Remittance service providers overview
A remittance service provider is an individual, business or organisation that accepts instructions from customers to transfer money or property to a recipient. Remittance service providers are also known as ‘money transfer businesses’.
If you want to find out if a remittance provider is registered with AUSTRAC, search the Remittance Sector Register.
Guidance resources for remittance providers are also available in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Swahili, Urdu and Vietnamese. Download resources for remittance service providers in other languages here.
Video: Guidance for remittance service providers
- You must apply to register with AUSTRAC. We have the right to refuse, suspend, cancel, or impose conditions on a registration.
- Remittance network providers and independent remittance dealers must renew their registration every three years. Remittance network providers must also apply to renew their affiliates' registration every three years.
- All remittance service providers must keep their details up to date.
Read about the consequences of not complying.
AUSTRAC registers remittance service providers as one or more of the following:
- a remittance network provider (RNP)
- an affiliate of a remittance network provider
- an independent remittance dealer.
You must apply to register for each category that is relevant to you. AUSTRAC issues a separate registration for each type of remittance service provider.
Different types of remittance service providers have some different obligations.
Remittance network provider (RNP)
A ‘remittance network provider’ (RNP) allows affiliates to use its brand, products, platforms or systems to provide remittance services.
Find out more about what constitutes a remittance network provider.
An RNP is responsible for obligations on behalf of its affiliates including:
- applying to register them
- keeping their details up to date with us
- reporting on threshold transactions and international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs)
- providing an AML/CTF program.
An RNP or its affiliate can submit an SMR, depending on their written agreement.
Affiliate of a remittance network provider
An ‘affiliate’ has an agreement with a remittance network provider to use the network’s brand, products, platforms or systems to provide the remittance service. Under the agreement the affiliate accepts instructions from customers to send funds to a recipient in another location.
If you’re an affiliate, you don’t usually have to apply for registration yourself because your RNP will apply for you. However, if you’re already registered as an independent remittance dealer, you may apply to be registered as an affiliate if your RNP has agreed in writing. If you register yourself it is your responsibility to maintain your registration information.
If you are an affiliate who also wants to provide independent remittance services, you must apply separately to AUSTRAC for registration as an independent remittance dealer.
Independent remittance dealer
An ‘independent remittance dealer’ uses its own products, platforms or systems to provide remittance services to customers. An independent remittance provider may own or control a number of branches.
If you’re an independent remittance dealer, you are responsible for your own obligations, including:
Some reporting entities provide remittance services to their customers as part of providing another designated service. For example, they may send funds overseas on behalf of their customers, but only as a secondary service to their core business. This may apply to:
- online gaming providers
- managed investment schemes
- businesses in the superannuation sector.
AUSTRAC’s view is that in these circumstances the funds transfers do not constitute a designated remittance arrangement. We won’t enforce the AML/CTF obligations on those activities, including remitter registration and IFTI-DRA reporting obligations when both of the following apply:
- a reporting entity provides a designated remittance service and has IFTI-DRA reporting obligations incidentally to providing another designated services –not an item 31, 32, or 32A service in section 6 of the AML/CTF Act
- all funds transfers undertaken by the reporting entity are conducted through a financial institution.
This does not apply to remittance services provided by licensed casinos and currency exchange businesses.
Currency exchange businesses
If a customer seeks to exchange money at a currency exchange business, or convert foreign currency, and asks for the money to be transferred to a foreign country, AUSTRAC expects the exchange business to report an IFTI-DRA because the funds transfer is not incidental to the other designated service. You must be registered as a remittance service provider to provide these services.
Licensed casinos are exempt from registering with AUSTRAC as remittance service providers under certain circumstances defined in chapter 69 of the AML/CTF Rules.
Businesses that hold a casino licence and provide the designated services listed at item 31, item 32 or item 32A of table 1 in subsection 6(2) of the AML/CTF Act are exempt from the obligation to register on the Remittance Sector Register where both of the following apply:
- the designated services are provided in a casino to which the casino licence relates
- the designated services are provided in conjunction with a designated service set out in table 3 (gambling services) in subsection 6(4) of the AML/CTF Act .
Casino licence holders are still required to report international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs).
Remittance providers business toolkit
Download or print these resources to help you understand and comply with AUSTRAC’s guidelines.
Managing your AML/CTF obligations
- Guide to developing an AML/CTF program for remittance service providers (PDF, 703KB)
- Risk management methodology fact sheet (PDF, 173KB) – Provides an overview of a risk management process for remittance service providers.
- Quick steps to Protect Your Business from crime poster (PDF, 221KB) – For display in staff areas.
Customer due diligence
- Identifying individual customers (PDF, 216KB) – A quick guide to help you identify individual customers, including information on when you may need to do additional checks.
- Mandatory Personal ID check poster (PDF, 188KB) – For display in customer areas.
- Suspicious matter reports (SMRs) for remittance service providers (PDF, 251KB) – Guidance on how to ensure you report SMRs correctly, and make sure your reports contain the right information.
- International funds transfer instructions (IFTIs) for remittance service providers (PDF, 195KB) – Getting IFTI reporting right.
- Remittance providers money laundering Myths vs Facts Poster (PDF, 1005KB) – For display in staff areas.
Risk assessments for remittance service providers
The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.