a large sum from overseas
  • An individual who inherited money from a deceased relative abroad and needs to complete a repatriation of funds
  • Any business owner who receives payment from abroad for exporting their goods or services
There are an unlimited number of use cases. So long as the source of funds can be tracked and one of the bank accounts involved in the transfer is in your name then you are perfectly entitled to receive large amounts of money from abroad in Australia.

How Do Money Transfer Specialists Save Me Money?

Banks are very good at making money when there is ambiguity over what fees are paid (You can read here how a money transfer work). The payment fee might be quite obvious for the sender but the amount lost on the account of a poor exchange rate is not so much. A bank will trade the currency at the interbank exchange rate but offer a much worse exchange rate to its customers (particularly when they are individuals or SMEs).

With currency brokers such as those recommended on this website, there are often no payment fees and the exchange rate offered is much better for individuals and SMEs. By our reckoning, FX companies are the best way to receive money from overseas in Australia. There are no hidden fees and the savings could be huge, particularly when you are receiving large amounts of money from abroad.


How To Get Started?

To receive a payment from abroad in Australia we recommend signing up with more than one FX company and comparing the exchange rates offered to you. You can also compare these rates vs your bank and verify that they are indeed much cheaper. You should find that the FX rates represent a saving of at least 50% against banks.

The companies we have featured on this page all have a presence in Australia and you’ll be able to speak with a local Australian office in order to get your account setup and initiate your transfer to receive money from overseas.

The Australian founded OFX (listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange) is not only one of the largest money transfer companies but also one of the most respected. Send is an up-and-coming Australian payment company that combines the best online platform, user experience and account management.

For a totally digital solution, Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a truly global payment company that makes it easier to send, hold and receive money from overseas.

What To Do When Receiving Large Amounts of Money from Overseas

The same principles apply when receiving large amounts of money from overseas, we would simply recommend being extra diligent in your research and registering for a number of money transfer companies. We would definitely not recommend receiving large sums of money from abroad through a bank if you want to achieve good value. Neither would we recommend registering with just one money transfer company when receiving large amounts of money from overseas in Australia.

Top Tip: When receiving large amounts of money from abroad in Australia – tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars – try and negotiate the pricing. Compare the rate between several companies (we recommend trying three but be sure to do at least two). Foreign Exchange is a highly competitive market, and providers are generally happy to provide a better rate when large sums are being sent/received.

Last Word: Receiving Money From Abroad in Australia

In this guide we’ve explained how to receive money from overseas and what bank details are needed to receive money. Whether you’re receiving inheritance money from overseas, receiving gift money from overseas or receiving large amounts of money from overseas for any reason, it’s vital to work with the right money transfer provider. To summarise, the process is relatively simple and if you opt for a bank transfer, funds should take no longer than three days to credit your bank account. Bank fees are excessive and the exchange rates are usually terrible. When receiving money from overseas in Australia, we recommend working with a specialist provider to take care of your needs. On top of the best exchange rates, they’ll also offer personalised and attentive account management. They’ll explain the best way to receive an international payment from abroad in Australia, and, regardless of the currency sent, will get you good value when converting to AUD.