New NAB data has revealed international transfers by its customers jumped 20% in December compared to the monthly average. 

International transfers also rose 12% on the same month in 2021.

The top three destinations for funds were New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Shane Conway, NAB Executive for Transaction Banking and Enterprise Payments, said high transaction volumes pointed to Australia’s deep connections with the rest of the world.

“Nearly one-third of Australia’s population is born overseas so it’s no surprise the main reason our customers send money overseas is to support family members,” Mr Conway said.

“Through December we regularly see a lift in the number of transactions as the giving spirit is alive and well. This trend was even more apparent in 2022 at a time when cost of living pressures are more pressing globally than they have been in many years.

“New Zealand and the United Kingdom were clearly the top destinations in December, which makes sense given both high migrant populations and the significance of Christmas in these two regions.”

According to RBA data, the value of overseas credit card purchases was $1.90 billion in November 2022. 

Late last year, NAB became the first of the big-four banks to offer fee-free international currency transfers for customers using NAB internet banking and the NAB app.

NAB was previously charging $10 per transaction.

“Almost half of the international transfers made by our customers are made to support family overseas, and we want to help them move their money in other currencies simply and without extra cost,” Mr Conway said.

NAB customers can transfer funds to more than 230 countries in over 40 currencies. 

What to consider when sending money overseas

Before you send cash to your loved ones on the other side of the world, consider the following:

  • Is the exchange rate strong? Is it worth waiting to see if the value rises? Different banks and transfer facilitators will offer different exchange rates so be sure to compare your options.
  • Always read the fine print of the institution you transfer through to avoid being hit with a surprise fee e.g. conversion fee.
  • Most banks and online transfer facilitators have minimum and maximum transfer limits. Make sure you choose the right facilitator for your needs.
  • Some international transfers can take days to clear. Check whether the transfers will be instant to avoid any surprises. 

Read More: How to send money overseas


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