Thursday, 11 January 2018

How to Transfer Money to Another Country’s Bank Account: transferring money internationally between banks

The post How to Transfer Money to Another Country’s Bank Account: transferring money internationally between banks appeared first on Oak Laurel.

There are more options than ever before to do business internationally and some of the most significant changes are happening in the world of transferring money around the globe. Sending money overseas still has its issues for many, including long wait times, costs and security. Keep reading for more info how we got to the way things are when transferring money internationally between banks and about how to transfer money to another country’s bank account.

Basically, experts say the financial economy has to catch up with the dramatically shifted business world. Technology is becoming increasingly important and the competition for a spot on the world stage is creating change.

The Way Things Were

There have always been ways to move money from country to country. It’s in humans’ nature to seek out new business and expand. One of the first known money transfer systems were the Knights Templer.

The Knights were the security providers for travelers to the Middle East, particularly Jerusalem, after the Crusades. This was necessary as native factions continued to seek revenge for being driven out of their lands.

The Templers developed a system where people would give them money to send to these areas, either to a relative or for business.

It was recommended for travelers to allow the Templers to hold their valuables during travel, sending them a different way and returning their items once the travelers reached their destination. The Knights also acted as a secure bank deposit box.

A New Industry is Born

In America, the financial world shifted as more people moved out West. There quickly grew a need for the new pioneers to not only communicate with families back East, but to send and receive merchandise as well as money and gold.

Stage coaches were the primary source of transport for money and items, but that was risky as thieves often would lay in wait along the trail.

Wells Fargo entered the financial transportation market in 1852 with its stagecoaches safely transporting gold. The gold, sometimes weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, was put into the famous “treasure boxes,” along with other important items such as legal papers, checks and drafts. The green boxes traveled under the stagecoach driver’s seat.

Security was provided by what was known as the “shotgun messengers” protecting the driver. These men had the sole job of watching the area and warding off any potential thieves. Banks then became synonymous with safely sending money.

Even with these protocols, 27 Wells Fargo stagecoaches were robbed over the years with most of the robbers being tracked and apprehended by bank detectives.

Transferring money overseas began to rise in the 20th century in America when businesses grew and the country fought in two World Wars. It meant more soldiers abroad and those fleeing war-torn countries were migrating overseas.

The need for foreign communications grew and the telegraph company known as Western Union was there to fill it. Western Union started in 1851, like many other companies, when people started moving out West.

By the time of the World Wars, it was perfectly situated to perform communication tasks for the government such as sending telegrams to relatives of deceased soldiers. It participated in many government projects, some of which led to the creation of the Internet.

However, growing technology was eventually too much for the company to keep pace with and it began selling off its assets in the 1980s. That’s when Western Union began creating an international market for sending and receiving money. It became known as “the fastest way to send money worldwide.”

Sending Money Internationally Today

The Internet gave rise to new companies, like PayPal, which used it to digitally send money anyway in the world. That worked well as you could do it from home without going to a bank or to a Western Union office. Rates were cheaper than the traditional methods as well.

The world changed again with Bitcoin entering the world markets in 2009. Bitcoin was different because a person could send money anonymously, without it being tracked, as it was in all other methods.

Cryptocurrency has since risen out of the depths of the dark web to merge into mainstream society because of its convenience and cost effectiveness.

However, the real power brokers behind international money transfer is the blockchain providers. These are the technical engines that make accepting cryptocurrency possible. As the market and use for cryptocurrency grows, so grows the competition in blockchains.

What to Consider When Choosing a Method?

There is more than one factor when considering how to send money internationally.

You must consider:

  • The fee of sending the money.
  • The exchange rate cost.
  • The time it takes for the transaction to be completed.
  • Safety and security.
  • Rules and regulations of individual companies.
  • How you will use the service.

While most transmitting services post their fees up front, the exchange rate can change daily. That will affect your final cost as most services have an exchange rate markup. The lowest is 1 percent, but some can be as high as 10 percent.

What Are My Choices?

There are many ways to send money internationally today including:

  • Traditional banks
  • Western Union
  • MoneyGram
  • PayPal
  • OFX
  • TorFX
  • Prepaid Card Services
  • Cryptocurrency

There are various degrees of efficiency and cost with each of these services, so all of that should weigh into your decision of which to use.

