Currency exchange differs from currency trading, although purchasing foreign currency and exchange rates are involved in both. The difference stems basically from intent.
Currency exchange involves presenting X amount of Australian dollars, for example, for the currency rate equivalent in, say, euros. Currency exchanges can be for personal use while in a foreign country or for business purposes to pay for foreign goods for import. Currency trading is aimed at gleaning a profit from exchange rates of sets of currency values against each other.
Currency can be easily exchanged in to foreign currency by cash or traveller’s cheque, but the better exchange rates are often found at Foreign Exchange Banks. They specialise in currency exchanges and transfers and often provide reduced fees and higher efficiency than a standard bank can. When transferring part or all of a bank balance, Foreign Exchange banks may waive any commission fee otherwise associated, depending on the transfer balance.
Smaller transfers and exchanges may incur a minor fee of approximately 15 AUD. Any fee associated will be declared prior to effecting the transaction.
Foreign Exchange banks earn their profits by purchasing currency at the Interbank rate, often lower than standard currency rates. They take a small percentage when the currency is bought—the exchange—by the customer, but the greater share of the reduced purchase rate is passed on to the customer, granting more foreign currency per domestic dollar.
Business or Corporate Exchanges
Most often, businesses and corporations require larger sums of foreign currency for purchase of goods for export. Raw materials or finished products are paid for in the export country in their mode of currency, enabling a faster shipment for the purchaser’s import.
Corporate requirements differ from those of a currency investor, and Foreign Exchange banks often have corporate specialists well versed in corporate currency exchanges and can offer knowledgeable advice on such aspects as forwarding contracts and options and other valid hedging strategies tailored to your corporation’s needs. They keep the corporate goals in mind.
The value of a country’s currency is determined on a daily basis by the country’s national bank. Foreign Exchange banks keep their exchange rates constantly updated with those adjustments. They also closely monitor the strength of various currencies from other countries to capture the most comprehensive currency picture available. They advise both private and corporate clients on the most cost effective method of exchange and endeavour to minimise fees, regardless of the amount exchanged.
Unfortunately, Foreign Exchange advisors cannot truthfully predict when the AUD will favourably exchange with any other currency nor can they retroactively transfer funds at a prior exchange rate.
As with most financial transactions, the larger the amount of money involved, the better the exchange rate will usually be. Small, private exchanges will garner reasonable exchange rates effective on the day of exchange, but either personal or corporate exchanges or transfers of sizeable amounts will earn a better rate on the same day.
Most large private or corporate account services enjoy tiered benefits and actions. The client can choose which offered service level best suits the needs of the moment. Foreign Exchange banks understand that clients have different needs from other clients, and personal services may not need to have as extensive and intensive attention that some corporate accounts might. However, private individual may still gain tiered service options, as well.
Many Foreign Exchange institutes offer several transaction method options, including online transfers to individuals or businesses overseas. Fees may vary according to transaction amount, type and destination, but the Foreign Exchange advisor who effects the transfer can answer all transaction-related questions prior to any action.