Send Money to South Africa Efficiently

Enjoy great exchange rates, minimal fees and fast transfers when you need to send money to South Africa from Canada.

In the last few years, tourism has skyrocketed in South Africa due to its vibrant cities, wildlife, wine regions and unique culture. Although far away from Canada, thousands of Canadians head across the pond to South Africa each year to travel the nation. This means that some Canadians require funds to be delivered overseas to South Africa from Canada.

South Africans living in Canada have created a market for sending money back to friends and loved ones still residing in South Africa. Combined with business ventures, property owners and travellers, there are many reasons why you may want to transfer money between the two countries. Luckily, there is no shortage of services that allow you to transfer money affordably between South Africa and Canada.

Compare money transfer service providers below.

Rates last updated June 24th, 2018
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
TorFX International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.

Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: World First International Money Transfers
CAD 250
1 day
Online, Phone
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 2.50
1 - 2 days
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
CAD 0.51
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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Banks versus money transfer companies

Many people simply head straight for their bank when they need to send money overseas. This is understandable since your bank deals with most of your financial transactions and will happily transfer money to South Africa for you.

However, banks charge high fees for international money transfers and generally offer poor exchange rates that are well below the market rate, which can end up costing you quite a lot of money. Keeping this in mind, you will usually save a lot of money by using a specialist money transfer company. These companies offer better exchange rates, lower fees and faster turnaround times than banks, making them a far better option for sending your international money transfers. It’s always best to compare your options to make sure you choose the one that’s best for you.

Case study: Hansie sends money to South Africa

Although he’s living and working in Canada, Hansie wants to send $1,000 of his hard-earned dollars back home to his brother in South Africa. Disappointed by the cost involved in sending the funds via his Canadian bank, Hansie decides to compare the costs to a specialist money transfer service. The results of his comparison can be seen below.

BankMoney Transfer Service
Exchange rate$1 CAD = 9.79 ZAR$1 CAD = 9.85 ZAR
Transfer feeCAD$25CAD$12
Transfer time3 – 5 days1 day
Transfer optionsBank account transferBank account transfer
Amount received (in South African Rand)ZAR9,533.76ZAR9,740.71

As Hansie’s comparison table shows, he can send more than 200 ZAR extra by using a money transfer company, while he can also save $13 in transfer fees. Furthermore, the transfer service can send the money overseas much faster than the bank can.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to South Africa?

  • Exchange rates. A good exchange rate can have a huge influence on how much money your recipient receives. However, keep in mind that some providers offer lower exchange rates in return for charging zero or low transfer fees.
  • Fees. Don’t forget to examine the fees that will apply to your transaction. Remember that some providers will waive their fees if you send a certain amount of money, however usually this is around the $10,000 mark.
  • Transfer methods. Options include lodging transfers over the phone, online or by visiting a branch and sending the funds in person.
  • Transfer options. Does your provider offer flexible options to help you save money and enjoy a more convenient transfer process? These options may include the ability to lodge forward contracts and market orders.
  • Minimum transfer amounts. Some companies won’t let you transfer funds unless you exceed a minimum transfer amount, so you may have to look for a different provider if you only want to send a small sum.
  • Transfer time. Compare the time it will take each provider to process your transfer. If the transfer is urgent, you may need to turn to a fast transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram.
  • Pickup methods. Can the cash you send be picked up in person, or do the funds go directly into your recipient’s bank account?
  • Customer service. Does your provider of choice offer phone, email and live chat support? Some companies may even offer in person support at branch locations. You need to know that assistance will be available should you ever have a problem with a transaction.

How to send money to South Africa from Canada?

  • Bank transfers. Most Canadian banks will allow you to send money to South Africa, but their poor exchange rates and costly fees mean you can find better deals elsewhere.
  • Money transfer companies. Specialist money transfer companies offer the most cost-effective option for sending funds to South Africa.
  • Cash pickup transfer providers. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to transfer funds that can then be picked up in person by someone in South Africa just minutes after the transfer is lodged.
  • PayPal. PayPal can be used to send money to someone in South Africa from Canada. Remember that both you and your recipient must have a PayPal account.
  • International money orders. If you’re happy to wait a while for your transfer to be completed, you can get an international guaranteed cheque from your bank and then mail it overseas. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas.

Emergency cash transfers in South Africa

In times of emergencies, you may need to send some money to South Africa as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are a few ways to get access to emergency funds while travelling overseas. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram can send funds from Canada and have them available for pick-up in South Africa within minutes. Keep in mind that these companies charge slightly higher fees for the convenient and fast transfer speeds.

With this in mind, take a few extra moments to make sure you’re fully aware of the exchange rate and fees that will apply to your international money transfer. This is the best way to ensure that you get a good deal and you don’t end up with an unpleasant surprise when you next check your bank balance.

Western Union and MoneyGram branches in South Africa

As mentioned above, if you want to send funds that can be picked up in cash by your recipient in South Africa within minutes, Western Union and MoneyGram can help. Remember that your recipient will need to take along some details of the transaction and proof of ID to pick up any cash, while they may also need to phone ahead and confirm arrangements if picking up a large sum of cash. Your recipient should know how much money was sent, as well as your full name. Some popular MoneyGram and Western Union cash pickup locations in South Africa are listed below.

Western Union

  • Balfour Park

    Balfour Park Shopping Centre

    Shop No 181 Balfour Park

    Johannesburg, Gauteng


    Open 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, open 9am to 12pm Saturday

  • Clear Water Mall

    Shop 138a

    Cnr Hendrik Potgieter And Christiaan De Wet

    Johannesburg, Gauteng


    Open 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, open 9am to 12pm Saturday

Cape Town
  • ABSA Waterfront

    Union Castle Building Vanda Waterfront

    Cape Town, Western Cape


    Open 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday, open 8am to 11am Saturday

  • Travelex Bayside

    Shop E27, Bayside Shopping Cen

    Blouberg Road

    Cape Town, Cape Town


    Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, open 9am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday


  • First National Bank


    Commissioner St

    Johannesburg, 2000


    Open 9am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12pm Saturday

  • First National Bank

    30 Diagonal St

    Johannesburg, 2001


    Open 12am to 11:59pm 7 days

Cape Town
  • Bidvest Bank – Sea Point

    Shop 14 Adelphi Centre Main St Sea Point

    CAPE TOWN, 8001


    Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm Saturday

  • First National Bank

    82 Adderley St

    Cape Town, 8000


    Open 9am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12pm Saturday

Tips for picking up cash in South Africa

Since South Africa has a high crime rate, Canadians visiting this beautiful country are encouraged to exercise a high degree of caution by the Government of Canada. With this in mind, you’ll need to be extremely careful if you’re picking up cash in South Africa.

Avoid areas where you feel unsafe and try to take a friend along with you when you pick up your funds since safety can be found in numbers. Don’t publicize the fact that you’ve just come into possession of a big stack of cash. Finally, head straight to your bank or a safe place and deposit the funds as soon as possible.

Sending money to South Africa

As you can see, there are plenty of options available when you want to send money to South Africa. However, the exact method for sending your transfer will differ depending on the transfer provider you choose.

In most cases, you’ll need to open an account and prove who you are before you can complete a transaction, so you’ll need to supply your name, contact details, date of birth and proof of ID. Finally, remember to keep the receipt you receive to ensure that you can track the progress of your funds as they make their way overseas. If you have any issues with your transfer, having your recipient handy will be helpful.

It’s easier and more affordable than ever to send money from Canada to South Africa, but make sure you compare the services of different money transfer providers before choosing one. The best place to begin your comparison is at finder, where we list all of the transfer providers that offer services between Canada and South Africa.

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