One of the things to consider when choosing a transfer service for international money transmission is to know how you are going to use it. Some will need it to regularly conduct international business, while others may want to send small amounts of money home or pay a bill.

Will it be used regularly or just one time? How quickly is the money needed? These are questions to consider when trying to choose a service provider.

The important thing to remember is you are not bound to a method. You can change the way you transfer money abroad as your needs change.

Traditional Banks

Traditional banks have several ways to send money internationally, including computer and phone apps that allow you to send money directly from your account to another account easily with just a phone number.

The downside is they can be frightfully expensive. Many of the national banks charge $45 per transaction, making it financially impossible for individuals to send small amounts of money back home.

Another downside of using banks is the wait time. Some take up to three days to process payments abroad.

Western Union

Western Union’s advantage is it allows the recipient to pick up the money where they are located, so they get cash. That fact has proven a great asset to college students requiring more money from parents’ back home over the years.

But, like the banks, it is expensive to use for sending money internationally. Fees can rise as high as $80 and Western Union has a high exchange markup rate. Sometimes, it can also take days to receive the money when doing international transfers.


MoneyGram faces some of the similar problems as Western Union with lag time and expense, although it uses a computer platform model to deliver. Fees can be between $9 and $25 with its service.

Online Exchange Platforms

PayPal expanded its platform to include Xoom, which allows for international money transfers to occur in minutes. There are some restrictions though, including the $2,999 limit. and there is a mark-up of between 1 and 3 percent in the exchange rate. There is generally a $5 fee also.

There are other platforms that offer zero fees for transfer.

OFX gives you the convenience of both a mobile and a computer app. It has a low exchange rate markup of less than 1 percent and it even sends you an alert notifying you when the exchange rates will save you money.

It offers services to 91 countries, which is convenient for many.

The downside of OFX is that the recipient can’t pick up their money directly. The platform only exchanges between bank accounts. You must send at least $150 and it could take several days to process.

TransferWise is a United Kingdom company that offers services in many countries. The key advantage in this service is it has incredibly low exchange rates as it uses the same rates bank use when they exchange money.

This service is relatively inexpensive also, charging 1 percent of the sending amount, making it affordable for sending small amounts of money.

Prepaid Card Services

Prepaid card services offer security because it doesn’t come from your bank account and they also use electronic transfer, making them convenience. Their downside is in expense. These services charge to put money on the card and then again to actually use it to send money, making it a somewhat impractical method if you send money routinely.


Then there are the cryptocurrency methods, which are rapidly growing in number. There are literally dozens of blockchain companies out there with more starting up every day. However, there are two who are gaining ground in the world of international currency.

Ripple offers a seamless strategy for sending money abroad as it connects banks, digital providers and corporations. The base of its operations is XRP, which was developed for enterprise use.

XRP is used to provide on-demand liquid payments across borders. The company states this allows for both connectivity across payment networks, real time transactions, traceable transfers and lower operational costs. The lower costs equate to savings for users.

The company remains small, but is growing as it is becoming more recognized.

While Ripple is aiming its market at expanding businesses, another company wants its service to be for individuals sending money back home. has a platform for people immigrating from poor countries to send money back to families.

Co-Founder and CTO Jeb McCaleb said sending money should be as easy as sending an email. McCaleb, once an officer at Ripple, believes the global economy is not reaching its potential because of lagging financial systems with limited money in certain countries.

His company focuses on services to areas like the Philippines, Africa and India. He has four partnerships with financial institutions to allow for cross border money exchanges across Europe as well as Africa, India and the Philippines.

How Do I Stay Safe?

The federal government has guidelines for how you can keep your transfers to other countries safe and secure.

You should:

  • Verify the money transmitter is properly licensed.
  • Get a receipt. This will show how the money can be tracked.
  • Contact the transmitter if the transaction takes longer than 10 days.

Security when using any of these services is paramount. Obviously, the most secure forms of transferring money internationally are going to be traditional methods like banks or Western Union.

