Essential Things You Must Know About Foreign Exchange Services

Have you ventured into transacting with businesses abroad? One of the trickiest parts of this professional arrangement is sending a payment overseas. Before, the only way to do so was through bank transfer. However, its rate is often too low, thus, making you lose a lot of money in the process. Due to the increasing connectivity all over the globe, you can now utilize foreign exchange services that will enable you to transfer money at a more competitive rate. Here are some essential things you must know when transacting with a foreign exchange service provider:

Foreign exchange charges 

Different foreign exchange third-party services have different charges, but some common ones are currency conversion, transfer fee, cross border taxes, and landing fees.

Currency conversion rates are fixed percentages ranging between 0.10-0.60% that lower the value of the foreign currency you are exchanging. For instance, if the global market exchange rate is USD 0.70 per Australian dollar, your currency exchange service will charge you with USD 0.658 per AUD 1 to account for the intraday changes. Typically, the more money you exchange, the smaller this reduction is. Your service provider will also charge you with another fixed transfer fee for processing your currency exchange. This amount is typically AUD 20. 

Additionally, since you will be transferring from one jurisdiction to another, you might be charged with a cross border tax if you declare it as a form of income. The beneficiary account where you send the money will also sometimes charge a landing fee, but usually, the receiver shoulders this.


If you are exchanging a large amount, you should make your request a few days ahead. Foreign exchange services can typically process your request within the day. However, what adds to the time is the bank to a bank transfer, which often takes 2-5 working days. Your transfer will often not be immediately processed if you do it during the weekend or bank holidays. Additionally, if your currency is not popularly traded like the US dollar, Sterling, or Euro, the transfer will take longer.

Most foreign exchange platforms provide a real-time update of where your money is to give you an idea as to when your transaction will be completed. 

Best practices

To minimize your loss when converting currency and sending it abroad, it would be best if your transaction is not lower than AUD 2,000. Doing so will make your transfer fee charge just 1% of what you will be sending.

Furthermore, it is also advised that you temper and the time your transfer because you might be flagged and investigated if it seems fishy. The maximum allowable conversion that foreign exchange services allow is AUD 2,500,000. If you are regularly converting currency at an unusually high amount, you might be accused of money laundering. This offense could imprison you for 20 years in Australia if you are found guilty.  

Finally, if you are having difficulty dealing with your foreign exchange service provider, you should contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. This governmental agency will check the anomalous transaction and protect you from fraudulence.  

Making international payment through a foreign exchange service provider is safe, time-tested, and cost-effective. They are strictly regulated, so you can be sure that you will not encounter hidden charges that can further lower the value of the money that you are transferring.

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