How to pay a freelancer in Australia
November 15, 2017 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I am in the US and I need to send money to Australia. What's the best service to use?

I am in the US, banking with Wells Fargo. My freelance copywriter is in Australia, banking with Citibank. She usually gets paid via Paypal but they'd screwed me one too many times and I swore to never use them again. My copywriter is willing to try someone different. Is there a cheap service that would allow me to pay her easily that's not Paypal or owned by PayPal? By cheap I mean low fees for the transfer itself and a fair exchange rate. Thank you.
posted by rada to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Give a look. I've only used it to move money across the border, but they're set up to transfer between people as well. You'll both need to register a local bank account with them.
posted by cfraenkel at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just did some international work (me in the US, the company abroad) and they paid me through Veem. Id never heard of them before but it seemed to have worked seamlessly.
posted by Mchelly at 2:41 PM on November 15, 2017

I've used Transferwise, CurrencyFair, and for US -> Australia payments. CurrencyFair was the most transparent about the exchange rate and timetable, but I don't think they have a presence in the US anymore.

Exchange services generally take some time and effort to set up an account and verify your identity remotely. Would it be easier for you to open an account with Citibank?
posted by Phssthpok at 4:41 PM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't know about Wells Fargo, but I have Bank of America and I was paid for some consulting by a company in London. They just did it via electronic wire transfer. I had to give them my electronic routing number -- it's like when you have to give people your routing number for direct deposit, but this is a different number for wires. I found it just by logging into my online account and looking at my account numbers. The annoying part was Bank of America charged $16 per overseas wire transfer, so it came out of the total I was sent, but the money showed up in my account without me needing to do anything.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:52 PM on November 15, 2017

Bank Australia is a customer-owned Australian bank, formed by successive mergers between credit unions, and continues to do an extremely good job of not screwing its customers over. My father was a founding member of Ed Credit whose office building in Kew is now Bank Australia's head office, and I have been banking with what is now Bank Australia ever since. I have never even once been given cause to swear at them, which is almost unheard of for an Australian bank.

If your freelancer were to open a Bank Australia account, she could receive international money transfers without being charged a fee. Bank Australia does these via Western Union.

She'd also be doing business with a far less horrible bank than Citi, which would have to be to her advantage.
posted by flabdablet at 10:26 PM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

NZ based here, paying a contractor in Australia. I'm in the process of signing up with TorFX . A friend here has used them for NZ to AUS payments and found them cheaper by far. They actually seem helpful and I had a 10min call with a competent sales guy yesterday. They claim to give 5% better on the exchange rate and have a lower fee structure too - we'll see.

Currently paying by bank from NZ (BNZ) which costs me NZ$40.00 per transaction but does not cost my contractor. Paypal actually took more, about NZ$42.00 and takes a bit from each end. Pay yes, but Pal - yeah right!
posted by unearthed at 2:17 AM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Negative experience: I used XE a number of times in the last 5 or so years for transfers between UK, Germany, and Australia, and was previously happy with them. No transfer fees, they make their cut with a non-divulged margin in the exchange rate. They offered a better rate than the banks.

In 2015 they were taken over by Euronet, and in my most recent EUR->AUD transfer experiences I had the impression their margin from a transaction had increased significantly; their quoted rates were further than expected from the mid-market rate and, comparing over time, the quoted rates didn't seem to reflect large swings in the mid-market rates. It felt like funny business and I'm going to switch next time I need to move money.
posted by illongruci at 6:25 AM on November 16, 2017

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