Bank transfer to Australia and Canada changes to SWIFT


Hi there, I just received a push notification from Revolut saying that the payment route has changed and is now processed using SWIFT.

I’m not sure what the reason is but I’m not too happy about it. While this may not be any concern to Revolut they do know that must receiving banks will charge for SWIFT transfers.

My bank TD Canada Trust hasn’t charged me for receiving money from Revolut, but surely will from now on.

Why would Revolut do this just before launching in North America? This will definitely turn off a lot of potential Canadian customers.


+1 for not a happy camper.

I’ve been doing regular transfers to my account in Australia, so far I have always received the full amount with no charges taken out.

My bank charges $15 for SWIFT payments received plus whatever fees the intermediary banks take out.

Why the change all of a sudden?!


Support says it has something to do with their payment processor. I guess they wanna go independent from 3rd party providers. Why they chose to go with a SWIFT solution, I don’t know.


As far as I know, they used currency cloud for some international transfers. Downside: transfers appeared in the name of currency cloud and not in the account holder’s name. Maybe this is related to the goal to provide unique IBANs for customers and plans to become available in the US and other countries next year.


Problem is that Canada (and maybe Australia) doesn’t use IBANs so switching to SWIFT seems like an unnecessary step.


Aren’t these two different things? IBAN is “just” a format for international account numbers. And SWIFT is the wire transfer standard. Sure, both are related since the IBAN standard is based on what SWIFT (the company) has developed but when you say Revolut recently switched to SWIFT for transfers, what have they used before?

When they cut their ties with a former 3rd party provider that had local accounts in Australia for example and they are looking now into new relations with local Australian banks to offer individual local accounts for Australian customers once they become available there, that would leave them with SWIFT transfers for now.


So are the SWIFT transfers only a temporary thing until they setup a local bank account?

When did they start using SWIFT? I sent some funds beginning of last week when the fx rate was good and there were no fees taken out when I received it yesterday.


Unlike SEPA where centrally managed clearing exists, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is only a secure communications network. The money’s own way is classic. The sender bank may have a VOSTRO account in the foreign bank of the payee. If he does not, he will use a correspondent bank. SWIFT is used to forward transaction instructions and other information.


So I’m just wondering if there has been any update to this, has anyone had fees deducted from a SWIFT payment from their Revolut account to Australia/Canada?

By way of a comparison, up until Nov 2017 my Revolut transfers to Australia were being received from this company - and my December 2017 transfer was received from a Rural credit/building society called ‘Goldfields Money’ and no fees were deducted.


I noticed that when I make very small transfers in most cases no fees are taken.


I have been doing bank transfer to Canada since September 2017 and there was no charge at the other end till this year. My daughter told me her Canadian bank started to deduct $15 at a time. I send about £100 worth Canadian dollars, so it’s a huge chunk. Canadian bank said because the money is coming through as SWIFT international wire transfer, so there’s a charge whereas before it was done by Electronic Fund Transfer which doesn’t incur any charge.

I did 2 transfers so far this month and there was $15 charge each but one of my daughter’s own transfers from Revolut to her Canadian bank was fee free and the other got charged $15.
We are confused that how this is happening. No consistency.


I have been explaining this very issue to support but they don’t seem to understand where I’m coming from. I can only assume that it might have something to do with the fact that Revolut is building their own payment processor. Why they decided to go with Swift for Australia and Canada, I have no idea.


As well too, why would Revolut change their method of transferring funds for Canada to something that was accepted by Canadian banks as a free transfer to Swift, just before Revolut is launching the North American market?

If Canadians have to pay a big fee to receive money from Revolut into their bank accounts, then I think the Canadian launch is doomed to fail.


I tried Support 3 times, trying to find out why Canadian bank started to charge $15. First 2 Support didn’t seem to understand what I’m trying to find out. The third person finally told me Revolut used to use a method which is like local transfer (presumably EFT) but now it’s all done by SWIFT and that’s why Canadian bank started to charge.
Canadian transfer seems to go through more quickly but at a cost. I was very happy with completely fee free transfer although it took a few days longer.

Support tells me I can send money to my daughter’s Revolut account. Of course I knew and have done before. She still needs to transfer the money from her Revolut account to her Canadian account. So it won’t make any difference. I did contemplate getting her to take cash out at an ATM but it seems very difficult to find an ATM which you can make fee free withdrawal using Revolut card in Canada. So this plan isn’t feasible.


You mentioned when you made very small transfers there was no charge. How small was it, if you don’t mind me asking?


If you can spend GBP 201.69 every two months for your daughter to get your money, it can be the Transferwise solution.


Guys, why don’t you use TransferWise’s borderless accounts in the meantime until Revolut evolves a bit more. It’s still a start up and will make mistakes. In the meantime, TransferWise will save you the $15.


I’ll definitely look into TransferWise. Thanks for your suggestion.
I was thinking of making a relatively large transfer in one go rather than weekly ones to minimise the cost.


8 Dollars or less…


Thanks Clickyclick, I will also look into this account. Revolut was a good solution until they made this change to using SWIFT. My only other option is to use a revolut debit card to top up an Australian based pre-paid card and then withdraw/transfer the funds to my Aussie bank account, bit of a faff but would save the SWIFT fees.