A surge in international transfers was seen in December as Australians sent money to all corners of the globe through the festive season.
The new data reveals a 20% jump in international transfers made by NAB customers in December compared to the monthly average, as well as a 12% rise on the same month in 2021. It was also the first festive season in which NAB offered customers fee-free foreign currency transfers.
The top destination for funds was New Zealand, just ahead of the United Kingdom, with the United States rounding out the top three. However, the US dollar was the most popular currency, highlighting its position as the ‘world’s currency’.
NAB Executive Transaction Banking & Enterprise Payments, Shane Conway, said high, and rising, transaction volumes pointed to Australia’s deep connections to 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.”
Last year, in a first for a major Australian bank, NAB announced it would no longer charge a fee for overseas transfers in a foreign currency when using NAB Internet Banking and the NAB app.
NAB has also improved its foreign exchange rates, helping customers’ dollars go further in foreign currency.
“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.
“We responded to customer feedback by removing the fees and it’s great to see activity pick up.”
NAB customers can transfer funds to more than 230 countries in over 40 currencies through NAB Internet Banking and the NAB app.
* We use trusted partner banks to send international payments. For NAB Internet Banking and NAB app transfers, even though we request partners to not deduct any additional fees, it may happen outside of our control. In this case, we will reimburse additional fees deducted by a partner bank.
International transfers through channels other than NAB Internet Banking and the NAB app, and transfers in AUD, may incur transfer fees and overseas bank charges.