ANZ yesterday announced the temporary waiver of its $7 international money transfer fee for online foreign currency payments made from Australia and New Zealand to Cook Islands and nine other Pacific countries.
ANZ customers in Australia and New Zealand can now send money electronically to these Pacific countries with no ANZ transfer fee, using ANZ Internet Banking (from both Australia and New Zealand) and the ANZ GoMoney App (from New Zealand only), until the end of February 2021.
ANZ Cook Islands country head Bernadette Shaw says remittances will be important going forward.
“Every little bit adds up and we hope that removing this fee will mean remittances keep flowing into the Cooks Islands to help people facing hard times due to Covid-19,” Shaw said.
ANZ customers in Australia and New Zealand made over 40,000 online transfers to the Pacific last year, totalling more than $90 million. Payments made to the Cook Islands over the same period amounted to more than $11 million.
ANZ regional executive for the Pacific, Tessa Price said removing the fee will help boost Pacific economies by encouraging people to go online and send money quickly and cheaply to their family and friends.
“Money sent home by family and friends is a stable source of household income for many Pacific families. In some cases, it can be up to 25 per cent of a household’s disposable income,” she said.
“So, it’s really important that we keep costs as low as possible, especially given the economic conditions here in the Pacific which are tough due to Covid-19 and the impact it has had on tourism.”