I run a small Australian business that has the requirement to pay a relatively small but not insignificant (say USD10k-20k equivalent annually) amount of invoices in foreign currencies (EUR and USD).

In an attempt to pay less fees I have opened USD and EUR accounts with my (Australian) bank because they were free of charge, with the aim of purchasing currencies at the times where the exchange rate is favourable, holding them for when I need them, and then taking advantage of the greatly reduced transfer fees offered by my bank when transferring from a native currency account.

However from what I can tell, finding a service where I can electronically buy foreign currencies with AUD and store it in my accounts don't seem to exist outside just doing it with my bank - tourism based services sell foreign cash (not useful) and all other options seem to be FX investing platforms (I have no experience investing whatsoever). The option of exchanging internally with my bank isn't appealing because the rates offered are poor (my benchmark for poor being worse than the rates offered by my local tourist-style cash exchange).

Is there a method of doing this that I am missing, or a better way to achieve my overall goal? Or is my best bet just to figure out how a FX investment platform works and trade my relatively small amounts by depositing and withdrawing to/from one of those investment accounts?

I'm almost tempted settle for my banks bad exchange rates, but would love to save as much as I can on these transactions if possible.

  • If you have opened USD and EUR accounts but can’t get the bank to convert AUD to those currencies, how do you put money into those accounts? Or is it that you want a better rate than whatever the bank offers?
    – Lawrence
    Aug 15, 2019 at 8:09
  • 1
    @Lawrence Sorry, very much wanting a better rate and looking for an alternative way to put money into those accounts, I originally wrote the question with a "of course I don't want to change with my bank because the rate is so bad" assumption in my head - hopefully my edit is clearer. Aug 15, 2019 at 8:38
  • Although the first answer is a recommendation for a specific product, I think the question was general enough that it shouldn't be voted off topic as seeking specific products. Aug 15, 2019 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


You can use something like transferwise borderless account to buy the foreign currency and store inside it. You only need to pay the exchange rates(which is lower than the bank exchange rates).

Nevertheless, if your purpose is to avoid the terrible bank exchange rates, using the Peer-to-peer money transfer services directly is better than parking the exchanged currency that gives you no interest fees (unless you want to hedge against the future rates). You can use one of these competitive P2P money exchange traders: Transferwise, Currencyfair, OFX, TORFX, Worldfirst, Worldremit, XE.com (Note: some services highlight zero fees but give a bad excahnge rate)

  • Thanks! I think a simpler solution like that might be better for what I'm trying to do. Aug 20, 2019 at 6:22

I would personnally suggest opening a CurrencyFair account. It would even have not been necessary to open bank account in foreign currencies.

The reasons why I suggest CurrencyFair are:

  • First, they offer a pretty unique peer-to-peer currency marketplace named "Exchange" where you can set your own exchange rate. This means that you can even beat the current exchange rate by setting a more favorable exchange rate and simply hope that the market cross your rate. Then, the conversion will occur automatically for the specified amount.
  • Second, they respect your privacy better than other platforms I have seen. For registration, the KYC (Know Your Customer) documents I had to provide were like a driver license and a few documents attesting my company address and the fact it was registered. Many other platforms were far more intrusive, asking things like selfies or even a webcam session. CurrencyFair does it the right way. They might typically call you to better understand your business and your needs. The way they do it limits the risk of identity theft in case their system would be hacked.
  • Third, the process consist in three easy steps: 1) Send In 2) Exchange 3) Send out If you're in a rush, you can opt for automatic conversion when the "Send In" amount arrive to them. However, unchecking the automatic conversion option and use the Exchange in a later time is the thing to do to obtain the best exchange rate. The more participants in the Exchange, the better the rates and the faster the conversions. One advantage of CurrencyFair's exchange is that you can see the stack of all exchange rates offered by your peers.
  • The transfers are between bank accounts and not credit cards, hence better from a business point of view.
  • The subscription is free. (There is no monthly nor yearly fee, even for business.)
  • You can also accept bank wires for customers in the currencies offered by your CurrencyFair account.
  • CurrencyFair offers a large choice of currencies and accepts registrations from many countries.

When sending out in another country than where their bank account for the given currency is located, there is usually fee of 2.40 GBP. So, there are better options for transfering very small amounts, but from a few hundred dollars, CurrencyFair is a good option.

There are other similar options that user mootmoot mentionned. CurrencyFair was my personal preference.

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