How to send money to South Africa

Find out about safe, secure and cost-effective transfer options when you need to send money to South Africa.

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When you need to get money to a loved one in South Africa, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a complicated and expensive process. Sending money from New Zealand to Johannesburg or Cape Town doesn’t have to be expensive. If you compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available, you can get the most South African rands for your dollar.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit can help you get your money where it needs to go in minutes, with upfront exchange rates and low fees.

  • Transfers to 150+ countries
  • Send to bank account, cash pickup, mobile money, airtime top up
  • Pay with card, POLi Payments or Apple/Android Pay

    Compare international money transfer services to South Africa

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    NZD 250 1 day N/A N/A N/A SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
    Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
    Go to site Show details
    NZD 1 Within an hour N/A N/A N/A Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
    An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
    Go to site Show details
    NZD 0 1 day N/A N/A N/A Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
    AUD 250 1 - 2 days N/A N/A N/A A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies. No fee if you transfer over AUD$10,000. Go to site Show details
    NZD 250 1 day N/A N/A N/A TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply. Go to site Show details
    NZD 2,000 2 days N/A N/A N/A Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for all Finder customers.
    A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 60 currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    NZD 1 1 - 2 days N/A N/A N/A Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details
    NZD 10,000 1 - 2 days N/A N/A N/A Go to site Show details
    NZD 5 1 - 2 days N/A N/A N/A Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
    Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
    Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

    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 another country — in this case, 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 versus 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 specialise in international money transfers. These money transfer companies focus on international transactions and can offer much better exchange rates than most major banks.

    Example: Hansie sends money to South Africa

    Hansie lives and works in New Zealand, and 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 New Zealand 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 NZD = $9.60 ZAR$1 NZD = $9.25 ZAR
    Transfer fee$3.99$16
    Transfer methodBank account depositCash pick-up
    Processing time1–3 business days10 minutes
    Amount received (in ZAR)$9,596 ZAR$9,234 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 $360 ZAR extra to his parents. However, if he needs to send an urgent transfer he might use the second provider.

    Steps to sending 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.

    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 favourable 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.
        • Pick-up 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. For example, in September 2018, the New Zealand dollar was worth approximately 9.55 South African rands. 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 New Zealand

        • Bank transfers. Many New Zealand 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 pick-up options. Western Union, MoneyGram and other providers offer this option.
        • PayPal. Digital payments giant PayPal allows you to send money online from New Zealand to South Africa.
        • Cheques. International guaranteed cheques can also be sent between New Zealand 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.

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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 pick-up locations in South Africa

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