All money is tracked with these methods and all have both origination and destination codes. Staff is also trained to spot scams and have alerted the consumer and police when scams are recognized.

However, online platforms and cryptocurrency methods are also implementing safety protocols to protect money in transfer and delivery. They must in order to stay competitive in a tight market. You will need to look at each company’s standards individually to get a picture of their policies and protocols.

The federal government has a way to go to catch up on regulations governing all of these new and creative methods of transferring money abroad. Some current regulations may not apply directly to all the given methods. Still, it doesn’t hurt to investigate on how each method has applied federal laws to ensure the proper standards are met.


Understanding how international money transfer systems work and your options is the best way to avoid scams or problems. Those who perform transfers regularly will back these services.

As technology grows, there will be faster and easier options for conducting business overseas and choices will likely expand as well. This is positive for you, the consumer, as competition tends to lower prices for services.

The biggest advantage could be for entrepreneurs who seek to expand business in places in Europe and Australia. It is likely many may need to integrate payment systems into their online business platform to gain more international customers. This could mean a more global economy in the future.

About the Author

David Warren is a lead researcher and senior writer at HardStacks. He has been a financial engineer for over 30 years and has been investing in alternative assets since 2008. He has a passion for learning about economic cycles and educating others on how to protect and grow their wealth by investing in precious metals, real estate and cryptocurrencies.


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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Home loan employment requirements: How you can get a home loan with a casual, part time job, self employed

The post Home loan employment requirements: How you can get a home loan with a casual, part time job, self employed appeared first on Oak Laurel.

Getting a mortgage can be both confusing and time consuming.  Home loan lenders all have different policies surrounding who they will accept as a borrower, which can make the process even more difficult.  The easiest way to find a lender who is likely to accept your home loan application is to talk with a  Mortgage Broker such as Oak Laurel.  Nevertheless, many people like doing their own research before making enquiries, and this article will explain in depth at the different types of employment, time required in your job and other conditions acceptable to lenders

What employment is generally accepted by home loan lenders?

Generally, most home loan lenders will accept the following types of employment:

An in depth look at the different types of employment.

Full time and Part time permanent.

Full time permanent employment is generally considered the most reliable and stable income by lenders, which improves your chances of getting approved.

How long do I need to be employed full and part time?

Whilst there are exceptions to most rules, the majority of lenders require that you have been in your job for 6 months and are not on probation.  If you have not been in your job for 6 months, many lenders can still accept your application if you have been in the same industry for at least 2 years.  Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also a notable exception to this rule, accepting 100% of permanent income from day 1 – requiring a payslip or employment contract as evidence.

Other acceptable income whilst working full time or part time.

As well as your base salary, most lenders are happy to look at proven income from:

  • Overtime – usually needs to be evidenced and averaged over 12 – 24 months. Lenders will generally only accept 80% of this income when looking at your affordability.
  • Bonuses and commissions – should be evidenced over 2 years.  Lenders will generally only accept 80% of this income when looking at your affordability.
  • Company car – 100% of your car allowance is usually allowed so long as it is permanent and ongoing.  If you are provided a fully maintained company car as part of your contract, many lenders will add $5,000 onto your income when calculating your affordability.

Casual Employment

Casual employment is often considered riskier by most lenders, with their lending criteria being stricter.  Nevertheless, your income will be accepted by lenders if you can prove a regular income over a acceptable time period.  An exceptions to this rule is Bank of China, who generally will not lend to casually employed borrowers.

How long do I need to be employed as a casual?

Most lender will accept casual employment once you have been with the same employer for either 6 or 12 months.  There are options if you have only been employed for 3 months on a casual basis.


Self-employment is often a high-risk high-reward affair for many people, and the banks look at it in a similar light. Self-employed applicants can often be very appealing to lenders, however they will first want to see that your business is stable and provides you with a consistent income before they are willing to give you a home loan.

What is I don’t have 2 years of tax returns?

Low-doc loans are for applicants that either:

  • Have been self-employed for 12 – 24 months (not all lenders accept 12 month ABN).
  • Have been employed for over 2 years but don’t have the financials for a full two years.

Low doc loans are available from many lenders, and generally only require your last 4 BAS statements and an “affordability statement” from yourself and/or a Certified Accountant’s letter.

