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Here are some common foreign exchange terms and their definitions.


Bank code - A Bank Code is a series of numbers which is used to identify banks around the world. It is equivalent to Australia's 'BSB' code, and can be between 3 and 23 digits depending on the country of the bank and the type of code it is.

Bank draft – a cheque issued by a bank usually in a foreign currency

Bank Identifier Code (BIC) – Is one of the most common forms of bank code used to identify individual banks. It will be 8 or 11 digits long.

Beneficiary – The recipient of funds sent overseas. Beneficiaries can either be businesses or individuals.

Buy rate – the rate at which the Bank will buy foreign currency from a customer.

Cross-Rate The exchange rate between two currencies, e.g., Yen /Euro.

Currency The type of money that a country uses. It can be traded for other currencies on the foreign exchange market, so each currency has a value relative to another.

CVC Card Verification Code, which is a three digit code on the back of a Travel Money Card, on the right of the signature strip.  It is a security feature which is required for card-not-present transactions, such as over the phone or online) and when accessing the Travel Money IVR and website.

Default Currency Order This order applies when you have multiple currencies loaded on a Travel Money Card, and means the order that transactions, fees or reloads will be applied to your card in certain situations. Please see the Travel Money Card Product Disclosure Statement for further detail.

EFT Electronic Fund Transfer.

Exchange RateThe price of one currency in terms of another.

Exchange Rate Risk The potential loss that could be incurred from movement in exchange rates.

Foreign Exchange The purchase or sale of a currency against sale or purchase of another.

Forex An abbreviation of foreign exchange.

FX Foreign Exchange.

International Bank Account Number (IBAN) – a series of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies a customer’s bank account. It consists of an alphabetical country code, followed by two digits, and up to thirty alphanumeric characters for the bank account number. This should be obtained from your beneficiary. Please see the FAQs for more information and examples.

International Money Transfer (IMT)-A way of electronically transferring money to an overseas bank account account.

IVR The automated Interactive Voice Response service for Travel Money Card account balances, transaction listing and PIN changes. It is accessible by entering your 16-digit card number, CVC and PAC.

PAC A six digit Personal Access Code nominated when purchasing a Travel Money Card, to access the IVR service and website.

Sell rate – the rate at which the Bank will sell foreign currency to customers. This is the rate that is used when funds are being sent overseas.

SWIFT – The process the Commonwealth Bank uses for sending and receiving international funds. BICs are used by the SWIFT system for identifying banks. Refer BIC.


Important information

  • As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should before acting on this advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.