Trans­fer cash, but give the slug a miss

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY KEANE

TAX MIS­TAKES: What the ATO is look­ing for IN­TER­NA­TIONAL money trans­fers are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity as the world be­comes a global vil­lage and on­line com­merce booms, but also grow­ing is the po­ten­tial to get stung by un­nec­es­sary fees.

Peo­ple want­ing to trans­fer money may be hit with three tiers of costs – a send­ing fee, a poor ex­change rate and a re­ceiv­ing fee – but there are cheaper op­tions avail­able. STUNG: Ray Ridge­way

Con­sumer group Choice said “ex­change rates are where banks re­ally kill you on over­seas money trans­fers” and said the best in­ter­est rates and fees were of­fered by on­line money trans­fer busi­nesses in­clud­ing OFX, World First, Cur­ren­cyFair and Trans­fer­Wise.

Re­search by Mozo found that Aus­tralians could save hun­dreds of dol­lars by avoid­ing the big banks.

“The banks have had a mo­nop­oly on the mar­ket for a long time, so they haven’t needed to be com­pet­i­tive. But the fact is they don’t have a mo­nop­oly any longer,” Mozo di­rec­tor Kirsty La­mont said.

“We found that on­line money trans­fer providers are on av­er­age 5c cheaper per dol­lar trans­ferred than the big four banks. When you’re trans­fer­ring thou­sands of dol­lars, that dif­fer­ence adds up.”

Ms La­mont said peo­ple con­sid­er­ing for­eign cur­rency trans­fers should al­ways check the ex­change rate, look be­yond the big four banks and look out for ex­tra fees or com­mis­sions.

“The money trans­fer mar­ket has clocked up strong growth in re­cent years, which can largely be at­trib­uted to glob­al­i­sa­tion and … peo­ple mov­ing to for­eign coun­tries for work or study.”

World First man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ray Ridge­way said the triple- whammy of costs paid by some peo­ple was un­nec­es­sary.

“Banks say the re­ceiv­ing fee is out of their hands and they al­low the re­ceiv­ing bank over­seas to charge you $ US25 or 25 eu­ros,” he said.

Mr Ridge­way said Aus­tralians were los­ing an av­er­age $ 705 on amounts of $ 20,000 when us­ing a ma­jor bank.

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