Holding and spending USD from Australia


3

My business is based in Australia, but most of my sales are made in the USA in US dollars, and most of the bills my business pays are also paid in USD (via debit card).

I know that some Australian banks offer USD currency accounts, but do any offer a USD account with a debit card linked, so I can pay bills using USD? How to other non-US startups who make sales and pay bills to US companies do this?

Finance Bank Account Currency

asked Oct 16 '12 at 13:27
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Paul Stovell
204 points
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1 Answer


3

I don't know about Australian banks specifically, but it's fairly hard to get a USD debit card attached to a bank account anywhere outside the US. Even in Canada the best the banks offer is a USD account and then a USD credit card that can be paid from the account. Offshore banks (IOM, Channel Islands etc) were forced to withdraw USD debit cards after the US "patriot" act came into force in 2001.

The work-around is to receive USD payments and make USD payments from Paypal, as far as possible. Never keep a large float there (Paypal are unreliable, to put it mildly), but it's an option. Maintain the balance in USD, don't convert it.

"Travel money" debit cards issued by Australian banks in USD in theory should help with the payment bit, but really only for something that doesn't have a verifiable address attached, which rules out a lot of online use. Might be worth checking with your Ausralian bank to see if you can receive money into a USD account there by wire and then issue a travel money card from the account without going through AUD. I doubt any are that flexible, but worth a try.

answered Oct 18 '12 at 14:55
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Rob Hoare
238 points

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