Are you looking to transfer money overseas or receive money here in New Zealand from a relative or business associate? Before you rush out and use the bank, have you thought about how much it will actually cost and whether it's worth it?
Some banks charge fees of up to $50 to send or receive an international payment. Plus they'll give you a horrible conversion rate that works in their favour and not yours. Today we'll show you the best money transfer services New Zealand has to offer, and a much better alternative for moving money internationally.
Most providers have low to no fees and a much better conversion fee compared with your bank. Within minutes you can move money locally, and they'll move it overseas usually overnight or even same day.
We've decided to look at the 6 top rated providers we think are suitable for using safely and securely. There is of course many other providers out there and some you should definitely avoid.
This list is in no particular order.
Best Money Transfer Services NZ
1. Send FX
With Send FX you are free to transfer money globally within any currency, at any time you like. It takes only a few minutes to create an account through the Send FX app, after which payments can be made and received easily and quicker than with banks and similar, competing services.
Almost 40 countries and their currencies are included in the Send FX network, meaning you can send and receive money in each of these currencies within the single digital wallet included in your account.
With Send FX, updates are given in real-time and same-day transfers are available, making this a great option for moving money in a hurry. The rewards system is also valuable, with points earned and cash returned for every transfer made.
These points are then redeemable as deals on accommodation and car rentals, airport lounge access, travel assistance and other varied benefits.
If security is a primary concern of yours, Send FX is one of the best providers to go with, as their mobile security software is industry-leading to ensure the safety of your transfers.
2. World First
World First makes conversions and international payments easy and transparent, with some of the best exchange rates on the market. Pricing stands at 0.50% or less for annual NZD payments of between $2,000 and $750,000, 0.25% for $750,000 to $7.5 million and 0.15% over $7.5 million.
Even better, World First charges no fees for these transfers. You can trust and feel reassured by the transparent pricing they openly state, which sits at a low rate compared to competitors. To make a payment of NZD $2000 to the US, USD $1335.09 will be received, so their rates are reasonable.
Over 250,000 customers world-wide note World First as their primary choice for international transfers, largely due to the low prices, free account set up, same day payments and convenient mobile payment methods.
What’s most reassuring about using World First is the two-factor authentication required for login, which raises the security of your account and finances so you can make and receive payments without any worries.
3. Transfer Wise
Transfer Wise is another reputable online transfer service, with over 30 countries and currencies available to send and receive payments with, and eight million global users. The prices are a little steeper compared to similar services, as for NZD $2,000, USD $1,331.09 would be received, with a $12.71 fee.
Transfer Wise does provide transparency through their upfront online calculators, which outline the fixed and variable fees and exchange rates prior to making a transfer; however, their pricing as a percentage is less clearly outlined, so it could get confusing for those unfamiliar with the process.
One helpful tool offered by Transfer Wise is an upfront comparison of the big banks against their own fees and exchange rates, including ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Paypal.
The transfer process is simple. Users register for free, add monetary and recipient details, verify their identity, pay and let Transfer Wise do the rest.
So, for competitive exchange rates and a simple payment process, Transfer Wise is a great money transfer service for New Zealanders looking for reputability and honesty.
4. Money Gram
Transferring money internationally is simple and flexible through Money Gram, as bank accounts, physical locations and mobile wallets can all be used to send and receive payment.
Though their reputation isn’t as established as other money transfer services, over 2 million users trust in and use the service regularly, which should put your mind at ease.
Sending money through Money Gram is made simple through the mobile app, with over 70 countries granted digital access to sending and receiving funds. This makes it one of the most wide-reaching money transfer services on the market.
It costs NZD $4 to send NZD $2,000 to the US, which would be received as USD $1276.03, making their exchange rate slightly unfavourable in comparison to other leading services; however, the flexibility of payment methods works to make Money Gram a preferred service for many, whether that be through a card or bank account.
Money Gram also offers generous rewards and deals, like the 40% off deal on every fee after the 5th transfer made. So, for great deals and flexible payment, this is a good option to consider.
5. Western Union
Western Union has a strong reputation, having moved money for over 145 years and served over 150 million customers across the world.
Sending and receiving money with Western Union is simple, requiring you only to register yours and the recipients’ details, with varied options for physical and online money collection that is often instantaneous.
With Western Union, transfers are limited to smaller sums of up to NZD $5,000, so it’s best for smaller and more casual payments. To send NZD $2,000 to the US, $1,333.25 would be received without a transfer fee.
One of the service’s best features is the estimation tool on the website, which helps to provide clarity about varying fees and exchange rates.
Because there are over 135 currencies available for transfer and 200 participating countries, Western Union is the largest money transfer service in the world, so choosing them will reassure you of the legitimacy of the service.
TorFX has built a reputation upon excellent foreign exchange rates and international transfers throughout ten years of operation, promising to refrain from including hidden fees within transactions.
Having won a Mozo Gold Award for Best Value International Money Transfers for two consecutive years and served over 55,000 customers in their decade of operation, TorFX is a reputable and trust-worthy money transfer service.
Transfers can be made at any time with excellent exchange rates through Spot Contracts. There exists a maximum transfer of $50,000 through the online service; however, a phone call with a TorFX representative can help to resolve any issues and allow for larger payments to be made.
TorFX also boasts that their transfers are free, making this a great choice of transfer service.
While the exchange rates and fees are not as transparently outlined as with other transfer services, TorFX does maintain a strong reputation for easy transactions and accurate exchange rates, with one customer even noting that they purchased land in New Zealand through the service.
How much do money transfer services cost?
Most are free of charge but make their money by offering you a slightly lower rate than the global market. Imagine the price of 1USD to AUD being $1.42, you might get $1.41 and this makes up their pricing model. As they are transacting so many customers at any one time, they are leveraging on each transaction.
However their rates are still far more favourable compared to a bank which might offer you $1USD to AUD at $1.38 and that's being generous. Some might be as low as $1.30 and others may be $1.40. Still you've lost a lot more money per dollar than if you'd just used a money transfer service provider.
Is it worth it to use a money transfer provider?
If you're sending or receiving a couple hundred dollars then it might not appear beneficial, however if you move large sums of money (such as relocating or business use) then this can dramatically add up.
If you moved say $100,000 at 1:1.42 you'd get $142,000. But if the bank was offering 1:1.38, you'd only end up with $138,000 which is a difference of $4,000!
If the bank was only offering $1.32 then you'd lose $10,000 on the transaction. Plus your bank will probably charge obnoxious processing fees such as $50 to the sender and the recipient which can also add up fast, if you're transacting a lot of money.