How long do I need to be self-employed for?

For the vast majority of lenders, 2 years of self-employment will be required, often with 2 years’ or financials to be provided before they will consider your application for a discounted rate.

What if I have been self-employed for less than 12 months?

If you have been self-employed for less than 12 months, there are still options available, however you will likely have to go to non-banks and alternate lenders.  Liberty financial will lend to borrowers who have only been employed for 6 months, whilst Bluestone will go as low as 3 months, although they will want a strong employment history in the same industry prior to you starting out under your own ABN.

Special considerations for certain professions

Whilst this only applies to a select few people, some banks will often give special considerations for people working in the following field:

  • Medical sector – Doctors and other medical professionals can get a loan at 90% LVR without paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance with some banks.
  • Fire Fighters and Teachers – minimum employment requirements are significantly reduced for Fire Fighters and Teachers of they apply for their home loan with Firefighters Mutual Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank respectively.
  • Police Officers and their families – QBANK, formerly Queensland Police Credit Union, is committed to helping Police Officers and their families financially.  QBANK often has great home loan offers available exclusively to eligible members.

Other acceptable income types

Most banks will also look at other forms of income including, but not limited to:

  • Centrelink income – including Family Tax Benefit A and B, aged pensions, disability pension and widow pensions.
  • Child maintenance – lenders will often look at the age of the children, with maintenance for children over 14 years (or younger, in some cases), generally not being acceptable.
  • Investment income – including rent, dividends and share trading.
  • Super on a case-by-case basis.


Lenders will look at a lot of variables when deciding to approve your home loan, with each having their own opinion on what is acceptable.  Whilst the above should give you a good idea on what is needed regarding employment, it is always recommended you speak with a professional Mortgage Broker.

Disclaimer:  Whilst we aim to ensure all information is up-to-date, lending policies are constantly changing.  We take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information after the date of publishing.  Always seek professional advice before making a credit application.

AUTHOR: Zak Avery

BIO:  After studying Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at The University of QLD, Zak spent 6 months in Real Estate, before moving to Gladstone to begin a career as a Mortgage Broker.  In early 2017, Zak moved back to his hometown of Brisbane to start his own business: Blue Fox Finance.

The post Home loan employment requirements: How you can get a home loan with a casual, part time job, self employed appeared first on Oak Laurel.

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Monday, 1 January 2018

A Complete Guide to International Money Transfer from Australia

The post A Complete Guide to International Money Transfer from Australia appeared first on Oak Laurel.

It’s Easy If You Do It Smart!

In today’s fast-paced world, it is no surprise that people need to transfer cash internationally very frequently. The need is generally more intense for individuals who live or breathe the international life.

Businessmen, investors, stakeholders and individuals who deal globally will always need to move cash over political borders. Whether it is for storing cash in another bank account, for paying workers abroad, for purchasing real estate, or for any other reason, the need is always there.

Furthermore, the list of the reasons doesn’t stop there. Shouldn’t something be said about transferring pensions or paying for a home loan abroad? Need to give money to the relatives back home? Need to invest in something abroad? What about buying a vehicle abroad? The necessities are endless.

But, whatever the reason is, transferring money abroad can be challenging. As a result of increasing frauds, places like Western Union ask a million questions. Their no relation to the transaction is the greatest problem with such systems. In case you need to send your own cash this way, it’s truly a hassle.

Over that, there are charges. Banks and the Western Unions of the world have been known to charge high fees. Utilizing a bank is one of the simplest methods for sending cash abroad, but it is the most expensive one. So, which is an ideal approach to transfer money overseas? To figure out, let’s first discuss the ways in which you can make such type of transactions.

What Options Are Available For Sending Money Overseas?

There are a few different ways to send cash from Australia to another nation.

Bank Account Transfers

You can transfer money directly to an overseas bank account from your own bank account. It is also called as universal money transfer method, a telegraphic transfer, or a SWIFT or wire exchange. A few banks also offer online cash transfer services that enable you to send cash yourself to an abroad bank account. But, this can be a more costly alternative and it could take 2 to 5 days.

