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Westpac New Zealand: international payments
Westpac customers can use bank’s services to send money overseas in different ways.
The Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) dates back to 1817 when the Bank of New South Wales (BNSW) began operations as Australia’s first bank. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the BNSW opened branches across Australia and Oceania. BNSW took over Oriental Bank’s New Zealand business in 1861, and it opened seven branches in the country by the end of the year. In 1912, the Commercial Bank of Australia (CBA) opened 19 branches across New Zealand.
BNSW merged with CBA in 1982 to form WBC. In 1997, WBC acquired Bank of Melbourne in Victoria and it merged with St George Bank in 2008.
Westpac’s core business comprises of nine units, one of which is Westpac New Zealand. Westpac is New Zealand’s second largest banking institution, with almost 200 branches and around 1.5 million customers. It provides a range of banking services to individuals, small and medium businesses, institutional organisations and the corporate sector.
Westpac helps its customers in New Zealand send money overseas to a number of countries. You can initiate such transfers online or by visiting a Westpac branch.
Westpac NZ exchange rates
Some money transfer companies offer better exchange rates than Westpac, but its rates are competitive if you compare them to other banks. You can visit the Westpac website to see prevailing exchange rates at any time, but bear in mind that the rates you see there are merely indicative, and can change at any time. If you want up-to-date rates, it is best that you contact Westpac over the phone or visit a branch.
The exchange rates on the Westpac website come in the form of a table. This table tells you how much the bank will pay for telegraphic transfers, cheques, traveller’s cheques and cash. When it comes to sending money overseas, you should refer to the bank’s sell rate.
|Buy currency||Westpac Exchange Rate from NZD|
|AUD (Australian dollar)||0.8883|
|GBP (British pound sterling)||0.5150|
|PHP (Philippine peso)||34.4459|
|VND (Vietnamese dong)||n/a|
|MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)||n/a|
|INR (Indian rupee)||46.9087|
|LKR (Sri Lankan rupee)||106.1256|
|IDR (Indonesian rupiah)||n/a|
|FJD (Fijian dollar)||1.5085|
|NPR (Nepalese rupee)||n/a|
|BDT (Bangladeshi taka)||n/a|
|PLN (Polish zloty)||n/a|
|DKK (Danish krone)||4.2878|
|NOK (Norwegian krone)||5.6072|
|SEK (Swedish krone)||5.6533|
|USD (US dollar)||0.6995|
*The rates mentioned in this table are current as of January 2018.
How much does it cost to transfer money with Westpac NZ?
Westpac follows a straightforward system when it comes to charging fees for international fund transfers. You pay the same fee no matter which country or currency you choose, and the amount you wish to send does not affect the fees. However, how you choose to send the money makes a difference.
Remember that the beneficiary bank or an intermediary bank may charge additional fees, which it will deduct from the payment you send. If this is the case, you can pay these fees separately so the recipient does not end up receiving less money than intended.
Minimum transfer amount and available countries
The bank’s website makes no mention of minimum and maximum amounts you can transfer, but to send more than AU$200,000 (approximately NZ$216,000) you must get in touch with a Westpac dealer. This bank lets you send money to the following countries and territories in the corresponding currencies.
- Australia (AUD)
- Canada (CAD)
- Denmark (DKK)
- Fiji (FJD)
- French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna (XPF)
- Great Britain (GBP)
- Hong Kong (HKD)
- India (INR)
- Japan (JPY)
- Member nations of the European Union (EUR)
- Norway (NOK)
- Pakistan (PKR)
- Papua New Guinea (PGK)
- Philippines (PHP)
- Singapore (SGD)
- Solomon Islands (SBD)
- South Africa (ZAR)
- Sri Lanka (LKR)
- Sweden (SEK)
- Switzerland (CHF)
- Thailand (THB)
- Tonga (TOP)
- United States of America (USD)
- Vanuatu (VUV)
- Samoa (WST)
What types of transfers can you carry out with Westpac NZ?
Apart from telegraphic transfers, Westpac lets you buy drafts that you can use to send money overseas. Drafts are similar to bank cheques and Westpac makes them in the name of the recipient you choose. It gives you the draft, which you send via mail. You have to visit a Westpac branch to get an international draft, and each draft costs AU$30 (approximately NZ$32).
You can send drafts when there is no rush for the money to reach its destination. Westpac offers drafts in most major currencies. Remember that only the person the draft is intended for can cash it. You can stop drafts if they are lost or misplaced.
The registration and transfer process
You must have an existing Westpac bank account to use the bank’s services to send money overseas, and you must have adequate money in your account to cover the intended transfer.
To use Westpac’s online banking platform to send money, start by registering your mobile number with its Online Guardian security system. A 30-day stand-down period applies, which you can get past by visiting a branch or by speaking to a Westpac representative over the phone. After getting approved, an additional one-off seven-day stand-down period applies before you can start making international fund transfers.
To send money to a foreign bank account you have to provide payee details like the recipient’s name and bank account number along with the bank’s name and branch identifier. Westpac requires that you submit a copy of acceptable verification documentation and may contact you periodically to verify the identification documents it holds on file.
If you don’t have access to online banking and can’t visit a branch, you can download an outbound telegraphic transfer request form from Westpac’s website. Then contact a bank representative for further details. You can also use the Westpac One mobile banking app to send money to Australia and the United States.
Transfers to Australia and a few other countries take 1-3 business days, but with some countries the process can take up to 10 business days. This can be because of payments going through multiple banks or clearing houses as well as weekends and public holidays.
What are the pros and cons of using Westpac NZ?
- Westpac offers competitive exchange rates compared to other banks.
- You can transfer funds directly from your bank account.
- You can expect good customer service and reliability when you deal with this bank.
- You can get in touch with a bank representative in person or over the phone.
- You can visit a physical location to initiate an international money transfer.
- You can get better exchange rates through some money transfer companies.
- Some money transfer companies charge lower fees.
What other products and services does Westpac NZ offer?
If you’re considering travelling overseas or if you deal in foreign currencies from time to time, Westpac can help in the following ways.
- Travel money. Westpac provides a prepaid travel card that offers a safe way to carry spending money when overseas. You can use this Visa card at ATMs that belong to ATM Global Alliance banks without paying any international transaction fees. You can also use Westpac-issued MasterCard credit and debit cards globally.
- Foreign currency accounts. You can open a Westpac foreign currency account in all major currencies with any amount. These accounts attract ongoing monthly account keeping fees of NZD$10 or its equivalent in your chosen currency. You can also open a foreign currency term deposit with this bank, with terms ranging from 30 to 180 days. Term deposits come with minimum investment a amounts, which vary depending on the currency you choose.
- Travel insurance. If you’re travelling overseas, getting travel insurance is a good idea. Westpac offers travel insurance that provides cover against delays and missed travel connections, emergency dental and medical treatment, loss or damage to belongings or luggage and personal liability.
How does Westpac NZ compare to other providers
Frequently asked questions
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