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Banks versus money transfer companies
Five years after moving to Auckland on a university scholarship, Zhian starts working in a photography agency. Her younger sister is applying for an arts degree at Peking University, but she will need help with the tuition.
Zhian’s family has an account with the Bank of China, while she holds an account with ANZ. Instead of paying the bank’s high transfer fees, she wants to investigate if there is a quicker, less expensive way to send money home.
|Money transfer service||Bank|
|Exchange rate||NZD$1 = CNY4.1||NZD$1 = CNY4.4|
|Amount received for $500||CNY1,989||CNY2,137|
|Transfer options||Cash pick-up||Bank deposit|
|Transfer delay||10 minutes||Two business days|
While the transfer service offers Zhian much quicker delivery, using an instant cash deposit, waiting two days guarantees her sister will receive more Chinese yuan in her account. Zhian can choose depending on how urgently her sister needs the money.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via China?
When exchanging Chinese yuan for NZ dollars, it is important to keep the following factors in mind.
- Exchange rates. Make sure you use a company offering a good, competitive exchange rate. Transfer companies buy currency in bulk, which means they can offer better exchange rates than those of banks.
- Fees. Transfer fees vary from service to service. Some may only charge a receiving fee in the destination currency.
- Pick-up methods. If your recipient needs money fast, your best option is to choose a service that has a cash pick-up point, so your recipient can collect the money. You can also opt to have money deposited directly into a bank account.
- Transfer methods. Most international transfer services offer online transfers, cash deposits at a pick-up location or direct deposits into a bank account.
- Transfer time. Choose between services that offer instant transfers or those that deliver between 1-3 business days.
- Minimum amounts. Check to see whether there is a stipulated minimum transfer amount. Minimum amounts usually range between NZD$10-NZD$50.
- Customer service. A service that promises to deliver your money to its recipient should have a good customer service department. It should be available, efficient and able to keep you updated as to where your money is at any time during the transfer process.
How do I send money to China from New Zealand?
Here are a few options to consider when sending money to China.
- Western Union. This online money transfer service will deposit directly into your recipient’s bank account with two business days or you can opt for an instant transfer, at a higher fee, that can be collected within minutes at a designated pick-up location.
- ANZ Bank. This international New Zealand-based bank has branches in China’s main centres including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. You can transfer money between ANZ accounts or send an international draft if you don’t have your recipient’s bank details.
- TransferMate. This online transfer specialist delivers money within 24 hours of the transaction, for low fees.
How do I receive money from China in New Zealand?
Need to send money back to New Zealand from China? Several international transfer companies provide competitive rates and quick service, while the big Chinese banks in New Zealand (Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) could be an interesting option for same-currency transfers.
- WorldRemit. A reputable online money transfer service, this company has no transfer or receiving fees. Money is deposited directly into the recipient’s account.
- Western Union. The most recognisable money transfer company makes money available within minutes of the transfer. You also can send money directly to a bank account, as this is usually cheaper than the instant-delivery option.
Emergency cash transfers in China
If you find yourself in a tight spot while in China, here are a few ways to get cash in a hurry.
- Instant cash transfer. Services like MoneyGram and Western Union have an extensive network of pick-up locations across China, in smaller towns as well as first-tier cities. Money can be collected within minutes of the transfer being effected.
- Travel insurance. If you have suffered a medical emergency or been robbed while on holiday, you can claim from your travel insurance. This would require proof of identity, police reports, hospital records. If you need cash fast, this may not be the solution for you.
Cash pick-up locations in China
Western Union / MoneyGram branches in China
If you choose to send money with MoneyGram or Western Union, here are a few pick-up locations in Shanghai and Beijing where your recipient can collect the transfer in person.
- Agricultural Bank of China
300 Songling Road Pudong Xinqu Shanghai Shi +86-21-68400985 Open Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:00pm
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
98 Mid Huaihai Road Shanghai +86-021-53858068 Open Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Open Saturday 10:00am-4:30pm. Open Sunday 10:00am-4:30pm.
- Postal Savings Bank of China
1 Xi Street Beijing StationDongcheng District Beijing +86-10-65264690. Open Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:30pm. Open Saturday and Sunday 9:30am- 4:30pm
- Bank of China
No 18 Chong Wen Men Wai Da Jie Chongwen District Beijing +86-10-67168357 Open Monday to Sunday 9am-5pm
- Bank of Communications
360 Wuning RoadShanghai+86-216-2571184 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
- ICBC SH Jinqiaolu Branch
1391 Jinqiaolu Shanghai +86-215-0581921 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
- BOC – BJ Anhuili Sub-Branch
Building 6 An Hui San Qu An Li Road Chao Yang District Beijing +86-106-4911153 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Open Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm.
- BOC – BJ Guangqumen Sub-Branch
Building 1 Tian Li Street ChaoYang DistrictBEIJING, 0+86-105-8764960 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, Open Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm.
Tips for picking up cash in China
China is a developed, relatively low-crime country, but you should still be vigilant when collecting money, particularly if it is a large sum. Most people in the larger cities speak English, but you may need a translator if you are collecting money in a smaller town. Check the agency’s business hours and ask a trusted person from your hotel or travel group to accompany you.
What are the steps to send money to China?
Most money transfer services require you to open an account before sending money. It is quick and usually free. You will have to provide some or all of the following information:
- Your name, email address and contact number.
- Your bank account/credit card information.
- The recipient’s name, address and bank details.
Whether you transfer money online or in person, make sure you get a tracking number to use as a reference and keep track of your transfer. Send the tracking number to your recipient, as they will need to present it if collecting the money in person.
Thanks to its unique culture and status as one of the world’s economic superpowers, China is home to more than 600,000 expats living and working all over the country.
Thousands of Kiwis have made China their home, and vice versa. As of 2013, Chinese-New Zealanders numbered over 170,000, or 4.3 percent of the New Zealand population. These included Chinese-born and those claiming Chinese ancestry. The biggest concentration of Chinese-New Zealanders (69%) is located in Auckland.
In 2008, China and New Zealand signed a joint free-trade agreement and trade doubled between the two countries. In 2016, another first was achieved, with an upgrade to the initial free-trade agreement. China is now New Zealand’s second largest trading partner, after Australia. In 2016, two-way trade was valued at more than NZD$22 billion. New Zealand’s exports to China include milk powder, butter, cheese and meat, while China’s exports to New Zealand include electronics, clothing, furniture and toys.
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