Find the Best Way to Transfer Money to South Africa

Transfer Money from Australia to South Africa

Working out the best way to transfer money to South Africa is like working out the best way out of a maze you've never been in, very difficult. There are lots of companies who say they'll send your money, but once you drill down you find their options are limited. We inform you on how you can transfer money to South Africa from Australia in a simple, fast and safe way, using the best money transfer companies.

Key Take Outs

Need to send money to Australia from South Africa instead? Learn more here.

Compare cheaper ways to send money from Australia to South Africa

How to transfer money to South Africa from Australia in 3 easy steps

Using a money transfer service
How to send money to South Africa from Australia. Step 1

1

Sign up online It takes 5-10 minutes to type in your personal details, verify your identity with photo id and set your account with passwords. You don't have to be a regular customer.
How to send money to South Africa from Australia. Step 2

2

Provide international money transfer details Tell them how many South African Rand you want delivered. Enter the bank information of the person you are sending money to. Send the funds requested.
How to send money to South Africa from Australia. Step 3

3

Money is delivered Money is delivered to the South African bank account and you are updated regularly via phone or email. They're very good at keeping you informed of where your money is.

Best ways to send money to South Africa

1. Using a money transfer company

A money transfer company specialises in foreign currency exchange. You can send money online from an Australian bank account to another bank account overseas. It's normally the cheapest and fastest way to transfer money.

We trust two companies for money transfers to South Africa:

 

OFX logo

OFX is best for larger money transfers. They remove their $15 transfer fee for transfers over A$10,000 and have great customer service.

 

transferwise logo

With TransferWise, you consistently receive the most competitive exchange rate (the mid-market rate) and you're told your total costs upfront.

Best ways to send money to South Africa
Best ways to send money to South Africa using a remittance company

2. Remittance company money transfer

Remittance companies specialise in sending small amounts overseas to friends and family overseas. They're able to transfer money overseas to bank accounts, provide cash pick up and transfers by mobile wallets.

They're usually more expensive than other online money transfer companies, but are often faster in emergencies.

While Western Union is the most well-known remittance company, there are better alternatives:

 

Remitly logo

Remitly is best for speed. They can transfer money within minutes when you select the Express service and you pay by bank transfer.

 

For instant cash transfers, WorldRemit charges a percentage-based fee that starts from A$3.99. They also offer same-day bank transfers to South Africa at a new rate of A$10.00 for every A$1,000 transfer, which is still slightly less than if you use a bank.

3. Bank transfers

A bank transfer moves money between countries on the SWIFT network or an electronic wire or telegraphic transfer. Money is transferred from one bank account to a bank account in another country.

They are more expensive and often slower to transfer your money overseas.

While we have covered the benefits of using a money transfer provider, many people have bank accounts with NAB, CBA, Westpac and ANZ and these 'how-to' guides show you:

  • How to transfer money overseas with Commonwealth Bank
  • International money transfers with NAB
  • Transferring money internationally with Westpac
  • Sending money overseas with ANZ
Best ways to send money to South Africa using a bank

How much will it cost to make my international money transfer?

There are 3 fees you'll usually be charged to send money to South Africa:

How much will it cost to transfer money to South Africa from Australia?
  • Exchange rates - The better the exchange rate, the more South African Rand (ZAR) you get in the bank account in South Africa. Money transfer services that offer better exchange rates will usually charge you a separate transfer fee.
  • Transfer fees - These can range anywhere between $0 to $10 for a A$1,000 transfer. Some online transfer companies offer fee-free transfers for sending large amounts of money. These companies usually charge a slightly worse margin on their exchange rate, but are still better than bank fees (which are at best A$12 per transfer).
  • Hidden fees - You or the person you're sending money to will often get charged a bank receiving fee or banks intermediary fee of approximately A$25.

How long does it take to transfer money overseas?

Money Transfer Services can take 0 - 3 business days

When using a money transfer service like TransferWise, they tend to quote transfer time in hours not days. Unlike banks, they keep you updated on the movement of your funds. This includes the estimated arrival time of your funds to the account you're sending money to.

Remittance Companies can take 0 - 5 business days

An instant transfer is available with remittance companies if you pay a higher transfer fee and the person can collect in cash. Alternatively, you can send money using money in your bank account to another bank account and it can take up to 5 business days.

Bank to Bank Transfer can take 2 - 5 business days

Also known as a 'wire' or 'telegraphic transfer'. These transfers are slow, because the money may go through a network of correspondent banks before landing into the account in South Africa. The time it takes will also vary depending on the bank receiving the money. Plus, it's up to you to check if the person you sent money has received it.

How long does it take to transfer money to South Africa from Australia?

What information do you need to transfer money to South Africa?

What information will I need to transfer money from Australia to South Africa?
  • Your personal information: Your full name, address, date of birth and valid I.D.

    For security reasons money transfer service's need your photo id scanned or photographed using your phone. It also needs to be high quality. Also note, you can't give your work/office address or PO box address

  • SA bank account details: The full name on the account and address. The bank's name you're sending money to, the SWIFT / BIC code together with the 7 to 11-digit bank account number. You can usually get these details by logging into online banking or checking a bank statement.
  • How you wish to pay: Your bank details, account numbers and address or debit/credit card details to pay for your transfer.

Is there any other information I need to know?

Yes. When the person in South Africa receives money from Australia for the first time they need to fill out a Reporting Mandate form to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Money transfer services often partner with Exchange4Free to administer this compulsory Reporting Mandate form. Following this, the person receiving money in South Africa needs to complete it online once per calendar year.

The form asks the recipient to list their full name, address, date of birth, mobile phone, reason for transfer, passport number and email address.

Keeping your money safe

One of the main questions people ask us is “will my money be safe online?" The answer is yes.

We've made sure that all the money transfer services and banks you compare are safe. Each company is :

  • Is regulated in Australia - AUSTRAC in Australia
  • Holds an appropriate financial services license - with ASIC in Australia
  • Have strict privacy and verification policies - this is to ensure they fully identify all of their customers. They invest in identity protection, fraud prevention and encryption to create a secure connection with your browser when you register and login into their online services.
Transfer Money to South Africa Online Safely

What are the limits and tax implications on online money transfers to South Africa?

What are the money limits and tax implications of making a money transfer from Australia to South Africa?
Money transfer limits

There are no limits on the amount of money you can transfer to a South African bank account. Your money transfer service or bank might have a restriction, however sometimes these are as high as 2 billion ZAR per transfer. Some money transfer services do not have limits.

 

Donations tax

There is also a 'donations tax' in South Africa on money gifted between South African residents of 20% for amounts over R100,000 annually. However, it does not apply if the donor is a foreign resident. The South African recipient needs to disclose in their income tax return ITR12 form as an "amount not considered taxable". This needs to submitted once per year.

For more information it is best to contact a tax professional for advice is you are unsure of the rules.

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