Moving money to your next expat posting can be tricky the first time. It’s hard to know where to start, let alone how to keep more of your hard-earned money. We asked the currency experts at OFX to help decode this financial task.
“Moving money for your relocation is about more than just transferring wealth and setting up day-to-day savings accounts. Often, there’s quite a sum of cash to be spent before you even land at your new posting (or back in your home town). This means you’ll likely find yourself sorting out down payments for a rental or property purchase, paying fees to secure school places, initiating helper recruitment, and more.
Transferring money using a foreign exchange provider such as OFX can deliver a significant savings against some banks. It’s also a service that offers 24/7 support and can transfer money fast (next day) to 197 countries in over 55 different currencies, which your bank may not be able to facilitate.
Three tips for sending money overseas:
#1 Know the difference between a customer rate and market rate
The market rate is used primarily for consumers as a benchmark. Before you make a money transfer, make sure you check the real mid-market rate. Banks can charge up to 5 percent in hidden costs – so, for example, if you wanted to transfer AU$10,000, with that 5 percent margin you’d be paying up to $500 on top of the bank’s fees.
#2 Get all the bank account details
When sending money overseas, in addition to your recipients’ details you’ll also need to know the Swift code (a bank’s identifier code). These are 8 to 11 characters long, consisting of both letters and numbers; you can typically find them on a bank’s statement or website.
#3 Monitor the market with rate alerts
An unfavourable exchange rate can really hurt your back pocket. Set up a personalised rate alert and the experts will monitor the market for you. When the rate is reached, you can be notified direct to your inbox or via a push notification from the OFX app.”
“We initially transferred over £10,000 through OFX to help set us up in our new home, including accommodation, my visa and transport costs. It was so easy that we have since transferred the remainder of our savings we left behind. We will never use the bank for international transfers again.” – Alfie Bamford
“Dealing with OFX for the first time was a lightbulb moment for me and how I was transferring money from overseas. As soon as you’ve experienced it, you kind of want to kick yourself and ask how you could have possibly been conducting life any other way.” – Athan Didaskalou
For more information, scan the QR code or visit, OFX.com/save.
OzForex (HK) Limited, trading as OFX. OFX is licensed as a Money Service Operator with the Customs and Excise Department Hong Kong license number 12-08-00582.
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the December 2019/ March 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.