Many different options exist for international money transfers to and from South Africa. All the usual methods, plus mobile banking and money transfer services, count. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is responsible for keeping tabs on all of these organisations and preventing any fraudulent behaviour.
The Common Monetary Area
South Africa, along with Namibia, Lesotho, and Eswatini, makes up the Common Monetary Area (CMA). Because of this, citizens of other member nations can exchange their local currencies for rands. However, South Africa accepts only rands. Since the rand’s exchange rate with other CMA member currencies is a set 1 to 1, transfer fees between these countries can be avoided. However, transaction costs will still be charged. This means that the exchange rate and any associated costs will affect the final amount you transfer or receive from South Africa, independent of the origin or destination countries.
Services for Sending Money Abroad That Can Be Accessed Online in South Africa
When sending money online, you won’t need to go through a bank or the SWIFT system. They instead use money transfer providers, which use their networks to transmit money between account holders. Users will be able to complete international transactions more quickly as a result. Money is normally received within one to two business days, though it can sometimes be received instantly. Online money transfer platforms are typically a more cost-effective option for sending money to and from South Africa than using a traditional bank. This is because their margins on exchange rates and fees for transactions are often lower.
South Africa is home to a variety of reputable international money transfer companies. However, you should consider your situation while deciding which option is best for you. For instance, CurrencyFair now only accepts 17 different currencies, and while account creation is allowed for users in South Africa, it is not for users in many other African nations. Some of South Africa’s options for sending money abroad include:
- Use Monito’s comparison platform to examine the prices and fees of each supplier before making a final decision.
- Wise (previously TransferWise) does not support international money transfers from South Africa at this time. Wise is a money transfer platform that does not require the recipient to create an account; hence, someone from outside of South Africa can send rands to your South African bank account.
Instructions for Sending Money Abroad From South Africa Using the Internet
It’s easy to send and receive money. The first step is to sign up for the service and link your bank account to your online wallet. Unlike a bank account, money transfer services do not charge regular maintenance costs. After adding funds, the virtual wallet can be used to transfer money to another user.
You can have your bank convert foreign currency received via a money transfer service into rands in your regular bank account. About 2% is the amount that banks charge for making this transaction. The charge to move rands from your South African bank account to your money transfer service account is the same as the fee to move rands in the opposite direction.
Foreign Currency Transfers Using Conventional Banks in South Africa
South Africa’s conventional banks transfer funds internationally via SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). Your rands will be converted to foreign currency at the prevailing exchange rate by South African banks. Bank-to-bank wire transfers are widely regarded as the safest method of sending money internationally because no intermediaries are used. Nonetheless, it’s not the cheapest option for sending money abroad from South Africa.
Fees Associated With Sending Money Abroad From a South African Bank
South African banks add a commission to any wire transfers made outside of the country. Depending on the destination country, this might be anything from 0.5% to 6.5% (a minimum of R120 to R300). In addition, a margin ranging from 1.25% to 5% will be included because of fluctuations in the exchange rate. The total cost of your meal will thereafter be increased by a flat fee of R100–200. As a result, the fees associated with your transfer could consume up to a stunning 25% of the total. If you’re sending money to an African Eco Bank account, you should know that the commission fees are more than usual. There is a 4.5% fee if you want your receiver to receive the funds in their native currency. It costs roughly R185 to get money into the nation plus a transfer fee of about 0.55%.
It’s possible to lose money if you convert to currencies that are stronger than the one you’re sending the money in. As a result, it is recommended that you look out for today’s currency rates on a website like XE or X-Rates.
When Sending Money Abroad From South Africa, How Long Does It Take?
One to three business days are needed to process an international wire transfer. For obvious reasons, it’s important to confirm the legitimacy of any overseas cash transfers. After you verify the funds’ destination, the bank will convert them to rands at the current exchange rate and deposit the proceeds into your account. In general, it takes less time to send a transfer in the Euro or the US dollar than it does in a less widespread currency. Keep in mind that it could take more time to handle greater sums of money.
