Best way to send money to South Africa | finder.com

How to send money to South Africa

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Compare transfer companies to get the most rand for your dollar.

If you’re sending money by phone, online or through a mobile app to South Africa, compare fees, rates and speed to get the best deal.

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Compare international money transfer services to South Africa

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 14.641 ZAR 73,204 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 14.759 ZAR
73,797
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 0.00 14.559 ZAR 72,797 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 14.611 ZAR 73,056 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 14.7 ZAR 73,501 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 14.508 ZAR 72,538 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

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How do international money transfers work?

An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in South Africa. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.

Banks vs. money transfer providers

The first place many people go when they need to send an international money transfer is to their bank. While banks can certainly send money overseas for you, their fees are often higher compared to companies that specialize in international money transfers. These money transfer companies focus on international transactions and can offer much better exchange rates than most major banks.

Case Study: Hansie sends money to South Africa

While Hansie lives and works in the U.S. he wants to send $1,000 home to his parents in South Africa as a gift for their wedding anniversary. He has an account with a large American bank and approaches them about sending his transfer, but when they offer him a poor exchange rate and a high fee, he decides to look elsewhere. He compares the services of two money transfer companies to find the best deal.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate$1 USD = $13.03 ZAR$1 USD = $12.62 ZAR
Transfer fee$3.99$16
Transfer methodBank account depositCash pickup
Processing time1-3 business days10 minutes
Amount received (in ZAR)$13,030 ZAR$12,620 ZAR

As you can see, Hansie can get a much better deal by using the first money transfer company, saving $12 in fees and sending more than $410 ZAR extra to his parents. However, if he needs to send an urgent transfer he might use the second provider.

Steps to send money to South Africa

  1. Choose a transfer provider that sends money to South Africa.
  2. Provide your contact information, email address and phone number.
  3. Supply your recipient’s contact information.
  4. Choose the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction. Save any reference or receipt number to track the progress of your transfer.

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How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to South Africa

  • Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate, the more of your money will make it to your recipient in the form of South African rands. Compare rates between companies but remember that some companies that offer higher exchange rates will also charge higher fees.
  • Fees. Fees apply to many international money transfers, so examine the fee structure of each provider. You can also keep an eye out for providers that waive their fees when you transfer more than a certain minimum amount.
  • Transfer methods. How can you make your transfer request: online, in person, on a mobile app and/or over the phone?
  • Transfer options. While some companies simply offer one-time transfers, others offer features such as forward contracts, which allow you to take advantage of favorable market conditions.
  • Turnaround time. The processing time can be important when you need to send funds urgently, and transfer times can range from minutes to several business days.
  • Minimum amount. Some providers impose a minimum transfer limit, which can often be restrictive if you don’t want to send a large amount of cash.
  • Pickup methods. From bank account deposit to collection from an agent location and even home delivery of the cash, there are several options available from money transfer providers.
  • Customer service. If something goes wrong with a transaction will phone, email and/or live chat support be available?
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Foreign exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Like most countries, South Africa has a flexible exchange rate, which means it can change from moment to moment based on interest rates, economic stability and other factors.
Currency exchange rate for South Africa

Options for sending money to South Africa from America

  • Bank transfers. Many U.S. banks allow you to send an international wire transfer to a South African bank account.
  • Online money transfer providers. Companies like WorldRemit offer fast transfers and competitive exchange rates.
  • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union, MoneyGram and other providers offer this option.
  • PayPal. Digital payments giant PayPal allows you to send money online from the U.S. to South Africa.
  • Checks. International guaranteed checks can also be sent between the U.S. and South Africa.
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Emergency cash transfers in South Africa

If you need to send an urgent money transfer to South Africa, keep in mind that you will usually have to settle for higher fees and lower exchange rates to get your money there as quickly as possible. Even if you’re in a hurry, make sure to check the fees and the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction to ensure that you know exactly how much your transaction will cost.

Find a money transfer location near you

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Tips for picking up cash in South Africa

Some areas of South Africa, such as Johannesburg, have high crime rates. You should exercise caution when you pick up cash in certain areas.

  • Remain aware of your personal security at all times.
  • Keep cash in a safe place.
  • Avoid any high crime areas.
  • Deposit the cash into a bank account as soon as possible.
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Cash pickup locations in South Africa

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For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PamelaDecember 10, 2018

    I would like to send money to family in South Africa. When I’ve previously sent money, the recipient bank charged a good few R100’s in bank charges, meaning that some 13% of what I sent went towards bank charges. This was on top of the UK transfer fee I paid to send the money. Is there a way to minimise or negate the recipient bank charges?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for getting in touch. When transferring money, you’d always need to check fees and charges, such as taxes, and you’ll need to add that on top of the money your sending. It’s helpful to know that the recipient doesn’t get charge of any fees unless the amount your sending is over the country’s international transfer limits, then the recipient would be charged taxes as well.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    StormSeptember 29, 2018

    Hello i live in South africa and my friend from America wants to send me money but cant use the bank bec they where hacked and dont do transfers . I need a site thay makes it easy to put the money in my FNB account and PayPal is not a option

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Storm,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Thankfully, you can use the table above to compare international money transfer services to South Africa. You can specify the amount of money you want to send and the table will show you how much money you will receive. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your transfer. The companies listed on our table should also allow you to send money to your bank account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    KaylaJuly 25, 2018

    Hi. I started an online job with a company that pays into PayPal in USD. I have an FNB account with a debit card.
    Do I have to get a credit card?
    How long does it take to go from PayPal account to FNB account?
    And what should I register it as?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AshJuly 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Kayla,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      No, you do not need to have a credit card for your Pay Pal account to receive the salary from your employer. Since you already have an existing bank account, you need to register/ link it to your Paypal account. Here is the instructions on how you can link your bank account:

      1. Go to Wallet.
      2. Click “Add bank account” then select your account type (enter the sort code and account numbers)
      3. Check if all your information are correct then click “Add Bank Account”.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that I may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  4. Default Gravatar
    SandyJune 25, 2018

    I want to send money to someone who is only in South Africa temporarily.. In order to receive it is he going to have to provide an address? Or is just his passport/ID and the ref # sufficient?
    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AshJune 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      If the recipient will be picking up the money to one of the provider’s agent locations, he/ she should only show a valid ID and provide the reference number for the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  5. Default Gravatar
    LindyJune 24, 2018

    I wish to receive funds from Doha to Cape Town South Africa who offers what rates and what are the different time periods plse?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJune 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Lindy,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      On the page above, you’ll see a table of money transfer services that can be used by your sender to transfer money to Cape Town, South Africa.
      To check the price and transfer periods, simply enter the amount to be transferred and assign the currencies to be used. When you press enter, it will automatically generate the rates and transfer periods.

      Hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Nikki

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