Money Management

International money transfers in Austria

We outline the process of making international money transfers in Austria in both traditional banks and via online and mobile banking.

Money transfer Austria

Updated 19-4-2024

Getting your money to the right place at the right time might be easier than ever in today’s high-tech world, but it is still important to know your options when living in a new country. Furthermore, making sure that you are correctly transferring money internationally can still be stressful, despite mobile and online banking making it feel like less of a chore.

So to help you get started, this handy guide provides everything you need to know about making international money transfers from within Austria, including the following:


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International money transfers in Austria

Naturally, the most important aspect of making an international money transfer is making sure that it arrives in the account of the person or company you wish it to. Therefore, choosing a safe and secure service is paramount. Typically, you begin by choosing a financial transfer service to manage the entire process for you from start to finish. If, for example, you wish to send euros from Austria to the United States, that service clears your funds, converts the funds using the current exchange rate, and then forwards it on to the US on your behalf.

Woman transferring money from a mobile phone

In Austria, you can send money via a bank transfer or by using your debit or credit card. Alternatively, you can opt for mobile or online banking, or use a foreign exchange service. Ordinarily, the money will reach the recipient’s account within a few days. That said, certain providers can sometimes complete transactions within just a few hours.

Online international money transfer services in Austria

Essentially, there are several advantages to using online money transfer services such as PayPal and OFX in Austria. For one, if both you and the recipient have an account with the same provider, you will likely be able to transfer money instantly. Additionally, if you are concerned about how safe and secure these transactions will be, it is reassuring to know that in Europe, these online services are subject to regulation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and licensed as Electronic Money Institutions. Similarly, in the United States, online providers must have a license for money transmission and comply with all applicable state and federal laws.

Notably, the fee for a transaction is different for each service. For instance, international transfers with Paypal include a cross-border fee that ranges between 0.4 and 2%. Therefore, while this is a fast and easy option, it isn’t the most affordable one if you are making a large transaction.

International money transfers in Austria by traditional bank

Your bank may be your easiest option for making an international money transfer in Austria. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the cheapest method. Generally, bank-to-bank transfers are highly secure, but banks don’t always offer the same online tools as companies that solely provide money transfers. Subsequently, banks may have higher transfer fees than say, foreign exchange brokers which cost less because they complete a higher volume of transfers.

Erste Bank sign in Vienna

In most banks in Austria, international bank transfers are possible online, in a branch, or via the phone and it usually takes a few days for these transfers to clear. Additionally, cross-border euro bank transfers within Europe can qualify for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) agreement. This facilitates banking across European borders by making international transfers the same cost as a local transfer. You can find out more about this at your specific bank.

Costs of international bank transfers in Austria

Generally, bank transfers are one of the more expensive options for sending money abroad from Austria. For example, certain retail banks charge more than €30 in fees, and their exchange rates are not always transparent, often incorporating a 5 to 7% margin on top.

Furthermore, there will often be fees even if the transfers are done online or through an app. With this in mind, it’s best to know before you begin so that you don’t end up with hidden fees catching you by surprise. New digital banks, however, are finding great success as they have very few fees.

The euro is generally a stable currency and stands strong against other major currencies. Here are some approximate exchange rates as of November 2020:

  • US$1.2 = €1
  • £0.9 = €1
  • AU$1.6 = €1
  • CA$1.6 = €1
  • SG$1.6 = €1

How to make or receive an international money transfer in Austria by bank

Generally, making or receiving an international money transfer via a bank in Austria is a simple and easy process. A bank can help you set up transfer services, including wire transfers to another bank, state, or country.

If you are looking to transfer funds to an account at a different financial institution, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Bank Name and Address
  • IBAN
  • Swift/BIC Code
  • Account Number
  • Receiver’s Complete Name

As mentioned in the previous section, there are often fees associated with transferring money to a different financial institution. Therefore, make sure that you are aware of these before you start the process. Once you have provided all of the details above, the bank teller will authorize the transfer. Generally, international bank transfers will arrive within one to five working days.

International money transfers via online and mobile banking in Austria

When it comes to banking, convenience is key. After all, most people prefer to manage their finances online or via their phone rather than having to visit the bank in person. As a result of this, almost all traditional banks in Austria now offer online, mobile, and phone banking options. However, although they operate similar to new digital banks, the fees they impose on international transfers will likely be the same as if you went into the brick-and-mortar institution.

Woman transferring money from her phone

Digital banks, such as N26, for example, only impose a monthly account service fee. This might range from between €0 and €16.90 per month. However, there are no other hidden costs or transaction fees. Furthermore, N26 doesn’t charge any foreign exchange fees on international transfers, which makes it a very appealing modern option for these transactions.

Using mobile banking apps is fairly straightforward, too, especially if you already have an account at a bank in Austria. In this case, you can simply download the bank’s mobile banking app and use your existing account information to create an app profile and access all of its features. If you don’t have an existing account with an Austrian bank, however, you will need to open an account with the bank before you can download and start using the bank’s app. In essence, both traditional and mobile banks are safe and secure and have similar security protocols in place.

Wire transfers in Austria

When it comes to wire transfer services, you will have likely already heard of Western Union. However, other well-known operators within Austria include MoneyGram and Exchange4free. These services send money quickly to pretty much anywhere in the world. If you lose your wallet and don’t have access to your bank account, a wire transfer is a great way to get money sent to where you are fast. Of course, fees tend to be higher for this type of quick and easy service. In fact, they may even be more than 5% of the transfer amount, however, this depends on where you transfer it to.

Western Union sign

Typically, you can transfer money online, over the phone, or in-store within minutes. Generally, to complete a wire transfer from your own bank account, you will need to register for a free account with your chosen operator. You can then choose the country you want to send the money to, as well as the recipient’s name, the amount, and the delivery method; for example, cash. Then, you will usually receive an email confirmation and a tracking number which you can forward to the recipient for retrieving the transfer.

Foreign exchange brokers in Austria

Conveniently, more traditional ways of sending money globally, such as bank and wire transfer, are giving way to specialized foreign exchange companies – also known as forex brokers – which offers online international money transfers. Forex companies are increasingly offering a higher range of transfer tools and exchange services that are appealing to customers all over the world. These services include free transfers, online money transfers, better exchange rates, 24-hour support, foreign exchange alerts, and the ability to set your own minimum and maximum exchange rates.

Some of these services operating in Austria include:

How to use a foreign exchange broker

To use a foreign exchange broker, you will first deposit the funds you want to transfer into the forex broker’s account. These days, this is usually done entirely online. Then, the broker simply exchanges your money and sends it on to the recipient. Sometimes your own bank may charge a fee to transfer the money into the broker’s account. However, typically, this is only the cost of a local bank transfer (or free).

You can also set up regular payments with a forex broker. For ongoing transfers, you can often find very competitive deals that let you lock in exchange rates. This can be very useful for expats, particularly those who may have mortgages abroad or need to pay international school fees or transfer salaries. Another benefit of using a foreign exchange broker is that you can often find better support services. This is because forex brokers are specialist firms that focus on foreign exchange and provide services such as currency advice and real-time exchange rates.

Online comparison tools are a handy way to check out the best exchange rates and save on fees. To sum up, if you are planning to transfer large amounts of money abroad, using a forex broker can be a convenient way of doing so.