People from different parts of the world send money to South Africa for various reasons. More often than not, selecting a suitable service provider to carry out the transfer depends on cost effectiveness. However, the cheapest way to transfer money to South Africa does not necessarily have to be the one that suits you best. So, how do you select a suitable service provider when you want to send money to South Africa?
Transfer Money to South Africa
- User Rating
- Transfer Type
- Regular Payments
- Mobile App
- Min Transfer Amount
- Two Transfers Fee Free
- 1 - 3 Days
- $250 / £100 / €250
Currency Corridors & Swift Codes
Currency Symbol and Swift Codes
The South African rand (ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. It is also used as legal tender in Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland, given their link to South Africa through the Common Monetary Area. All three countries have their own currencies too. One rand is divided into 100 cents.
If you plan to send money to a South African bank account you will need to bank’s SWIFT code. The corresponding table lists SWIFT codes of some prominent banks in South Africa.
Popular Currency Corridors
Money flows in and out of South Africa across different currency corridors. In 2016, around U.S. $755 million was sent as remittances to South Africa from other countries. In the same year, more than U.S. $2.3 billion was sent from Africa to other countries as remittances.
The corresponding tables give you an indication of the inflow and outflow of money to and from Africa across its popular currency corridors in 2016. The figures are listed in American dollars.
How Do I Compare Companies When Sending Money to South Africa?
Whether you are transferring money into Africa or are receiving money from overseas in South Africa, selecting a suitable service provider is important. When comparing your options, pay attention to the following aspects.
- Cost. The cost of your transfer depends on the exchange rate and fees that apply, both of which may vary from one company to another. If you are looking for the cheapest way to transfer money to South Africa, simply compare how much money the recipient stands to receive through different companies.
- Speed. If transferring money into South Africa quickly is the top priority, you may benefit by turning to a company that has cash pickup centers in the country. Most transfers to cash pickup locations process almost immediately. If you want to send money to a South African bank account, it might take up to five working days before the recipient gets access to the transferred funds. In this case, the turnaround time depends on the country you initiate the transfer from, the company you choose, as well as the receiving bank.
- Payment methods. Not all companies that let you send money to South Africa accept payments via debit and credit cards. Paying using a bank account transfer is the most widely accepted method. Some companies also let you pay using region-specific methods such as ACH, POLi, iDEAL, and SOFORT.
- Customer service. Select a company depending on how you would like to get in touch with it, should the need arise. Your options include over the phone, via chat, and via email. Bear in mind that not all companies provide over the phone support. To find out how a company you have selected fares in the real world, turn to review-based websites such as Trustpilot and Feefo.
How to Transfer Money to South Africa?
You get to begin the process of transferring money into South Africa in different ways.
- Online. Most banks that let their customers send money to South Africa give them the option of getting started online. However, turning to an online company that specializes in overseas money transfers may lead to savings in time and money.
- Over the phone. Some of the leading companies let their customers send money to South Africa over the phone. You can also find companies that give their customers access to dedicated currency brokers at no extra cost.
- In-person. One way to send money to South Africa in person is by visiting the closest branch of your bank. However, turning to a money transfer company that has an office or an agent location in your vicinity might make the process quicker and more cost effective.
Chris planned to travel from the United Kingdom to South Africa with his wife for a holiday. After he found a suitable hotel, he contacted it directly to check if he could get a discount. He also wanted to pay for their stay in advance, while he was still in the UK. The hotel gave him a discount as well as the ability wire the money directly into its South African bank account. He compared his options before making the transfer, and this is what he found.
|Bank||Money Transfer Service|
|Exchange rate||GBP 1 = ZAR 16.0769||GBP 1 = ZAR 16.8055|
|Transfer fee||GBP 15||GBP 0|
|Amount received for GBP 3,500||ZAR 56,028.00||ZAR 58,819.25|
|Transfer time||2 to 5 days||1 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||ZAR 2,791.25|
Chris was required to pay a total of ZAR 65,000 for the stay, and he paid a significant portion of it from the UK. By choosing the money transfer company instead of the bank, he ended up saving close to ZAR 2,800.
Cash Pickup Locations in South Africa
To send money to South Africa quickly, consider using the services of companies that have offices or agent locations in the country. Some of your options include WorldRemit, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
|WorldRemit in South Africa|
|Johannesburg Makuru Shop 6A, Kempton Place 12 Pretoria Park Johannesburg||Makuru Shop F04 International Arrivals O.R Tambo International Airport Jonanesburg|
|Cape Town Makuru Shop G08, Clock Tower Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Cape Town||Makuru Shop G7, Mutual Height Building 102 Longmarket Street Cape Town CBD|
|Western Union in South Africa|
|Johannesburg Master Currency Shop 115, Upper Level, Nelson Mandella Square Sandton Johannesburg||Master Currency Shop 225, Rosebank Mall Rosebank Johannesburg|
|Cape Town Master Currency Suite 1816, 18th Floor, Absa Building 2 Riebeeck Street Cape Town||Master Currency Shop No 5, Sanso Building Cnr Riebeeck and St Georges Cape Town|
Safety Tips for Picking Up Cash in South Africa
Crime levels in South Africa are high. Thefts, muggings, carjackings, and armed assaults are reported often, especially from areas frequented by tourists. There have been instances of violent crimes involving foreigners.
If you plan to collect a large sum of money from a cash pickup center, try to take someone trustworthy along. Avoid withdrawing or changing large sums of money in crowded areas. Do not display large sums of money and expensive jewelry, phones, or cameras.
There is a significant rise in crimes after dark, especially in and around major townships city centers. Armed robberies may take place in malls too. If confronted by an armed robber, it is in your best interest to comply.
When driving, be particularly watchful at stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, as well as highway off-ramps. Make sure the windows are rolled up and the doors are locked at all times. Park your vehicle in well lit areas.
What Information Do I Need to Transfer Money to South Africa?
The information you need to provide when transferring money into South Africa depends on the mode of transfer you select.
- To a bank account. The service provider you choose will need the recipient’s complete name, a bank account number, the receiving bank’s name, and the receiving bank’s SWIFT code.
- To a cash pickup center. You will need to provide the recipient’s complete name along with the location of a cash pickup center from where the recipient plans to collect the money. The recipient may collect the transferred funds by presenting a transaction number and a valid form of ID.
Regulations When Transferring Money To and From South Africa
The South African rand is a free-floating fully convertible currency so you may transfer it in or out of the country with ease.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) functions as the country’s central bank and its financial regulator. The bank enforces restrictions on cross-border fund transfers to prevent money laundering and to regulate inflow and outflow of money to and from the country. If you wish to carry out a forex transaction, you are required to use the services of brokers that are registered as Financial Services Providers (FSPs) with SARB.
Locals require clearance from South African Revenue Services (SARS) if they plan to transfer any amount more than one million rand. As a non-resident, you may retrieve any amount of money transferred into the country, provided you have proof surrounding the original transfers.
When entering South Africa, you may carry up to ZAR 25,000 in cash. If you are bringing in other currencies, the total may not exceed U.S. $10,000 or its equivalent. If you carry more than these amounts, you will need to declare it upon arrival.
Whether you want to send money to South Africa or transfer money from South Africa, select a service provider after taking your individual needs into account. You may make your transfer more cost effective by looking for ongoing promotional offers.
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