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Before moving to Australia from New Zealand, you have to consider effective ways of handling financial transactions between New Zealand and Australia. Your research should include the comparison of the leading Australian banks and foreign exchange companies and those who offer the fastest, lowest-cost and most secure money transfers. If you are looking to retire in Australia, you also have to consider getting your pension from New Zealand.

Duration

Sending money from New Zealand to Australia is not like typical overseas money transfers due to the close financial ties between the two countries. But how long it takes to transfer money to Australia from NZ depends on the medium of transfer. It takes about 1 to 3 business days to transfer money to a bank account through the bank while money transfer companies take about 2 to 3 days.

There are some money transfer companies which also transfer money within 1-3 business days, just like the banks, and customers prefer to do business with them because of their cheap transfer fees and exchange rates. All you need to do is set up an account with them, and this takes only a few minutes. Get your login details which include a password and enter the banking details of the beneficiary.

Generally, the fastest ways to transfer money are the cash pickups of Western Union and PayPal, as these can be conducted in a few minutes. Western Union, for instance, would require you to set up a profile as a first timer. With a government-issued ID, you can set this up from the comfort of your home.

Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia
By Alex Proimos

Exchange rates

Knowing when to exchange your money can cost you significantly less. While the Australian Dollar has been worth more than the New Zealand Dollar for some years now, the latter continues to gain strength. This means that the exchange rate will continue to be in a state of flux, so it is wise to find out what the exchange rate is so as to know the most advantageous period to make a transfer.

Timing, however, is not the only factor that affects the exchange rate. Exchange rates are not favourable when transfers are done using cash and a traveller's cheque. Instead, use electronic funds when sending money from New Zealand to Australia.

Also, you will get a better exchange rate if you patronise specialist foreign exchange companies rather than regular banks. If your aim during an exchange is to get as many Australian Dollars as possible, then you should keep the amount of cash in traveller's cheques as small as possible. Have an exchange rate calculator to know the best time to exchange currencies.

Open an Australian bank account in NZ. This will help you limit your cash conversions to only small amounts of money.

Opening a bank account

It is advisable that you open an account before moving to Australia, as that will affect the exchange rate you get when converting your money. The ideal time to open an account in Australia is about 3 months before you move. This makes the process quite easy and reduces the fees you have to pay.

Your choice of a bank is also an important factor. While some banks will allow you to almost complete the entire process of opening an account online, others may require you to fill out a form. Some banks may also ask you to move first and open your account on arrival.

For ease of transaction and low cost of money transfers, a good option can be Commonwealth Bank who let you open your account online. 

Converting money to Australian Dollars

Converting your New Zealand Dollars to Australian Dollars can be stressful and costly if you don't have the right information. Internet banking has made the process easier once you have decided to go with a particular exchange rate. Some online money transfer companies like OrbitRemit have also made the process a lot easier, and all you have to do is create an account with them. Say you want to send money to a loved one in Australia from NZ, simply create a payment instruction by logging into your account, indicate who you want the money sent to and how much. There is a built in currency rate converter in the system.

The conversion process depends largely on the purpose. If you are moving to Australia from New Zealand you may have to create an account and go through a more detailed process. Transferring money to your relative or friend will require you to deposit the amount to the account you have with the online money transfer company. Then, the company will pay the equivalent amount to the recipient the next business day. Converting money while in Australia and receiving your pension from NZ can be a bit more complicated if you include other procedures involved in the transaction.

Using a foreign exchange company

Banks will always advertise a cheap or even free transfer from New Zealand to Australia but hide fees in their exchange rates, thereby costing you a lot of money. The amount is even more significant when you are looking to move to Australia and would have to transfer all of your funds. But foreign exchange companies will, for the most part, give you real and mid market exchange rates for all your transfers.

While banks exchange money using whatever the rate is on the day you want to do the transaction, foreign exchange companies will have you sign a contract with them so as to allow you to lock in a rate with them. This is one of the easiest ways to move money from NZ to Australia. All you need to do is wire the amount into a nearby NZ bank with the account they will provide you and they will take care of the rest. The process usually takes one day.

This may save you up to $1500 especially when the source and destination accounts are in the same name. The only other way to save you money on transfers are the cryptocurrency focused agencies like Ripple but their system is a bit unstable. Foreign exchange companies, besides giving you great rates, do not add extra fees for the transfers as banks do and they are the fastest means of conducting such transfers.

Getting your pension

There is a close relationship between Australia and New Zealand which extends to social security agreements. Depending on the number of years spent in each country, you can receive your pension in Australia if you are a New Zealander. You are eligible for this if you are 65 years and older.

But if you want to continue receiving your New Zealand veteran and superannuation pension while you are in Australia, you have to apply for the Australian Age Pension within 26 weeks of leaving NZ. There are some criteria you need to meet to keep receiving your pension while in Australia such as reaching New Zealand's pensionable age.

To have your New Zealand benefits or pension transferred to Australia, you should meet all the New Zealand criteria regarding the issue and you have to be in any of the two countries when you apply. You are required to remain in Australia for at least a year after your move. The amount you will be receiving will depend on your living arrangements and the length of time you spent in New Zealand (between the ages of 20 and 65).

XE Money Transfer

If you are transferring funds ahead of your move to Australia from New Zealand, making a purchase, or sending to family and friends, Ausmove have partnered with XE money transfer, a trusted global payments and foreign exchange specialist to provide highly competitive exchange rates and tailored currency advice to both private individuals and businesses alike. XE is the world’s trusted currency authority used by more than 280+ million people a year.

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