NZ Exchange Rates – Keeping an Eye on Currency

  • Posted by Paul on July 24, 2014 in Market

If you’re an expat working in New Zealand, or you have any ongoing interests in the value of the NZ Dollar against other currencies, this post is here to help you get a better understanding of the forces that determine that value. We’ll look at how interest rates affect exchange rates, New Zealand’s key trading partners (including the United States), and what this all means for OrbitRemit customers sending money out of New Zealand.

NZD to USD exchange rate, NZD to AUD exchange rate

Interest Rates and the Reserve Bank

One of the key factors in determining the relative value of currencies is the interest rate differential – in other words, the difference in the interest rates set by each country’s reserve bank. For example, in determining the NZD/USD exchange rate, the interest rate set by the NZ Reserve Bank is weighed against that set by the Federal Reserve in the United States.

Right now, the New Zealand Dollar is relatively strong compared to five or ten years ago, and in part this is related to the declining value of the USD over that time period, which in turn is tied in large part to the Federal Reserve’s historically low interest rates and rounds of quantitative easing.

Yesterday the NZ Reserve Bank raised the Official Cash Rate from 3.25% to 3.5%. However, the Reserve Bank is also warning that the current value of the New Zealand Dollar is unsustainably high, and a sudden fall may occur Continue Reading…

The Australian Exchange Rate: Key Influencing Factors Vs the GBP and NZD

  • Posted by Tom on July 23, 2014 in Market

The Australian exchange rate has remained strong and steady against many of its major trading partners in recent months. The last few years have seen the AUD strengthen significantly against the US Dollar – but is the strength of the Aussie Dollar destined to last much longer? In this post we’ll look at some of the factors influencing the strength of the AUD, with a particular view to the likely futures of the AUD – GBP and AUD – NZD exchange rates.

Australian exchange rate, AUD dollar conversion

Factors Influencing the Australian Exchange Rate

As with any currency there are dozens of factors that can affect its value, but let’s zoom in on two of the biggest domestic influences on the value of the AUD: mining, and the recent budget announcements.

The Mining Economy

Mining has been the driving force of the Australian economy for some time now and this boom has been one of the major contributing factors to the near-50% appreciation in the value of the AUD in trade weighted terms over the past 10 years. This boom has been pinned in large part to the rapidly growing demand for commodities in the expanding Chinese economy – the China-driven rise in demand for Australian assets and drove up anticipated returns on investments made in the Australian resources sector.

The Recent Budget and Business Confidence

The recent budget announcements made by the new Tony Abbott-led government, caused a drop in consumer confidence – but, importantly, this was Continue Reading…

Currency Exchange Comparison: Banks Vs Online Services

  • Posted by Paul on July 22, 2014 in Market

This post is here to help you carry out a currency exchange comparison – in particular, for comparing currency rates on international transfers between banks and popular online transfer services.

Currency exchange, foreign exchange

Compare Money Exchange Services: Understanding Buy and Sell Rates

Before you go exchanging currency, it’s important to understand that there are really two rates any institution uses in the currency conversion process. There is the buy rate: the rate at which the bank or service buys the currency in question. Banks trade currency on what’s called the ‘inter-bank market,’ a market which the average person does not have direct access to. Then there is the sell rate, which of course is the rate at which they sell that currency. Any time a currency transaction occurs, there is a gap between these two – the size of that gap in large part determines how good of a deal you, as a consumer, get on your currency exchange.

Let’s take currency exchange rates in the UK for example: imagine you want to convert GBP into AUD. There are effectively several transactions happening here. At a bank, the bankers are effectively selling your GBP at the sell rate which is available to them, and buy AUD at the buy rate that’s available to them. However – crucially – these rates are often significantly different from what they actually display to you. This allows them to pocket the difference on these transactions as profit.

Currency Exchange Continue Reading…

The Evolution of Electronic Funds Transfers

  • Posted by Lauren on July 21, 2014 in Technology

In the age of the Internet, it’s simple to send money around the world in a matter of minutes from any laptop or smartphone. But it hasn’t always been so easy – this infographic outlines the evolution of electronic funds transfers, from their origins with Western Union and physical wire transfers in the 1800′s, through to modern day international transfer services like OrbitRemit which make it easy to send money anywhere, even to developing countries, from any Internet-connectable device.

Electronic Funds Transfers

Where Can I Exchange Foreign Currency?

  • Posted by Paul on July 18, 2014 in Financial Tips

Where can I exchange foreign currency? It’s a common question for someone returning from an overseas trip and looking to get the best possible deal on converting any leftover foreign money. Likewise, if you’re planning an overseas trip you may want to stock up on some cash for your destination country beforehand, at a time when the exchange rates are working in your favour. This post will guide you through the process of exchanging physical currency – where and how to do it to get the most for your dollar.

Online foreign currency exchange

Where to Exchange Foreign Currency

There are two primary physical outlets which make it easy for you to exchange currency:

Currency exchange outlets – these are dedicated stores whose only business is exchanging currency. They are common in tourist areas of major cities all over the world. They tend to have high fees and less than favourable exchange rates.

Banks – virtually all major banks can convert cash to or from any currency right there on the spot. Their fees and rates tend to be a little better than what you’ll get from a dedicated currency exchange outlet (although not always).

