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What Is a Telegraphic Transfer (TT)?

Are you doing business with international customers and need to send money overseas? Perhaps you need to receive money from abroad and want to understand the options that are available to you? A telegraphic transfer could be a great choice. Find out everything you need to know about making a telegraphic transfer from Australia, including our guide to the TT payment procedure, right here.

Telegraphic transfers explained

Telegraphic transfers – which are also referred to as Telex transfers, TT payments, or simply TT – is a way of transferring funds that’s mostly used when you need to make an overseas transaction. The term “telegraphic transfer” has its origins in the way that banks used to make international money transfers. Essentially, transfers would be made with the ‘Telex’ network of teleprinters – electronic machines that communicated via text-based messages that were used to arrange transfers.

There are now faster ways to complete an international transfer, but the term “telegraphic transfer” has remained in use, particularly in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. So, when you hear the term “telegraphic transfers”, all you need to know is that it refers to borderless money transfers made from one account to another. It’s synonymous with terms like bank transfer, wire transfer, or SWIFT transfer, which are now more commonly used to describe the same process.

How telegraphic transfer works

TT payments pass your money between several different banks before it arrives at its destination. Each of these banks will have different fees and processing times, which is why telegraphic transfers can be a little more costly and time-intensive than other money transfer services. The network of banks that your money passes through is referred to as the SWIFT network. The banks are called “correspondent banks” because your money only passes between banks which have commercial relationships. Generally speaking, the telegraphic transfer processing time is between one and two days.

What are the fees associated with TT payments?

When you make a telegraphic transfer from Australia, you will incur several fees. When you begin the transfer, you’ll be given the option of paying all the fees yourself or having the fees deducted from the recipient’s funds. Here’s a rundown of the fees that you may be facing:

  • Sender’s bank fees – These are fees determined by the bank you’re sending the money from. In Australia, they’re likely to be around $6 to $30.

  • Recipient’s bank fees – These are determined by the bank receiving the money.

  • Corresponding bank fees – These fees come from the corresponding banks. Sometimes, it can be unclear how much the corresponding banks are charging, so you may need to do a bit of additional research to find out.

  • Exchange rate margin – Finally, it’s important to remember that banks add a margin to the exchange rate. This is to cover their own fees. While the margin will vary depending on your method of payment, banks generally charge more than other, more specialised money transfer services.

How to send a telegraphic transfer

If you want to send a TT payment, you’ll first need to ensure that you have all the correct documents. Firstly, you’ll need your own details (name and bank account details). Then, you’ll need the recipient’s details, including the name of their bank, bank account number, name, address, and contact information. You may also need to include their IBAN number or SWIFT code. Once you’ve got the telegraphic transfer details together, it’s time to send the money. The TT payment procedure may differ between different banks, but generally it will follow these steps:

  1. Find out where to make the transfer. You may need to go into a branch, but if your bank offers online telegraphic transfers, you won’t need to leave the house. You can find out this information by checking their website or calling customer service.

  2. If you need to do the transfer in person, head into a branch with the necessary documentation and speak to a teller. They should be able to kickstart the TT payment procedure.

  3. If you can make an online telegraphic transfer, all you need to do is log into your online banking account and follow the instructions. Look for the section marked “International Payment”, “Wire Transfer”, “Send Money Overseas”, or so on.

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