Unregistered remittance dealers
Businesses that transfer money (for example, to customers’ family and friends overseas), are known as remittance service providers or money transfer businesses.
All remittance service providers in Australia must be registered with AUSTRAC and comply with obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). Registered remittance service providers work hard to protect their businesses, local communities and the Australian economy.
Unregistered remittance dealers are committing a serious offence and are at a high risk of being targeted to launder money gained from the proceeds of criminal activities such as:
- human trafficking and forced labour
- child exploitation
- illegal firearm sales
- drug trafficking
- tax evasion
- telephone and email scams, and
- other types of fraud.
The video below explains why remittance services need to be registered with AUSTRAC, and outlines the risks posed to the community by unregistered remittance dealers.
Note, a remittance service provider does not include a business operating as a financial institution such as a bank or credit union.
Click Settings to access subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Check if a remittance service provider is registered
A registered remittance service provider will ask you to show identification documents when you transfer money. If you are not asked for these documents, the business probably isn’t registered with AUSTRAC.
You can check if a money transfer provider that is not a financial institution (such as a bank or credit union) is registered by searching our remittance sector register. If the business is not listed, they may not be registered.
Report a suspected unregistered remittance dealer
We all play a role in helping to keep our community safe. If you use an unregistered remittance dealer, your money could be entangled in activities that harm our community.
That’s why it’s important that you tell us about any remittance dealer you think might be unregistered. You can anonymously report it to AUSTRAC by using our Suspected unregistered remittance dealer report form.
Are you an unregistered remittance dealer?
Not sure if you provide remittance services? You can answer some questions to see whether you are likely to have obligations to AUSTRAC.
If you provide a service that helps customers to send money to someone in another location, it’s likely you are providing a remittance service. Even if you only occasionally provide these services you must register with AUSTRAC. This includes occasionally arranging a money transfer for a customer, or offering hawala (also known as hewala, havaleh, hundi, xawala or xawilaad). If you do this you need to register with us.
If you provide remittance services without being registered with AUSTRAC, you can face penalties including a fine of up to A$420,000 or up to seven years in prison, or both.
If you are providing remittance services without being registered, stop and contact AUSTRAC to register now. You must not provide these services until you are registered.
Unregistered remittance dealers must enrol and register with AUSTRAC.
- how to enrol and register with AUSTRAC
- about obligations for all businesses enrolled and registered with AUSTRAC
- what you will have to do as a registered remittance service provider
Read our fact sheet (PDF, 690KB) for more information about registering as a remittance service provider with AUSTRAC. We also have fact sheets in the following languages:
- العربية / Arabic (PDF, 222KB)
- دری / Dari (PDF, 206 KB)
- فارسی / Farsi (PDF, 174KB)
- हिंदी / Hindi (PDF, 199KB)
- Bahasa Indonesia / Indonesian (PDF, 186KB)
- 简体中文 / Chinese (PDF, 221KB)
- Tagalog / Tagalog (PDF, 193KB)
- தமிழ் / Tamil (PDF, 211KB)
- ภาษาไทย / Thai (PDF, 269KB)
- اردو / Urdu (PDF, 249KB)
- Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese (PDF, 165KB)
Why you should register
AUSTRAC works with its partners to protect Australia and its people from serious crime and terrorism. We play a key role in keeping the community safe from threats to our national security. When you register with AUSTRAC, you become our partner in the fight against financial crime.
Once you’re registered, we’ll give you information to help you meet your AML/CTF obligations. By meeting these obligations you are helping to significantly reduce the risk of your business being exploited by criminals and terrorists. By becoming registered, you are making a real contribution towards creating a safe community and a secure financial sector free from criminal abuse.
Remittance Education Visits
We recognise that most remittance service providers want to do the right thing, and we want to work closely with you to help you to meet your obligations and to answer any questions you may have.
To assist with this, from September 2019 we’re visiting individuals and businesses providing money transfer services across Australia. These visits will be for people providing money transfer services to customers using their own brand, products, platforms or systems, that is providing services that are separate to, or are in conjunction with, being an affiliate of a remittance network provider. In these sessions you can ask questions, provide feedback and seek advice from AUSTRAC staff about your obligations.
Remittance Education Visits Round 1 (Week commencing 2 September)
- New South Wales postcodes: 2000, 2060, 2067, 2144, 2150, 2194, 2195
- Victoria postcodes: 3000, 3004, 3008, 3011, 3021, 3029, 3030, 3058, 3105, 3108, 3128, 3129, 3150, 3166, 3171, 3174, 3175
Remittance Education Visits Round 2 and 3
Details will be available on this page shortly.
Requesting an AUSTRAC visit
You can request a visit from our staff while they are in your local area by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like a visit from AUSTRAC but you are in an area not included in Round 1 please email email@example.com
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.