Our tips for sending money overseas

send-money-overseasWhat’s the most affordable way to send money overseas from New Zealand? Find out with this guide.

While banks do offer secure international money transfers around the world, they also tend to have weaker exchange rates, higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared with a money transfer service. Unlike banks, they specialise in one thing: transferring money to countries worldwide.

With this expertise comes cheaper and faster transfers, meaning more savings for you and more money in the pocket of your recipient. The table below lists some of the best services you can use to transfer money overseas.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit can help you get your money where it needs to go in minutes, with upfront exchange rates and low fees.

  • Transfers to 150+ countries
  • Send to bank account, cash pickup, mobile money, airtime top up
  • Pay with card, POLi Payments or Apple/Android Pay

    Compare money transfer services to help you send money overseas

    Rates last updated September 17th, 2019
    Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
    XE Money Transfers
    NZD 0
    1 day
    Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
    Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
    WorldRemit International Money Transfers
    NZD 1
    Within an hour
    Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
    An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
    SendFX International Money Transfers
    SendFX International Money Transfers
    NZD 250
    1 day
    Online, Bank Account to Bank Account
    SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
    Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
    OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
    AUD 250
    1 - 2 days
    Online, Phone, Agent
    A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies. No fee if you transfer over AUD$10,000.
    TorFX International Money Transfers
    AUD 2,000
    1 day
    Online, Phone, Agent
    TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
    Exclusive: WorldFirst International Money Transfers
    NZD 2,000
    2 days
    Online, Phone, Agent
    Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
    A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
    TransferWise International Money Transfers
    NZD 1
    1 - 2 days
    Online
    Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
    CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
    NZD 5
    1 - 2 days
    Online
    CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
    CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
    NZD 10,000
    1 - 2 days
    Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order
    The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

    Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

    Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

    Learn more about

    How can I transfer money overseas with an online specialist?

    Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you’ll generally need to do the following:

    1. Register for a free account. You’ll provide your full name, contact info and date of birth. Most providers also require ID and proof of address.
    2. Provide your recipient’s information. Specify who’s receiving the funds by providing their name and contact information. If you’re sending money to a bank account, you’ll need to include the bank name, SWIFT code and your recipient’s account number.
    3. Add the details of your transaction. Enter how much money you’re sending and in which currency it’ll be received.
    4. Review and confirm. For most providers, you’ll see a summary of your transfer showing the amount you’re sending, the exchange rate, any fee you’ll pay and the total your beneficiary will receive.
    5. Pay for your transfer. Payment methods vary by company but could include credit or debit card, bank account, cash or mobile wallet.
    6. Track your transaction. You should receive confirmation that includes a tracking number or receipt for monitoring the progress of your transfer online or with a company branch.

    You may also receive an email or text when your recipient has received your funds and the transaction is completed.

    What are the ways I can send money overseas?

    With so many specialised money transfer companies to choose from, it’s no surprise that you have options when it comes to how your recipient receives your funds.

    How you send your money and how it’s received will ultimately affect delivery speed and how much you’re paying in fees. In general, your options include the following:

    • Bank transfers. Most major New Zealand banks can safely transfer your funds to countries around the world. Banks rely on existing links between banks and banking systems worldwide and it’ll often be called a telegraphic transfer. However, two downsides are the high fees and the weaker exchange rates you’ll often receive in comparison to other options.
    • Online money transfer services. These specialists offer more affordable transfers than banks do, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.
    • Services with cash pick-up. Services like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the key advantage of giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send – sometimes within minutes. You can pay online or at one of the thousands of agent locations worldwide. However, services typically cost more than an online transfer specialist and vary by where you’re transferring your money and how you’re paying for it.
    • PayPal transfers. Not just for online purchases, PayPal offers transfers to more than 100 countries and supports multiple currencies. Its exchange rates are often better than those you’ll get from a bank but not quite as strong as rates from money transfer companies. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you’re sending – meaning it’s often better for sending smaller amounts of money.
    • Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international cheque overseas, obtained from your bank. It costs a little more – you’ll have to purchase the cheque and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank when cashed.

    Let’s crunch the numbers: Banks vs money transfer services

    Joseph Brown wished to send $1,500 to his brother who lived in the UK. His bank allowed him to transfer funds to the UK from New Zealand. However, he felt he could get a better deal by comparing his options. This is what he found.

    New Zealand bank Money transfer company
    Exchange rate NZD$1 = GBP£0.4475 NZD$1 = GBP£0.4521
    Transfer options Bank account Bank account
    Transfer time 3–5 days One day
    Transfer fee NZD$22 NZD$0
    Amount received for $1,000 GBP£661.41 GBP£678.15
    Difference of GBP£16.74

    Joseph’s decision to go with the money transfer company was obvious. Not only did his brother stand to receive extra money, it would get to him sooner as well.

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    How can I minimise costs when making a money transfer?

    • Compare exchange rates. Use your currency’s mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re offered. You want a provider whose rate is closest to the mid-market rate.
    • Send more money per transfer. Many providers discount transfer fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
    • Look for hidden fees. Avoid surprises by reading the fine print for fees that could apply to your transfer, including charges your recipient will need to pay.
    • Sniff out special offers. Keep an eye on promotions that offer, for example, no fees on your first transfer. While ideal for limited transfer needs, you could also end up with a new preferred service.
    • Shop around. The best way to save is by comparing rates, fees and transfer speeds of each provider, closely looking at their benefits and drawbacks.

    Tools to help you save more on international transfers

    There’s a lot riding on a competitive exchange rate and low fee. But depending on how much you’re sending, how soon your recipient needs it and rates at the time of transfer, you could save even more with the following tools.

    • Forward contracts. With this tool, you lock in a favourable exchange rate for a future transfer, avoiding unpredictable movements in the rate.
    • Limit orders. A limit order allows you to request a transfer that’s executed only when a specific rate is reached, at which point your provider locks it in.
    • Regular, automated transfers. You may be able to shave a few pennies off an exchange rate or pay lower transfer fees by setting up a plan to automate more regular payments overseas.

    What to be aware of

    Exchange rates

    You’ve probably noticed that the exchange rate you see online or reported in the media (known as the wholesale or mid-market rate) isn’t the same rate you get when you make a transaction. Banks and most money transfer services make their profit on the margin added to this wholesale exchange rate, but it can vary from 0.1% to 10%.

    With this in mind, it pays to compare the products available to make sure you find the best overseas money transfer solution for you.

    Fee-free transfers

    Unfortunately, fee-free transfers are never really free. Even though international money transfer companies are cheaper than the banks, they still have margins and fees. While there might not be a fee included, the company is still making money by adding a margin to the mid-market rate.

    How to get the best exchange rate

    How do I send money from my bank?

    Please note that the process is different for every provider. The example below shows just one of the ways you can initiate a transfer.

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    Frequently asked questions

    Read further on this topic

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    MoneyGram vs OFX

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    2 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      KarlMay 13, 2018

      How can I send money back in Philippines without Nz Driver’s licence?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaMay 14, 2018Staff

        Hi Karl,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well for you. :)

        I understand that presenting an NZ Driver’s license is one of the requirements for some of money transfer service companies. However, if this isn’t available, you can use other valid government-issued IDs such as passport or firearms license.

        Alternatively, you may look for companies that don’t require you to present an ID when sending money, though this is a requirement for anyone who will claim the money for verification purposes.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

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