You’ll typically find both of the above options in airports, which is convenient for last minute money exchanges before a flight or just after you’ve arrived in your destination. Bear in mind though, if you exchange currency in the airport it’s very unlikely you’ll be getting a good deal. Airport money Continue Reading…

How to Send Money Overseas from Australia

  • Posted by Tom on July 16, 2014 in Financial Tips

In this post we’re going to look at the options available for sending money overseas from Australia, and provide a few little tips and tricks to help you get the best exchange rates and save money in the process.

Sending money overseas

Let’s start by comparing the two main ways people send money out of Australia: using bank transfers, and through specialized online services.

Sending Money Overseas Through Banks

This is the first port of call for most people living and working in Australia long term who need to send money overseas. The natural tendency is to simply ask your bank what they can do for you when it comes to transferring money overseas. What you’ll realize pretty quickly, however, is that most Australian banks charge a small fortune for these kind of transfers. There are typically hefty fees involved, but that’s not the worst part – where you really lose out when transferring through banks is on the exchange rate.

Sending Money Online from Australia

There are a wide variety of online services now offering money transfers out of Australia (OrbitRemit included) and a good number of them are faster, cheaper and offer better exchange rates than the typical bank deals.

Online transfer companies tend to be able to offer consumers better deals because they’re not burdened with the same costs that the major banks have. Some people are a little wary of online transfer services for security reasons, but there’s no basis for these concerns – Continue Reading…

Compare Money Transfer Services

  • Posted by Lauren on July 15, 2014 in Market

Use this quick and simple guide to compare money transfer services at a glance. We’ve broken down how OrbitRemit measures up against some of our competitors on the things that really matter to our customers.

Comparing international online money transfer companies.

How Long Do International Bank Transfers Take?

  • Posted by Tom on July 14, 2014 in Financial Tips

How long do international bank transfers take? The answer to that question depends heavily on which bank you’re using and where you’re sending the money to (and from). Transfers between developed countries tend to be relatively fast compared to transfers to or between developing nations.

International bank transfers online

The short answer is that an international bank transfer can be instantaneous, or it can take 5-7 business days. In some cases, transfers will take even longer than this, however around a week is a fairly standard time frame for many overseas transfers. But why does it take so long? The answer is not technology – with the Internet, there’s no reason money can’t be sent instantaneously across the globe. Let’s look at some of the factors that can hold up an international transfer speed.

Why Do Transfers Take So Long?

In most cases it’s simply a matter of the time it takes to process a large number of transactions happening all over the world at any given moment. Long story short, banks that take a long time to transfer money are generally dealing with a very high volume of transfers (or at least high volume in relation to the resources they have for processing those transactions). Even with a totally automated process, there may be thousands of other transfer orders being placed at the same time as yours if you’re sending money through a major bank – that takes time to process.

Sometimes there is also Continue Reading…

How to Transfer Money Online: A Step by Step Guide

  • Posted by Tom on July 13, 2014 in Financial Tips

This step by step guide on how to transfer money online will walk you through exactly what’s involved in transferring cash from your account to your intended receiver. Using an online money transfer service like OrbitRemit, it’s easy and simple to send cash all over the world with just a few clicks.

Send money online, wire money online

Why Use an Online Bank Transfer Service?

There are several advantages to using an online bank transfer service that allows you to send money orders online, rather than going through your normal everyday banking institution. Online transfer services like ours have lower fees than banks and we provide you a much more fair and reasonable exchange rate on overseas transfers.

How to Wire Money Online

Step 1 – First, you’ll need to make sure you’ve signed up for Internet banking with your bank. With most banks you have to actually request this be set up – just having a bank account doesn’t mean you automatically have Internet banking access. You will need to call or visit your bank to get this facility set up.

Step 2 - Once you have an Internet banking account, log in to your online interface. You’ll usually see a summary of accounts, along with a button that gives you an option to transfer money. This is the option you want to click on.

Step 3 - You should now see a screen which allows you to choose which of your accounts you want to send Continue Reading…

How to Transfer Money from Bank to Bank

  • Posted by Paul on July 12, 2014 in Financial Tips

Looking for a guide on how to transfer money from bank to bank? You’re in the right place – in this post we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to carry out an interbank transfer, both online and offline, as well as explaining how to transfer cash between banks in different countries.

Transferring money between banks

The Advantages of Bank to Bank Transfers

Bank to bank transfers have the beauty of being a safe and usually fairly quick way of moving money around. It means you don’t have to mess around with physical cash and you have an electronic record of your transaction. Also, depending on the bank account plan you have, it’s often free or very low cost to transfer money between banks.

The Process: How to Transfer Money from One Bank to Another

Step 1 – You’ll need the bank account details of the person or company you want to transfer money to. If it’s a domestic transfer, this will usually just be their bank account number, the name of the account holder, and the name of their bank. If you’re transferring overseas you will typically also need the SWIFT code.

Step 2 – The next step is to carry out the transfer itself. If you’re doing this offline, you’ll need to physically go down to the bank with the transfer details and talk to the teller. If it’s an online transfer, you’ll simply need to login to your Internet banking account and Continue Reading…