The Big 4 Banks become engrained in most peoples’ lives from a young age. Inevitably as you grow older, so does your level of interaction with these multi-billion-dollar institutions.
It usually starts when you receive a youth account, set-up by your parents, which progresses to an everyday account upon getting a job.
From there, you may choose to stick with the bank chosen for you as a child because it’s convenient, familiar and maybe because you feel loyal to the institution that has nurtured your financial self from a young age.
On reflection, however, consider if the opportunities chosen for you way back then are right for you now.
Don’t fall victim to too much choice
Consumers today are flooded with choice and selecting the best provider for your needs can be overwhelming.
Whether you’re sending money to your account back home, or an SME paying international suppliers, foreign exchange is not usually something that the big banks will proactively educate you about.
If you reach a point where you need to transfer money overseas, you may choose to do so with your bank because you have an existing relationship with them – and it’s a service they provide.
So why bother going elsewhere?
One size does not fit all
According to money expert, Bessie Hassan, from comparison site Finder, staying loyal to one bank could mean you forgo savings from a more competitive product with an alternate provider.
“You can’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It’s unlikely that one bank will have the best products for all your banking needs.
“If you don’t shop around, you won’t know if you’re getting a dud-deal and that inertia is what the banks rely on.”
The lazy finance tax
We’re all guilty of taking the easy option at times and for the sake of simplicity in a complicated world, why not?
Relying on your bank to give you the best deals could mean forking out hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees, and in addition, end up with a poor exchange rate.
This is where you need to evaluate how much the ‘simple life’ is worth to you.
Although changing finance providers is time consuming, it’s unrealistic to think one financial institution can provide the best deals in every financial category.
Consumers should be aware that international transfer specialists, such as WorldFirst, have the capacity to be more competitive in this market than the big banks.
But I’m protected by my bank!
There’s no denying Australia’s major banks have strong capital backing and sophisticated protections against theft and fraud. This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re alone in that.
Since 2004, more than 200,000 individuals and businesses have used WorldFirst to transact more than $120 billion worldwide. In addition, WorldFirst was awarded a 5-star Canstar rating for Outstanding Value in International Money Transfers in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
By transferring your money with a foreign exchange specialist, rather than your bank, you could save hundreds and even thousands on transfer fees.
For example, transferring $20,000 AUD to USD with WorldFirst will save you up to $800 compared to going with one of the Big 4.*
WorldFirst also offers different products to suit your transfer needs.
If you’re ready to transfer right now, a spot contract could be the one for you. WorldFirst will offer you a rate based on the live exchange rate at the time and you can make a payment there and then.
If you want to lock in a rate, but aren’t ready to make a transfer, you can ‘fix’ it up to two years in advance with a forward contract. The great thing about this is that you’ll know exactly how much you’ll get when you’re ready to transfer.
Disclaimer: These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.
Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits. We have no commercial affiliation with any organisation or commercial interest regarding the venues mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.
* Based on transfers of AUD to GBP, AUD to USD, AUD to EUR, AUD to NZD and AUD to SGD (including inverse). Fees not included.