Online Money Transfer Companies

Online transfer organizations ask you to set up an account online and let you transmit your cash yourself over the web. The company then moves the cash to your recipient’s bank account.

This transfer technique can be fast and cheap, but you should be comfortable in making transactions on the web and know the account details of the person to whom you want to send the money. See more info about them here.

Cash Transfer – Using Money Transfer Company

Cash transfer organizations allow you to transfer your money using cash or EFTPOS. You can approach such organization at their storefront or utilize any outsider convenience store counter. The individual you send the cash to will collect the cash at the cash transfer office in their nation.

Some organizations will also allow transferring cash by using the internet or a bank card once you are done with the account set up with them. You just need to tell the recipient that you’ve sent the money and that they can collect it from their nearby office.

This sort of transfer is often quick – it could take only a couple of minutes – however, can be costly. Australia Post additionally offers money transfers which can be done at all Australia Post offices that have the Bank@Post sign showed. To learn more, you can see the information here.

Universal Money Order (IMO)

A more secure technique than sending a personal check abroad is to utilize an international bank draft. You give your cash to a bank and get an international ensured check in return. Then you post the check to your family or individual who then needs to deposit it into their account.

While they are secure, this strategy can cost more than others, and posting it will be slower than an electronic exchange.

A Few Easy Ways to Transfer Money Internationally

A Bank Transfer minus the Bank

A bank transfer enables you to send cash from your account in Australia to another bank account in abroad. There are numerous Australian and worldwide organizations that spend significant time in doing the very same thing, aside from with much lower charges and better exchange rates.

A few choices in Australia incorporate TorFX, XE, OFX, Western Union and World First.

In case you are sending more than $1000, ‘non-bank’ cash transfer organizations are less expensive because their charges are lower and their rates are more competitive. Transfer expenses differ between $10-$15 for less cash. Most organizations offer charge free transfers for sums over $10,000. Find out more here.


When you utilize Paypal to send cash abroad, the currency conversions rates are not incredible but the charges are nearly non-existent. It’s also super speedy when the individual you are paying has a Paypal account. .

In case you are paying somebody under $1000, for example to an abroad freelancer, Paypal is less expensive than utilizing a bank. This is because they don’t charge a bank exchange expense, which can vary in between $18 and $32.

This technique is most appropriate for smaller sums i.e. under 500 where both parties have access to email and the individual getting the cash does NOT require it quickly. Keep in mind, if you transfer cash from paypal to another person’s Paypal, they will still need to get that cash through their bank account and this can take up to 5 – 7 business days.

Peer to Peer Transfer

Transferwise and CurrencyFair are the 2 greatest organizations that offer P2P transfers. Rather than going to a bank, they match individuals purchasing currency in one nation with individuals in different nations who are selling currency.

This matching enables them to offer better exchange rates. Sometimes, if they can’t discover a match, the charges and exchange rates could change. P2P transfers can be a significantly less expensive alternative for transfers amongst $1000 and $100,000.


You can utilize Bitcoin to send cash abroad but know that it can be a bit complicated, especially if you are not familiar with utilizing a digital currency. You’ll need to set up a wallet with a Bitcoin organization, as Coinjar, then add money to your online wallet in Australian dollars, convert it to Bitcoin and send it to the individual you are paying abroad. They additionally need to have a Bitcoin wallet and will then convert it to their currency.

Bitcoin transfer costs are much lower since you don’t have to experience any banks to send the funds. The exchange rates are better than a bank but you include some exchange rate hazard since you are converting currency twice rather than once.

Blockchain Technology

The upcoming generation of universal money transfer is blockchain. The Blockchain is the innovation behind Bitcoin that eliminates the need to visit a channel of banks for sending cash from one nation to another.

They have similar aspects to utilizing Bitcoin, including the advantage of super-quick payments and low transaction expenses. The principal difference will be the complexity. You won’t have to set up a wallet and the individual you are paying won’t require a digital wallet to get the cash.

Blockchain technology will enable international transfers to take place in seconds and at a small amount of the cost that bank transfers have. Shockingly, the innovation is still relatively new and needs more prominent acknowledgment from the regulators and banking fraternity. But, don’t be sad, you won’t need to wait for too long for this technology.

