Four mistakes to avoid when sending money overseas this Christmas

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Christmas is just around the corner, and for the three in 10 Australians born overseas, this could mean sending cash home to family and friends

With a growing number of Aussies sending money overseas, it's important to know what to look for before completing your transaction. Below are four tips to make sure your money gets to its destination safely.

1. Watch out for fees

how to safely send money overseas

Always check transaction fees before using a money transfer service. Leading online transfer platforms will be upfront about the fees you will pay. You should see the total fees, and any conversion charges, before you confirm your transfer.

If the fees are opaque, or not specified, you might find that your recipient ends up with less than you intended.

2. Don't miss the Christmas deadline

For those who are sending money overseas for the first time using a digital transfer service, make sure to allow enough time to set up an account.

All licensed Australian money transfer services are required by law to verify your identity before your first transaction, and this can sometimes take a day or two.

It is also helpful to understand how long each type of transfer can take, as it can vary for cash pick-up, bank transfer, payments to mobile money wallets, and airtime top-up.

3. Enter the right details for the recipient

To avoid any hiccups along the way, ensure the recipient's information is correct before confirming a transfer.

Different countries will have different formats for bank account details, and it can be these small details that cause a hiccup. While it may ruin a surprise, always confirm the recipient's details before hitting send on a transfer.

4. Keep an eye on exchange rates

Keep an eye on exchange rates, as they change daily, and complete your transfer when rates are in your favour.

The amount of money that a recipient will receive relies heavily on the exchange rate on the day of a transfer.

Some money transfer services offer daily exchange rate notifications via their apps, so users can keep an eye on the best time to hit send on a money transfer.

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Scott Eddington is the managing director of Asia-Pacific at WorldRemit, an international money transfer platform. Previously, he led the digital strategy team at Commonwealth Bank of Australia

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