How to send money to South Africa
Discover how to transfer money to South Africa with the best rate in a few easy steps
1. Check if the ZAR mid-market rate is interesting
Although the evolution of the currency market is unpredictable, it is a good idea to keep an eye on it to maximize how much the receiver of the transfer will get. Keep an eye on the South African rand rate and make your transfer when the mid-market rate is close to its highest level of the last few days.
2. Select the best option by comparing the 32 available options.
There are many services to transfer money to South Africa, such as TransferGo, TransferWise, Western Union, MoneyGram, CurrencyFair. Using the most competitive company from the list is the best way to save money.
3. Choose the best money transfer company based on your criteria
Do you want to send money to South Africa at the lowest total cost, with the fastest option or with the solution with the best customer reviews?
It is also important to have a look at the payment solution and pay-out options. You may have the option to transfer the money by bank transfer or by credit or debit cards. On the recipient's side in South Africa, you often have to decide if you want the amount in ZAR to be transferred to your recipient's account or be available for cash pick-up.
4. Sign up and start your transfer to South Africa with the service you selected
The last step is to register on the provider's homepage (you normally have to provide some ID documents to confirm your identity), and get started with your transfer to South Africa.
Which provider should you use for transferring money to South Africa?
Whether you need to send money to your family or friends who are living in Cape Town, or you’re sending money to your own bank account in South Africa because you just moved there and need to transfer all your savings, comparing which providers will give you the lower total cost for your transfer can help you save a lot of money.
Not all the companies listed above will be available from all countries. If you’re sending money from the United Kingdom to South Africa, you will have plenty of options to choose from (sending money from Ireland, Canada, United States or New Zealand is also quite cheap if you select the right operator).
The cheapest ways of sending money to South Africa is usually to transfer money to a bank account (rather than a cash pick-up location). But never directly use your bank to make an international transfers as although the fees might sometimes seem competitive, you will lose a lot of money in the exchange rate margin due to the bad exchanges rates towards the South African Rand. Instead, transfer your money through an online transfer service like TransferWise, CurrencyFair or TransferGo who act as intermediary between your bank and the bank of the recipient in South Africa to give you much better rates. South Africa is one of the only african countries where these innovative companies are sending money to, so take advantage of it.
Should you need your money to arrive in cash in one specific region of the country, providers like Azimo or WorldRemit have a good geographical coverage and often better rates than some of the more well-known options such as MoneyGram or Western Union.
For bigger transactions (if you need to transfer part of your savings to South Africa, or need to purchase a home or property or have a business transfer to make), you will be better off contacting specialized foreign exchange companies. Currency Solutions, Currencies Direct and OFX are all offering to change your money into South African Rands and send it to South Africa.
Find out which provider offers the best exchange rate and fees for your next transfer to South-Africa
The rainbow nation sees a lot of immigrants coming from neighbouring countries to live and work in South Africa, while a lot of South Africans are living and working abroad themselves, whether in the United Kingdom, the US, or other english speaking countries. It is therefore no wonder that a lot of people need to send money to South Africa.
There are many options to send money to South Africa, but depending on which provider you use, the differences in the total cost of your transfer can be extremes. It is therefore paramount to use our comparison engine above to find the best companies to transfer your money to South Africa with the lowest possibles fees and the highest exchange rate.
What information do you need to send money to a bank account in South Africa
Name of the recipient
The name of the recipient's bank account's holder.
Name of the recipient's bank (ex. Standard Bank of South Africa)
The name of the recipient’s bank in South Africa. You may need to select the name of the bank in a list when sending money with some providers, others will require you to enter the SWIFT/BIC number.
SWIFT/BIC (ex. SBZAZAJJ)
The SWIFT/BIC is a unique code used to identify banks in the SWIFT international payment network. As IBANs are not used in South Africa, you will probably need to enter the SWIFT/BIC code to identify the recipient’s bank.
Account number (ex. 00052312891)
The account number of the recipient’s bank account.
As South Africa is not part of the IBAN system, you will need some other information in addition to the recipient's account number and name.
All banks in South Africa are part of the SWIFT network, and you will therefore need to have SWIFT/BIC number of the recipient's bank in order to proceed to the transfer. Some providers may suggest you a list of all the banks in South Africa from which you need to select the right one, which might be conveninent if you know the name of the bank but not the SWIFT/BIC.