What is the Cost of Sending Money Overseas through Banks?

Numerous Australians believe that sending cash abroad through banks is a free service. But, the truth is a bit different. Research reveals how little Australians know about the costs involved with sending cash to another country. Considering one out of three Australians has sent cash abroad the level of understanding, or deficiency in that matter is stressing.

When sending cash to another country through your bank, you will be charged a universal cash transfer fee that could be up to $30, relying on the bank that you use. Your expense may even be based on the currency in which your cash is being sent, and you may likewise acquire an additional charge to speed up your transfer. And it doesn’t end there. When you send cash through your bank, you’ll most likely pay a margin of up to 5% on the everyday exchange rate.

Banks utilize something many refer to as the interbank rate to exchange cash with each other. This rate varies by the second, and you can check that rate simply by Googling something like ‘1 AUD to USD’. However, that is not the rate that the banks give you, they typically add up to 5% on the daily exchange rate, so on a $10,000 transfer, you could pay $500 over the expenses charged to send the cash.

When banks send cash from Australia abroad they charge a transaction fee and furthermore a margin on the genuine exchange rate. This is the reason you’ll be cited diverse trade rates when you get quotes from a few providers – they all charge their own margin. This margin is not usually transparent, so it can be hard to know exactly how much it’s costing you. As per a research, Australians are paying a tremendous $3.1 billion a year on poor exchange rates and abroad card charges.

Australians are being ripped off because of poor currency exchange rates and expense associated with the same. It’s not only individuals who are being ripped off. Small and medium-sized businesses are also loosing almost $150 million a year because of high fees for international money transfer.

It is also confirmed by the researchers that the most costly way to purchase foreign currency is through the banks. Most of the banks tell their clients that they just pay a little upfront fee for universal payments, however, in reality, the clients end up with paying much more. Enormous hidden charges are taken in the form of the exchange rates, generally without the client realizing.” And it is not just travelers who are paying this much price. Those sending money internationally to loved ones also end up paying a lot more.

World Bank figures demonstrate worldwide cash exchanges from Australians to their loved ones overseas is increased up to 26 percent in the five years to 2015, one of the greatest percentage increments in remittances of any nation in the world.

The banks have a lot of overheads than the online currency exchange services; however, it additionally could be that banks are exploiting their clients who don’t look around.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Sending Money Overseas

What service is the best to transfer cash abroad relies on the circumstance. For example, some services offer better terms for bigger measures of cash however the higher expenses make them less appropriate for exchanging smaller measures of cash.

Remember the following factors that play a major role in determining what is the best and the cheapest way to transfer cash abroad

  • The present exchange rate between currencies.
  • Are you sending one currency to another or keeping it same for example, transferring USD to a CAD account in Canada or transferring USD to a US Account in Canada.
  • How much cash you need to send (a little amount or large amounts).
  • Is it a one-time transfer or you may again need to send some money?
  • How rapidly you require the payment to arrive there.
  • The nation you are sending from and the nation you are sending to.
  • Where your funds start from (from a bank account, from a MasterCard, from a digital wallet, bitcoin or cash etc.).
  • Cost (how much money the process will cost you after all the fees and the exchange rate balanced out by all the advantageous and speed factors you get).
  • Safety – how ‘safe’ is the process you follow for money transfer.

Remember, a single offer never offers the least cost, the quickest speed, the best convenience, and the high security. You should balance these out to find a satisfactory deal. Some of the least expensive transfer cash abroad options are additionally the slowest and least convenient techniques, while the most costly alternatives are the quickest and frequently most convenient.


An easy homework is needed when it comes to transferring money abroad.

Once you get to know about the best alternatives that are available for you, sending cash internationally doesn’t need to be a headache. You should figure the expenses including exchange rates and fees related to the transaction. You should analyze different alternatives available before picking the one. Each strategy costs something, but you should ensure that more of your cash goes where it should – to your recipient, not to any third party.


Author Bio: Alex Smith is an editor and works at GCC Home Loans. He enjoys creating, uncovering and disseminating new and interesting perspectives on Finance, Investments and Mortgages.  GCC Home Loan provides Commercial Loans and Property Finance services throughout Australia.

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