To begin, you must open a bank account in South Africa. This can be done either entirely online or by physically going to a branch. The following is required to create a bank account in South Africa for those with a valid resident visa:
- Birth Certificate/Passport
- Permission to work/study
- Address verification (such as a recent utility bill)
- Bank statements for the past three months
You can start making and receiving international transactions as soon as you set up your account. To transfer funds from your South African bank account to an individual in another country, you will need the recipient’s full name, address, and international identification number.
Location Number of Accounts IBAN Code SWIFT Code
The country’s SORT or routing code, as well as the payment’s purpose indicated by a BoP code, may be required. You must also provide relevant paperwork, such as an invoice or bill of lading. The exchange rate can be booked in advance or used at the time of payment. Bring the aforementioned data and your ID or passport to the bank so you can initiate an international transfer. The bank will handle the rest when you fill out a form and provide the required documentation.
South African Bank Instructions for Receiving an Overseas Money Transfer
- You will need to submit your IBAN (account) number and the purpose of the transfer when receiving funds from an international transfer at a bank. Don’t forget to bring your identification.
- You also have the option of receiving the funds digitally through a website or mobile banking app.
- South African online and mobile banking services for international money transfers
It is now possible to make international payments from the convenience of your own home using the online and mobile banking services offered by most of the main traditional banks in South Africa. Some of South Africa’s banks that let you send money abroad via the mobile app are:
- South African digital banks including FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and ABSA do not yet offer international transfer facilities. The reason for this is that online banking is still relatively novel in the country.
- You can expect to pay the same commission, flat, and exchange rate margin fees when using a banking app to make an international transfer. Two to three business days are needed for processing.
With a South African mobile banking app, you can:
- Connect your existing bank account to the bank’s mobile app if you haven’t previously.
- Choose the foreign currency/international payment option.
- Include the name and address of the recipient, together with their bank information and the amount you wish to transfer.
- Choose a payment justification (BoP code).
- Just stick to the on-screen instructions to make a payment.
Locate the pending transaction in your app’s Forex section to confirm a successful overseas transfer into your South African bank account. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter a BoP code and make a payment.
Security in mobile banking apps is multi-factored and robust. A bank will quickly alert you if they suspect money laundering on your account. Your permission is required for any actions taken using your online account. Additionally, you’ll need a password, PIN, and/or biometric data to log in to the banking app.
The South African Wire Transfer System
Sending money to or from South Africa is also possible through wire transfer firms. These non-bank service providers use the SWIFT network to transfer funds to financial institutions and other service providers. Some of South Africa’s wire transfer options are:
Transfer fees from Exchange4Free, MoneyGram, and Western Union might cost as much as R14,500. Overdraft and cash-out fees are examples of third-party expenses that could be incurred. Despite the cost, the service is usually quite quick, with the money showing up in your account within minutes. You need to visit your local agent location with the following items to send money abroad:
- Receipt for at least three months’ worth of rent Examples: a utility bill
- Income verification, such as a pay stub.
- Name of recipient and country
If you sign up for an account on their website, you can send money online as well. Choose the recipient’s nation and enter the amount in your currency. Pick a payment option and decide whether the receiver will get the money in cash or a bank transfer. Enter the recipient’s information and verify it with a password or pin code. Easy!
Money can be sent to you via wire transfer services like Western Union if you give the sender your bank information and the method of payment you desire. You’ll get a tracking number so you can monitor your money’s progress. If the funds are transferred electronically to your bank account, you won’t have to do any further action to get your hands on the cash. Get your ID and tracking number ready, then head to the nearest agent site to pick up your cash.
All parties involved in a wire transfer should be required to verify their identities and connect their profiles to bank accounts before using a reputable service. All overseas wire transfers are tracked and flagged for investigation by the South African Reserve Bank.
South African Currency Exchange Specialists
A forex broker, or foreign exchange broker, is a service provider that deals in currency exchange. Money can be transferred internationally by sending funds to a broker, who then engages in currency exchange and forwards the proceeds to the intended recipient. Money changers specialising in international transactions:
- Western Union
- SABLE International
There may be no transfer fees at all, depending on the forex firm and the amount you’re transferring. In two to three business days, the beneficiary will get the funds you transferred. The advantages of using a foreign exchange broker to send money abroad include access to expert guidance, competitive exchange rates, many currency options, and around-the-clock availability.