Canstar reveals the award-winning international money transfer products for 2021

ALASDAIR DUNCAN
While international travel has not been an option for most Aussies this past year, many of us still need to send funds to friends, loved ones and others internationally. If you need to transfer funds overseas, you may well be wondering which international money transfer providers offer outstanding value for money.

Canstar’s International Money Transfers Star Ratings recognise the providers who offer Australians the ability to transfer money while saving on fees and exchange rates, and offer a convenient customer experience.

We considered a total of 21 providers in 2021, narrowing the list down to five award winners.

How were the winners decided?

In order to be eligible for inclusion in the Canstar International Money Transfers Star Ratings, providers were required to be Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as banks offering international money transfers, or non-ADIs that met the following criteria:

  • open to personal (not exclusive to business) customers
  • allow transfers above $15,000 AUD
  • be the primary service provider (not a commission agent)
  • have been operating for a minimum of five consecutive years
  • hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) if they are peer-to-peer lenders
  • in the absence of an AFSL, offer only spot transactions (exchanges of currency at the prevailing market rate)

Canstar Research analysed the performance of each of the providers on our database to determine the score. The 5-Star-Rated recipients were awarded the Canstar International Money Transfers Outstanding Value Award. The methodology this year reflects how the modern consumer is transferring money internationally, recognising a marked shift away from legacy features such as cheque deposits and branch access, in favour of available online functions.

The products were assigned weightings as follows:

  • Price score (80%): The net cost of making an international payment with the provider, taking fees, charges and margins into account, compared to what it would cost to make the same transfer at the mid-market rate with no fees, charges and margins. Different currencies are considered and weighted accordingly.
  • Features score (20%): Considers factors the customer will encounter on their ‘journey’ with the provider, such as how many currencies are offered; the availability of exchange rate information; facilities, fees and charges; and the availability of customer service and support.

Who are Canstar’s top-rated international money transfer providers for 2021?

SR IMT Award Winners

This year, we found that if you’re looking to save money on international money transfers, potentially lesser known providers may offer greater value to consumers relative to the big banks.

The following five providers, listed in alphabetical order, were found to offer outstanding value to Aussie consumers as part of this year’s International Money Transfers Star Ratings, receiving a 5-Star Rating and being awarded an Outstanding Value Award:

  • Currency Fair
  • TorFX
  • Wise
  • WorldRemit
  • XE

Our research found that these alternative providers tended to offer better exchange rates and low or no fees in comparison to some of their more-recognised (in the Australian market) competitors, and could potentially allow Aussie consumers to save money on international transfers.

One common feature of these award-winning providers was that many offered a purely online experience through desktop and mobile portals, offering consumers a simpler and more streamlined way to make international money transfers in a variety of currencies.

For more information on how providers are rated, take a look at the full results and Canstar’s International Money Transfers Star Ratings methodology.

 

Cover image source: Aruta Images/Shutterstock.com


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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Jacqueline Belesky and Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker as part of our fact-checking process.


Alasdair has more than 15 years of experience as a journalist, and he specialises in property and lifestyle topics for Canstar. He has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Queensland and has lectured at QUT. His work has appeared in outlets including Pedestrian.TV, the ABC and Junkee.

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