A Guide to Sending Money from Australia to South Africa

The Best Way to Safely Transfer Money to South Africa:

1. Compare your local banks and money transfer services

2. Set-up an account with the bank or service you’ve chosen. Most of the time it can be done online but you will need to have some I.D. available

3. Transfer the money by confirming the exchange rate and fees. You’ll need the bank details of the person you want to pay in South Africa. You also may need to pay for the transfer before the money is sent abroad


Exchange Rate Comparison Tool

 
 

South Africa Money Transfer Guide

Transferring large amounts of currency

Transfering a Large Amount of Rand

If you are sending more that $10,000 between Australia and South Africa, you should examine the following:

- Banks and money transfer companies that are regulated with a strong history of international payments

- The exchange rate being offered

- Any extra fees they charge

 


Winner: TorFX
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Transferring Money Back to Australia from South Africa

All Australian banks let you transfer money to and from South Africa. But not all will accept South African Rands (ZAR).

 

Remember, many banks charge a high international money transfer fee. Plus, the best possible exchange rate is seldom offered.

An online money transfer service is one way to avoid these hefty fees and the choices are varied.

Providers that allow you to transfer money from Australia to South Africa include OFX, HiFx, torfx, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ.


Our Verdict: OFX for great exchange rates on AUD and ZAR transfers to South Africa. Particularly for payments under $10,000

Winner: OFX
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family

Friends and Family

Some transfer services, such as Western Union, are perfect for transferring small amounts (if you're thinking of sending a birthday present to a family member). While other providers will offer to waive transfer fees only if the amount is a large one.

That’s why it is critical to shop around and discuss your individual needs with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.


Our Verdict: With the right foreign exchange specialist, such as OFX it is possible to receive a spread of 1% - or even lower. And with fees reduced or removed.

Winner: OFX
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Buying or Selling Property

If you are buying a property in the South Africa or have sold your property and need to send the money back to Australia, look for a provider that has a strong presence both here and in the South Africa.

This will give you the flexiblity and support you may need leading up to settlement.


TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers because each customer has a local account manager who can guide them through each step.

They are fully licenced and regulated in Australia and also offer the extra peace of mind of a global support network.

Winner: TorFX
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Transferring currency for business

Business Currency Transfers

If your business is transferring currency between Australia and South Africa, there are 2 things vital to finding the best option:

1. The exchange rate margin - this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get

2. The business products they offer like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders


Winner: Transferwise
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Studying Overseas

With tuition fees continually escalating, it can all add up well over $50 000 a year, depending on the course and other expenses.

For large payments, make sure you hunt down the best exchange rate. For smaller payments, look out for the transfer fee that is being charged.


Our Verdict: Worldfirst. This is perfect for students and their parents paying the bills to save on hefty transfer costs.

Winner: Worldfirst
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How much will it cost to transfer money to or from South Africa?

Calculating the cost of your transfer can be tricky. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren't always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another

1. Standard Fees

These are the most common fee types.

Money transfer fees

Transfer Fees

Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee. This is the fee that banks and providers charge to transfer your money across to another country.

Exchange rate margin fees

Exchange Rate Margin

This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you receive.

2. Bank Surcharges

These are fees that your bank may or may not charge you for.

Money transfer bank fees

Corrospondent Bank Fees

This is a bank charge for transferring money to an international account. The fee is deducted from the amount that you transfer to your receipient. Note: This fee is not always charged by your bank.

Money transfer receiving bank fee

Recieving Bank Fee

If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send Chinese Yuan to your Australian bank account, your Australian bank will charge you to convert it.


OFX offer

Offer

Ready to go?

Get your first two transfers to South Africa with OFX for free

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How To Transfer Money Online


Frequently Asked Questions

Paypal and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes.
If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank.
Or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.

Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online:


Setting things up (only has to be done once)
  • Log on to their website and register your details. You'll need to have some I.D handy
  • Once your account has been approved, you'll get a login and password
  • Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the "Beneficiary" or "Recipient"

Tranferring Money
  • Get a quote for the amount you want to send
  • Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in Australian dollars
  • You'll get a deal confirmation. Finally you'll need to pay them the Australian dollars before the money is sent.

1. A Bank

Banks in Australia have higher fees and uncompetitve exchange rates but this doesn't mean you should never use them. Using a bank is also the quickest way to transfer money internationally.
 

2. Paypal

This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you'll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a Paypal account.
 

3. A Money Transfer Company

Money Transfer Companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you'll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes and 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
The banks and Paypal don't have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to South Africa and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.
To send money overeas, you'll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money to:

Beneficiary or Recipient Details
  1. The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
  2. Their address
  3. The SWIFT Code of their bank
 

A note about sending money to South Africa:

It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are picky and will reject a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.



Swift Codes

Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in South Africa:

Standard Bank of South Africa : SBZAZAJJATG

First Rand : FIRNZAJJXXX

Barclays Africa Group : BARCGB91XXX

ABSA Bank : ABSAZAJJ

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