Find the Best Way to Send Money to South Africa
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Some of the best money transfer services to send money to South Africa
- WorldRemit offer Cash Pickup and Airtime Top up along with bank transfers
- SendFX is one of the cheapest ways to send money and is great for international payments to family and friends
- Currencies Direct offer an easy to use online fee free platform and have offices in South Africa
- TransferWise is one of the easiest online money transfer services that offer the best exchange rates
- TorFX are good for larger amounts and they have a local office with excellent over the phone service
- OFX are an Australian owned and run business with an easy to use online site
- CurrencyFair also provide excellent exchange rates with low fees
- XE Money Transfers are one of the largest and most reputable money transfer companies in the world
In this guide
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
- Our comparison table shows it is always cheaper to transfer money through a money transfer service than a bank
- Find out how to transfer money overseas and the information you need to make your transfer faster
- We list 4 of the best money transfer companies to transfer money to South Africa from Australia
How to transfer money to South Africa from Australia in 3 easy steps
Using a money transfer service
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:
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:
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 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:
- 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.
What information do you need to transfer money 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.
What are the limits and tax implications on online money transfers 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.
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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